500-yard Freestyle Recap
Feb. 23, 2006
The finals for the 500-yard freestyle advanced to tonight's finals competition, and in that field 17 met provisional qualifying times during the preliminaries. Vanderkaay led the field with a time of 4:19.87.
The seventh heat of the event was a battle between Sergiy Fesenko of Indiana and Northwestern freshman Eric Nilsson. Nilsson led much of the race, but it was Fesenko who finished strong and touched the wall first. Both qualified for the championship final tonight.
The eighth and final heat featured three Michigan swimmers, led by Vanderkaay and Minnesota's Travis Beckerle. Vanderkaay held the lead throughout the heat and pulled away from Beckerle in the last few lengths, finishing almost four seconds ahead. Both of those swimmers finished in the top eight, Beckerle with a time of 4:25.17.
Michigan, Northwestern and Minnesota are each represented with two swimmers in the championship race, while Fesenko and Wisconsin's Tom Molzahn round out the field.