March 25, 2006
ATLANTA - UC Santa Barbara junior Pat Cary had one of the best races of his life in Saturday's NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships. Cary, who finished in the top-15 of the 100 butterfly on Friday, finished fifth in the nation in the 200 butterfly finals after checking-in at fourth in the preliminaries.
When Cary earned All-American status in the 100 fly on Friday, it was icing on the cake, before the fact. His best event, the 200 fly was yet to be swam and he did not disappoint.
In the prelims at the Olympic Swimming Complex at Georgia Tech, Cary recorded a 1:44.28 in the 200 fly, an improvement of exactly a second-and-a-half over his previous best time. He finished fourth in the prelims, qualifying for the finals on Saturday night.
In the finals, Cary recorded a 1:44.41, just narrowly missing his prelim time, and he finished fifth. Davis Tarwater, a senior from the University of Michigan, won the event at 1:41.84, narrowly missing the NCAA record of 1:41.78, set in 1991 by Melvin Stewart of Tennessee.
Cary, who notched three team points for UCSB on Friday, tallied 14 on Saturday to give the Gauchos 17 total points and a 29th-place finish in the team standings.
Auburn won the team title with 480.5 points. Arizona finished second at 440.5. The Gauchos were the only Big West school to score.