March 5, 2009
LONG BEACH, CALIF. - Cal sophomores Nathan Adrian and Martti Aljand both were phenomenal during the second day of the 2009 Pac-10 Swimming Championships at the Belmont Plaza Pool in Long Beach. Adrian won the 50 free in a Pac-10 and American record time of 18.82, while Aljand captured the 200 IM in a conference record time of 1:43.59. After seven events, the No. 6-ranked Golden Bears sit in second place behind top-ranked Stanford, 328.5-260. Defending 2008 national champion Arizona is in third place (216), followed by USC (123), Arizona State (120.5) and Washington (116).
Adrian's time in the 50 free topped his own school of 18.94 set in December, and also broke the Pac-10 meet record of 19.11 set by Cal Olympian Anthony Ervin in 2002. Bear sophomore Graeme Moore finished fifth in the 50 free with a time of 19.40, senior Bennett Clark was ninth (19.64) and sophomore Josh Daniels placed 16th (20.08).
In the 200 IM, Cal finished 1-2 with Aljand's record-breaking time of 1:43.59 and freshman Nolan Koon placing second with a mark of 1:44.10. Both Aljand's and Koon's time broke the old Bear record of 1:44.30 set by Joe Bruckart in 2003. Freshman Martin Liivamagi also had a strong swim in the 200 IM, placing fourth with a time of 1:44.57, while senior Ian Lentz was sixth (1:45.45) and junior Sean Mahoney placed 12th (1:46.37).
The Cal 200 free relay team of Adrian, Moore, Daniels and Clark finished second to Stanford (1:15.54) with a season-best and NCAA automatic qualifying time of 1:16.36. Both the Cardinal and the Bears' 200 free relay time had topped the former Pac-10 meet record of 1:16.77 set by Cal in 2005.
"Martti (Aljand) did a great job in the 200 IM. The last 100 yards he was really sharp. And, Nolan Koon just gets better and better every time he swims." said Cal coach David Durden. "For those two guys to break the school record with the history of great IM swimmers Cal has had is really impressive. Nathan (Adrian) took care of business in the 50 free and looked very good in the second 25 yards. We knew this would be a tough day for us. We have some guys who have yet to touch the water, so we are looking to turn them loose tomorrow."
Friday's events will include the 400 IM, the 100 fly, the 200 free, the 100 breast, the 100 back and the 400 medley relay. On Wednesday, the Cal team of senior backstroker David Russell, sophomore breaststroker Damir Dugonjic, sophomore butterflyer Moore and senior freestyler Clark won the 2009 Pac-10 title in the 200 medley relay with a school record time of 1:23.98.