Fourth-Ranked Men's Swimming Host No. 2 Stanford

Feb. 5, 2007

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The fourth-ranked California Golden Bears will host No. 2 Stanford on Saturday, Feb. 10, at 1 p.m. (PT) in the Dual Meet of the Week. The meet will be held at Spieker Aquatics Complex. The winner will earn five points towards to Lexus-Gauntlet trophy. The Golden Bear divers will travel to the Pac-10 Diving Championship, starting Friday, Feb. 9 and concluding Saturday, Feb. 10. On Friday, Jan. 26, Cal rolled over USC 170-110, picking up there second Pac-10 dual meet victories.

The Pac-10 divers will converge on Federal Way, Wash., on Feb. 9-10, for the 2007 Pac-10 Diving Championships, hosted by USC. At last year's championship, Arizona State's Joona Puhakka won his fourth straight Pac-10 one-meter and three-meter title. Last year his scores were 417.00 on the one-meter and 429.80 on the three-meter springboard. Puhakka, a native of Helsinki, Finland, was named Pac-10 Diver of the Year, also for the fourth consecutive year. Golden Bear Sam Helvie was last year's highest finisher for Cal on the platform, placing fourth (271.35) and the three-meter, ninth (283.15). Javier Rivas was Cal's highest finisher on the one-meter, finishing the eight (271.85).

MAKING A SPLASH IN THE RECORDS:At the Dallas Morning News Invitational sophomore diver Sam Helvie not only won both the one-meter (358.25) and posted his career-best of 381.15 on the three-meter, but he left the invitational as the highest scoring diver of the two-day event, his marks on the one-meter and the three-meter broke previous schools records of Louie Gagnet (2004-05). Gagnet's former school records on the one-meter was 346.20 set in 2004 and his three-meter score of 368.62 was set in 2005. Prior to the Dallas Morning News Invitational, Helvie had recorded his season-best marks at the Georgia Invitational, on the three-meter with his final mark of 319.60. To open the Pac-10 season, Helvie swept both the one and three-meter dives against Arizona. Helvie posted a 358.10 in the one-meter and a 375.00 in the three-meter.

JAVIER THE GREAT:Junior Javier Rivas, has posted his season-best marks on the one-meter of 287.05 at the Georgia Invitational, finishing second. Against USC, Rivas scored his highest-mark of the season on the three-meter. With his score of 306.45, he finished third. In the meet against Cal State Fullerton, Rivas won the one-meter board with his marks of 278.85. He also finished third at three meters with his final score of 236.18. Rivas' career-best in the one-meter board is 279.53 and in the three-meter board (329.93).

LAST TIME IN THE POOL:The fourth-ranked California men's swimming and diving team upended No. 6 USC, 170-110, on in Berkeley. The Bears got off to a fast start finishing in the top two spots in the 200y free medley relay. The group of David Russell, Richard Hunter, Jernej Godec and William Copeland won the race with their time of 1:27.16. The squad of Guy Barnea, Graham Lentz, Dominic Cathey and Joe Whittington came in second with their time of 1:29.25. In the 1650 free, Daniel Lysaught finished second behind USC's Larsen Jensen (15:12.45) with his time of 15:17.19. Michael Jafari (15:33.77) Aaron Casey (15:37.48) finished third and fourth respectively. Dominik Meichtry claimed his fourth straight 500 free title, by beating USC's Jensen (4:23.78) by 4.13 seconds. Meichtry's winning time was 4:19.47. Meichtry also won his fourth 200 free of the season with his time 1:36.11. Nathan Adrian fell behind Meichtry after being clocked at 1:46.98 and Louis Vayo finished third at 1:37.82. David Russell claimed the 100 backstroke with his time of 47.71. Guy Barnea (48.37) finished second and Mark Eckert finished third (51.04). In the 100 breaststroke Richard Hunter finished second behind USC's Mishi Flaskay (54.67) with his time of 55.81. Hunter also finished fourth in the 200 breast after being clocked at 2:06.28. In the 200 fly the Bears swept the first two spots with, Patrick O'Neil (1:46.33) and Matt Scanlan (1:47.23) finished first and second, respectively. Justin Pollard finished third in the race with his time of 1:49.53. Jernej Godec claimed his second straight 50 free, with his time of 19.91 against the Trojan. Godec also won the 100 fly with his time of 47.52. Patrick O'Neil fell in second with his time of 47.62 also in the 100 fly. William Copeland finished second in the 50 free (20.03) and also claimed the 100 free title with his time of 44.37. Adrian finished second (44.70) and Joe Whittington came in third (45.61) also in the 100 free. In the 200 back, Mark Eckert won after being clocked 1:44.06. Guy Barnea (1:45.05) and David Russell (1:47.06) topped out the top three positions. On Jan. 19, Cal and USC competed in diving, with the marks entered into the scoring for the Jan. 26 meet. In the three-meter, Javier Rivas finished third with his mark of 306.45. Mark Wes (267.98) and Sam Helvie (223.72) finished fourth and fifth respectively. Sam Helvie finished second on the one-meter with his mark of 326.55. Rivas finished fourth (263.25).

