March 28, 2013
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INDIANAPOLIS - Two-time national champions California, looking for a third straight NCAA title, are well in the running after the first day (Thursday, March 28) of the 2013 NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships, sitting in second place.
Senior Tony Cox (46.50), senior Trevor Hoyt (52.20) and sophomore Fabio Gimondi (42.28) put together an enthralling race to out-touch third place Michigan by 0.27 seconds. Arizona was first with a mark of 3:02.09. This is the fifth best 400 medley relay performance in Cal history.
Shields' split was almost two seconds faster than the butterfly split in the Cal school record performance in 2009.
The Golden Bears led off the first swim of the night at IU Natatorium with a fifth-place finish in the 200 free relay, clocking a time of 1:16.79. The team returned three Bears from last year's team - junior Shayne Fleming, sophomore Fabio Gimondi and sophomore Seth Stubblefield, joined by Cox. The relay was buoyed by Stubblefield's quick exchange reaction time - 0.03 seconds - and an impressive 18.90 anchor leg split, but it was not enough to catch up to Auburn, who took the title in 1:15.48. USC was second in 1.16.22 and Michigan was third in 1:16.49.
Cal had a total of 10 swims in the finals, second only to Michigan's 12. After six events, Cal takes 123.5 points to sit in second place. Michigan leads the team tally by only 29.5 points with 153. Auburn is in third place with 112.5 points.
The Bears' sprint program brought back two A finalists for the 50 free, with 200 free relay anchor Stubblefield clocking a mark of 19.46 to take sixth place. Fleming placed seventh with a time of 19.58.
Freshman Josh Prenot became a collegiate All-American in his first NCAA Championship final, clocking 1:42.62 to place fifth in the 200 IM. Junior Marcin Tarczynski was eighth with a time of 1:43.28. Senior Ben Hinshaw battled in the consolation finals for a 13th place finish, clocking a time of 1:44.17.
In the 500 free, two out of four Bears returned from the morning to score for Cal. Sophomore Adam Hinshaw, the second-place finisher at the 2013 Pac-12 meet, produced a mark of 1:17.16 to finish 12th in the consolation final. Junior Jeremy Bagshaw placed 14th with a time of 4:17.78 for his first honorable mention All-America selection.
"We had a good first day," said Cal coach David Durden. "Both Adam's (Hinshaw) and Jeremy's (Bagshaw) 500 frees were good getting us into the meet. Josh (Prenot), Marcin (Tarczynski) and Ben (Hinshaw) had great IM's in the morning and Shayne (Fleming) and Seth (Stubblefield) getting into the final heat of the 50 free was a great way to finish the morning session. We have quite a few swims tomorrow (Friday) in the morning, and we are looking forward to a good session."
Friday (March 29) will bring nine-time national champion Shields a chance to double up on his signature races, the 100 fly (top seed) and 100 back (ninth seed). Shields, the 2013 Pac-12 champion in both those events, won the NCAA title for the 100 back in 2011 and 2012, and the NCAA title for the 100 fly in 2010 and 2012. Other top seeds for the Bears include freshman Josh Prenot, who is seeded fourth in the 400 IM. The Bears' 800 free relay are seeded fifth, Tarczynski sits in sixth for the 100 fly, and Cox is seeded seventh in the 100 back.