Dec. 5, 2011
ATHENS, GA -Behind several outstanding swims - including three relay victories and individual wins by junior Tom Shields, junior Trevor Hoyt, senior Nolan Koon and freshman Tyler Messerschmidt - the 2011-12 California men's swimming team placed second at the Dec. 2-4 Georgia Fall Invitational at Gabrielsen Natatorium in Athens, Ga. The Golden Bears, last year's NCAA team champions, showed they are a force in collegiate swimming again this year by placing second with 812 points, trailing only Auburn's 899 points.
Behind the performances of freshman Messerschmidt, sophomore Shayne Fleming, freshman Fabio Gimondi and junior Dana Foster, Cal placed first in the 200 free relay with a time of 1:18.28. Other relay victories for the Bears included the 800 free relay (6:26.30, Shields, sophomore Sam Metz, junior Ben Hinshaw, freshman Will Hamilton) and the 200 medley relay (1:26.23, sophomore Marcin Tarczynski, senior Martin Liivamagi, Shields, Gimondi).
Individually, Shields dominated the meet by winning the 100 back (46.53), 100 fly (45.67) and 200 fly (1:43.09). His 45.67 time in the 100 fly automatically qualifies him into the 2012 NCAA championships. Shields had captured the NCAA 100 fly title as a freshman in 2010. Hoyt was the Georgia Fall Invitational champion in the 200 breast with a mark of 1:55.24, while Koon won the 100 breast in a time of 52.75. Koon, a two-time Pac-10 champion in the 200 breast and the 2011 NCAA runner-up in the 100 breast, became a 2012 NCAA automatic qualifier in the 100 breast with his 52.75.
Newcomer Messerschmidt from Phoenix, Ariz., won the 100 free with a time of 43.39 to go along with his lead-off leg of the Bears' victorious 200 free relay.
Other highlights for Cal at the Georgia Fall Invitational included the Bears placing second in the 400 free (2:57.52, Hamilton, senior Mathias Gydesen, Ben Hinshaw, freshman Seth Stubblefield) and 400 medley relay (3:12.63, senior Chris Rogers, senior Martin Liivamagi, Messerschmidt, Fleming). Koon was the runner-up in the 200 breast (1:56.18) behind Hoyt, and freshman Will Hamilton only trailed Shields in the 200 fly with a time of 1:45.82.
The Bears, lead by two-time Pac-10 and NCAA Coach of the Year David Durden, will next compete in Pac-12 dual meet competition, Friday, Jan. 20 versus Arizona (1 p.m.) and Saturday, Jan. 21 (12 p.m.) versus Arizona State at Spieker Aquatics Complex.