March 5, 2005
LONG BEACH, Calif. - No. 1 California placed second on Saturday at the 2005 Pac-10 Swimming and Diving Championships with 882 points, easily ahead of third-place USC (579), at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool. Stanford claimed the conference crown with 932.5 points.
Senior Duje Draganja led Cal by claiming the 100 freestyle in a time of 42.30 on the heels of also winning the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly earlier in the week. Cal sophomore Rolandas Gimbutis was the runner-up in the 100 free in 42.54. Draganja, Gimbutis and Jonas Tilly (43.29) all swam NCAA qualifying marks tonight.
Cal set a Pac-10 meet record in winning the 400 freestyle, clocking in at 2:49.77 to break the previous meet record of 2:49.85 set in 2000 by the Bears. Tonight, Cal led off with Gimbutis, followed by Tilly, Draganja and Milorad Cavic.
The 200 breaststroke was also a strong event for the Bears with senior Caleb Rowe leading the way in second with a time of 1:55.86, and junior Henrique Barbosa placing third in 1:56.34. Both athletes posted NCAA qualifying times. Cal junior Miguel Molina took fourth in 1:57.97.
Freshman Mark Eckert finished second in the 200 backstroke in an NCAA consideration time of 1:44.46 to earn 17 points for the Bears. Freshman Louis Vayo placed sixth in 1:45.20 (NCAA consideration), and junior Chris Gibson took eighth in 146:64 (NCAA consideration) in the final of the event.
Sophomore Patrick O'Neil added a third-place showing in the 200 butterfly (1:44.51) for Cal.
The Bears conclude their season at the NCAA Championships March 24-26 in Minneapolis, Minn.
Team Scores 1. Stanford 932.5, 2. Cal 882, 3. USC 579, 4. Arizona 450, 5. ASU 311.5, 6. Washington 224.
400 freestyle relay: 1. California 2:49.77 (Gimbutis, Tilly, Draganja and Cavic).