March 7, 2013

Lions Top First Day with Record-Breaking Day Two at the NCAA Tournament

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – It was another noteworthy day in the water as the five Saint Leo men's swimmers broke records and posted All-America finishes in the second day of the 2013 NCAA National Championships held at the CrossPlex Natatorium as part of the Division II Festival on Thursday evening.

Pawel Trenda set the tone for the Lions when he finished third in the 400 IM with a school and SSC record time of 3:51.96, getting things off to an unbelievably fast start for Saint Leo on what would be a memorable day.

The Men's 200 Free Relay foursome of Matheus Assis, Gabe Keown, Trenda and Milton Alberto-Requejo touched with a time of 1:20.63, good enough for fifth place, All-America recognition, and a new conference and Saint Leo record swim.

"I am extremely proud of how our men responded to the pressures of this NCAA National Championship," an elated Coach Paul Mangen said. "Yesterday was a gut-check and today they proved they are deserving of their invites."

"The men set a school and conference record in the 200 Free, but dropping time at finals can be tough as the waves in this pool are larger than most championship sites. They were up to the challenge and it was very exciting."

He continued, discussing Trenda's swim in the 400 IM, "Pawel swam a very technical race where he remained patient until the field began to fade and then attacked, setting new school and conference records. I know we had aspirations of a national title in that event, but he did as well as he could within the training so I'm proud of him and very excited for his upcoming events."

The last relay of the day, the 400 Medley Relay, saw Assis, Michael Cozzi, Keown and Alberto-Requejo touch with a time of 3:27.10, good enough for 14th. 

"The final relay the boys battled but it is our weakest relay event," Mangen said. "We are looking to focus on the 800 Free and 400 Free Relays as we head into the critical last days. There is just no time to relax."

Mangen is correct in his comments as the Lions will take to the pool on Friday and compete in the 500 Free, 100 Back and 800 Free Relay.  The events at the CrossPlex Natatorium in the Division II Festival will be streamed live on NCAA.com and can be accessed on SaintLeoLions.com.