FEDERAL WAY, WASH. – Bolstered by a 2014 Pac-12 title in the 200 free relay and seven individual finalists, the Cal men’s swimming and diving team has jumped into first place in the team standings of the conference championships Thursday (March 6) at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash.
The Golden Bear squad of sophomore Tyler Messerschmidt, freshman Ryan Murphy, senior Tony Cox and junior Seth Stubblefield won the 200 free relay crown with a time of 1:16.67 to give Cal 271 points after six swimming events, ahead of second place Stanford’s 243 points.
Other top swims Thursday night for David Durden’s squad was sophomore Josh Prenot placing second in the 200 IM (1:43.31), followed by junior Will Hamilton’s third place (1:43.36) finish. Senior Marcin Tarczynski won the B final of the 200 IM with a time of 1:43.70.
In the 50 free, Stubblefield was the conference runner-up with a time of 19:32, while Cox was fourth (19.40) and Messerschmidt fifth (19.48). Junior Fabio Gimondi was the B final champion with a time of 19.58.
In the 500 free, senior Jeremy Bagshaw placed fourth with a mark of 4:18.02 and junior Adam Hinshaw was sixth at 4:20.67. Cal had another B final champion with freshman Long Gutierrez clocking a time of 4:20.00.
On Wednesday evening, Cal had placed second in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:23.91 behind the backstroke of freshman Ryan Murphy, the breaststroke of junior Chuck Katis, the butterfly of Cox and the freestyle of Messerschmidt.
In the 800 free relay on Wednesday, the Bears were the 2014 conference runner-ups with a time of 6:16.41 behind the swims of sophomore Trent Williams, Stubblefield, Gutierrez and Hamilton.
On 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. Prenot is the defending Pac-12 champion in the 400 IM and was named the conference’s newcomer of the year in 2013.
The Bears are looking to capture the Pac-12 team title for the second year in a row after snapping Stanford’s streak of 31 straight conference crowns last season. Cal last won back-to-back league titles during the 1980 and 1981 seasons.