Cal Men's Swimming Narrowly Misses NCAA Team Title
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  03/28/2010

March 28, 2010

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COLUMBUS, OHIO - The No. 4 California men's swimming team had another stellar day at the 2010 NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships in Columbus, Ohio with junior standout Nathan Adrian repeating as national champion in the 100 free and the Golden Bears' 400 free relay winning a national crown. However, Cal was narrowly edged out of an opportunity for its first NCAA team title since 1980 when Texas outscored the Bears, 500-469.5. Cal finished second ahead of Pac-10 rivals Arizona (third, 387 points) and Stanford (fourth, 369 points), and Florida (fifth, 364 points).

Cal completed its best finish at the NCAA championships this season since placing as the national runners-up in 1986 when Olympic champion Matt Biondi was a member of the Bears. Cal's third-year head coach David Durden was named the 2010 NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships Coach of the Meet and Adrian won the 100 free for the second year in a row with a time of 41.50. The Bears' 400 free relay team (junior Graeme Moore, junior Josh Daniels, freshman Tom Shields, Adrian) won the meet's final event in 2:48.78, ahead of Texas' 2:49.96.

"We were so happy to spend another day doing what we love to do," said Durden, who was honored by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America. "We (the coaching staff) couldn't be happier with how the guys represented the program, their families and the University of California."

Other highlights for Cal in the final day of the NCAA meet were freshman Tom Shields finishing as the national runner-up in the 200 fly with a new school-record time of 1:41.52, Moore placing sixth in the 100 free with a time of 42.90 and junior Martti Aljand finishing fourth in the 200 breast with a mark of 1:53.89.

Sophomore Robert Sullivan joined Shields in the 200 fly, placing 13th (1:44.09); and sophomore Mathias Gydesen was 12th in the 200 back (1:42.36).

Overall, the Bears finished the 2010 NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships with three individual national crowns and four relay national titles.

In the first event of the NCAA meet on Friday, Cal's 200 free relay squad (Adrian, Graeme Moore, Josh Daniels, Guy Barnea) won with a time of 1:15.71. In the final race of Day One, Cal's 400 medley relay of Barnea, junior Damir Dugonjic, Shields and Adrian were also victorious with a mark of 3:02.83.

On Day Two, behind individual national titles from Shields in the 100 fly and Dugonjic in the 100 breast, and a victory in the 200 medley relay (1:23.08, Barnea, Dugonjic, Moore, Daniels), the Bears took a 348.5-330 lead over Texas.

In the 100 fly, Shields proved why he is considered one of the nation's top young swimmers when he captured the event in a Cal school record time of 44.91, topping the previous record of 45.39 set by Duje Draganja in 2005. The Bears also received a boost when Gydesen was the national runner-up in the 100 fly (45.83).

Dugonjic repeated as the NCAA champion in the 100 breast, clocking in in a time of 51.65. Aljand placed third in the 100 breast with a mark of 52.32.

Cal came close to winning its first NCAA men's swimming and diving title since winning back-to-back crowns in 1979 and 1980 under current head coach emeritus Nort Thornton.