March 23, 2012
FEDERAL WAY, WASH. -Led by junior standout Tom Shields' national titles in the 100 fly and the 100 back, the Cal men's swimming team continued its assault on another NCAA team title Friday night (March 23) during Day Two of the 2012 NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships held at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash. After 14 events, the Golden Bears hold a 379.5-343.5 lead over second place Texas.
Last season, Cal captured its first NCAA team title in 31 years under head coach David Durden. Now Durden and the Bears are attempting to win back-to-back national titles in swimming for the first time since the 1979 and 1980 seasons under former head coach Nort Thornton (now Head Coach Emeritus).
Shields, who won the NCAA title in the 100 fly as a freshman in 2010 and won the 100 back crown in 2011, continues to show why he one of the most versatile swimmers in collegiate swimming. He won the 100 fly and the 100 back in school record times of 44.76 and 44.86, respectively, surpassing former school records Shields had established in 2011. On Friday, Shields swam the butterfly leg of the Bears' NCAA champion 400 medley relay. He is currently a nine-time NCAA champion, winning four individual titles and being a part of five national championship relays.
Further highlights for Cal in Day Two included a national runner-up finish in both the 200 medley relay (1:23.53, senior Mathias Gydesen, senior Martin Liivamagi, Shields, freshman Tyler Messerschmidt) and 800 free relay (school record 6:15.70, Shields, sophomore Sam Metz, freshman Will Hamilton, junior Ben Hinshaw).
Additional points were garnered by the Bears with Liivamagi's third place finish in the 100 breast with a time of 51.93. Senior Nolan Koon placed fifth (52.42), junior Trevor Hoyt sixth (52.55) and freshman Christian Higgins was 13th (53.32) in the 100 breast as well to give Cal 47 points in that event.
Besides Shield's win in the 100 back, sophomore Marcin Tarczynski was fifth with a time of 46.02, and senior Mathias Gydesen was the B Final champion with a mark of 46.52. Gydesen was also seventh in the 100 fly with a time of 46.36.
Brothers Adam and Ben Hinshaw were point scorers for the Bears in the 400 IM. Freshman Adam placed fifth in the finals with a time of 3:44.74, while junior Ben placed 11th with a time of 3:44.65. In the 200 free, freshman Will Hamilton placed 10th (1:34.44) and freshman Tyler Messerschmidt was 12th (1:35.04).
Cal also ended the first day with a relay victory, taking the national title in the 400 medley relay (3:03.24) behind the swims of Gydesen, Koon, Shields and Messerschmidt. It was the third year in-a-row the Bears have won the national title in the 400 medley relay.
Coach David Durden's squad also produced an individual national champion during Day One of the NCAAs with Tarczynski capturing the 200 IM with a school record time of 1:41.97. Tarczynski broke the record that had been set by Liivamagi, who swam a time of 1:43.05 in 2010. Liivamagi placed fourth in the 200 IM at this year's NCAAs with a mark of 1:42.90.
On Saturday in the final day of competition, the Bears will be swimming the 1650 free, the 200 back, the 100 free, the 200 breast, the 200 fly and the 400 free relay. Cal's 400 free relay of Messerschmidt, Fleming, Gimondi and Shields is seeded first entering the NCAA championships.