March 3, 2009
BERKELEY, CALIF. -
Wed.-Sat., March 4-7 at Pac-10 Championships, Belmont Plaza Pool, Long Beach, Calif. All Day
The No. 6-ranked California men's swimming and diving team (6-2, 3-2) competes at the 2009 Pac-10 Swimming Championships this week (Wed.-Sat.) at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool in Long Beach. The Golden Bears will be looking to snap Stanford's stranglehold on the Pac-10 meet as the Cardinal have won the team title 27 straight years. The last school to win the Pac-10 meet other than Stanford was Cal in 1980 and 1981. The Bears will also be looking to produce even more 2009 NCAA automatic qualifying times. So far this season, Cal has seven automatic qualifying times - sophomore Olympic gold medalist Nathan Adrian in the 50 (18.94, school record) and 100 free (41.83), sophomore Damir Dugonjic in the 100 breast (52.14, school record); and sophomore Guy Barnea (46.37) and senior David Russell (46.59) in the 100 back. The Bears also have automatic qualifying times in the 200 free (1:17.62, Adrian, senior Bennett Clark, sophomore Josh Daniels, sophomore Graeme Moore) and 400 free (2:50.15, Moore, Adrian, Daniels, Clark) relays. Cal has 19 other NCAA B qualifying marks, including the 200 and 400 medley relays and the 800 free relay. The Bears are coming off a fourth-place finish at the 2008 NCAA Championships and a second-place finish at the 2008 Pac-10 Meet. The Bears have five returning All-Americans; including Russell, the 2008 Pac-10 champion and NCAA third place finisher in the 200 back; Dugonjic, who placed second in both the `08 Pac-10 and NCAA meet in the 100 breast; and junior Sean Mahoney, who placed third in both the `08 Pac-10 and NCAA meet in the 200 breast. The Bears are the defending Pac-10 champs in the 200 free, 200 medley and 400 medley relays as well.
Cal Gears Up for the Pac-10 Championships
No. 6 Cal is the third-highest ranked school in the conference behind No. 1-ranked Stanford and No. 2-ranked Stanford, the two schools who topped the Bears in dual meet competition. Cal features Adrian, who won a gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics swimming the prelims of Team USA's 400-meter free relay. He sat out last year to train for the Beijing Olympics after competing for Cal in 2006-07. Adrian currently has the nation's second-best times in both the 50 (18.94) and 100 free (41.83) behind Auburn's Matt Targett (18.52 and 41.55). Another top candidate for a conference crown this season is Dugonjic, who has the nation's fastest time in the 100 breast (52.14). Other Bears ranked in the top 10 nationally include Barnea ranked fifth in the 100 back (46.37) and Mahoney ranked eighth in the 200 breast (1:55.68). Cal's relays are also among the nation's best as the Bears' 400 free relay (2:50.15) is the third fastest in the nation (behind Auburn and Texas) and the fastest among Pac-10 schools, while the 200 free relay (1:17.62) is the nation's seventh fastest and is the second fastest in the conference behind Arizona (1:17.21).
Bears' 2009 NCAA Qualifiers
Besides NCAA automatic qualifliers Adrian, Barnea, Russell and Dugonjic, the Bears have several NCAA B standards. Mahoney has B times in the 200 breast (1:55.68), 200 IM (1:47.12) and 400 IM (3:50.38). Freshman Martin Liivamagi has B times in the 200 breast (1:57.59) and 200 IM (1:45.30). Sophomore Martti Aljand has B times in the 100 breast (54.13) and 200 IM (1:46.51). Adrian has B times in the 200 free (1:35.37) and 100 fly (47.47). Moore has B times in the 100 free (43.17) and 100 fly (47.32). Clark has swam a B mark in the 50 free (19.83), Barnea has a B mark in the 200 back (1:42.62), Russell has a B mark in the 200 back (1:44.21) and freshman Mathias Gydesen has a B mark in the 100 back (48.15).
Head Coach David Durden
David Durden, formerly the head coach of the Maryland men's and women's programs, joined Cal in 2007 upon the retirement of Hall of Fame Cal coach Nort Thornton. In the 2007-08 season, Durden led the Bears to a fourth-place NCAA finish, second-place Pac-10 finish and 5-2 dual-meet record. Durden also spent five seasons at Auburn, including 2005 when he was the assistant head men's coach for the NCAA-champion Tigers. During his tenure, the Tiger men's and women's teams won a total of six NCAA team championships - the men winning in 2003, 2004 and 2005, and the women winning in 2002, 2003 and 2004. The Auburn women finished second at the national meet in 2005.