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Cal Men's Swimming Well Represented at USA Olympic Trials and Olympics
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  06/23/2008

June 23, 2008

BERKELEY, CALIF. - In a representation of the quality and depth of the University of California men's swimming program, a total of 34 current, former and incoming student-athletes will be vying for gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Twelve international athletes with Cal ties have already made Olympic teams for their respective countries, while 22 Golden Bears will be competing at the USA Olympic Trials, June 29-July 6 at the Qwest Center in Omaha, Neb.

"When you look at the list of people from the University of California who have a shot at medaling at the Olympic Games, it is not only the quality of the athletes, but the depth of that list that is impressive," said Cal coach David Durden. "The program continues to build off of what Nort Thornton started - from Peter Rocca, to Matt Biondi, to Anthony Ervin - some of the greatest swimmers in Olympic history have come from Cal. It is just part of the expectation of the program to have that caliber of an athlete compete for the Bears."

Durden took over the Cal coaching reins from head coach emeritus Thornton this season, after Thornton had guided the Bears for 33 year, leading Cal to NCAA team titles in 1979 and 1980, and a long list of All-Americans and national champions. Perhaps even more impressive is Thornton's collection of Olympians, including world record holder Biondi; Ervin, who won the gold medal in the 50-meter freestyle at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and Duje Draganja, who took silver in the 50-meter free at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Since Thornton took over the Cal program in 1974, 48 Cal athletes have represented several countries in the Olympic Games, winning 29 medals, including 14 gold medals, 10 silver medals and five bronze.

Draganja, competing for Croatia, will again be among the favorites to medal in the sprint freestyle. As well as his silver medal in the 50-meter freestyle (21.94) at the Athens Olympics in 2004, Draganja finished sixth in the 100 free (49.23) and seventh in the 100 butterfly (52.46). More recently, he set a world short-course record in the 50 free (20.81) and was third in the 100 free (46.83) at the 2008 World Championships in April. While at Cal, Draganja won eight individual and relay NCAA titles, including the 100 free and 100 fly in 2005 and the 100 free in 2003.

Nathan Adrian, who was just featured in Sports Illustrated's June 23 Faces in the Crowd, could very well be the next Cal Olympic star as he was outstanding at the 9th FINA Short Course World Swimming Championships, held Apr. 9-13 in Manchester, England. Adrian, from Bremerton, Wash., won the gold medal in the 100-meter freestyle and set a championship record with a time of 46.67, edging out Italy's Filippo Magnini and Draganja. Adrian was also a member of the United States' gold medal-winning and world record-setting 400-meter freestyle relay (3:08.44).

Adrian sat out this past 2007-08 collegiate season to train for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. As a freshman for the Bears, he placed second in the 100 fly at the 2007 Pac-10 championships and had an eighth-place finish in the 100 free at the 2007 NCAA championships. Adrian will return to the Cal squad for the 2008-09 campaign.

Next season, Adrian will join the Bears' men's swimming and diving team that is fresh off an impressive 2007-08 campaign under first-year coach Durden and head coach emeritus Thornton. Cal finished fourth nationally after six top-five finishes and new school records in the 200 (1:24.50, junior David Russell, freshman Damir Dugonjic, senior Jernej Godec, senior Joe Whittington) and 400 medley relays (3:05.38, Russell, Dugonjic, Godec, senior William Copeland), as well as school records in the 100 back (Russell) and 100 breast (Dugonjic). Cal garnered 332.5 points and trailed only Arizona (500.5), Texas (406) and Stanford (344). The Bears also placed second at the 2008 Pac-10 championships. Russell (100 back, 200 back, 100 fly, 200 fly), Whittington (50 free, 100 free) and Copeland (50 free, 100 free) will be competing at the USA Olympic Trials, while Dugonjic will be swimming the 100 breast and Godec will be swimming the 50 free for their native Slovenia in Beijing.

NBC will carry coverage of the trials beginning Sunday, June 29 at 5:00 p.m. (PST). The USA Network then takes over coverage beginning Monday, June 30 through Tuesday, July 3, all scheduled for 5:00 p.m. (PST). NBC rounds out the coverage from Friday, July 4 through Sun. July 6 - all slated for 5:00 p.m. (PST). Be sure to check your local listings for the channel lineup.

