FEDERAL WAY, WA (Dec. 7) - Led by strong showings by its relay squads, the University of Connecticut mens swimming team finished a school-record fourth place at the prestigious U.S. Open this weekend at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash. The national-level event is organized by USA Swimming, the sports national governing body and features a strong, global field. With its 70 team points, UConn trailed only national powers Michigan, Florida and Washington in the final mens collegiate standings. Even including powerful swimming clubs, UConn was the seventh-best finisher overall.
Building upon a weeks worth of unprecedented success for the UConn team, the 400 freestyle relay team capped off the event by placing sixth overall in the three-day meets final event on Saturday night as Tristan Jones, Connor Murphy, Bobby Folan and Dustin Rogers finished the event in 3:34.07. After never having a Husky finish in the top eight of an event at the U.S. Open, it marked the third time this weekend that UConn accomplished the feat.
Shortly after Rogers became the first Connecticut swimmer to ever qualify for a main final at the prestigious U.S. Open, the mens 400 medley relay team on Friday set another high-water mark for the Huskies by placing sixth in its event. That relay team of Folan, Jones, Rogers and Murphy swam a 3:56.96 to place sixth, the highest finish ever by a UConn entrant into the U.S. Open. UConn was the fourth highest collegiate team in the finishing order.
In the finals of the 100 butterfly, held late Friday night, Rogers swam a 55.08 to place seventh and qualify for the upcoming U.S. Olympic Trials in the event. Rogers was the third highest collegiate finisher in the event. Earlier in the day, Rogers had become the first Husky ever to qualify for the final of an event at the U.S. Open when he swam a 55.65 to finish seventh overall in the preliminary rounds. The top eight participants will competed in the finals.
Elsewhere, Bobby Folan advanced through the preliminaries in the 200 backstroke to the "C" final, finishing 22nd in the event with a time of 2:09.02. Cassie Novak did the exact same in the 200 backstroke, passing through the qualifying rounds to place 22nd overall in 2:20.60. The UConn relay teams, expected to be one of the teams strong suits throughout the season, excelled as in addition to the mens 400 medley and freestyle relay teams successes, the mens 800 freestyle relay team of Rogers, Jones, Folan and Murphy placed 14th in a time of 8:01.67.
In other action, Jones was 29th in the 50 freestyle (24.26) and Lindsay Hansen swam a 4:28.69 to finish 58th in the 400 freestyle. Rogers also placed 50th in the 100 freestyle in 53.41 seconds.
The Huskies will take an extended lay off for final examinations and Christmas break, returning to dual meet action when they host Syracuse on January 24.