March 21, 2010
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama men's swimming and diving team is headed to the NCAA Championships being held this week in the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion on the Ohio State campus.
Three members of the Crimson Tide squad have earned invites to one of the world's fastest meets while three others are on standby as alternates.
"I'm proud of these guys, they've had a great season so far, but we're not done yet," UA head coach Eric McIlquham said. "I look for them to finish strong. I think they're all capable of some pretty amazing things at this meet."
Senior All-Americans Aaron Fleshner and Mark Randall and junior Denes Zubcsek are all making return visits to the championships and all three were part of the contingent that led the Tide to a 21st-place finish at last year's NCAA Championships.
Fleshner, who won the Southeastern Conference three-meter championship last month, is slated to compete in all three diving events, the one and three-meter boards as well as the platform. A six-time All-American, he has finished as high as third off the three-meter board at the NCAA Championships.
Randall is seeded third in the 500 freestyle and seventh in the 1650 freestyle coming into this year's championships. He is also scheduled to swim the 200 freestyle. The school record holder in the 500, 1000 and 1650 freestyles, Randall has finished as high as fifth in the 1650 at the NCAA Championships and is a three-time All-American.
Zubcsek, at his second NCAA Championships, qualified in the 100 and 200 butterfly and the 500 freestyle. He is ranked second all-time for the Tide in the 100 and 200 butterfly behind two-time NCAA Champion Stefan Gherghel.
Freshman Anestis Aramptzis is the championship's first alternate while senior Riley Boulden is the third alternate. Junior diver Adam Booher is the first alternate out of Zone B.
Alabama has posted 32 top-25 finishes since first scoring at the NCAA Championships in 1973. This will be the first time that the men's national championships, which gets underway this Thursday, have been held in Columbus, Ohio.