Jan. 17, 2012
BERKELEY - Fri., Jan. 20 Arizona, Spieker Aquatics Complex, Berkeley, Calif. 1 p.m.
Sat., Jan. 21 Arizona State, Spieker Aquatics Complex, Berkeley, Calif. 12 p.m.
The No. 6-ranked California men's swimming and diving team (2-0) - the 2011 NCAA team champions - will face its toughest competition of the season Friday, Jan. 20 when it hosts No. 1 ranked Arizona at 1 p.m. at Spieker Aquatics Complex. The Golden Bears next host Arizona State at noon Saturday (Jan. 21) and will honor the team's six graduating seniors (Mathias Gydesen, Isaac Howell, Nolan Koon, Martin Liivamagi, Chris Rogers, Robert Sullivan) in their final home meet. Cal features 10 returning All-Americans from its 2011 championship squad. Junior Tom Shields is a six-time NCAA champion, winning the 100 fly as a freshman to go with his 100 back title as a sophomore, and had been on national champion 400 free and 400 medley (butterfly leg) relays the last two years. He was the 2010 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and the 2011 Pac-10 Swimmer of the Meet. Shields is the school record-holder in the 200 free (1:32.75), 100 back (45.02), 100 fly (44.78) and 200 fly (1:40.31). Other top returning All-Americans are Koon, the 2009 and 2011 Pac-10 champion in the 200 breast, and the 2011 national runner-up in 100 breast. Liivamagi won the 2010 Pac-10 title in the 200 IM, and is the school record-holder in the 200 (1:43.05) and 400 IM (3:43.55). Arizona features freshman Kevin Cordes, who has the nation's top time in the 100 breast (51.76), and senior Cory Chitwood, the defending 2011 NCAA champion in the 200 back (1:38.84). Arizona finished fourth in the 2011 NCAA team standings
Golden Bears to Date
The Bears just returned from Colorado Springs over Winter Break where they train at the U.S. Olympic Training Center from Dec. 27-Jan. 10.In its last team competition, Cal had several outstanding swims - including three relay victories and individual wins by Shields, junior Trevor Hoyt, Koon and freshman Tyler Messerschmidt - as the Bears placed second at the Dec. 2-4 Georgia Fall Invitational in Athens, Ga. with 812 points, trailing only Auburn's 899 points. Behind the performances of Messerschmidt, sophomore Shayne Fleming, freshman Fabio Gimondi and junior Dana Foster, Cal placed first in the 200 free relay with a time of 1:18.28. Other relay victories for the Bears included the 800 free relay (6:26.30, Shields, sophomore Sam Metz, junior Ben Hinshaw, freshman Will Hamilton) and the 200 medley relay (1:26.23, sophomore Marcin Tarczynski, Liivamagi, Shields, Gimondi). Individually, Shields dominated the meet by winning the 100 back (46.53), 100 fly (45.67) and 200 fly (1:43.09). His 45.67 time in the 100 fly automatically qualifies him into the 2012 NCAA championships. Hoyt was the Georgia Fall Invitational champion in the 200 breast with a mark of 1:55.24, while Koon won the 100 breast in a time of 52.75. Koon became a 2012 NCAA automatic qualifier in the 100 breast with his mark of 52.75.Newcomer Messerschmidt from Phoenix, Ariz., won the 100 free with a time of 43.39.
2010-11 in Review
Last March in Minneapolis, Durden guided the Bears to their first NCAA team title since 1980. He brought 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).
Head Coach David Durden
David Durden is in his fifth season at Cal, leading the Bears to the 2011 NCAA team title and owning a 22-7 (.759) dual meet record. Durden was both the 2010 and 2011 Pac-10 Coach of the Year and NCAA Coach of the Meet. In 2011, he mentored four individual national champions (Nathan Adrian 50 and 100 free, Damir Dugonjic 100 breast, Tom Shields 100 back) and three relay national titles (400 free relay, 200 and 400 medley relays). Durden joined the Golden Bears in 2007 upon the retirement of Hall of Fame coach Nort Thornton, who is now Head Coach Emeritus.