March 4, 2009
LONG BEACH, CALIF. - The No. 6-ranked California men's swimming and diving team started off the 2009 Pac-10 Championships on a high note by winning the meet's first event, the 200 medley relay, in a Pac-10 meet and Golden Bear school record time of 1:23.98. The Cal team of senior backstroker David Russell, sophomore breaststroker Damir Dugonjic, sophomore butterflyer Graeme Moore and senior freestyler Bennett Clark topped the former conference meet record of 1:24.82 set by Stanford in 2005, and the former Bear record of 1:24.50 set last year at the NCAA championships.
"We were not as sharp as we could be, but we have three weeks until NCAAs to get even better," said Cal coach David Durden. "But to set a Pac-10 meet and school record in the 200 medley relay is absolutely great. We have two returning members from last year's relay, Damir and Dave, and we have improved, so that is definitely a positive."
In Wednesday's other event, the 800 free relay, the Bears' team of sophomore Olympian Nathan Adrian, senior John Foster, junior Peter Davis and junior Matt Scanlan placed third behind Arizona and Stanford with a time of 6:20.49, topping the old Cal school record of 6:21.02 set in 2006.
Cal will next compete in the 500 freestyle, the 200 IM, the 50 free and the 200 freestyle relay during the second day of the '09 Pac-10 Championships. Adrian is a favorite to capture the 50 free, owning the nation's second-best time of 18.94, while the Bears are the defending Pac-10 champions in the 200 free relay.