Feb. 3, 2010
BERKELEY, CALIF. -
Thu. Feb. 4 at CS Bakersfield, Hillman Aquatics, Bakersfield, Calif. 1 p.m. Fri. Feb. 5 at USC, McDonald's Swim Stadium, Los Angeles, Calif. 1 p.m.
This Week: The No. 4-ranked California men's swimming team and diving team, featuring 2009 NCAA champions Nathan Adrian and Damir Dugonjic, continues its dual meet competition this Thursday (Feb. 4, 1 p.m.) at Cal State Bakersfield and Friday (Feb. 5, 1 p.m.) at No. 13-ranked USC. The Golden Bears are 3-1 in dual meets this season with victories over Hawaii (156-139) and Pacific (143-107) in October, and a win over Arizona State (152-127) Jan. 22 before falling to No. 3-ranked Arizona (157-141) Jan. 23. Third-year Cal head swim coach David Durden has another talented squad that not only includes juniors Adrian and Dugonjic, but six additional 2009 All-Americans - senior Sean Mahoney, juniors Martti Aljand, Guy Barnea, Josh Daniels and Graeme Moore, and sophomore Nolan Koon.
Golden Bears Travel to Southern California: Cal will be looking to continue its dual meet success versus CS Bakersfield and USC this week, as well as qualifying additional Bears into the 2010 NCAA championships. Cal defeated the Roadrunners, 104-81, and the Trojans, 157-130, last season at Spieker Aquatics Complex The Bears own a 12-0 all-time dual meet record versus CS Bakersfield and have defeated USC each of the last nine years (19-48 all-time mark). At this point of the season, Cal has automatic NCAA qualifiers in the 50 and 100 free (Adrian, 19.08, 41.80) and the 400 free relay (2:51.80, Adrian, Moore, Daniels, freshman Tom Shields). The Bears have 34 additional times that are NCAA B qualifiers, including the other four relays.
2010 Cal Prospectus: The Bears have one of the world's best freestylers in Adrian, the 2009 Pac-10 Swimmer of the Year who was last season's NCAA champion in the 50 (American record 18.71) and 100 free (American record 41.08) after capturing the conference title in the 50, 100 and 200 free. Most recently in December 2009 at the Duel in the Pool in Manchester, England, Adrian won the 50 and 100-meter free in record times of 20.71 and 45.42, respectively, and was a key component on world record-setting 400 medley (free leg) and 400 free (lead-off 45.08) relays.
Cal also features Dugonjic, the 2009 NCAA champion in the 100 breast with an NCAA and American record time of 50.86. Another leading breaststroker is Mahoney, who is ready to vie for a national title in the 200 breast after narrowly missing the feat in 2009. He had set an NCAA record in the prelims with a time of 1:51.96 before being edged out in the finals.
The Bears have potential national champions in the 200 and 400 IM in Aljand and sophomore Martin Liivamagi. Both from Estonia, Aljand is the school record-holder and was the 2009 Pac-10 champion in the 200 IM (1:43.21), while Liivamagi is the Bears' record-holder in the 400 IM (3:43.55), set as a freshman in 2009.
Not to be overshadowed by Adrian, Moore is one of the nation's top sprinters. From Johannesburg, South Africa, Moore swam the butterfly legs of Cal's 200 and 400 medley relays that were 2009 national runners-up. Another top international competitor is Barnea, a native of Israel who placed eighth in the 100 back at last year's NCAA meet and led-off Cal's school record-setting 200 medley relay that was the 2009 national runners-up.
The Bears landed one of the nation's premier high school recruits in 2009 as well in Shields from Huntington Beach (Edison High School). Shields was named the 2009 National High School Swimmer of the Year after setting the national high school record in the 200 free (1:33.83). An additional freshman standout is Ben Hinshaw from Saratoga High School, the 2009 CIF Central Coast Section record-holder in the 200 IM (1:46.96) and 500 free (4:21.54).
Head Coach David Durden: David Durden is in his third season at Cal, owning a 14-5 (.737) dual meet record with back-to-back Pac-10 second-place finishes at the conference meet and two fourth-place finishes at the NCAA championships. Durden joined the Golden Bears in 2007 upon the retirement of Hall of Fame coach Nort Thornton, who is now Head Coach Emeritus. Durden has coached 16 All-Americans at Cal, including 2009 NCAA champions Nathan Adrian (50 and 100 free) and Damir Dugonjic (100 breast), plus 2009 NCAA runner-ups - the 200 and 400 medley relays, David Russell (100 back) and Sean Mahoney (200 breast).