Cal Competes at Dallas Morning News Invitational

Jan. 14, 2003

GOLDEN BEARS SWIM DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS: Several members of the No. 4 University of California men's swimming team (2-0) head to Texas this week to compete in the Dallas Morning News Swimming & Diving Classic. Other team members will stay in Berkeley to host the Cal Invitational Sat., Jan. 18-20 at Spieker Aquatics Complex. The invitational is an all-comers meet that will feature swimmers from several local Bay Area schools and club teams.

LOOKING BACK TO LAST YEAR'S CLASSIC: The Bears captured the meet with 328 points, followed by Tennessee (292), host SMU (279), Florida (275), Texas A&M (261) and Auburn (227). Alex Lim paced Cal by winning the 100 back (47.62 meet record and pool record), 200 back (1:45.02) and the 200 fly (1:46.16). Additional individual winners for Cal included Olympian Anthony Ervin, who won both the 50 free (19.46 NCAA qualifying) and the 100 free (43.29 NCAA qualifying, pool record), and Mathias Ohlin, who won the 100 fly (49.03). In the relays, the Bears dominated the meet by winning the 400 free relay (meet record 2:56.09 - Duje Draganja, Ervin, Matt Macedo, Bayani Flores), 200 free relay (meet record 1:19.86 - Draganja, Ervin, Macedo, Ohlin) and the 800 free relay (meet record 6:36.24 - Joe Bruckart, Flores, Ohlin, Macedo).

BEARS BEST No. 1 MICHIGAN: Cal defeated the No. 1 team in the country, Michigan, 129-114 last Saturday at Spieker Aquatics Complex. The Bears trailed the Wolverines, 105-102 with just two events left, but pulled through to earn the victory. Michigan won seven of the individual events to Cal's four, but the Bears took both relay events. Cal's sprinters swept the top five spots in the 50 free and the top three places in the 100 free. Freshman Michael Cavic won the 50 free (20.34), while Draganja won the 100 free (43.53). Other Bears with individual wins included sophomore Caleb Rowe's victory in the 200 breast (2:00.98) and senior Nic Bartolotta's win in the one-meter diving competition (332.33).

2002 FALL REVIEW: Cal made the most out of its fall swim meets. The Bears started the 2002-03 season off right, posting a 163-91 victory over the Pacific Tigers at home in early October. Cal captured every event in that meet, with freshmen Cavic, Ryan Lean and Jens Thiele victorious in two events apiece. The squad was next in action at the Pacific Invitational in Stockton, CA. The Bears (353.50) finished fourth in the Division I category behind Stanford (1,085.50), Brigham Young (605) and Pacific (443). The team hosted a triple-distance exhibition meet against Stanford in late November. The nontraditional meet featured each swimmer's combined times over an event with the best total performance marking the winner. Cal won the backstroke and sprint freestyle categories. The Bears' final meet of 2002 came at the Texas Invitational where Cal broke several meet records and won seven overall events. Diving highlights include senior Nic Bartolotta's win in the one-meter springboard (609.35) event at the USC Diving Invitational held in early November.

SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS: Southern Methodist University hosts the 21st annual Dallas Morning News Swimming & Diving Classic. The meet features six teams that all placed in the top 15 at the 2002 NCAA Championships. This year's teams include host SMU, No. 6 Florida, No. 7 Minnesota, No. 12 Arizona State and No. 13 Georgia. (Those rankings are from Dec. 10th and do not reflect Cal's recent win over No. 1 Michigan.) Cal's participants in the meet include Bruckart, Cavic, Draganja, Lim, freshmen Miguel Molina and Jens Thiele, sophomore John Dorr and senior Quentin Byma. Senior diver Bartolotta will also be making the trip. Florida went 6-1 in dual meets during the fall season. Junior sprinter Carlos Jayme is a force for the Gators and has posted NCAA consideration times in three events this season (50, 100 and 200 free). Minnesota went 2-0 in the fall and performed well in several invitational meets. The Gophers' head men's swimming coach, Dennis Dale, was recently selected as an assistant coach for the World University Games. Arizona State (4-2) defeated Missouri and Wyoming in a double dual meet in early January. Backstroker Christian Harcsas has posted an NCAA qualifying time in the 200 back and a consideration performance in the 100 back, while Nick Brunelli has national consideration times in the 50, 100 and 200 free. Georgia (6-2) recently lost a dual meet to Texas and earlier in the year suffered a defeat at the hands of fellow SEC member, Florida. SMU went 3-0 in fall dual meets and most recently took 3rd place at the Northwestern Invitational. Several Mustang divers performed well at the Speedo American Cup last weekend.

HEAD COACH NORT THORNTON: Nort Thornton, the 1999 Pac-10 Coach of the Year, is in his 29th season as the skipper of the Cal men's swimming team. Thornton, the dean of Pac-10 swimming coaches, sports a career dual meet record of 202-79 (.719) with the Golden Bears and his 2002 squad finished sixth at the NCAA Championships. Thornton led Cal to back-to-back NCAA titles in 1979 and 1980, and his teams have finished in the Top 10 nationally 23 of the 28 years he has directed the Bears.

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