March 29, 2013
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INDIANAPOLIS - Led by senior Tom Shields' three-peat of the 100 fly national title and the 200 medley relay's second place finish, the Cal men's swimming and diving team concluded day two of the NCAA championships with 301.5 points to remain in second place, trailing only Michigan (336 points).
Shields blew the field away to become the national champion in the 100 fly for the third time (2010, 2012, 2013) with a time of 44.59. He lowered his own school record, a mark of 44.76 set at last year's national meet, by almost two-tenths of a second. Shields' victory in the event is the first national title for the Bears at this year's national meet. He is now a ten-time NCAA champion, winning five individual titles and being a part of five national championship relays.
Fellow Bear and 2012 NCAA champion in the 200 IM, Marcin Tarczynski, placed fifth with a performance of 45.97. Second-place finisher Marcin Cieslak of Florida was eight-tenths of a second behind Shields in 45.35. Sean Fletcher of Michigan was third in 45.54.
Shields followed up his national title performance with a national runner-up finish in the 100 back, getting out-touched by only two-tenths of a second by David Nolan of Stanford. Nolan edged Shields, 44.99 to 45.21, for the national crown, which Shields has won two years in a row (2011, 2012). Eric Ress of Indiana was third in 45.31. Freshman Jacob Pebley, who led off the Bears' Pac 12 champion 400 medley relay, became a collegiate individual All-American by placing seventh with a performance of 46.54.
Junior Tony Cox put in a monster swim to win the consolation final with a performance of 45.46. The mark is third best all-time in Cal history.
The first event of the night saw three relay teams swim under the American record time of 1:23.53. The 200 medley relay of Cox, senior Trevor Hoyt, Shields, and sophomore Seth Stubblefield reset the American record by four-tenths of a second to rack up the Bears' second national runner-up title of the meet with a time of 1:23.17. The quartet were out-touched by Michigan, who set a new NCAA record with a time of 1:22.27. Arizona was third in 1:23.23.
Another Bear rewrote Cal swimming history by breaking his own school record in the 400 IM. Freshman standout Josh Prenot paced to a fourth place finish with a time of 3:40.49, bettering his old mark of 3:41.36 by almost a second. In the consolation final, sophomore Adam Hinshaw finished in second place with a 3:43.28 result, the third-best all-time performance by a Bear.
Hoyt gave a lifetime best performance of 52.35 to place sixth in the 100 breaststroke.
Sophomore Will Hamilton, powered by a big swim in the morning, was the Bears' only swimmer at night in the 200 free. After qualifying in 16th place for the consolation final, he torched a 47.33 second-100 split on the way home, jumping six places to finish second in the race and 10th overall with a time of 1:33.89. This time enters Cal history as fifth best all-time.
The team of Shields, freshman Trent Williams, Adam Hinshaw and Hamilton gave the second best all-time performance in school history with a 6:16.04 mark in the 800 free relay to place fourth in the event. Florida took the title in 6:13.27.
After 14 events, the Bears trail points leader Michigan (336) by only 34.5 with 301.5 points.
The final day (Saturday) of competition will bring the milers and mid-distance swimmers into play, as the Bears take on the 1650 free, the 200 back, the 100 free, the 200 breast, the 200 fly and the 400 free relay. Top seeds for the Bears are as follows: Shields is seeded in second for the 200 fly, and defending champion Hamilton sits in fifth. Pebley will take on the 200 back as the fifth seed, and Prenot and Hoyt are seeded fifth and sixth respectively in the 200 breast.