Cal Men's Swimming Finishes Sixth at 2002 NCAA Championships
March 30, 2002
ATHENS, GA - The California men's swim team, behind national titles won by Anthony Ervin in the 100 freestyle and the Bears winning the 400 free relay, placed sixth (271 points) at the 2002 NCAA Championships at Gabrielsen Natatorium in Athens, GA.
Cal has now finished in the Top 10 nationally 23 of 28 years coached by Nort Thornton.
Ervin won the 100 free NCAA title for the third year in a row (it was the 100-meter free in 2000) and broke his own NCAA, American and U.S. Open record he had shared with Matt Biondi with a time of 41.62. The old record he had set last year and Biondi set in 1987 was 41.80. Ervin's teammate, freshman Duje Draganja, who was the 2002 Pac-10 champion in the 100 free, was the national runner-up with a time of 42.22.
Ervin and Draganja also helped lead Cal to the 2002 NCAA title in the 400 free relay with a time of 2:50.01. Draganja swam lead-off, Ervin second, senior Matt Macedo third and senior Mattias Ohlin was the anchor leg.
Other top swims on the final day of the NCAAs was Macedo placing seventh in the 100 free (43.69) and sophomore Alex Lim finishing eighth in the 200 back (1:44.27).
On Friday the highlights for the Bears was Alex Lim finishing as the national runner-up in the 100 back with a school record time of 46.05. Also on Friday, Cal's 200 medley relay and 800 free relay placed fourth in the nation. Lim, senior Bayani Flores, Draganja and Ervin helped the Bears swim a school record 1:26.02 in the 200 medley relay. Members of Cal's 800 free relay were junior Joe Bruckart, Flores, Ohlin and senior Sean Gruver (6:27.01). Other top swims were Macedo placing ninth in the 100 back (47.67), Bruckart finishing 10th in the 200 free (1:36.28) and Flores placing 13th in the 100 breast (54.55)
On Thursday, Ervin, the 2000 Olympic gold medalist in the 50-meter free, placed second in the 50-yard free with a school record time of 19.10 (beating his own record of 19.11 set last year), trailing only Arizona's Roland Schoeman's mark of 19.08. Ervin was the national runner-up in the 50 free last season as well.
The Bears 200 free relay team of Ervin, Ohlin, Macedo and Draganja set a new school record with a time of 1:16.89. Cal's mark was also a new NCAA, American and U.S. Open record, unfortunately, the Bears were topped by Stanford's record time of 1:16.49.
Other top swims for Cal Thursday included Bruckart placing ninth (1:45.72) and Flores 11th (1:49.11) in the 200 IM. Draganja was also 11th in the 50 free with a time of 19.86. The Bears 400 medley relay team (Lim, Flores, Ohlin, Ervin) was disqualified after swimming a school record time of 3:09.65 in the prelims. Complete results of the NCAAs can be found on either www.georgiadogs.com or www.ncaachampionships.com.
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