Three-Peat for Thomas in 200 Back at NCAA Championship
March 21, 2010
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - Johns Hopkins senior John Thomas (Montrose, CO/Montrose) won his third straight NCAA title in the 200 Back on Saturday night with a record-breaking swim. The title highlighted the final day of the 2010 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championship for Hopkins, which finished 12th with 101 points. Kenyon won its 31st consecutive title with 696 points, followed by Denison (272) and Emory (259.5).
Thomas posted the fastest time in the morning's prelim swim with a time of 1:48.18, edging out Middlebury's John Dillon by just 0.01 seconds. But he turned it up in the finals, as he has for the past three years, winning the title with an NCAA record time of 1:46.62. The time broke his own NCAA record by 0.09 seconds and beat Dillon by 0.65 seconds. The title was his third straight in the event and his fifth overall NCAA title. Thomas is the first person to win three straight 200 Back titles since Estevao Avila of Kenyon (1999-2001) and is just the fourth in NCAA history to do so. He is also the first at Johns Hopkins to win three straight individual titles since Matt Johnson '98 won four straight in the 100 Fly and is the fifth person in program history to win atleast three straight individual titles.
Hopkins closed out the championship with a 13th place finish in the 400 Free Relay with a finals time of 3:06.23. Seniors Teddy Bulakul (Bangkok, Thailand/Hotchkiss) and Neil Mahoney (Excelsior, MN/Minnetonka), sophomore Stephen Niemiec (Rochester Hills, MI/Rochester Adams) and Thomas swam the relay for the Blue Jays. The quartet earns Honorable Mention All-America honors with their finish.
Thomas concludes his career with five NCAA titles (100 Back, 200 Back, 400 Medley Relay) and 26 All-America honors, including six at this year's championship. In addition, he finished as the runner-up four times at the NCAAs in his career (100 Back, 200 Medley Relay, 400 Medley Relay). Thomas' five NCAA titles are tied for fourth in program history, while his 26 All-America honors are second only to Johnson, who was a 27-time All-American. He also holds the NCAA record in the 200 Back and the Hopkins' record in both the 100 and 200 Back. Thomas is also a member of the school-record-holding relay teams in the 200 Free, 400 Free, 200 Medley and 400 Medley relays.
Mahoney concludes his career with seven All-America honors, including three at this year's championship. He also holds the program record for the 200 IM and is also a member of the school-record-holding relay teams in the 200 and 400 Free Relay. Bulakul, also swimming in his final collegiate meet, garnered three All-America honors in 2010 and six for his career. Niemiec earned a pair of All-America honors this year and now has three for his career. Sophomore Tim Nam (Forest Hills, NY/Bronx High School of Science) earned All-America honors in the 200 Medley Relay, while freshman Nick Schmidt (Bells, TN/University School of Jackson) earned three All-America honors at this year's championship.