March 27, 2008
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. -
Alabama freshman Catalin Cosma came up big in his first appearance at the NCAA Championships, earning honorable mention All-American honors in the 500 freestyle on the meet's first day at the King County Aquatic Center.
"That was a great first event for a freshman at this meet," Alabama head coach Eric McIlquham said of Cosma's performance. "He came out ready to go this morning, shaving two second off his best time and getting himself into a position to score. I'm looking forward to another two days of good swimming from him."
Cosma posted a 4:19.23 tonight, good for fifth in the consolation finals and 13th overall. The rookie posted a career-best 4:17.64 in the preliminaries of the 500, which puts him second all-time for the Crimson Tide in that event, less than a second off the school record set by UA legend Arne Borgrstrom at 4:16.80 in 1982.
Earlier in the day, diver Aaron Fleshner finished 20th off the 1-meter board with a score of 300.95 points. The sophomore earned All-American honors in tomorrow's event, the 3-meter board, last season.
Cosma will swim the 200 freestyle on Friday and the mile on Saturday. Fleshner will competed off the platform on Saturday, the event he earned honorable mention All-American honors on last season.