Jager Defeats Biondi in RCP Tiburon Classic Sprint
TIBURON, Calif. - In a battle of former Olympians for charity, Washington State Swimming Head Coach Tom Jager defeated Matt Biondi in a 50 meter freestyle sprint Saturday in Tiburon, Calif.
Dubbed "the fastest swim meet in history," the RCP Tiburon Sprint Classic is an international competition showcasing some of the world's best 50 freestylers. This year's participants included standouts Ricky Berens, Dana Vollmer, Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, Nick Brunelli, and Rowdy Gaines among others. Held at a private home in Tiburon, Calif., the swim meet benefited Hospice by the Bay and the USA Swimming Foundation.
The two Olympians, Jager and Biondi, swam against each other in the 1992 Summer Games where Biondi defeated Jager for the silver medal in the 50 meter freestyle. Almost 20 years later the two swimmers stepped up on the blocks again for another race but for fun as well as a charitable cause.
There was a lot of excitement surrounding the race between Biondi and Jager. London 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist Jason Lezak who also attended at the event tweeted, "Hanging with my childhood idols Jager and Biondi at the #rcptiburonsprintclassic," and included a photo of the three swimming stars. Jager was wearing a Washington State swimming shirt in the photo.
Saturday's race was close from the beginning with Jager just barely leading at the half way point. It all came down to the finish where Jager out-touched Biondi by .07 seconds at a time of 23.11, besting Biondi's 23.18. When asked about what it was like to be racing again Jager said, "It's neat to be acknowledged and have people clap for you again."
The two swimming greats also met again in the mixed 200 meter freestyle relay where Jager's relay finished ahead of Biondi's. Jager's relay, that posted a time of 1:22.94, included Josh Schneider, Anthony Ervin, and Liv Jensen. Biondi swam with Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, Fred Bousquet, and George Bovell and finished with a time of 1:23.57.
Jager's victory will provide inspiration for the Washington State University women's swmming team which opens the 2012-13 season Oct. 12 with a home meet against Seattle University in Gibb Pool on the WSU campus.
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