SHENANDOAH, Texas — Occidental College swimmer Alexander Najarian (Glendale) didn't quite perform the way he would have liked to in his signature 100-yard butterfly at the NCAA Division III National Championship on Thursday. The freshman was a little more than 1 second off of his NCAA "A" cut of 49.33 seconds that he recorded at the SCIAC Championship meet, swimming 50.99 for 39th place.
But the star Oxy rookie is gaining some valuable experience at his first national championship and he'll get another crack in the 200 fly tomorrow morning around 8:15 a.m.
"Obviously he's a little disappointed because he knows he was capable of doing better today," Occidental coach Shea Manning said. "I think the good thing is that he's got another swim tomorrow and another chance to dial back in."
Not long after Najarian swims, his teammates Steven van Deventer (Naperville, Ill.) and Caroline Chang (Lisle, Ill.) will compete in their top events, the men's and women's 100 breaststrokes around 8:45 a.m. Chang, an All-American breaststroker last year, is seeded ninth and van Deventer is fourth.
Chang and van Deventer swam the 200 individual medley on Wednesday and had encouraging splits in the breaststroke leg. Chang swam 35.7 and van Deventer went 31.1.
"We're excited for them," Manning said. "They've been anxious and ready to go and have a shot in the races that they've been invited here for."
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