Jan. 20, 2006
BERKELEY, Calif. - The second-ranked California men's swimming & diving team won 13 out of 16 events to rout visiting Arizona State, 159-78, on a sunny Friday afternoon at Spieker Aquatics Complex. Six Golden Bears seniors, competing in their second-to-last home meet of their careers, won events, with Henrique Barbosa and Evan Lane winning two events each. Cal freshmen also stood out, as first-year diver Sam Helvie upset defending NCAA champion Joona Puhakka on the one-meter springboard and first-year swimmer David Russell won two events. Cal improved its record to 4-0 (1-0 Pac-10), while ASU fell to 3-4 (0-2).
Helvie scored a school-record 375.92 to Puhakka's 372.60 to take the one-meter board. A freshman from Bakersfield, Calif., Helvie scored a major victory in his second straight competition, as he won the platform event at the Texas Invitational, Dec. 1-3, 2005. Puhakka, the defending NCAA champ on the one-meter and three-meter boards, the 2005 NCAA and Pac-10 Diver of the Year and a 2000 and 2004 Olympian for Finland, also finished behind Helvie today on the three-meter board. ASU teammate Brent Bingham won the event (369.52), Helvie was second (325.12) and Puhakka was third (304.87).
"It's huge," Cal diving coach Ron Kontura said. "It was fun to watch and came down to the last dive. It's great for Sam. He works hard. For him to win against that kind of a kid is very impressive."
Fellow freshman Russell won both the 100- (48.52) and 200-yard (1:47.75) backstrokes. Both times were NCAA B standard qualifying marks. Russell's 100 time is also Cal's best this season.
Lane won the 50 (20.33) and 100 (45.10) freestyles with season-best times. His 50 time was also an NCAA B qualifying mark. Senior teammate Barbosa won the 100 (55.50) and 200 (2:00.99) breaststrokes. His time in the 100 was a season-best for Cal and an NCAA B qualifying mark. Fellow seniors Milorad Cavic (100 butterfly, 48.42) and Miguel Molina (200 individual medley, 1:49.16) also won events.
"It's a special group," Cal head coach Nort Thornton said of the Bears seniors, who include Matt Lyon, Ryan Lean and Chris Gibson. "There are seven of them, and they're all going to be missed. They're all swimming well right now. Hopefully they'll go out with a splash in their last meet tomorrow."
Today's meet was Cal's first since the Texas Invitational more than a month ago and tomorrow's meet - at noon vs. fifth-ranked Arizona at Spieker - is the Bears' final home meet this season.
"The guys were really ready to swim," Thornton added. "They've been training for so long. This is the first competition they've had in a while. A lot of guys had season-best times or were close, so that's really encouraging."
The Cal A quartet of Russell, Barbosa, Cavic and junior Jonas Tilly opened the meet by winning the 200-medley relay (1:30.07). Next, sophomore Michael Jafari swam a Cal season-best 9:16.25 to take second in the 1,000 free behind ASU's Lucas Azevedo (9:09.59). Besides Helvie's runner-up showing on the three-meter board, Cal's only other loss was in the 200-free relay, though the Bears, comfortably ahead by that point, did not have an official entry in that race. The ASU B team (Richie Crowder, Tommy Hickman, Mohammed Madwa and Sean Boyle) won the 200-free relay in 1:25.10.
Other Cal winners included junior Daniel Lysaught (200 free, 1:37.77, NCAA B mark and Cal season best; 500 free, 4:22.47, NCAA B mark and Cal season best) and junior Patrick O'Neil (200 fly, 1:48.91).
After tomorrow's noon dual meet against Arizona, there will be a reception in the Haas Club Room in Haas Pavilion. The cost is $7. For more information, contact Aaron George at (510) 643-2746.
1. David Russell 1:47.75.
1. Henrique Barbosa 2:00.99.
1. Daniel Lysaught 4:22.47.
1. Milorad Cavic 48.42.
200-Yard Individual Medley
1. Miguel Molina 1:49.16.