Cal Men's Swimming and Diving Wins National Title

Courtesy of CalBears.com

MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. -

The No. 1-ranked California men's swimming team, powered by national titles by senior Nathan Adrian and a victory in the 400 free relay during the final day of the meet, earned its top ranking by winning the 2011 NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships Saturday (March 26) at the Dorothy L. Shepard Pool in Minneapolis. The Golden Bears, led by fourth-year coach David Durden, won their first NCAA team title in men's swimming since capturing back to back titles under Nort Thornton in 1979-80.
In a dramatic conclusion to its national title run, Cal's 400 free relay team of senior Graeme Moore, senior Josh Daniels, sophomore Tom Shields and senior Adrian won the meet's final event with a time of 2:47.39 to give the Bears a 493 to 470.5 point victory over Texas in the team standing. Stanford placed third in the meet with 403 points.

Earlier on Saturday, Adrian won his second title of the NCAA meet by capturing the 100 free for the third straight year, recording a time of 41.10. He is the third Cal athlete to win the national title in the 100 free three years in a row, joining Olympic gold medalists Matt Biondi (1985-87) and Anthony Ervin (2000-02).

"This is such an awesome experience," said Durden of his team's national title. "I came to Cal four years ago and to be able to work with this group of seniors...it is just wonderful to be able to finish this way with them. I couldn't be more thrilled."

Along with Adrian's victory in the 100 free and the 400 free relay win, the Bears had several other swims that led to the national title Saturday. Senior Martti Aljand was the national runner-up in the 200 breast with a time of 1:58.88, and Shields was third in the 200 fly with a mark of 1:41.20.

Other point scorers for Cal on the meet's final day were Moore's seventh place finish in the 100 free (42.39). In the 200 breast Dugonjic placed eighth (1:56.94), sophomore Trevor Hoyt won the B Final with a time of 1:54.21. In the 200 fly, junior Robbie Sullivan earned 11 points with an eighth place finish (1:45.84).

On Friday, Dugonjic won the 100 breast national title for the third year in a row, topping the field with a time of 50.49, breaking his own school record of 50.86 set in 2009. Shields won the 100 back in a school record time of 45.03, while the 200 medley relay team of senior Guy Barnea, Dugonjic, senior Graeme Moore and senior Nathan Adrian won the national crown with a time of 1:23.12, securing the NCAA title in that event for the second straight year.

On Thursday, Adrian won the 50 free with a new American record of 18.66; and the 400 medley relay squad of Barnea (backstroke), Dugonjic (breaststroke), Shields (butterfly) and Adrian (freestyle) out-swam runner-up Texas (3:06.10) to win the national title in that event for the second year in a row.

The Cal men's swimming and diving team joins the Bears' women's swimming and diving team as national champions during the 2010-11 campaign.

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