Jan. 19, 2010
BERKELEY, CALIF. -
Fri. Jan. 22 vs. Arizona State, Spieker Aquatics Complex, Berkeley 1 p.m. Sat. Jan. 23 vs. Arizona, Spieker Aquatics Complex, Berkeley 12 p.m.
This Week: The No. 3-ranked California men's swimming team and diving team, featuring 2009 NCAA champions Nathan Adrian and Damir Dugonjic, will open its 2010 Pac-10 dual meet schedule this Friday (Jan. 22, 1 p.m.) against Arizona State and Saturday (Jan. 23, 12 p.m.) against No. 4-ranked Arizona. The Golden Bears are 2-0 in dual meets this season with a 156-139 victory over Hawaii and a 143-107 win over Pacific in October, prior to strong performances in a triple-distance meet versus Stanford and at the Short Course Nationals in November and December. Third-year Cal head swim coach David Durden has another talented squad that not only includes juniors Adrian and Dugonjic, but six additional 2009 All-Americans - senior Sean Mahoney, juniors Martti Aljand, Guy Barnea, Josh Daniels and Graeme Moore, and sophomore Nolan Koon.
Golden Bears Face Formidable Wildcats Saturday: Cal will have a big challenge Saturday when it hosts Arizona. In a battle between the No. 3 and No. 4-ranked teams in the country, the Bears feature Adrian and Dugonjic, while the Wildcats have senior Jean Basson, the defending NCAA champ in the 500 free (4:08.92), and senior Jack Brown, defending Pac-10 champ in the 400 IM (3:43.22). Cal finished higher than Arizona in both the 2009 Pac-10 meet (second compared to third) and NCAA championships (fourth compared to sixth), but has fallen to the Wildcats in each of the last three dual meets (Cal fell 171.5-128.5 in 2009). Arizona was the 2008 NCAA team champions.
2010 Cal Prospectus: The Bears have one of the world's best freestylers in Adrian, the 2009 Pac-10 Swimmer of the Year who was last season's NCAA champion in the 50 (American record 18.71) and 100 free (American record 41.08) after capturing the conference title in the 50, 100 and 200 free. Most recently in December 2009 at the Duel in the Pool in Manchester, England, Adrian won the 50 and 100-meter free in record times of 20.71 and 45.42, respectively, and was a key component on world record-setting 400 medley (free leg) and 400 free (lead-off 45.08) relays. Cal also features Dugonjic, the 2009 NCAA champion in the 100 breast with an NCAA and American record time of 50.86. Another leading breaststroker is Mahoney, who is ready to vie for a national title in the 200 breast after narrowly missing the feat in 2009. He had set an NCAA record in the prelims with a time of 1:51.96 before being edged out in the finals. The Bears have potential national champions in the 200 and 400 IM in Aljand and sophomore Martin Liivamagi. Both from Estonia, Aljand is the school record-holder and was the 2009 Pac-10 champion in the 200 IM (1:43.21), while Liivamagi is the Bears' record-holder in the 400 IM (3:43.55), set as a freshman in 2009. Not to be overshadowed by Adrian, Moore is one of the nation's top sprinters. From Johannesburg, South Africa, Moore swam the butterfly legs of Cal's 200 and 400 medley relays that were 2009 national runners-up. Another top international competitor is Barnea, a native of Israel who placed eighth in the 100 back at last year's NCAA meet and led-off Cal's school record-setting 200 medley relay that was the 2009 national runners-up. The Bears landed one of the nation's premier high school recruits in 2009 as well in Tom Shields from Huntington Beach (Edison High School). Shields was named the 2009 National High School Swimmer of the Year after setting the national high school record in the 200 free (1:33.83). An additional freshman standout is Ben Hinshaw from Saratoga High School, the 2009 CIF Central Coast Section record-holder in the 200 IM (1:46.96) and 500 free (4:21.54).
Head Coach David Durden: David Durden is in his third season at Cal, owning a 13-4 (.765) dual meet record with back-to-back Pac-10 second-place finishes at the conference meet and two fourth-place finishes at the NCAA championships. Durden joined the Golden Bears in 2007 upon the retirement of Hall of Fame coach Nort Thornton, who is now Head Coach Emeritus. Durden has coached 16 All-Americans at Cal, including 2009 NCAA champions Nathan Adrian (50 and 100 free) and Damir Dugonjic (100 breast), plus 2009 NCAA runner-ups - the 200 and 400 medley relays, David Russell (100 back) and Sean Mahoney (200 breast).