This Week: The Cal men’s swimming team (8-0, 4-0, winners of 15-straight dual meets) - the 2011 and 2012 NCAA team champions and the 2013 and 2014 Pac-12 team champions - competes at the 2014 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships this week (Thur.-Sat., March 27-29) at the Lee and Joe Jamail Swimming Center in Austin, Texas. Last season, the Golden Bears finish as the national runners-up, trailing only Michigan, 480-406.5. Live streaming of Day two and three of the finals will be shown on ESPN3 and ESPNU will be airing a 90-minute show recapping the 2014 NCAA meet on Wednesday, April 9 at 5 p.m. Pacific Time. David Durden’s squad returns 13 members from last year’s NCAA squad and will again vie for the national crown in 2014 after winning the Pac-12 title for the second year in a row. Leading the Bears are two individual champions from 2012 – senior Marcin Tarczynski (200 individual medley) and junior Will Hamilton (200 butterfly) – plus four members (senior Shayne Fleming, juniors Seth Stubblefield and Fabio Gimondi, sophomore Tyler Messerschmidt) of NCAA championship relays in 2012. Additionally, Cal features standout sophomores Josh Prenot (2013 Pac-12 Newcomer of the Year, two-time 400 IM conference champ) and Jacob Pebley (third at the 2013 NCAAs in the 200 backstroke), plus star freshman Ryan Murphy, 2014 Pac-12 champion in the 100 and 200 back (school record 1:39.21). The Bears were also the 2014 league champions in the 200 free relay (1:16.67) behind the swims of Messerschmidt, Murphy, senior Tony Cox and Stubblefied.
Golden Bears Gear Up For NCAAs: Murphy (Ponte Verde, Fla.) is seeded second in the 200 back (1:39.21) and fifth in the 100 back (45.59) after winning those two events at the 2014 Pac-12 meet. Following Cal’s dual meet wins over the Arizona schools, Murphy was named CollegeSwimming.com’s Swimmer of the Week with wins in the 100 free, 200 free, 100 back and 200 back. Other top seedings for Cal entering this year’s NCAA meet include Pebley seeded fifth in the 200 back (1:40.38), Prenot seeded seventh in the 400 IM (3:42.20) and Messerschmidt seeded ninth in the 100 free (42.44). Additionally, all five of the Bears’ relays are seeded in the Top 10 nationally. Cal’s 200 medley relay is seeded third (1:23.91, Murphy, junior Chuck Katis, Cox, Messerschmit), the 200 free relay is seeded fourth (1:16.67, Messerschmidt, Murphy, Cox Stubblefield), the 800 free relay is seeded fifth (6:16.41, sophomore Trent Williams, Stubblefield, freshman Long Gutierrez, Hamilton), the 400 medley relay is seeded seventh (3:05.95, Murphy, Katis, Tarczynski, Messerschmidt) and the 400 free relay is seeded eighth (2:51.16, Messerschmidt, Murphy, Gimondi, Stubblefield).
2012-13 in Review:David Durden earned his fourth straight Pac-12 Men’s Swimming Coach of the Year honor in 2013 after the Bears finished 7-0 in dual meets and broke Stanford’s streak of 31 straight conference team titles. Tom Shields won 2013 national titles in the 100 and 200 fly, while the Bears’ 200 and 400 medley relays both placed second. Other top finishes for Cal at the 2013 NCAA meet were Pebley placing third in the 200 back, Prenot finishing fourth in the 400 IM and Tarczynski placing fifth in both the 100 fly and the 200 IM. In all, Durden has helped drive the Bears to 16 individual NCAA titles and nine NCAA champion relays since 2008. In addition, he has guided Cal athletes to 29 individual Pac-10/12 titles and 16 conference relay titles.
Head Coach David Durden:David Durden, in his seventh year leading the Cal men’s swimming and diving program, has led the Golden Bears to national team titles in 2011 and 2012 and a national runner-up finish in 2013. Durden has been named NCAA Coach of the Meet three times and Pac-12 Coach of the Year four seasons in a row. In six years, he has led the Bears to their first NCAA team title since 1980 in 2011, and then guided his squad to another national crown in 2012. This season, Durden has led his team to a 8-0 mark, the first time in school history Cal has had back-to-back undefeated seasons, as well as winning the conference title in back-to-back years for the first time since 1980-81. Before his pair of national crowns, he led the Bears to an NCAA runner-up finish in 2010 and fourth-place finishes in 2008 and 2009. Durden now owns an overall dual meet record of 39-9 (.812). He joined the Golden Bears in 2007 upon the retirement of Hall of Fame coach Nort Thornton, who is now Head Coach Emeritus. His assistant coach is Yuri Suguiyama and Cal’s diving coach is Todd Mulzet.