AUSTIN, Texas — Three months ago, Alabama’s Kristian Gkolomeev lived in Greece. Two months ago, Arizona’s Brad Tandy was ineligible for NCAA competition.

On Thursday, they shared a national title in the 50-yard freestyle at the NCAA men’s swimming championships, each finishing in 18.95 seconds.

Tandy, cleared by the NCAA last month after its investigation of his year off after high school spent in South Africa training to make the country’s Olympic team, held a slim lead after the first 25 yards.

But Gkolomeev, who moved to the United States in January, rallied in the final 25.

“Usually my first 25 is the strongest, so I’m kind of used to having that open water,” said Tandy, a UA junior. “I hit (the turn) fine, I just couldn’t quite get the grab to maintain my speed from the first 25. Luckily, it was a tie, so I’m pretty happy with that.”

Arizona was sixth with 68ƒ points after the first day of competition. Host Texas had 146, just one point ahead of Cal.

  • The UA football team landed its second commitment of the 2015 class.
  • Taren Morrison
  • , a 5-foot-10-inch, 175-pound running back from Mesa Desert Ridge High School, pledged to the UA on Thursday. Morrison was offered a scholarship last month when he visited for the program’s “junior day.”

He’s listed as a three-star prospect by the recruiting service. Arizona is Morrison’s only offer at this point. Morrison helped Desert Ridge to an 11-2 record last season, rushing for 2,587 yards on 209 carries and scored 38 touchdowns on the ground. He also had 13 catches for 209 yards.

Morrison joins defensive tackle Finton Connolly, who committed to the UA in November.

Daniel Berk


Serena beats Sharapova in Fla.

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. — Serena Williams beat Maria Sharapova for the 15th consecutive time Thursday, rallying in both sets to win 6-4, 6-3 in the Sony Open semifinals.

Williams, seeking a record seventh Key Biscayne title, improved to 16-2 against Sharapova and hasn’t lost to her favorite foil since 2004.

The No. 1-ranked Williams won with a superior serve and better returns. She hit nine aces and broke five times, which helped her rebound from deficits of 4-1 in the first set and 2-0 in the second.

On the men’s side, Rafael Nadal advanced to the semifinals by rallying past Milos Raonic 4-6, 6-2, 6-4. The No. 1-ranked Nadal, who is 0-3 in Key Biscayne finals, needs one more win to get there again. His opponent tonight will be No. 7-seeded Tomas Berdych, who advanced by beating No. 22 Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-4, 7-6 (3).


Mickelson 9 shots back after 77

SAN ANTONIO — Long after the fog cleared at TPC San Antonio, Phil Mickelson remained shrouded in an increasingly alarming funk with the Masters two weeks away.

Mickelson shot a 5-over 77 on Thursday in the Texas Open to fall nine strokes back during the suspended first round. The 77 was Lefty’s highest score since a 78 in August in the PGA Championship.

Pat Perez and Danny Lee shot 4-under 68 to share the clubhouse lead and Andrew Loupe was 4 under with seven holes to play when darkness forced suspension of play.

  • Paula Creamer
  • easily overcame tricky morning wind conditions Thursday in the Kia Classic for a share of the first-round lead with
  • Mariajo Uribe
  • in Carlsbad, Calif. Creamer and Uribe shot 5-under 67 to finish a stroke ahead of
  • Cristie Kerr
  • ,
  • Shanshan Feng
  • ,
  • Jodi Ewart Shadoff
  • and
  • Mi Hyang Lee
  • .

Asada sets skating world record

SAITAMA, Japan — Mao Asada of Japan set a world record on Thursday to finish first in the short program at the World Figure Skating Championships. Asada hit her trademark triple axel at the start of her routine and completed all her remaining jumps to finish with 78.66 points, surpassing the previous record of 78.50 set by Yuna Kim at the Vancouver Olympics. Carolina Kostner of Italy was second with 77.24 points.

  • The Pima College men’s tennis team swept Paradise Valley 9-0 on Thursday in Phoenix while the Pima women also netted a 9-0 sweep over Paradise Valley at Tucson Racquet Club.
  • Cruz Azul midfielder
  • Marco Fabian
  • is among 18 players on Mexico’s roster for Wednesday’s exhibition game against the United States in Glendale.

Includes material from news releases