No. 4 Cal Men's Swimming and Diving Travels to No. 8 USC

Feb. 5, 2002


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Fri., Feb. 8 at USC, McDonald's Swim Stadium, Los Angeles, CA 1 p.m.

BEARS TRAVEL TO USC: The No. 4 ranked Cal men's swim team (5-1, 2-0) will travel to No. 8 USC (4-3, 0-3), Friday, Feb. 8 at 1 p.m. at McDonald's Swim Stadium. The Bears, undefeated in Pac-10 competition, feature some of the top swimmers in the nation, including Anthony Ervin, the 2000 Olympic gold medallist in the 50-meter free and the 2001 NCAA champion in the 100 free, and Alex Lim, the MVP on the 2002 Dallas Morning News Invite who has the nation's top times in the 100 (47.27) and 200 back (1:43.43).

CAL TOPS ARIZONA STATE AND ARIZONA: Cal had two strong performances in its last competition Jan. 25 and 26 at Spieker Aquatics Complex, defeating then No. 5 ranked Arizona State, 162-130 and then No. 9 ranked Arizona, 130-95. Against the Sun Devils, the Bears won 11 of the meet's 16 events, with 10 different Cal athletes winning individual events. Winners included senior Sean Gruver in the 200 free (1:38.80), sophomore Alex Lim in the 100 back (48.80), junior Daniel Kim in the 100 breast (55.67), senior Hiro Sakoda in the 200 fly (1:48.65), junior Anthony Ervin in the 50 free (19.86), freshman Duje Draganja in the 100 free (44.25), freshman Caleb Rowe in the 200 breast (2:01.15), senior Mattias Ohlin in the 100 fly (48.78), senior Bayani Flores in the 200 IM (1:49.53) and junior Nicolas Bartolotta won the one-meter diving competition (309.90). The Bears also won the 200 medley relay in a Spieker Aquatics Complex record time of 1:29.54 (Lim, Kim, Ervin, Draganja). Versus the Wildcats, the Bears won seven of the meet's 13 events, with six different Cal athletes winning individual events. Individual winners for the Bears were juniors Joe Bruckart in 200 free (1:38.41) and Ervin in the 50 free (19.74), Flores in the 200 IM (1:49.70) and Ohlin in the 200 back (1:47.85), Lim in the 200 Fly (1:46.90) and Rowe in the 200 breast (2:01.15). Cal won the 400 medley relay with a time of 3:17.92 (Lim, Daniel Kim, Ohlin, Draganja) as well.

ANTHONY ERVIN: Cal junior Anthony Ervin captured two titles at the World Swimming Championships this past summer in Fukuoka, Japan. He won the 50-meter free in 22.09 over Pieter van den Hoogenband of the Netherlands (22.16). Ervin then upset van den Hoogenband and Australia's Ian Thorpe to win the 100-meter free in 48.33. Ervin's time of 48.33 broke the American record of 48.42 set by Bear legend Matt Biondi in 1988.

BEARS AMONG NATION'S BEST: Alex Lim currently has the nation's top collegiate times in two events - the 100 back (47.27) and the 200 back (1:43.43), and the third-best time in the 100 fly (47.43). Draganja has the nation's top time in the 100 free (42.58) and third-best time in the 50 free (19.61). Other Bears who have times that are among the Top 5 in the nation include Ervin in the 50 free (second 19.46) and the 100 free (third 43.29), and Flores in the 200 IM (fifth 1:48.41). In the relays, Cal has the second-best time in the nation in the 400 free relay (2:56.09 Draganja, Ervin, Macedo, Flores), fourth-best times in the 200 free (1:19.86 Draganja, Ervin, Macedo, Ohlin) and 800 free relays (6:31.36 Bruckart, Ohlin, Gruver, Flores) and fifth-best time in the 400 medley relay (3:15.10 Lim, Aronsson, Ohlin, Draganja).

HEAD COACH NORT THORNTON: Nort Thornton, the 1999 Pacific-10 Coach of the Year, is in his 28th season as Cal's head men's swim coach. Thornton, the dean of the Pac-10 swimming coaches, has a career dual meet record of 199-78 (.718) with the Golden Bears and his squad finished eighth at the 2001 NCAA Championship. Thornton led Cal to back-to-back NCAA titles in 1979 and 1980.

NOTING THE OPPONENT: Cal has a 11-48 all-time dual meet record versus USC, defeating the Trojans in last season's match-up, 168.5-128.5 Feb. 3, 2001 at Spieker Aquatics Complex. USC ended up finishing fourth and Cal eighth at the 2001 NCAA meet. The Trojans are led by junior Erik Vendt, the 2000 NCAA champ in the 1500-meter free.

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