Below are short bios on Cal's Olympic Participants and Hopefuls:

International Swimmers who will be competing in the 2008 Beijing Olympics

Martti Aljand
Country: Estonia
Event: Men's Swimming - 100 Breaststroke, 200 Breaststroke
Hometown: Tallinn, Estonia
Years at Cal: 2007-08 - present
Aljand, who recently completed his freshman year at Cal, has qualified for the Olympics and will swim for Estonia in the 100- and 200-meter breaststroke. At the 2008 NCAA championships, he placed sixth in the 200 breast, eighth in the 100 breast, 13th in the 200 IM, and swam the anchor leg of Cal's 800 free relay that placed 10th. Aljand was also third at the 2008 Pac-10 meet in the 200 IM and fifth in the 200 breast. He is a five-time Estonian champion in the 200 individual medley.

Henrique Barbosa
Country: Brazil
Event: Men's Swimming - 100 Breaststroke, 200 Breaststroke
Hometown: Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Years at Cal: 2003-06
Barbosa, owner of the Cal record in the 200 breaststroke (1:53.97), captured both the 100 and 200 breast titles at the 2006 NCAA championships. He was an NCAA finalist in each of his first three years with the Bears, as well. Barbosa finished seventh in the 100-meter breast (1:00.33) at the 2004 Short Course World Championships. He graduated from California High School in nearby San Ramon, Calif.

Guy Barnea
Country: Israel
Event: Men's Swimming - 100 Backstroke
Hometown: Omer, Israel
Years at Cal: 2006-07 (slated to return after 2008 Olympics)
Barnea, a semifinalist in the 50-meter backstroke at the World Championships in Melbourne last year, holds the Israeli record in the 50 back, 100 back and 100 butterfly. At the 2007 European Games in Paris, he took sixth place in the 100 back. Barnea competed for Cal as a freshman, had the team's third-best time in both the 100 back (48.19) and 200 back (1:43.67). He placed fifth in the 100 back at the 2007 Pac-10 meet.

Milorad Cavic
Country: Serbia
Event: Men's Swimming - 100 Butterfly
Hometown: Tustin, Calif.
Years at Cal: 2003-06
An Olympian in 2004, Cavic was 10th in the 50 (24:03) and 100 (53.06) butterfly at the 2005 World Championships. He was also the 2000 Yugoslavian champion in the 50-meter free, 100 free, 100 fly and 100 back. As a Golden Bear, Cavic won four NCAA championship events as a member of 200 and 400 medley and free relays. A 2002 graduate of Tustin High School, he won a national title in the 100-meter fly (53.30) and helped capture the 800-meter free relay title (7:44.42) as a member of the Novaquatics Club Team at the 2002 U.S. National Spring Championships.

Duje Draganja
Country: Croatia
Event: Men's Swimming - 50 Freestyle, 100 Freestyle
Hometown: Split, Croatia
Years at Cal: 2002-05
Draganja won a silver medal in the 50-meter freestyle (21.94) at the Athens Olympics in 2004. In addition, he finished sixth in the 100 free (49.23) and seventh in the 100 butterfly (52.46). More recently, Draganja set a world short-course record in the 50 free (20.81) at the 2008 World Championships in April. He was also third in the 100 free (46.83) in the short-course event. While at Cal, Draganja won eight individual and relay NCAA titles, including the 100 free and 100 fly in 2005 and the 100 free in 2003.

Damir Dugonjic
Country: Slovenia
Event: Men's Swimming - 100 Breaststroke
Hometown: Ravne na Koroskem, Slovenia
Years at Cal: 2007-08 - present
As a freshman, Dugonjic established a Cal record in the 100 breaststroke, swimming 52.50 in the prelims and finishing as the national runner-up at the 2008 NCAA championships. He also swam the breaststroke legs of the Bears' 400 medley relay and 200 medley relay that placed second and third, respectively, at the 2008 NCAA meet. Dugonjic helped Cal to Pac-10 titles in the 200 and 400 medley relay, swimming the breaststroke leg, and was second in the 100 breast at the 2008 Pac-10 championships.

Rolandas Gimbutis
Country: Lithuania
Event: Men's Swimming - 50 Freestyle
Hometown: Kaunas, Lithuania
Years at Cal: 2004-05
Gimbutis was a member of the Lithuanian Olympic team in 2000 and 2004, and has qualified for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing in the 50 freestyle. At the 2004 Olympics, he placed 14th in the 100 free (49.75), was 21st in the 50 free (22.59) and swam the lead-off leg on Lithuania's 400 free relay (sixth in its heat in 3:19.28). During the 2004 World Championships, he was fifth in the 100 free with a time of 48.62. He helped Cal to NCAA titles in the 200 and 400 free relays and the 200 medley relay as a sophomore in 2005 during his Golden Bear career.

