No. 6 Cal signs five swimmers, one diver

Dec. 7, 2004

BERKELEY, Calif. - The No.-6 ranked California men's swimming and diving team has signed an impressive recruiting class of five swimmers and one diver, swimming coach Nort Thornton and diving coach Ron Kontura announced today. Topping the list are Matt Scanlan and David Russell, who is perhaps the most improved backstroker in the United States over the past year. Their future Golden Bears teammates include Ian Lentz, the younger brother of current Bears swimmer Graham Lentz, Graeme Baldwin, Nate Rogers and diver Sam Helvie.

Scanlan is a product of Bakersfield, Calif., who may swim the the butterfly, backstroke and freestyle at Cal. A current senior at Stockdale High School, Scanlan also swims for the Aquatic Club of Bakersfield. The high school All-American swam at last summer's ConocoPhillips National Championships, taking fourth place in the 200-meter backstroke with a time of 2:05.09 and fifth place in the 100-meter butterfly with a time of 54.81.

There were actually four current or future Bears in the 200 backstroke final, as Russell, an All-American from Wellesley, Mass., was the runner-up in the 200 back with a time of 2:02.65. He beat current Bear Louis Vayo, who was third in 2:03.06. In sixth place was Cal senior Steve Rehrmann in 2:06.73. Russell also took second in the 100 back in 57.06. More recently, Russell took second in the 200-meter back at the U.S. Open Championships on Dec. 2 in San Antonio, Texas, with a time of 2:04.82. A current senior at Wellesley High School, Rusell also swims for the New England Barracudas club.

Lentz, from Petaluma, Calif., attends Casa Grande High School and also swims for Twin Valley Aquatics. Last spring the All-American became the first North Bay League swimmer ever to qualify for all 11 North Coast Section events. At NCS, he swam the fourth best time in the state in the 200 individual medley with a 1:52.05, just edging Scanlan's time of 1:52.19 that the latter swam at Central Coast Section. Lentz, like Scanlan, could swim a variety of events for Cal.

Rogers is an All-American freestyler from Albuquerque, N.M., who attends Sandia Prep and also swims for Lobo Aquatics. He is the two-time New Mexico state champion in the 100 and 200 freestyle. Rogers also broke the 26-year-old state record in the 200 free, swimming a 1:41.54 at the state meet last February.

The 6-8 Baldwin is a breaststroker from Arroyo Grande, Calif, who was also being recruited by Iowa and Indiana. He finished third in the state in the 100 breaststroke and sixth in the 100 freestyle as a junior. Baldwin, who attends Arroyo Grande High School, also posted an All-American consideration time in the 100 breast.

Helvie, like Scanlan, hails from Bakersfield, Calif., and goes to Garces Memorial High School, the same school that produced current Cal freshman swimmer Joe Whittington. The National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association named Helvie a high school All-American for the 2003-04 season and ranked him the fifth-best diver in the independent category. Helvie also competes for Kern River Divers.

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