No. 4 Cal Hosts No. 2 Stanford

Feb. 15, 2005

BERKELEY, Calif. -

Fourth-ranked California hosts No. 2 Stanford at 1 p.m. this Saturday, Feb. 19, at Spieker Aquatics Complex in Berkeley. The Golden Bears, who did not compete last week, have an 8-0 record (3-0 Pac-10). This dual meet ends the regular season for Cal. Last year, Cal also faced Stanford in its final dual meet with the chance at a perfect record. But the host Cardinal emerged victorious, 126-117. Stanford leads the all-time series, 93-13.

This is the final home meet for five Cal seniors - swimmers John Dorr, Duje Draganja and Caleb Rowe and divers Nathaniel Dean and Louie Gagnet.

This meet counts towards this season's Lexus Gauntlet all-sports contest between Cal and Stanford. The latter currently holds a 32.5-27.5 lead over the Bears, who would earn five points and tie the Cardinal in the Lexus Gauntlet standings with a win.

The Bears have turned up the heat in the second half of the season. The return of senior Duje Draganja and junior Milorad Cavic in January has helped. Cal is again among the top relay schools in the nation, and Draganja and Cavic have swum on all of Cal's top relay teams except its 800 free relay. Cal has the fourth-best time in the 200 free relay (1:19.92, NCAA B), the second-best time in the 400 free relay (2:55.30, NCAA B), the 11th-best time in the 800 free relay (6:37.23, NCAA B), the sixth-best times in the 200 medley relay (1:28.70) and the 10th-best time in the 400 medley relay (3:16.11, NCAA B). All of those relay marks have come in 2005.

On Jan. 21 at Arizona State, Draganja swam an automatic NCAA qualifying mark (19.73) in the 50-yard freestyle that is also the third-best time in the country. He also holds the nation's 12th-best time (47.88, NCAA B mark) in the 100 butterfly. In the 100 free, sophomore Rolandas Gimbutis (43.56, NCAA B), Draganja (43.57, NCAA B) and Cavic (43.78, NCAA B) have the seventh-, eighth- and ninth-best times, respectively, in the country. Cavic also has the 12th-best time in the 100 backstroke (48.40, NCAA B). Junior Henrique Barbosa currently holds the third-best time (54.06, NCAA B) in the 100 breaststroke and the 13th-best time in the 200 breaststroke (1:58.91, NCAA B). In the 1650 free, sophomore Daniel Lysaught stands 11th in the nation (15:17.68, NCAA B), while sophomore Patrick O'Neil has the 13th-best time (1:46.84, NCAA B) in the 200 fly.

Former U.S. Olympic coach Skip Kenney is in his 25th year as head coach at Stanford. Like Cal, Stanford enters this meet unbeaten, with a 5-0 record (3-0 Pac-10), and hasn't lost a dual meet since the 1999-2000 season. Stanford also had last week off after beating USC, 179-116, on Feb. 5. Other common opponents that the Cardinal has beaten are Arizona (155-82), Arizona State (130-103), Pacific (144-107) and Michigan (136-102). On Nov. 10, Cal won four out of six categories, and 12 out of 20 overall events, against the Cardinal in a non-scoring Triple Distance Meet at Stanford.

The Cardinal has loads of talent in most individual events, particularly in the 200 free (Andy Grant, 1:34.54, nation's third-best time, NCAA A), 1650 free (Shaun Phillips, 15:06.67, nation's third-best time, NCAA B), 100 back (Hongzhe Sun, 47.72, nation's fifth-best time, NCAA B; Jayme Cramer (47.81, nation's sixth-best time, NCAA B), 100 breaststroke (Gary Marshall, 54:07, nation's fourth-best time, NCAA B), 200 breaststroke (Gary Marshall, 1:56.70, nation's second-best time, NCAA A), 100 fly (Jayme Cramer, 47:37, nation's third-best time, NCAA B; Matt McDonald, 47:84, nation's ninth-best time, NCAA B) and 200 fly (Hongzhe Sun, 1:45.58, nation's sixth-best time, NCAA B; Matt McDonald, 1:45.91, nation's eighth-best time, NCAA B; Jayme Cramer, 1:46.14, nation's 10th-best time, NCAA B). Cal has the edge in the freestyle relays, but Stanford has better times in the medley relays. The Cardinal has swum the nation's fourth-best time of 1:28.42 (NCAA B) in the 200 to Cal's No. 6 time and the nation's sixth-best time in the 400 (3:14.77, NCAA B) to Cal's No. 10 time.

Fourth-ranked California won 10 of 15 events on Friday, Feb. 4, to defeat No. 7 USC, 161-136, in a dual meet at Spieker Aquatics Complex in Berkeley. The Golden Bears improved their record to 8-0 (3-0 Pac-10) this season.

Three of Cal's 2004 Olympians - Henrique Barbosa, Milorad Cavic and Duje Draganja - won two events each and swam on the winning 200-yard medley relay to lead the Bears to victory despite a strong performance from USC's Larsen Jensen. The Cal A team of Cavic, Barbosa, Jonas Tilly and Draganja opened Fridays' action with an NCAA B qualifying time of 1:28.70 to beat USC's A squad (1:29.83). Cal's time is its best of the season in the 200 medley relay.

Jensen, a U.S. Olympian in Athens, won the day's second race - the 1000-yard freestyle (8:58.48) - later won the 500 free (4:26.59, NCAA B qualifying time) and took second in the 400 individual medley (4:03.52).

But after USC's Ous Mellouli won the 200 free (1:37.42, NCAA B qualifying time), Cal won seven of the next eight events. During that span, Barbosa, a junior, won both breaststroke events and Draganja, a senior, won the 50 (19.79, NCAA B qualifying time) and 100 (43.57, NCAA B qualifying time) frees. Draganja, who competed in Athens for Croatia, now holds Cal's top time in the 100 free this season. Barbosa took home the meet's closest victory in the 100 breaststroke, overtaking USC's Mihaly Flaskay in the final yards to win in an NCAA B qualifying time, 55.54-55.59. The Brazilian Olympian later won the 200 breaststroke (2:00.86) in another NCAA B mark.

Cavic, a junior who competed in Athens for Serbia and Montenegro, won the 100 backstroke (48.92) and 100 butterfly (48.83). Other Cal winners included sophomore Patrick O'Neil with the Bears' best time of the season in the 200 fly (1:46.84, NCAA B qualifying time) and freshman Louis Vayo with the Bears' best time of the season in the 200 back (1:47.14, NCAA B qualifying time). Senior teammate Louie Gagnet won the three-meter springboard with a score of 335.33 and took second on the one-meter board with a 323.93.

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