Sept. 22, 2011
BERKELEY - For the second year in a row the California men's swim team will begin its season with a pair of non-traditional exhibition competitions at Cal Poly's Anderson Aquatic Center in San Luis Obispo. On Friday (Sept. 23) there will be a pentathlon beginning at 11 a.m. as each of the school's swimmers will compete in the 100-yard butterfly, the 100 backstroke, the 100 breaststroke the 100 freestyle and the 100 individual medley. The swimmer with the lowest aggregate time will be crowned the "King of the Pool."
On Saturday (Sept. 24), the Golden Bear men will team up with the Cal women for co-ed races in the 200-yard medley relay and 200 freestyle relay beginning at 9 a.m.
"With the Pentathlon schedule, this gives our guys a great opportunity at the beginning of the year to swim in some different events," said Cal coach David Durden prior to last year's competition. "It allows Greg (Meehan, assistant coach), Nort (Thornton, head coach emeritus), and myself see some of our new faces race in a multitude of events. The relay meet on Saturday will be a fun time with the women's team. Two Cal men and two Cal women on each relay is something we never have the opportunity to do in our regular competition schedule."
Last season as freshman, Cal's Marcin Tarczynski was crowned the "King of the Pool" as he combined the overall fastest times in the 100 fly, 100 back, 100 breast, 100 free and 100 individual medley. Tarczynski, from Warsaw, Poland, had the lowest aggregate time of 4:13.88, placing first in the 100 IM (50.55), and edging teammate Martin Liivamagi overall mark of 4:17.61 and Tom Shield's mark of 4:17.95.
Besides Tarczynski's win in the 100 IM, he was second in the 100 fly, third in the 100 back, seventh in the 100 breast and second in the 100 free. Other individual event winners for Cal included Shields in the 100 fly (48.20), 100 back (49.00) and 100 free (45.37); and former Bear standout Damir Dugonjic in the 100 breast (55.56).
Last March in Minneapolis, Durden guided the Bears to their first NCAA team title since 1980 and was named both National and Pac-10 Coach of the Year for the second year in a row. In his spectacular fourth year at Cal, Durden led his 2010-11 squad to a 4-1 (3-1 in the Pac-10) dual-meet record and a second-place finish in the conference meet before bringing the program its first national championship in 31 years with a dominating 493 to 470.5 point victory over second place Texas in the team standings.
At the 2011 NCAA meet, Durden's squad collected seven titles - the 50 and 100 frees (senior Nathan Adrian), the 100 back (sophomore Tom Shields), the 100 breast (senior Damir Dugonjic), the 400 free relay (Graeme Moore, Josh Daniels, Shields and Adrian), the 200 medley relay (Guy Barnea, Dugonjic, Moore and Adrian) and the 400 medley relay (Barnea, Dugonjic, Shields and Adrian).
This season, the Bears welcome in six new swimmers who signed letters of intent back in November, 2010 - Will Hamilton, Christian Higgins, Adam Hinshaw, Adam Jorgensen, Tyler Messerschmidt and Seth Stubblefield. For more information on the Cal men's swimming newcomers click on Cal Swimming Signs Six to National Letters of Intent.
Following the Cal Poly meet, the Bears will next compete in a dual meet versus Hawaii, Thursday, Oct. 13 at 12 p.m. at Spieker Aquatics Complex.