No. 2 Stanford, has won the Pac-10 title for the past 25 years, has found success in 2007. The Cardinal is 4-0 in dual meets this year including recent wins over USC (141-95), Arizona (129-112) and Arizona State (169-129). Several Stanford swimmers have already met the NCAA qualifying 'A' standard. The list includes Shaun Phillips in the 200 free (1:34.84), the 500 free (4:16.31) and the 1650 free (14:51.77), Hongzhe Sun in the 200 fly (1:44.00), the 100 back (47.29), the 200 back (1:41.98) and the 200 IM (1:46.19) and Nate Cass in the 200 breast (1:55.63). In there last meet against USC, Shaun Phillips swam the 500 free in a time of 4:27.71 while chalking up a time of 15:10.15 in the 1650 free. Dwight Dumais captured the one-meter diving event with 336.82 points and three-meter diving with 356.40 points.

Junior Dominik Meichtry picked up his fifth individual title in the 500 free against USC. He beat USC's Larsen Jensen, by 4.13 seconds, with his winning time was 4:19.47. At the Dallas Morning News Invitational, he won the event with his time of 4:19.26. Against Arizona State he won the 500 free with his time of 4:26.34. At the Husky Invitational, in early December, he swam a season-best in the 500 free of 4:18.72. His first victory in the 500 free was against Cal State Bakersfield after being clocked at 4:32.43. Meichtry has also won four 200 free events (Husky Invitational, Arizona, Arizona State and USC).

During last year's season, Jernej Godec set his Cal career-time of 19.58 in the 50 free. This season he broke that time in the prelims of the 50 free at the Husky Invitational and has since won the event three times. In the prelims, at the Husky Invitational, the junior swam his career-best 19.52, winning his heat. He followed up his performance with a second-place finish after being clocked at 19.85 in the finals. He has shown strength in the race after the Husky Invitational, with his latest win against USC (19.91). Against Arizona in the 50-long course free he won with a time of 23.62. Against Arizona State and Michigan, Godec finished second with his time of 20.49. Then at the Dallas Morning News Invitational, Godec won the race with his time of 19.95.

Against USC senior Patrick O'Neil secured his fourth individual honor of the season in the 200 fly. The Roseburg, Ore., native won the event with his season-best time of 1:46.33. He also captured the 200 fly titles at the Husky Invitational (t 1:46.40), against Arizona State, Michigan (1:48.92) and at the Dallas Morning News Invitational (1:46.75). In his final season in Berkeley, he has also won one 100 fly title and one 200 IM title.

A + Adrian:
A major addition to the Bears, freshman Nathan Adrian has already made a statement in his opening campaign. Adrian has captured titles in the 200 free (twice), 50 free (once) and 100 free (once). His 100-free time of 44.27 from the Texas/Indiana meet is the team's top time in that event. Adrian has also swam the first leg of the Bears' 400-free relay team, which has won the event at four consecutive competitions (Cal State Fullerton, Texas/Indiana, Stanford Relays and Husky Invitational), including the team's best time of 2:54.17 at the Husky Invitational.

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) .

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.

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.

The Golden Bear swimmers will compete at the Pac-10 Championships, in Federal Way, Wash., beginning on Wednesday, Feb. 21, running through Saturday, Feb. 24.

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