Jernej Godec
Country: Slovenia
Event: Men's Swimming - 50 Freestyle
Hometown: Ljubljana, Slovenia
Years at Cal: 2005-08
A member of Cal's 2008 Pac-10 champion 200 free, 200 medley and 400 medley relays, Godec placed sixth in the 50 free and 12th in the 100 free at the NCAA meet this past year. On relays, he was part of the Bears' national runner-up 400 medley relay, as well as the third place 200 free, 400 free and 200 medley relays. A veteran of international competition, he anchored Slovenia's 400 medley relay at the 2004 Olympics and placed 12th in both the 50 free and 50 butterfly at the 2007 World Championships. Godec is an immunology and molecular and cell biology major and has received a Pac-10 Postgraduate Scholarship.

Bart Kizierowski
Country: Poland
Event: Men's Swimming - 50 Freestyle
Hometown: Warsaw, Poland
Years at Cal: 1997-2000
Kizierowski won two NCAA titles and seven Pac-10 titles during his Cal career and set the world's best time in the long course 50-meter freestyle (22.81) at the European Championships in 2007. This past March, he was fourth in the 50 free at the European Championships (22.27). He was a three-time All-American at Cal, and served as a volunteer assistant for the Bears after graduating.

Martin Liivamagi
Country: Estonia
Event: Men's Swimming - 200 Individual Medley
Hometown: Tallinn, Estonia
Years at Cal: Incoming Freshman
Liivamagi is an incoming Cal freshman who reached the semifinals in the 200 individual medley at the 2007 World Championships, where he was timed in 2:02.39. He was also sixth in the 100 IM at the 2006 European Short-Course Championships. He finished 2007 ranked 26th in the world in the 200 IM and is a countryman of Cal's Martti Aljand.

Dominik Meichtry
Country: Switzerland
Event: Men's Swimming - 200 Freestyle
Hometown: Rorschacherberg, Switzerland
Years at Cal: 2005-08
Meichtry will compete for Switzerland in the 100- and 200-meter freestyle in Beijing. At the 2008 NCAA championships, he swam the anchor leg of Cal's 400 free relay that placed third, swam the third leg of the Bears' 800 free relay that placed 10th, and was ninth in the 200 free, 11th in the 100 free and 12th in the 500 free. Meichtry reached the semifinals of the 200 free at the 2004 Olympics, and he finished 11th in the event at the 2007 World Championships. He also earned a silver medal in the 200 free at the 2004 World Cup in Durban, South Africa.

Miguel Molina
Country: The Philippines
Event: Men's Swimming - 200 Individual medley, 200 Breaststroke
Hometown: Tokyo, Japan
Years at Cal: 2003-06
Molina will compete for the Philippines in the 200 individual medley and 200 breaststroke in Beijing. He swam in the 2004 Olympics for the Philippines, placing second in his heat in the 200 breast (2:19.19) and third in his heat in the 200 IM (2:05.28). Molina swam the anchor leg of Cal's school-record 800 free relay, set in 2006. Has the school's fourth-best all-time mark in the 200 IM (1:45.61, set in 2005) and seventh-best all-time mark in the 400 IM (3:49.13, set in 2004).

Current and incoming University of California swimmers competing in the USA Olympic Trials, June 29-July 6 in Omaha, Neb.

Nathan Adrian
Country: USA
Event: Men's Swimming - 50 Freestyle, 100 Freestyle, 200 Freestyle
Hometown: Bremerton, Wash.
Years at Cal: 2006-07 (slated to return after 2008 Olympics)
Adrian was outstanding at the 9th FINA Short Course World Swimming Championships, held Apr. 9-13, 2008 in Manchester, England. Adrian, from Bremerton, Wash., won the gold medal in the 100-meter freestyle and set a championship record with a time of 46.67. Competing in lane one, Adrian edged out Italy's Filippo Magnini, who won silver with a mark of 46.70. Former Golden Bear standout Duje Draganja (2002-05), competing for Croatia, won bronze in 46.83. On the first day of the meet (Apr. 9), Adrian was a member of the United States' gold medal-winning and world record-setting 400-meter freestyle relay. The team of Ryan Lochte, Bryan Lundquist, Adrian and Doug Van Wie set the world record with a time of 3:08.44, topping the previous record by more than a second. Adrian sat out this past 2007-08 collegiate season to train for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. As a freshman for the Bears, he placed second in the 100 fly at the 2007 Pac-10 championships and had an eighth-place finish in the 100 free at the 2007 NCAA championships. Adrian will return to the Cal squad for the 2008-08 campaign.

