Polyakov Lowers School Record at NCAA Championships



It was another day, another school record for the Alabama men’s swimming and diving team at the NCAA Championships.

Junior Vlad Polyakov grabbed fifth place and All-American honors in the 100 breaststroke with a 53.07, bettering his own school record set at last year’s NCAA Championships by nearly two-tenths of a second. Polyakov defends his 2005 NCAA 200 breaststroke title on Saturday.

“It was another good day for, another strong day,” Alabama head coach Eric McIlquham said. “Vlad looked really good out there, posting a personal best and putting the school record even lower. He has set himself up to finish really strong tomorrow in the 200. As a team, we have to do the same thing, finish off strong.”

Alabama is 13th after day two with 75.5 points. Arizona leads the team race with 336.5 points, followed by Auburn in second and Stanford in third.

Junior Aaron Ashworth scored off the three-meter board, taking 13th place with 318.90 points. It marks his second honorable mention All-American performance of the meet after taking 13th Thursday off the one-meter board.

The 200 medley relay of freshman Chris Perry, Polyakov, junior Apostolis Tsagkarakis and senior Darren Erasmus took 14th place, earning honorable mention All-American honors in the process. The Tide foursome swam a 1:27.66 in prelims, just off the school record, before posting a 1:28.24 in finals.

Freshman Mark Randall, Tsagkarakis, sophomore Ryan Latone and senior Spiros Bitsakis combined to score in the 800 freestyle relay, taking 14th with a 6:33.46 and earning honorable mention All-American recognition in the process.

In addition to Polyakov in the 200 breaststroke, the Tide will swim the 400 freestyle relay, Erasmus and Tsagkarakis will swim the 100 freestyle and Randall will swim the 1650 freestyle, where he is seeded second.