Dec. 15, 2011
The California men's swimming team will be traveling to Colorado Springs, Colo. over Winter Break to train at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. The Golden Bears leave Berkeley on Dec. 27 and will be in Colorado until January 10.
The Olympic Training Center houses USA Swimming's National Governing Body and Cal swimmers will have the opportunity to totally immerse themselves in training and conditioning in the same environment as the United States National Team.
"This is a great time for our team to really extend themselves as athletes, become better students of the sport, and to develop the chemistry as a team that can only be created by living together for two weeks," said Cal coach David Durden, who led the Bears to the NCAA team title in 2011 and has twice been named national coach of the year. "We are looking forward to the experience."
Fans of Cal men's swimming will have the opportunity to follow the Bears in Colorado Springs as the team will be posting videos on the Cal men's swimming and diving Facebook page Cal men's swimming and diving on Facebook.
Cal features 10 returning All-Americans from its 2011 NCAA championship squad. Junior Tom Shields is a six-time NCAA champion, winning the 100 fly as a freshman to go with his 100 back title as a sophomore, and had been on national champion 400 free and 400 medley (butterfly leg) relays the last two years. He was the 2010 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and the 2011 Pac-10 Swimmer of the Meet. Shields is the school record-holder in the 200 free (1:32.75), 100 back (45.02), 100 fly (44.78) and 200 fly (1:40.31).
Other top returning All-Americans are senior Nolan Koon, the 2009 and 2011 Pac-10 champion in the 200 breast, and the 2011 national runner-up in 100 breast. Senior Martin Liivamagi is another outstanding veteran, winning the 2010 Pac-10 title in the 200 IM, and placing fifth in both the 200 and 400 IM at the 2011 NCAA meet. Liivamagi is the school record-holder in the 200 (1:43.05) and 400 IM (3:43.55).
The 2011-12 Bears will next compete in Pac-12 dual meet competition, Friday, Jan. 20 versus Arizona (1 p.m.) and Saturday, Jan. 21 (12 p.m.) versus Arizona State at Spieker Aquatics Complex.