March 1, 2010
BERKELEY, CALIF. -
Wed.-Sat. March 3-6 at 2010 Pac-10 Championships, Belmont Plaza Pool, Long Beach, Calif. All-Day
The No. 4-ranked California men's swimming team (5-2, 2-2 Pac-10) - featuring 2009 NCAA champions Nathan Adrian and Damir Dugonjic, plus returning Pac-10 champions Nolan Koon and Martti Aljand - competes at the 2010 Pac-10 Swimming Championships this week (Wed.-Sat.) at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool in Long Beach. The Golden Bears will be looking to snap Stanford's streak of 28 straight conference team titles. In fact, the last school to win the Pac-10 meet was Cal in 1980 and 1981. Third-year Cal head swim coach David Durden, who has led the Bears to back-to-back second place finishes at the Pac-10 championships and fourth place finishes at the NCAA meet, has another talented squad that not only includes juniors Adrian and Dugonjic, but six additional 2009 All-Americans - senior Sean Mahoney, juniors Aljand, Guy Barnea, Josh Daniels and Graeme Moore, and sophomore Koon.
Golden Bears Gear Up for the Pac-10 Championships:
The No. 4 Bears are the third-highest ranked school in the conference behind No. 1 Arizona and No. 3 Stanford, the only two schools to upended Cal in dual meets this season. Currently, the Bears have automatic NCAA qualifiers in the 50 and 100 free (Adrian, 19.08 - nation's top time, 41.80) and the 400 free relay (2:51.80, Adrian, Moore, Daniels, freshman Tom Shields). The Bears have 37 additional times which are NCAA B qualifiers, including the the 200 and 800 free, and 200 and 400 medley relays. Cal features its share of returning Pac-10 champions, including Adrian, who was the 2009 Pac-10 Swimmer of the Year after winning the conference titles in the 50, 100 and 200 free. Other returning Pac-10 champions include Dugonjic (100 breast), Koon (200 breast) and Aljand (200 IM), plus members of the 200 and 400 medley relays (breaststroker Dugonjic, butterflyer Moore, freestyler Adrian).
2010 Cal Prospectus:
The Bears have one of the world's best freestylers in Adrian, who was last season's NCAA champion in the 50 (American record 18.71) and 100 free (American record 41.08). 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 record time of 50.86. Another leading breaststroker is Mahoney, who is ready to vie for an NCAA 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).
Head Coach David Durden:
David Durden is in his third season at Cal, owning a 16-6 (.727) 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).