Aaron Casey
Country: USA
Event: Men's Swimming - 200 Backstroke, 400 Individual medley, 1,500 Freestyle
Hometown: Santa Monica, Calif.
Years at Cal: Sophomore
As a sophomore for Cal, Casey placed fourth in 400 IM (3:49.20), seventh in the 1,650 free (15:28.00) and eighth in the 200 back (1:45.29) at the 2008 Pac-10 championships.

William Copeland
Country: USA
Event: Men's Swimming - 50 Freestyle, 100 Freestyle
Hometown: Lexington, Va.
Years at Cal: 2005-08
Copeland was the 2008 Pac-10 champion in the 50 and 100 free, swam the lead-off leg of Cal's Pac-10 champion 200 free relay and the freestyle leg of the Bears' Pac-10 champion 400 medley relay. At the 2008 NCAA meet, he was part of four relays that placed in the top three nationally. Individually, Copeland was fourth in the 100 free and fifth in the 50 free. He has the fifth-best all-time Cal mark in both the 50 (19.30) and 100 free (42.47).

Josh Daniels
Country: USA
Event: Men's Swimming - 50 Freestyle
Hometown: Fresno, Calif.
Years at Cal: Freshman
As a redshirt freshman, Daniels had a best of 20.18 in the 50 free for the 2007-08 Bears.

Miller Douglas
Country: USA
Event: Men's Swimming - 200 Butterfly
Hometown: Atlanta, Ga.
Years at Cal: Incoming freshman
Douglas, from Atlanta, Ga. and Westminster School, has a long course-meter best of 2:02.13 in the 200 fly. He was the 18 and under national champion in the 200 fly at the 2007 Short Course National Championship. Douglas was also the 2006 Georgia Long Course State Championship MVP and a two-time Georgia High School state champion in the 100 back.

Eric Dunipace
Country: USA
Event: Men's Swimming - 50 Freestyle
Hometown: Castro Valley, Calif.
Years at Cal: 2005-08
Dunipace has qualified for the 2008 Olympic Trials with a time of 23.22 in the 50-meter free. Is a four-time first-team Pac-10 All-Academic selection, majoring in molecular and cell biology (immunology).

Nick Ferrif
Country: USA
Event: Men's Swimming - 100 Breaststroke
Hometown: Lafayette, Calif.
Years at Cal: Freshman
Ferrif had a best of 55.08 in the 100 breast and 2:01.45 in the 200 breast during 2007-08 season. Is the North Coast Section record-holder in the 100 breast with a time of 55.90.

John Foster
Country: USA
Event: Men's Swimming - 200 Freestyle
Hometown: Villa Park, Calif.
Years at Cal: 2004-05 (plans on returning for 2008-09 season)
As a freshman at Cal placed sixth in the 500 free (4:21.69) and seventh in the 200 free (1:38.18) at the 2005 Pac-10 championships. Was a 17-time high school All-American and Villa Park High School.

Tim Freeman
Country: USA
Event: Men's Swimming - 100 Breaststroke, 200 Breaststroke
Hometown: Concord, Calif.
Years at Cal: Incoming freshman
Freeman is an incoming freshman from De La Salle High School. Has a long course-meter best time of 1:04.66 in the 100 breast and 2:20.54 in the 200 breast.

Andrew Godbe
Country: USA
Event: Men's Swimming - 200 Individual Medley
Hometown: Mission Viejo, Calif.
Years at Cal: Freshman
Godbe had a best of 3:58.80 in the 400 IM this past 2007-08 season for Cal. He was a 17-time high school All-American at Mission Viejo High School.

Richard Hunter
Country: USA
Event: Men's Swimming - 100 Breaststroke
Hometown: Mission Viejo, Calif.
Years at Cal: 2005-08
Hunter placed fifth in the 100 breast (53.96) and 14th in the 200 breast (2:0037) at the 2008 Pac-10 championships. Has Cal's sixth-best all-time mark in the 100 breast. Is a two-time first-team Pac-10 All-Academic selection, majoring in history.

Michael Jafari
Country: USA
Event: Men's Swimming - 1,500 Freestyle
Hometown: Glendora, Calif.
Years at Cal: 2005-08
Jafari had career-best times of 9:09.92 in the 1000 free and 15:14.12 in the 1,650 free at Cal. He was an Academic All-American in 2006-07.

Ian Lentz
Country: USA
Event: Men's Swimming - 100 Butterfly
Hometown: Petaluma, Calif.
Years at Cal: Junior
Lentz has career-best times of 48.79 in the 100 fly and 1:48.19 in the 200 fly at Cal. He was first-team Pac-10 All-Academic in 2007-08, majoring in psychology.

