March 4, 2010
LONG BEACH, CALIF. - The No. 4-ranked University of California men's swimming team continued its assault on a 2010 Pac-10 swimming championship as the Golden Bears won two individual events Thursday (March 4) at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool in Long Beach. Junior Nathan Adrian successfully defended his 2009 title in the 50 free with a time of 19.20, while sophomore Martin Liivamagi captured his first conference title by winning the 200 IM in a career-best and NCAA automatic qualifying 1:43.73.
Adrian, who was last year's NCAA champion in the 50 free as well, currently has the nation's top time in that event with a mark of 19.08. He was he 2009 Pac-10 Swimmer of the Year after winning the 50, 100 and 200 free at the conference meet. Last season Liivamagi's teammate and fellow Estonian, Martti Aljand, was the Pac-10 champion in the 200 IM with a time of 1:43.59.
In the final race Thursday, the Cal 200 free relay of juniors Graeme Moore, Josh Daniels, Guy Barnea and Adrian swam a time of 1:17.45 (NCAA automatic qualifying), narrowly being edged out by Stanford's 1:17.32.
After six events Cal sits in second place at the Pac-10 meet, trailing the Cardinal, 307-225. The Bears are trying to snap Stanford's streak of 28 straight conference titles. The last school to win a Pac-10 title other than Stanford was Cal in 1980 and 1981.
"We have most the meet still ahead of us and will be looking to get some more points in the next two days," said Cal coach David Durden, who has led the Bears to back-to-back Pac-10 runner-up finishes. "We have guys swimming in the upcoming events who we know are going to be doing a good job for us. We're looking forward to seeing how it all goes."
Coming up Friday, Cal will be competing in the 400 IM, the 100 fly, the 200 free, the 100 breast, the 100 back and the 400 medley relay. Besides Adrian, Cal returns defending 2009 Pac-10 champion Damir Dugonjic in the 100 breast and sophomore Nolan Koon in the 200 breast, plus three members (Dugonjic, Moore, Adrian) of the defending champion 400 medley relay.
On Wednesday, the Bears had won the 200 medley relay for the third year in a row. The medley relay team of Barnea, Dugonjic, Moore and Daniels recorded a time of 1:24.85 to lead Cal to victory in the first event of the four-day meet.
The Bears also placed third in the 800 free relay in a school record time of 6:19.79 on Wednesday. The relay team of Adrian, Moore and freshmen standouts Ben Hinshaw and Tom Shields, topped the previous Bear record of 6:20.49 set in 2009.