Feb. 17, 2009
BERKELEY, CALIF. - Golden Bears Battle Cardinal in Final Home Meet
The No. 6-ranked California swimming and diving team (6-1, 3-1 Pac-10), led by 2008 Olympic gold medalist Nathan Adrian, host No. 1-ranked Stanford (7-0, 4-0) Saturday, Feb. 21 at 1 p.m. at Spieker Aquatics Complex. The Golden Bears will be looking to defeat the Cardinal in dual meet competition for the first time since Feb. 19, 2005 when they upended Stanford, 129-114, in Berkeley. Last season, Cal fell the Cardinal, 132.5-110.5, at Stanford. The Cardinal ended up winning the 2008 Pac-10 Championships with 865 points, followed by the Bears with 769 points. At the 2008 NCAA Championships, Stanford placed third with 344 points, while Cal was fourth with 332.5 points.
Key Match-Ups at the Big Meet
Some top match-ups for the Big Meet will be in the 200 back, 200 breast. and 400 medley relay. In the 200 back, Stanford's Eugene Godsoe has the nation's top time (1:40.61) versus Cal sophomore Guy Barnea, a 2008 Olympian from Isreal with the nation's sixth-best mark (1:42.62) and senior David Russell, the 2008 Pac-10 champion. In the 200 breast, Cal junior Sean Mahoney has the nation's third-best time (1:55.68) and was third in the 2008 NCAAs, versus Paul Kornfield, the 2008 NCAA champion (currently nation's 7th-best time, 1:56.82). In the 400 medley relay, Stanford has the nation's top time (3:06.18), while Cal has the fifth-best mark (3:10.01, Russell, Dugonjic, Adrian, Clark). The Big Meet will be the final home meet for seniors Russell, Clark, John Foster, Ian Lentz and Dash Rothberg.
Cal Season Highlights
Adrian, from Bremerton, Wash., was the Pac-10 Swimmer of the Month for December when he helped the Bears win seven events at the Husky Invite in Seattle. 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), led off the Bears' victory in the 200 free relay (Adrian, senior Bennett Clark, sophomore Josh Daniels, sophomore Graeme Moore, 1:17.62 NCAA A standard, 4th nationally) and swam the freestyle leg in the 400 medley relay. 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 (2nd nationally, Moore, Adrian, Daniels, Clark). Adrian 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 the Beijing Olympics after competing for Cal in 2006-07. Adrian has the nation's top time in both the 50 and 100 free.
On Dec. 5 at the Husky Invite, sophomore Damir Dugonjic swam an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 52.14 (nation's top time) in winning the 100 breast. Dugonjic also broke his own school record of 52.50, which was set in the prelims of last year's NCAA meet where he went on to finish second nationally. Other individual Cal times in the top 10 nationally are Barnea in the 100 back (2nd, 46.37), Russell in the 100 back (4th, 46.59) and freshman Martin Liivamagi in the 200 IM (9th, 1:45.30).
Diver Henninger Two-Time Pac-10 Diver of the Month
Sophomore Tom Henninger was Pac-10 Diver of the Month for November and December. At the Texas Invitational Dec. 4-6, his 326.65 in the three-meter was an automatic NCAA Zone E qualifying mark. Earlier he posted NCAA Zone E qualifying marks on both the one-meter (328.80) and three-meter boards (336.00) Nov. 14 at San Jose State.
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.