Sean Mahoney
Country: USA
Event: Men's Swimming - 100 Breaststroke, 200 Breaststroke, 200 Individual Medley
Hometown: Rio Vista, Calif.
Years at Cal: Sophomore
Mahoney hopes to make the U.S. team in the 100 and 200 breaststroke, and the 200 IM. He placed third in the 200 breast at the 2008 NCAA championships, where he also reached the consolation finals in the 100 breast and 200 IM. Mahoney has the school's second-best all-time mark in the 200 breast (1:54.14). A transfer from West Virginia, he set a school record there in the 200 breast and helped the school win the '07 Big East title. Mahoney finished 13th in the 200 breast at the 2004 Olympic Trials.

Troy Nissen
Country: USA
Event: Men's Swimming - 200 Breaststroke
Hometown: Sacramento, Calif.
Years at Cal: Sophomore
Nissen swam career-best times in the 100 breast (55.41) and the 200 breast (2:00.74) this season at Cal.

Justin Pollard
Country: USA
Event: Men's Swimming - 100 Butterfly
Hometown: San Jose, Calif.
Years at Cal: 2005-08
Pollard narrowly missed qualifying for the 2008 NCAA championships with a season-best of 1:46.81 in the 200 fly, but is a three-time first-team Pac-10 All-Academic honoree graduating in economics. He also earned the Pac-10 Postgraduate Scholarship; the Neufeld Scholar Athlete Award for the highest cumulative GPA (3.926); and the Walter A Haas, Jr. Community Service Award for commitment and service to the university and larger community.

David Russell
Country: USA
Event: Men's Swimming - 100 Backstroke, 200 Backstroke, 100 Butterfly, 200 Butterfly
Hometown: Wellesley, Mass.
Years at Cal: Junior
Russell, from Wellesley, Mass., was the 2008 Pac-10 champion in the 200 back and placed third at the 2008 NCAA championships in the 100 back with a school-record 45.42. He also swam the backstroke leg of the Bears' national runner-up and school record-setting 400 medley relay, and third place finish and school record-setting 200 medley relay at the NCAA meet. Russell was second in the 100 back at the 2008 Pac-10 meet, was a member of Cal's Pac-10 champion 200 and 400 medley relays, and placed 10th in the 200 back at the NCAA championships. He is majoring in economics.

Matt Scanlan
Country: USA
Event: Men's Swimming - 100 Butterfly, 200 Butterfly
Hometown: Bakersfield, Calif.
Years at Cal: Junior
Scanlan had Cal's best time in the 200 fly (1:45.83) and the second-best time in the 100 fly (47.62) this season. Has the school's seventh-best all-time mark in the 200 fly and 10th-best mark in the 200 fly. Was 2008 first-team Pac-10 All-Academic, majoring in political science.

Scott Sorge
Country: USA
Event: Men's Swimming - 50 Freestyle, 100 Freestyle
Hometown: Mission Viejo, Calif.
Years at Cal: Sophomore
Sorge swam a career-best 20.32 in the 50 free and 44.39 in the 100 free for the Bears this season, earning honorable mention Pac-10 All-Academic honors, majoring in public health.

Louis Vayo
Country: USA
Event: Men's Swimming - 200 Freestyle, 100 Backstroke, 200 Backstroke, 200 Individual Medley
Hometown: Palecentia, Calif.
Years at Cal: 2005-08
Vayo swam the lead-off leg of Cal's 800 free relay that placed 10th at the 2008 NCAA championships. Individually, placed 12th in the 400 IM (3:47.82) and 15th in the 200 IM (1:45.86) at the NCAA meet. Was fifth in the 200 back (1:44.30), ninth in the 400 IM and 11th in the 200 IM in the 200 IM at the 2008 Pac-10 championships. Has Cal's fourth-best all-time mark in the 400 IM, and fifth-best all-time mark in the 200 IM. Is a two-time first-team Pac-10 All-Academic selection, majoring in economics.

Joe Whittington
Country: USA
Event: Men's Swimming - 50 Freestyle, 100 Freestyle
Hometown: Bakersfield, Calif.
Years at Cal: 2005-08
Whittington swam the third leg of Cal's 200 and 400 freestyle relays that placed third at the 2008 NCAA championships. Individually, he placed 12th in the 50 free at the NCAA meet. At the 2008 Pac-10 championships, placed third in the 50 free and seventh in the 100 free. Has the school's 10th-best all-time mark in the 50 free (19.55).


Cal Bears Men's Swimming & Diving


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