July 27, 2014
SOFIA, Bulgaria – For the second straight year, UConn men’s swimming standout Lachezar Shumkov (Sofia, Bulgaria) won all three breaststroke events at the Bulgarian National Championships (July 24-27), including the 200-meter breaststroke, where he recorded a career-best time.
Shumkov, who will captain the Huskies in his final year at UConn this fall, completed the 200-meter breaststroke on Friday in 2:16.40, which was more than four seconds clear of the entire field. Petko Toromanov finished second (2:21.28), while Stefan Popov (2:24.77) took home third place honors.
A day later, Shumkov captured first place in the 50-meter breaststroke (28.54), and on Thursday he swam to a first place finish in the 100-meter breaststroke on the first day of the four-day championship event. The Connecticut breaststroke specialist recorded a time of 1:02.98 in the race to edge Toromanov, who finished just under two seconds behind with a time of 1:04.83. Shumkov also saw a second place finish in the 400-meter medley on the final day of the championships after swimming the event in 4:41.75.
At last year’s Bulgarian Championships, Shumkov won each of the breaststroke events as well as the 200-meter IM. As a junior this past season at UConn, he earned All-Conference honors at the American Athletic Conference’s inaugural Swimming and Diving Championships.
“Lachezar continues to improve as a result of his outstanding work ethic and natural ability,” UConn swimming coach Bob Goldberg said. “The time he swam in the 200-meter breaststroke at the Bulgarian Nationals is a great sign heading into his senior as team captain.”
Shumkov and the Huskies, who were a perfect 6-0 in dual meets last season, open regular season action on the road against Villanova on Oct. 24 this fall.