KNOXVILLE, TENN. – In an impressive display of talent, the Cal 400 free relay team of sophomore Tyler Messerschmidt, freshman Ryan Murphy, senior Fabio Gimondi and junior Seth Stubblefield won in the final event of the 2013 Winter Nationals Saturday (Dec. 7) with a time of 2:51.16. The relay victory was the highlight for David Durden’s squad at the prestigious three-day meet held in Knoxville, Tenn. and sponsored by USA Swimming.
Sophomore Jacob Pebley produced another silver medal for the Golden Bears earlier in the day. Pebley, from Corvallis, Ore., finished with a time of 1:40.72 in the 200 back to edge out freshman teammate Ryan Murphy, who won the bronze with a mark of 1:41.02. Murphy had the top time in the 200 back prelims at 1:41.52.
Other highlights for Cal Saturday was star alum Nathan Adrian winning the 100 free (41.39), two days after having won the 50 free on Thursday (18.89).
The Bears also had a pair of swimmers competing in the finals of the 200 fly on Saturday. Junior Will Hamilton finished fourth with a time of 1:43.33, and senior Marcin Tarczynski was sixth at 1:44.40.
In the 200 breast final, sophomore Josh Prenot placed seventh with a time of 1:55.17. The Bears had three swimmers score points in the 1650 free, highlighted by senior Jeremy Bagshaw sixth-place finish with a 14:56.00.
Cal ended the 2013 Winter Nationals third in the team standings with 214.50 points, trailing only defending NCAA champion Michigan (318) and SwimMAC Carolina (262).
On Friday, Prenot had won a silver medal in the 400 IM (3:43.86) and Murphy a bronze in the 100 back (45.77). The Bears were also second in the 800 free relay (6:24.43) behind the swims of Messerschmidt, freshman Long Gutierrez, sophomore Trent Williams and Bagshaw.
Additionally, Cal had its second alum win a gold medal, as standout breaststroker Damir Dugonjic, who competed for David Durden’s squad from 2008-2011, placed first in the 100 breast (51.93).
Additional top swims Friday were Hinshaw placing fourth in the 400 IM with a time of 3:48.67, and Pebley finishing sixth in the 100 back final with a mark of 46.76. Cal’s Murphy, senior Ryan Studebaker, Tarczynski and Messerschmidt placed fifth in the 200 medley relay (1:26.64), while Gutierrez was the B Final champion (ninth place) in the 200 free (1:36.08).
On Thursday, the Bears started the meet with a second-place finish in the 200 free relay (1:17.78) behind strong swims from Murphy, Messerschmidt, junior Henry Chung and Stubblefield. Cal also garnered a pair of fourth-place finishes. Bagshaw was fourth in the 500 free with a time of 4:16.15, and Prenot finished fourth in the 200 IM with a mark of 1:44.18.In the 50 free final, Messerschmidt was seventh in the 50 free with a time of 19.64. In the last event Thursday, the Bears’ 400 medley relay team of Murphy, Prenot, Stubblefield and senior Fabio Gimondi placed fifth with a mark of 3:10.56.