NCAA CHAMPION: Beyer Captures Second Title in 400-IM
Minneapolis, Minn., March 18, 2010 - Senior Alex Beyer secured his position as one of the greatest swimmers in Washington University in St. Louis history as he won his second-straight national championship in the 400-yard individual medley at the 2010 NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships on Thursday, March 18, at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center in Minneapolis, Minn.
Beyer, who became just the third student-athlete in Washington University history to capture an individual national championship at last year’s NCAA championships, is now the first to capture two national titles. He repeated as the 400-IM champion with a time of 3:52.94, just 1.49 shy of the NCAA Division III record he set in 2009.
“It was a great swim,” Washington University head swimming coach Brad Shively said. “I thought he had a great plan of attack that he really executed well. In the final 50-yards of the breaststroke he really put his foot down and pulled away. He just went all out, he went for it and it worked out.”
Beyer, who has also qualified to compete in the 200-yard breaststroke at this year’s championship meet excels in breaststroke and freestyle swims, and said he had to be confident in his ability to pull away during that part of the race.
“Every year it is a new batch of competitors, so I had a different race plan for this year and I went out and executed,” Beyer said. “I knew that Chris Bateman was a great backstroker, and I was behind him early on, but I trusted my breaststroke and freestyle and was able to carry it home.”
Michael Slavik and Eric Triebe both won individual national championships for Washington University in 2006, and stood as the program’s only individual national title winners until Beyer’s record-breaking swim last year. Now Beyer stands alone as a two-time national champion. However, moving forward this weekend his thoughts remain focused on the success of his team.
“It is quite an honor to be mentioned with some of the great swimmers that have come through this program,” Beyer said. “But the most important thing to me is to keep some fast swims for the rest of the week so that we can secure a high finish as a team.”
Beyer increased his career All-America tally to 19 during the final event on Thursday, where he was a member of the Bears’ 12th place 400-medley relay squad. He teamed with junior Kartik Anjur, junior Michael Flanagan and junior David Chao to turn in a WUSTL season-best time of 3:24.51 in the relay. The Bears have now captured All-America honors in the men’s 400-medley relay for five years in a row.
Flanagan and Chao also competed individually on Friday, but failed to qualify for the finals in their respective events. Chao finished 21st in the 200-yard freestyle preliminaries with a season-best mark of 1:41.33, while Flanagan came in 40th in the 100-yard butterfly prelims with a time of 51.88.
On the women’s side, senior Jessie Lodewyk and junior Karin Underwood swam in the 200-freestyle preliminaries. Lodewyk came in 24th place (1:53.57) and Underwood placed 49th overall (1:56.92).
After two days of competition the Washington U. men’s swimming team sits in 11th place in the team standings with a score of 53 points, while the WU women are tied for 27th with 15 points.
Washington University will continue competition at the 2010 NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships on Friday, March 19, in Minneapolis, Minn. The Bears will field competitors in the men’s 200-butterfly, the women’s 100-backstroke and the men’s 800-freestyle relay.