Feb. 29, 2012
MONTEREY PARK, CALIF. - The Cal men's swim team started off the 2012 Pac-12 championships on a high note Wednesday night (Feb. 29), capturing the meet's opening event, the 200 medley relay, behind the strong swims of senior Mathias Gydesen, senior Nolan Koon, junior Tom Shields and sophomore Shayne Fleming in an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 1:25.09.
"The 200 medley relay was a great way to start the Pac-12 championships," said Cal coach David Durden, whose club is looking to break Stanford's streak of 30 straight years of winning the conference meet. "We have won this event for the past five years at this meet. It was nice to continue that streak with four different individuals."
The Golden Bears edged out Stanford (1:25.09 to 1:25.46) to win the 200 medley relay, and finished third in Wednesday night's only other event, the 800 free relay. Cal's team of Shields, freshman Tyler Messerschmidt, sophomore Sam Metz and junior Ben Hinshaw swam an NCAA automatic time of 6:20.20, trailing only Stanford (6:18.99) and USC (6:19.71). After two events, Cal trails the Cardinal, 74-72.
The Bears will continue the Pac-12 meet Thursday at the East Los Angeles College Swim Center. Cal will be competing in the prelims at 11 a.m. and the finals at 6 p.m. in the 500 free, 200 IM, 50 free and the 200 free relay.
At last year's Pac-10 meet, Shields was the conference champion in the 100 back (45.65) and the 200 fly (1:40.31), and was a member of the league winning 200 free (anchor leg), 400 free (third leg) and 400 medley relays (butterfly leg). Koon was the Pac-10 champion in the 200 breast (1:54.42), while Gydesen swam the backstroke leg of the conference champion 400 medley relay.