Trojans finish seventh at NCAA championships

Sophomore Vladimir Morozov gave strong efforts in the 100-yard freestyle and the 400-yard freestyle relay, while junior Alex Lendrum earned a spot in the 200-yard backstroke finals and an All-American honor to lead USC to a seventh-place finish in the 2012 NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships on Saturday at the Weyerhasuer Aquatics Center in Federal Way, Wash.

The Trojans ended the tournament with 192 points, giving them a second consecutive seventh-place finish in the NCAA tournament. California repeated as national champions, leading the pack with 535.5 points. Cal was followed by last year’s runner-up Texas (491), Stanford and Arizona (396), Michigan (271), Auburn (254.5), USC, Florida (157), Louisville (156) and Indiana (140).

Morozov placed third in the 100-yard freestyle final in 42.44. Texas’ James Feigen won the event in 41.95 seconds, while Auburn’s Marcelo Chierighini took second in 42.34. Morozov finished first in preliminaries, looking poised to win USC’s first title in the event since Joe Bottom in 1974.

Sophomore Dimitri Colupaev placed 12th in the 100-yard freestyle “B” final in 43.17 after earning a second swim in prelims (43.10). Sophomore Jack Wagner finished 37th in prelims in 44.01, a personal record.

Lendrum took sixth place in the 200-yard backstroke finals (1:42.29) after qualifying with a fifth-place finish in prelims (1:42.06). Lendrum earned USC’s first All-American honor in the event since 2000. Juniors Nick Karpov and Chase Bloch also competed in the event, placing 24th (1:44.09) and 29th (1:45.60), respectively.

Freshman Cristian Quintero competed in the 1,650-yard freestyle timed final, finishing ninth in 14:45.78. Quintero’s time is the fourth fastest time in USC history, and was 2.05 seconds behind eighth place.

The quartet of Morozov, Colupaev, Daniels and Quintero ended the meet with a fourth-place finish in the 400-yard freestyle. They finished in 2:50.56, less than a second behind Texas’ winning time of 2:49.83.

A taped recap of the championship will air on ESPNU April 1 at 9:30 a.m.