FEDERAL WAY, Wash. Once again, Cesar Cielo was too fast and too far in front to be caught. And midway through the final night of the NCAA men's swimming championships, the Arizona Wildcats appeared to be in the same position.
Cielo, the Brazilian junior from Auburn who swam the fastest 50-yard freestyle of all time on Thursday night, accomplished the same feat in the 100 free Saturday.
Cielo successfully defended his title with a time of 40.92 seconds, becoming the first swimmer ever to break the 41-second mark in the 100.
It was just a few hours earlier during the afternoon preliminaries that Cielo set what then stood as the fastest time ever at 41.12. Then, he went two-tenths better than that in the finals.
However, it does not go as a world record because the distance was in yards rather than the metric distances used in international competition.
Cielos' title was the ninth of his career at Auburn.
Arizona, in pursuit of its first-ever men's swimming title, continued to extend its lead over nine-time champion Texas. With four events remaining, the Wildcats had piled up 460.5 points.
Texas was a distant second with 353. Auburn, which came into the meet having won the last five titles in a row, was sitting in fifth with 248.
Arizona got a boost from the second-place finish by Cory Chitwood in the 200 backstroke. Chitwood came home in 1:41.20. The Wildcats also won a pair of consolation finals: Darian Townsend in the 100 free, and Jake Tapp in the 200 back.
Penn State junior Patrick Schirk won the 200 back in 1:40.22, giving the school its first NCAA men's swim champion. Schirk was 18th in that event last year, not even high enough to make the consolation finals.
"I was just trying to come into this meet with a way better attitude," Schirk said. "Last year in this meet, I had a horrible meet. I didn't swim well in the morning. This year, I was trying to concentrate on better swims in the morning so I could come back at night and swim faster."
Georgia senior Sebastien Rouault, who won the 500 free title on Thursday night, added the 1,650 free to his collection on Saturday and barely missed the NCAA record in the process. Rouault, who was on pace to beat the record at the 1,500, 1,550 and 1,600 marks, touched the wall in 14 minutes, 26.86 seconds.
The record of 14:26.62 has stood since Michigan's Chris Thompson set it in 2001.
Georgia teammate Troy Prinsloo was second in 14:28.06, and Texas Michael Klueh, who led through the first 1,000 yards, wound up third in 14:36.07.
"It was hard during the race, because Michael took it out pretty hard," Rouault said. "I (said to myself), 'Wow you trained hard, so you can do it. Everytime you race people like that, you learn something."'
Stanford junior Paul Kornfeld followed up on the 100-yard breaststroke title that he won on Friday night by taking the 200 breast on Saturday.
Kornfeld came into the 200 finals as just the third seed, more than a full second off the pace of top-seeded Scott Spann of Michigan.
But it was California's Sean Mahoney who set the early pace, then Kornfield came on strong to surge into the lead with 50 yards left. He won easily in 1:53.11, with Spann finishing second in 1:54.16. Mahoney wound up third in 1:54.65.