IRVINE, CALIF. – Former Cal swimming star Tom Shields again thrived at the 2014 Phillips 66 U.S. National Championships, winning his second national title by edging Olympic legend Michael Phelps in the 100 fly Friday evening in Irvine. Shields, who on Wednesday won the 200 fly, out-touched Phelps, 51.29 to 5.30 to bring home his second gold medal of the competition.
“This is a dream come true for me,” said Shields, who swam for the Golden Bears from 2010-13 under coach David Durden and is from Huntington Beach, 25 miles from Irvine. “It has been awesome to be able to do this in front of friends and family.”
“It was an unbelievable race for Tom,” said Durden, who continues to coach Shields at Cal’s Spieker Aquatics Complex. “To capture a win over a legend like Michael Phelps is truly special for him.”
On Wednesday, Shields had topped the field in the 200 fly with a time of 1:55.09 over Olympic gold medalist Tyler Clary’s 1:56.00. Shields won a total of 17 national collegiate titles (individual and relays) during his time at Cal, helping the Bears win NCAA team titles in 2011 and 2012 under Durden.
Another top swim for a Cal swimmer on Friday was junior Josh Prenot placing third in the 400 IM with a time of 4:14.85. It was Prenot’s second bronze of the U.S. Nationals. On Thursday, Prenot was third in the 200 breast with a career-best 2:10.43. He was the 2013 Pac-12 Newcomer of the Year and is a two-time conference champion in the 400 IM.
The Bears’ men’s swimming program has been well represented so far at the U.S. Nationals. Besides the exploits of Shields and Prenot, sophomore-to-be Ryan Murphy finished second in the 200-meter back. Murphy was edged out by 2012 London Olympic gold medalist Tyler Clary 1:54.73 to 1:55.99.
On Wednesday, Nathan Adrian, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist in the 100 free, won the U.S. National meet in that event with a mark of 48.31, topping Ryan Lochte’s 48.96. Adrian, Shields, Murphy and Prenot have now all qualified for the Pan Pacific Championships, Aug. 21-24, in Gold Coast, Australia.