Fourth-Ranked Men's Swimming Travels to Husky Invitational

Nov. 28, 2006

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THE WEEK:
The No. 4 California Golden Bears will head north to compete in the Husky Invitational in Seattle, Wash., on Dec. 1-3. The Bears won seven of the 10 relay events at the Stanford Relays on Nov. 8. A week earlier in Texas, the Bears dropped a meet to the No. 2 Longhorns (204-165), but picked up a win over No. 13 Indiana (210-149).

LAST TIME IN THE POOL:
The sixth-ranked California men's swimming and diving team competed at the Stanford Relays in Stanford, Calif., at the Avery Aquatics Center on the Stanford campus. The Bears won seven of the 10 relay events. The meet was a non-scoring meet. Cal finished both one and two in the 300-yard butterfly relay. The team of junior Dominic Cathey, senior Patrick O'Neil and junior Jernej Godec won the race with its time of 2:25.76. The second-place team of sophomores Matt Scanlan and Ian Lentz, and junior Justin Pollard was clocked at 2:30.26. Cal also won the 300-yard backstroke relay with its time of 2:31.27. Sophomore Ryan Emanuel swam the first leg, junior Eric Dunipace was the second leg and freshman Nathan Adrian anchored the team. In the 200-yard freestyle relay, Cal won the event with its time of 1:21.76. The winning squad consisted of Adrian, Godec, freshman Scott Sorge and junior William Copeland. Adrian was the first leg in the winning (2:59.24) 400-yard freestyle relay team. Godec swam the second leg, Copeland was the third leg and junior Dominik Meichtry anchored the winning group. In the 500 yard freestyle, the team of freshman Guy Barnea, Copeland, junior Louis Vayo and senior Daniel Lysaught won the race with its time of 4:04.28. The Bears also won both 400 yard medley relays. The team of junior Mark Eckert, freshman Troy Nissen, Cathey and Ian Lentz won its heat with the time of 3:24.38. Eckert joined junior Richard Hunter, Barnea and O'Neil to win the other heat with their time of 3:25.50. The divers also competed, with Stanford snagging honors in both the one-meter and the three-meter events.

A + Adrian:
Freshman Nathan Adrian is making a statement for himself in only his first few meets. Already this season, Adrian has captured two 200-free, a 50-free and a 100-free titles. His 50 Free time of 20.08 from the Texas/Indiana meet is the team's top time in that event. He also holds the team's best times in the 100 free (44.27, 11/3-4) and the 200 free (1:38.68, 11/3-4). Adrian has also swam the first leg of the Bears' 400-free relay team, which has won the event at the last three consecutive competitions.

WILLIAM THE GREAT:
Junior William Copeland has captured two 50 Free titles so far this season. At the Pacific meet (10/13) Copeland won the event with his time of 20.86 and he also finished first against Cal State Bakersfield after being clocked at 20.72. In Texas, however, Copeland finished second behind teammate Nate Adrian in the 50 free with his season-best time of 20.23. Copeland also finished third at the Texas/Indiana meet in the 100 free with his season-best time of 44.42.

HUNTIN' FOR GOLD:
Junior Richard Hunter went undefeated in the breaststroke events against Cal State Bakersfield. Hunter won the 50 (26.32), the 100 (58.28) and 200 (2:08.18). Hunter also was the last leg in the wining 400-freestyle relay. Hunter didn't have much of a lead as freshman Troy Nissen was edging close to him, finishing second in all breaststroke events during that meet. In Texas, however, Hunter posted his season's best 56.09 in the 100 breaststroke, finishing second to Texas' Tyler O'Halloran (56.03).

HOT IN TEXAS:
Against some of the best competition in the country, Cal succeeded at winning a couple relay races against Texas and Indiana. The Bears' squad of Nathan Adrian, William Copeland, Jernej Godec and Dominik Meichtry won the 400 Free relay with its time of 2:58.91, edging Texas' team by a second. Cal also claimed honors in the 200-medley relay with its time of 1:29.91 (Russell, Hunter, Godec and Copeland) and in the 400-medley relay, with the team of David Russell, Richard Hunter, Jernej Godec and William Copeland and their time of 3:15.08.

