Spartans send two male swimmers to NCAAs.  Photo courtesy of MSU SID.

Spartans send two male swimmers to NCAAs. Photo courtesy of MSU SID.

 

EAST LANSING, Mich. – A month after competing in Minneapolis, Minn., for the Big Ten Championships, senior Kevin Puskaric and sophomore Jacob Jarzen of the Michigan State swimming team return to the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center this weekend (March 24-26) for the NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships. For Jarzen, this marks his second straight trip to the NCAA Championships while Puskaric will be making his debut at the year-end event.

 

“I am really proud of both Jacob and Kevin,” said MSU head coach Matt Gianiodis. “They have both worked extremely hard all season for this weekend. It is nice to see that everything that they have both put into the year is paying off at the end when it matters most. I hope that they both can swim well this weekend, and it will be nice to see how they both finish in their events.”

 

While action begins on Thursday, the two Spartans will not hit the pool until Friday for their first races of the weekend. Jarzen, who qualified in three events for the second consecutive year, opens action on Friday in both the 100-yard backstroke and the 100-yard butterfly. Puskaric opens his two heat slate on Friday with the 200-yard breaststroke.

 

Jarzen enters the weekend ranked 10th in the 100-yard backstroke, his highest pre-meet ranking. The Jacksonville, Ill., native, currently boasts a season-best time of 46.68 achieved during the opening leg of the 400-yard medley relay at the Big Ten Championships. His mark is the fastest time ever recorded by a Spartan, however is not a school record, as it was obtained during a relay event. In the 100-yard butterfly, Jarzen is ranked 19th in the event with a season-best time of 46.69. Jarzen posted his school-record mark at the conference championships for a fifth-place finish overall. The 100-yard backstroke currently has 40 individuals slated to swim in the event, while the 100-yard butterfly is slated to have 50 swimmers.

 

Puskaric opens his debut championships event in the 200-yard breaststroke with a seeded time of 1:55.81. Puskaric is currently ranked 19th in the event as he qualified after posting a school-record time on Sunday, March 6 at the Ohio State Last Ditch NCAA Qualifier. Puskaric is scheduled to swim against 39 other swimmers in the event.

 

The two Spartans conclude action on Saturday as they both are scheduled to compete in their final races of the weekend. Jarzen will swim in the 200-yard backstroke and Puskaric will compete in the 100-yard breaststroke.

 

Jarzen currently ranks 15th in the event with a time of 1:43.42. Jarzen’s season-high time was established at the Big Ten Championships when he placed fourth overall with a school-record mark. 38 swimmers are currently listed on the pre-meet heat sheet.

 

Puskaric is tabbed 27th in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 53.82. The native of Mokena, Ill., clocked his top mark of the season when he finished sixth overall at the Big Ten Championships. Puskaric’s time is only 0.05-seconds behind the top time in school history (Ian Clutten – 2005). Puskaric is scheduled to be one of 35 swimmers in the 100-yard breaststroke.

 

For live results at this weekend’s NCAA Men’s Swimming & Diving Championships, please visit, http://www.star-meets.org/results/NCAA/2011%20Men.