March 29, 2008
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. -
A very young Alabama Swimming and Diving team finished 22nd at the NCAA Championships here at the King County Aquatic Center.
"We had a pretty good day today to finish off what has been a very good meet for such a young group," Alabama head coach Eric McIlquham said. "Catalin and Aaron both scored again today which kept us in the top 25. Today's points moved us from 23rd at the end of yesterday to 22nd today."
The Crimson Tide, which has 20 freshmen and sophomores among the 28 men on the 2008 roster, posted its fourth top 25 national finish in as many years and its 31st since 1974. Arizona won the team title, its first. The Wildcats' title marks the first time since UCLA in 1982 that a new team has won the NCAA men's championship.
Freshman Catalin Cosma earned All-American honors in the mile, touching the wall with a time of 14:57.43, shaving five seconds off his personal best time and moving into fourth place all-time for the Crimson Tide. His time is just a second off of second place all-time for Alabama. Cosma earned honorable mention All-American honors in the 500 freestyle on the meet's first day.
Sophomore Aaron Fleshner also scored on the championships final day, earning honorable mention All-American honors after taking 12th place in the platform diving event. He scored 343.70 points to move up a place from his preliminary finish. He also finished two places better than his freshman finish in this event at this meet. The Spring, Texas, native finished third off the 3-meter springboard on Friday, earning All-American honors.