Oct. 10, 2003
Both the California men's and women's swimming teams opened the 2003-04 season with dual meet victories over Pacific today in Stockton, Calif. The Golden Bears finished with a total of 20 first-place finishes combined for both the men's and women's squads.
The Bears' men's team defeated the Tigers by a score of 150-102. Senior Alex Lim led Cal with two wins in the 200-yard butterfly (1:54.23) and 200 individual medley (1:56.52). Other returning Bears who won events included junior John Dorr in the 1000 freestyle (9:28.49), junior Caleb Rowe in the 200 breast (2:03.07), sophomore Milorad Cavic in the 100 backstroke (52.51) and sophomore Ricky Barbosa in the 100 breaststroke (58.08). Rowe also notched a second-place finish in the 100 breast (59.74), and Dorr's time in the 1000 free is faster than his best time (9:31.54) from last season in that event. All five of those Bears were NCAA qualifiers last season.
Cal's 400 medley relay (3:21.68) and 400 free relay (3:12.46) also picked up victories. In fact, all three of the Bears' 400 medley relay squads swept the first three places.
The Bears' newcomers were equally impressive in their debuts. Rolandas Gimbutis, a freshman who came to Cal from Lithuania, won the 200 free (1:41.63), while senior transfer (University of Tennessee) Renato Gueraldi captured the 50 free (20.93). Freshman Daniel Lysaught, who hails from Australia, won the 500 free (4:36.72). Lysaught also turned in a second-place finish in the 200 free (1:42.15).
Cal also had several men's swimmers notch runner-up and third-place finishes. Sophomore Ryan Lean touched the wall in second in the 1000 free (9:33.41), while Chris Gibson placed second in the 100 back (53.68). Sophomore Miguel Molina took second in the 200 back (1:56.94), while freshman Patrick O'Neill finished second in the 200 fly (1:55.54). Senior Keith Vogelgesang placed second in the 100 fly (53.73) and third in the 200 fly (1:55.87). Junior Duje Draganja finished third in the 50 free (21.32), while junior Steve Rehrmann placed third in the 200 free (1:43.58) and freshman Graham Lentz finished third in the 100 breast (1:00.39).
Cal's women's team also dominated Pacific, defeating the Tigers 149-111. Senior Natalie Coughlin led the Bears' women's squad with three individual wins. Coughlin captured the 100 free (51.37), 100 fly (54.25) and 200 IM (2:04.54). Last season, Coughlin set the new American, NCAA, U.S. Open and school record in the 100 free (47.00). The previous year she set those same records in the 100 fly (1:51.91).
Sophomore Helen Silver won two events at Pacific, placing first in the 100 (57.30) and 200 back (2:04.71). Silver is a returning All-American for the Bears this season after scoring points for Cal at the 2003 NCAA Championships.
In the 1000 free, Cal put up a 1-2 punch as sophomores Ashley Chandler (10:02.77) and Kate Tiedeman (10:04.56) finished in first and second place, respectively. Other wins for Cal came in the 100 breast where junior Marcelle Miller touched the wall first in a time of 1:06.00, while senior Danielle Becks was victorious in the 500 free (4:57.32)-an exciting win for one of Cal's top sprint freestylers. Freshman Annie Babicz also added first-place points, winning the 200 breast (2:21.57). Babicz also added a runner-up finish in the 200 IM (2:10.86).
Senior Micha Burden was strong in her return after missing most of last season. She suffered a broken bone in her hand after Cal's meet at Georgia last year and had to repair it with surgery. Today, she placed second in the 200 free (1:52.61) and fourth in the 50 free (25.13).
The Bears also reeled off several second-place finishes with the 200 medley relay team of Silver, Miller, senior Natalie Griffith and Becks finishing second in 1:48.71. Sophomore Flora Kong took second in the 200 fly (2:06.56), while freshman Erin Reilly turned in a runner-up finish in the 100 free (52.54). Reilly also did well in the 100 fly, finishing third (57.11). Other third-place finishes included Griffith in the 100 breast (1:06.92), junior Lisa Morelli in the 200 back (2:09.28), Chandler in the 200 breast (2:26.43) and junior Amy Ng in the 200 IM (2:11.61).
The Bears' men's squad faces Pacific again when competing at the UOP Invitational, Fri.-Sat., Oct. 17-18 in Stockton, Calif. The Cal women's team takes on Pac-10 rival Washington State, Sat., Oct. 18 at Spieker Aquatics Complex at 12 p.m. in Berkeley.