March 25, 2011
MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. - The No. 1-ranked California men's swimming team - behind national titles from senior Damir Dugonjic (100 breast), sophomore Tom Shields (100 back) and the 200 medley relay - jumped ahead of the team standings at the 2011 NCAA Championships Friday night (March 25) at the Dorothy L. Shepard Pool in Minneapolis.
With several strong performances Friday night, the Golden Bears now lead the three-day meet with 352 points, surpassing Texas (288.5) and Stanford (278.5), who had led Cal after Thursday's finals.
Dugonjic won the 100 breast national title for the third year in a row, topping the field with a time of 50.49, breaking his own school record of 50.86 set in 2009. Shields won the 100 back in a school record time of 45.03, while the 200 medley relay team of senior Guy Barnea, Dugonjic, senior Graeme Moore and senior Nathan Adrian won the national crown with a time of 1:23.12, securing the NCAA title in that event for the second straight year.
The Bears also gathered points with several other strong swims. Not only did Shields win the 100 back, but he was the national runner-up in the 100 fly (44.91), followed by Moore's fourth place finish (45.71), Adrian's eighth place (46.20) and junior Mathias Gydesen's 13th place finish (46.55).
Along with Shields victory in the 100 back, Barnea earned points with a 10th place finish and Gydesen was 15th. Another point getter for the Bears was a fifth place finish in the 800 free relay behind the swims of Shields, Moore, freshman Sam Metz and sophomore Ben Hinshaw (6:20.54).
"We are getting better during every session of this meet and are concentrating on being able to continue that on Saturday," said Cal coach David Durden. "We are excited to be in the position we are in, and are looking forward to racing tomorrow."
On Thursday, Adrian won the 50 free with a new American record of 18.66; and the 400 medley relay squad of Barnea (backstroke), Dugonjic (breaststroke), Shields (butterfly) and Adrian (freestyle) out-swam runner-up Texas (3:06.10) to win the national title in that event for the second year in a row.
On the final day of the 2011 NCAA Championships (March 26), Cal will be competing in the 1650 free, the 100 free, the 200 breast, the 200 fly and the 400 free relay. In 2010, Adrian won the 100 free and the Bears placed first in the 400 free relay. Last season the Bears were the national runners-up to Texas, but in 2011 will be looking to win the national team title since capturing back to back NCAA titles in 1979 and 1980 under coach Nort Thornton.