Feb. 25, 2006
College Park, MD- During the final preliminary session of the ACC Championships, junior Brian Regone led the Tigers as the only swimmer to make it to the championship heat tonight. Clemson (219.5 points) was trying to close in on North Carolina State and Virginia Tech for the fifth and sixth spots overall. The Tigers did place four swimmers in the consolation finals heat for tonight.
In the first event of the morning, senior Charlie Dillon placed ninth with his career best time of 1:49.02 in the 200 backstroke. He will be joined in the consolation final with teammate Joel Johnson. Johnson, who placed second in last night’s 100 backstroke, also swam a career best time. He finished at 1:49.91 to finish 16th. Taylor Thompson (1:50.21) and Jay Crout (1:52.91) also swam in the event, finishing 18th and 21st, respectively.
Regone swam next in the 100 freestyle. His time of 44.64 qualified him sixth for tonight’s championship heat. His time was fast enough for an NCAA Provisional Qualifying mark and earned him a tie for third place in Clemson history. Mark Vahle (44.89) finished ninth in the 100 freestyle, just .13 behind eighth place. He also earned the seventh spot on Clemson’s all-time list. Stephen Russell, Bryce Herrington, Matt Balderston, and Greg Middleton all swam career fastest times in the event. Russell and Herrington were separated by .01 as they blazed to times of 45.50 and 45.51. Baldeston (46.02) was the second alternate for tonight’s finals, and senior Greg Middleton (46.27) finished 30th.
Brett MacLennan and Attila Ruszka then took on the 200 breaststroke. MacLennan (2:04.73) touched the wall just .07 off his season best time. He finished 17th overall, and was followed by Ruszka (2:05.02) in 18th.
Freshman Thomas Niemeier led Clemson in the 200 butterfly. He posted a career best time of 1:50.59 to sneak into the consolation heat in 16th. Niemeier was followed closely by seniors Ben Kanoy (1:50.76) in 18th, and Jordan Raynovich (1:51.42) in 19th. Freshman Dan Mengering (1:52.73) came to the wall in 23rd place overall. All four swimmers had the fastest times of their career.
The Tiger distance swimmers will be in action this afternoon at the Campus Recreation Center in College Park, MD. The duo of Jonathan Mengering and Sean Geary will compete in the timed final heats of the 1650 freestyle. Mengering is seeded ninth, while Geary is right behind in 10th. The top eight seeds of the 1650 freestyle will swim with tonight’s finals session. The order of events tonight will be the 1650 freestyle, 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 200 butterfly, and the 400 freestyle relay.
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