March 24, 2011
MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. - The No. 1-ranked California men's swimming team started off the 2011 NCAA Championships with two national titles on Day One, as senior Nathan Adrian won the 50-yard freestyle in an American record 18.66 and the Golden Bears captured the 400 medley relay Thursday night (March 24) at the Dorothy L. Shepard Pool in Minneapolis.
The Golden Bears' 400 medley relay squad of senior Guy Barnea (backstroke), senior Damir Dugonjic (breaststroke), sophomore Tom Shields (butterfly) and Adrian (freestyle) out-swam runner-up Texas (3:06.10) to win the national title in that event for the second year in a row in a pool record time of 3:02.28. Former Cal standout and 1976 Olympian, Peter Rocca, presented the 2011 national championship trophy to the Bears' 400 medley relay.
After six events, Cal (134 points) is in the midst of a tight team race, trailing only Texas (139 points) and Stanford (136 points).
Other top swims for the Bears were their 200 free relay team of Adrian, senior Graeme Moore, senior Josh Daniels and Shields finishing as national runners-up with a time of 1:54.34, trailing Stanford's 1:15.26.
In individual races, junior Martin Liivamagi was fifth in the 200 IM with a time of 1:43.59, while freshman Marcin Tarczynski was 14th (1:45.09) and junior Nolan Koon 15th (1:45.37) to give Cal 19 points in that event.
Along with Adrian winning the 50 free, Moore added points in that event with an eighth place finish (19.54) and Daniels was 12th (19.58). Not only did Adrian set a new American record in the 50 free, he also established a new Cal record, surpassing his former top mark of 18.71 he set as a sophomore national champion in 2009.
In the 500 free, freshman Sam Metz earned the Bears five points with a 12th place finish (4:20.01)
On the second day of the 2011 NCAA Championships (March 25), Cal will be competing in the 200 medley relay, the 400 IM, the 100 fly, the 200 free, the 100 breast, the 100 back and the 800 free relay. In 2010, the Bears won the 200 medley relay, Shields won the 100 fly and Dugonjic won the 100 breast. Last season the Bears were the national runners-up to Texas.