SAVING SAM:
In his first meet off the boards, sophomore diver Sam Helvie posted his season-best marks against Texas and Indiana. In the one-meter dive, he finished third, with his score of 294.20. He also then finished fifth in the three-meter after he received the score of 284.65. Both scores are the team's best in each respective event.

GOING THE DISTANCE:
In all middle-distance and distance races, Dominik Meichtry, Daniel Lysaught and Michael Jafari finished one, two and three, respectively during the Cal State Bakerfield meet. Meichtry won all three races with his times of 1:40.87 (200 free), 4:32.43 (500 free) and 9:28.19 (1000 free). Lysaught finished second in all three after being clocked at 1:43.51 in the 200 free, 4:36.35 in the 500 free and 9:32.69 in the 1000 free. Jafari recorded third place in all three events with his times of 1:48.91 (200 free), 4:45.04 (500 free) and 9:44.06 (1000 free).

THE TALE OF FOUR:
Against Cal State Bakersfield, the Bears raced four relay teams in the 400 freestyle relay - finishing in the top four positions. The winning team of Nathan Adrian, Eric Dunipace, Ian Lentz and Richard Hunter won the race with its final time of 3:06.87. Less than a second behind that Cal quartet was he squad of William Copeland, Patrick O'Neil, Justin Pollard and Matthew Scanlan, which finished second with their time of 3:07.43. The other two teams finished third (3:13.13) and fourth (3:13.21), respectively, and Cal State Bakersfield finished fifth (3:14.35).

ALL-AMERICANS RETURN:
Cal returns 10 All-Americans from last season. Those swimmers include junior William Copeland (200-medley relay, 200-free relay, 400-free relay, 100 free), junior Jernej Godec (200-medley relay, 200-free relay, 100 fly, 50 free, 400-medley relay), junior Dominik Meichtry (200 free, 500 free, 800-free relay), senior Daniel Lysaught (500 free, 1650 free), senior Patrick O'Neil (200 fly, 100 fly), sophomore David Russell (400-medley relay), junior Louis Vayo (800-free relay, 200 back), junior Garrett Wagner (400-free relay, 800-free relay, 200 free) and junior Joe Whittington (200-free relay) .

O'NEIL'S PAN TRIP:
In August, senior Patrick O'Neil was rewarded a spot on the United States' 2007 Pan Am Games swimming team. The games will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on July 17-22, 2007.

COACHES:
Nort Thornton, who was inducted into the ASCA (American Swimming Coaches Association) Hall of Fame in September of 2002, enters his 33rd season as the director of the California men's swimming team. Thornton led the 2005-06 Golden Bears to a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Championships. A true indication of Thornton's success is the fact that Cal has finished in the Top 10 nationally in 27 of the 32 years he has been at the helm of the Golden Bears program. Thornton, the dean of all Pac-10 swimming coaches, has led the Bears to two national championships - back-to-back titles in 1979 and 1980 - and produced a stellar cast of All-Americans. The veteran coach has an impressive 226-82 career dual-meet record, has been National Coach of the Year twice and has been the Pac-10 Coach of the Year four times, most recently in 1999. Thornton is assisted by co-head coach Mike Bottom. Bottom, now in his 10th season in Berkeley, has established himself as one of the world's top sprint coaches. Under his tutelage, former Bear Duje Draganja became one of the top sprinters in the world. The Croatian took silver in the 50 freestyle at the 2004 Athens Olympics and won five titles at the 2005 NCAA Championships. Bottom has also worked with former Cal All-American Milorad Cavic, who swam on three 2005 championship relays (200 free, 400 free and 200 medley). Cavic also finished second, and Draganja was third, in the 100 fly at the 2004 NCAA Championships. Former Cal sprinter Rolandas Gimbutis was also a part of the winning 2005 relays and, individually, placed fifth in both the 50 and 100 frees at last season's NCAA Championships. This season, Tom Davidson, joins the aquatics program as the diving coach. Prior to Cal he was the diving coach at Illinois State. While at Illinois State Davidson guided Emily Hirt to her first ever NCAA Zone diving championship. Hirt placed in the top 40 regionally with a score of 204.05 on the three-meter board, but did not advance to the final round.

UP NEXT:
The Bears will open their Pac-10 slate on the road against No. 6 Arizona and No. 21 Arizona State on Jan. 5 and Jan. 6, respectively. Cal will also face No. 11 Michigan at both of those meets.

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