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Dolan Again Matches A Biondi Best; Texas Takes Team Title

March 31, 1996

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) _ Earlier this month, Tom Dolan dominated the U.S. Olympic Trials by winning three events. His only setback was a seventh-place finish that kept him from tying Matt Biondi’s quadruple-qualifying record.

During the NCAA men’s swimming championships Saturday, Dolan didn’t miss a chance to tie another Biondi milestone.

The Michigan junior added the 1,650-yard freestyle title to his other two weekend titles to become the first triple winner in consecutive NCAA meets since Biondi in 1986 and 1987.

``It’s definitely a great honor to be mentioned in the same sentence as such a great swimmer as Matt Biondi,″ said Dolan, whose other two titles came in the 500-yard freestyle and the 400-yard individual medley.

When Dolan won the 1,650 free in 14 minutes, 29.31 seconds, it was his third pool record of the meet. In last year’s NCAA meet, all three of his victories were achieved in American-record times, a feat matched only by Biondi, a seven-time Olympic gold medal winner.

Dolan said he was only going for victories, not records, this weekend because he’s still a bit drained from the trials.

``Coming into the meet, there were a few question marks about where my body would be,″ Dolan said. ``Knowing what the trials took out of my body and my mind, I’m very happy with my swims this weekend.″

Joining Dolan as a three-event winner was Southern Methodist’s Ryan Berube, who also will represent the United States in Atlanta this summer.

Berube, a senior, won the 200-yard backstroke Saturday in 1:41.23, lowering the pool record he set in the preliminaries. He also set a pool best in the 100-yard backstroke, and he won the 200-yard individual medley.

``This has really been like a fairy tale for me: making the Olympic team, then what I’ve accomplished here at the NCAAs,″ Berube said. ``Hopefully I’ve made a name for myself and down the road people will remember me.″

Although Dolan and Berube each scored 60 points to tie for top scoring honors, neither of their schools mounted much of a challenge in the team race as the host school, Texas, won its sixth title and first since 1991.

The Longhorns, whose last NCAA crown also came in their home pool, joined Florida in 1983 and Michigan in 1948 as the only champions not to win an individual event. Their only title was the meet’s first event, the 200-yard freestyle relay.

Texas finished with 479 points, 45.5 more than second-place Auburn (433.5), the pre-meet favorite which ended on a high note by winning the 400-yard freestyle relay in a pool-record 2:52.87.

Dolan’s Wolverines, the defending champions, wound up third with 358 points, followed by Stanford (312), Tennessee (311.5) and Berube’s Mustangs (228).

California’s Ugur Taner won the 200-yard butterfly for the third straight year in 1:43.22.

The victory for Taner provided bittersweet revenge against Michigan’s Tom Malchow and Stanford’s Ray Carey. Malchow and Carey finished second and third here, but both beat Taner in the trials.

Another Olympian who narrowly missed an NCAA title Saturday was Tennessee sophomore Jeremy Linn. Linn, who won the 100-meter breaststroke in the Olympic Trials and took the 100-yard NCAA title Friday night, was upset in the 200-yard breaststroke by Georgia sophomore Matthew Buck.

Buck used the fastest final leg of the eight finalists to finish in 1:56.62, .16 seconds faster than Linn.

``Jeremy is such a strong breaststroker, I really just wanted to race him and see what would happen,″ Buck said. ``At no time did I feel comfortable and, from what I hear, I wasn’t in the lead for that long.″

Tennessee’s Ricky Busquets won the 100-yard freestyle in 42.64, giving him a gold medal to go along with the silver (50-yard freestyle) and bronze (100-yard butterfly) he won on previous days.

Miami swept the 10-meter platform diving, as it did in the 3-meter springboard on Friday, but the positions changed. Bryan Gillooly took first, knocking off defending champion Tyce Routson. Three-meter winner Chris Mantilla was third.

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