IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Arizona senior Kevin Cordes had the swimming cognoscenti scratching its collective head during the 2014-15 season.
Here was Cordes, a three-time NCAA champion in the 100-yard breaststroke who set the American record in winning the event the past two years.
Turns out there was no need to worry. It was all a part of a new plan for Cordes.
"I took a different approach, not tapering and shaving at midseason," Cordes said. "Coming into this meet I knew I had to get my feeling back and get back on that [championship] form."
Cordes wrote his name in the NCAA record book again Friday night at the Division I Men's Swimming and Diving Championships at Iowa's Campus Recreation and Wellness Center, winning the 100 breaststroke.
Cordes is only the third swimmer in NCAA history to win the 100 breaststroke four consecutive years, joining Brendan Hansen (2001-04) and Steve Lundquist (1980-83).
"It's great company. I grew up watching Brendan Hansen," Cordes said. "To be able to go out and perform like those guys is really humbling."
Pac-12 rival Chuck Katis of California was seeded first in the final and Cordes was second, just .04 seconds behind. Cordes had edged Katis in the Pac-12 championships earlier in the month.
"I knew it was going to be difficult," Cordes said. "Luckily, I was able to go out and swim my own race."
While it wasn't another record, his 50.25 clock was the second fastest time in history.
"You always want to go faster, but it's good to get the win, too," Cordes said. "I'm happy with the result tonight and moving forward tomorrow."
Cordes also is the American record-holder in the 200 breaststroke. That event will be held Saturday, the final day of the three-day meet.
"It's been a great four years," Cordes said. "It's really changed my life and my swimming career."