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AU’s Baker earns All-American honors at NCAA swimming championships
3/19/09

MINNEAPOLIS, MN — Alfred University senior Matt Baker (Weedsport, NY/Weedsport) earned All-American honors for the third time in his career after his record-setting performance in the 200-yard freestyle Thursday at the NCAA Division III swimming and diving championships.

Baker swam to a 16th-place finish in the 200 free during Thursday afternoon’s preliminary heats. His time of 1:40.28 established new AU record, breaking former Saxon great Todd Striker’s eight-year-old standard of 1:41.16. He swam in the Thursday evening consolation finals and placed 13th with a time of 1:40.46.

Baker earned honorable mention All-American honors for a third straight year. The top eight swimmers in preliminaries move on to the evening finals and earn All-America honors; those placing ninth-16th are given honorable mention. Baker earned honorable mention in the 100-yard backstroke at the 2007 and 2008 NCAA championships.

The 200-yard freestyle was an optional event for Baker, who earned an automatic qualifying cut in the 100-yard back and a “B” provisional cut in the 200-yard back. Swimmers at the NCAAs are allowed to swim in as many as three individual events, which allowed Baker to choose an optional event in addition to those for which he earned qualifying times.

Baker and classmate Brian Agro (Gray, ME/Cheverus) are representing AU at the NCAA championships, being held through Saturday at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center in Minneapolis. Agro swam to a 39th-place finish in the 200-yard individual medley on Wednesday. Agro swims the 100-yard breaststroke and Baker competes in the 100-yard backstroke on Friday; and Agro swims the 200-yard breast and Baker the 200-yard back on Saturday.

The championship meet website can be accessed at: http://www.ncaa.com/champ...