Jan. 21, 2009
BERKELEY, CALIF. - This Week
The No. 5-ranked California (2-0, 1-0 Pac-10) swimming and diving team, led by 2008 Olympian Nathan Adrian, has a pair of key Pac-10 dual meets this weekend as the Golden Bears visit No. 4-ranked and defending national champion Arizona in Tucson on Friday, Jan. 23 at 2 p.m. before visiting unranked Arizona State on Saturday, Jan. 24 at 12 p.m. in Tempe.
Cal is fresh from a training trip in Colorado Springs. Prior to Colorado Springs, the Bears were victorious at the Husky Invitational in Seattle Dec. 4-6, winning the competition with 1442 points over second place USC (1315 points) and eight other teams. Cal was led by Adrian, who was named the Pac-10 Swimmer of the Month for December.
Adrian, from Bremerton, Wash., helped the Bears win in Seattle by being involved in seven victories. On Dec. 4 he won the 50 free in a Cal school record and NCAA automatic qualifying time of 18.94 (old record was 19.01 set by Duje Draganja in 2005, only the fifth swimmer to ever swim under 19.0 in the 50-yard free) and also helped the Bears win the 200 free (1:17.62 NCAA automatic) and 400 medley relays. On Dec. 5 Adrian won the 100 fly with a time of 47.47 and led off Cal's winning 800 free relay. Finally on Dec. 6, he won the 100 free with an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 41.83 (fourth fastest time in Cal history) and swam the second leg of the Bears' winning 400 free relay, which had an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 2:50.15. It was the first monthly honor for Adrian and the third Men's Swimmer of the Month all-time for Cal.
Another highlight at the Husky Invitational for the Bears was sophomore Damir Dugonjic swimming an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 52.14 in winning the 100 breast. Dugonjic also broke his own school record of 52.50 in the 100 breast, which was set in the prelims of last year's NCAA meet where he went on to finish second nationally.
Diver Henninger Now Two-Time Pac-10 Diver of the Month
Sophomore diver Tom Henninger has now been named the Pac-10 Diver of the Month for both the months of November and December. Competing at the Texas Invitational Dec. 4-6, Henninger placed sixth in the one-meter competition (313.65), sixth in the three-meter competition (326.65) and eighth on the platform (251.15). The Glenside, Pa. native's mark of 326.65 in the three-meter competition was an automatic NCAA Zone E qualifying mark. Earlier Henninger had be named the November Pac-10 Diver of the Month when he posted NCAA Zone E qualifying scores in both the one-meter and three-meter springboards competitions Nov. 14 at San Jose State. Henninger notched a score of 328.80 on the one meter board and 336.00 on the three meter board.The December Diver of the Month honor marks the fifth all-time Pac-10 Men's Diver of the Month accolade for Cal.
Bears Versus Wildcats
Last season, Cal was able to outscore the Wildcats, 769-748.5, to place second at the 2008 Pac-10 championships, but Arizona ended up winning the NCAA title (500.5 points) while the Bears placed fourth (332.5 points). In last year's dual meets at Spieker, Cal fell 182-118 to Arizona and topped ASU, 159.5-123.5. The Wildcats graduated 2008 individual NCAA champs Albert Subirats in the 100 fly and Darian Townsend in the 200 IM. But, Cal returns Dugonjic, who placed second in the NCAA in the 100 breast, senior David Russell, who placed third in the 100 back, and junior Sean Mahoney, who was third in the 100 breast. The Bears also benefits from Adrian, Cal's best freestyler who won a gold in the 2008 Beijing Olympics swimming the prelims of Team USA's 400-meter free relay. He sat out last year to train for Beijing. Besides the school record in the 50 free, Adrian already has the fourth-best all-time Cal mark in the 100 free (41.83) this season and is a member of the Bears' top 200, 400 and 800 free relays, and the 200 and 400 medley relays.
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.