Draganja takes top time in 50 free prelim

March 3, 2005

LONG BEACH, Calif. - California senior Duje Draganja edged Stanford's Ben Wildman-Tobriner by .02 seconds in the preliminary race of the 50-yard freestyle at the 2005 Pac-10 Men's Swimming Championships held this morning at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool. Draganja was one of nine swimmers for the top-ranked Golden Bears who qualified for the finals tonight in the 50 freestyle, 500 freestyle and 200 individual medley. Draganja swam a Cal season-best 19.24, to Wildman-Tobriner's 19.26, to win the 50 free.

The finals for the 500 free, 200 IM and 50 free begin tonight at 6 p.m. at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool. After just two completed races, both from last night, the Bears are tied with Arizona for second place with 66 points each. Stanford leads the conference meet with 80 points.

Cal sophomore Rolandas Gimbutis (19.39), sophomore Jonas Tilly (19.65) and junior Milorad Cavic (19.80) finished 3-4-5 in the 50 free prelim. Draganja, Gimbutis and Tilly's marks were NCAA automatic qualifying times, while Cavic swam an NCAA B qualifying time.

In the first preliminary event on Thursday morning, Cal freshman John Foster finished fifth (4:19.77, NCAA B) and freshman teammate Dominik Meichtry finished seventh (4:21.98, NCAA B) in the 500 free to qualify for tonight's final. Foster's time is Cal's best this season in the 500 free. Three Bears - senior John Dorr (3rd, 1:46.18, NCAA A), junior Miguel Molina (4th, 1:46.25, NCAA A) and senior Caleb Rowe (7th, 1:47.71, NCAA B) - qualified for the 200 IM final. Dorr's time is Cal's fastest this season in the 200 IM.

California Results on Day 2 of the Pac-10 Championship Preliminaries

500-Yard Freestyle
5. John Foster 4:19.77. 7. Dominik Meichtry 4:21.98.

200-Yard Individual Medley
3. John Dorr 1:46.18. 4. Miguel Molina 1:46.25. 7. Caleb Rowe 1:47.71.

50-Yard Freestyle
1. Duje Draganja 19.24. 3. Rolandas Gimbutis 19.39. 4. Jonas Tilly 19.65. Milorad Cavic 19.80.

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