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A college sports blog from The Oakland Press, dedicated to covering Michigan and Michigan State athletics as well as former Oakland County athletes at other schools.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Kalamazoo's Ellis gets his record back

He did it.

Bloomfield Hills Lahser grad Paul Ellis had one goal entering the NCAA Division III Men's Swimming and Diving Championships: Get his title back.

And he did it Thursday.

As I wrote in Wednesday's print edition of The Oakland Press (the link to the story is here), the Kalamazoo College swimmer held the national D-III record in the 100-yard backstroke for just 35 days last spring, losing it when he showed up to the NCAA meet still shaking off the effects of bronchitis.

Free of any illness (or antibiotics) this time around, Ellis reclaimed the record with a 48.22 second swim Thursday on the lead leg in the 400 medley relay, the same way he'd done it before. One day later, he won the 100 backstroke title with a swim of 48.36, just off his own record, but still 0.23 seconds ahead of Johns Hopkins swimmer John Thomas — the man who'd poached Ellis' record at last spring's NCAA meet.

Ellis and the Hornets — who went into Saturday's final sessions of the championship meet in fourth place — got second-place finishes in the 200 and 400 medley relays, but had a disappointing disqualification on the final leg of the 200 free relay. In that event, the Hornets had posted the second-best time in preliminaries.

The two-time Most Valuable Swimmer in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association, Ellis also had a ninth-place finish (best in the consolation finals) in the 100 butterfly event.

Ellis has one open event (the 200 backstroke) and one relay (400 freestyle) left to swim on Saturday.

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