It was Saturday, and time to rock or get rolled for Ted Hollahan, Cal State Northridge’s resident swim champion/bass guitarist.
No longer would he settle for opening act to the Hilton’s main show.
Hilton Woods, from Oakland (Mich.) University, had overstepped his bounds. On Friday, he had defeated Hollahan in the CSUN junior’s best event, the 200-yard freestyle, at the Division II national swimming and diving championships.
As he lined up next to his adversary for the 100-yard freestyle Saturday, Hollahan told himself it was redemption time.
“Winning was the only thing I could do to salvage the meet,” he said.
Consider it done. But by the slimmest of margins.
Hollahan, trailing by a half-length with 25 yards to go, rallied to win in 45.01 seconds, 1/100th of a second ahead of Woods.
Hollahan’s victory kept the Northridge men’s team from getting shut out in the win column for the first time this decade.
Should Hollahan decide to train hard, CSUN Coach Pete Accardy claims, the team won’t have to wait as long next year.
But to reach his potential, he may have to put swimming ahead of music, something he has never done before.
In his hometown of Denver, Hollahan was a member of a band called Single File, which opened for several well-known groups, including .38 Special and Stryker.
“He’s already talking like he’s going to train hard next year,” Accardy said. “He could be great. As good as he is, Hilton Woods shouldn’t be able to touch Ted.”
Woods, a sophomore, anchored three victorious relay teams, was second in the 100-yard backstroke and the 100-yard freestyle and won the 50-yard freestyle in a record time of 20.00 in addition to taking the 200 free title.
Cal State Bakersfield won its fourth consecutive men’s team championship. Bakersfield swimmers accounted for 31 top-six finishes in the four-day meet and won by a commanding 571-406 margin over second-place Oakland.
Northridge, competing with only seven swimmers, finished sixth in the team standings. Kurt White, John Kunishima and Tim Arnold also scored for CSUN.
White won the consolation championship in the 200-yard backstroke with a personal best of 1:54.72. Kunishima was sixth in the 100-yard freestyle in 46.26, and Arnold was ninth in the 1,650-yard freestyle in 16:11.62.