Bay Area Schools Shine on Day 2
March 5, 2009
LONG BEACH, Calif. - Nearly 375 miles away from the friendly confines of home, Bay Area rivals Cal and Stanford each enjoyed record-setting performances on day two of the 2009 Pacific-10 Conference Men's Swimming Championships at Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool.
After several near-misses during the first events of the meet, the No. 1 ranked Cardinal finally took home an event title in the 200-yard freestyle relay. Sophomore Alex Coville, sophomore Austin Staab, junior David Dunford and senior Jason Dunford smashed the existing conference record by nearly one second, touching the wall in 1:15.54.
The Golden Bears (1:16.36) followed, with Arizona in third in a time of 1:16.96.
Archrival Cal claimed two of the three individual events decided Thursday, breaking conference and meet records in the process.
In the 50-yard freestyle, sophomore Nathan Adrian won in 18.82, breaking 2002 marks set by then-Bear Anthony Ervin.
Three swimmers from Stanford couldn't match Adrian's pace, but Staab (19.23), Jason Dunford (19.24) and Coville (19.27) did succeed in meeting NCAA qualifying times.
Sophomore Martti Aljand had earlier notched the first individual title for Cal at the meet in the 200-yard individual medley, downing freshman teammate Nolan Koon in 1:43.59.
'Nathan did a great job in the second half of the race,' Cal Coach Dave Durden said. 'Martti was really, really solid all the way through.'
Runner up Noon held off Stanford senior Nate Cass by .09 of a second. Cal dominated the race, with freshman Martin Liivamagi coming in fourth and senior Ian Lentz sixth.
With Stanford and defending NCAA champions Arizona ranked as the top two teams in the country and his own Bears rated in the top 10, Durden said the level of competition energizes his swimmers.
'Along with the environment here, you have Stanford and Arizona programs that are arguably the best in the nation. Our guys get really excited about the opportunity to race against that level of talent,' Durden said.
The Wildcats' Jean Basson cruised to an easy win in the 500-yard freestyle, the first final contested Thursday evening. Swimming from lane one, the junior defended his Pac-10 title in a time of 4:12.99.
Washington senior Scott Spansail recorded the only other NCAA automatic qualifying time in the event, finishing second in 4:15.00. A trio of Cardinal swimmers - freshman Chad LaTourette, sophomore David Mosko and freshman Trevor Scheid - rounded out the top five.
Stanford jumped to the top of the overall standings with 328.5 points. Second place Cal trails by 68.5, while Arizona has amassed 216 through seven events. USC (123) sits in fourth followed by meet host Arizona State (120.5) and Washington (116).
The 2009 Pac-10 Men's Swimming Championships continue Friday with the 400-yard individual medley, 100-yard butterfly, 200-yard freestyle, 100-yard breaststroke, 100-yard backstroke and 400-yard medley relay to be contested. Preliminaries begin at 11 a.m. with the finals set for 6 p.m.