Cal Hosts Pacific in 2002-03 Opening Meet
Oct. 1, 2002
BEAR NOTES: Anchored by 2000 Olympic gold medallist Anthony Ervin, the Cal men's swimming team opens the 2002-03 season at home with a meet against Pacific Friday, Oct. 4 at Spieker Aquatics Complex at noon. The 2002-03 Bears squad features four returning All-Americans including, Ervin, Joe Bruckart, Duje Draganja, and Alex Lim. Ervin claimed the Bears' only NCAA individual title in the 100-yard freestyle, while Draganja won the 100 free at the Pac-10 Championships. Ervin was named Pac-10 Swimmer of the year, while Draganja earned Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year honors.
2001 RECAP: Cal finished the regular season with a 6-2 overall record and 3-1 mark against Pac-10 competition. The Bears defeated Arizona, Arizona State and USC in league competition, but lost to Stanford in their final dual meet of the year. Several school records were broken last season as Ervin posted new Cal top times in the 50-yard freestyle (19.10) and 100 free (41.62). Lim swam a 46.05 in the 100-yard backstroke and Bruckart set the Bears' best time in the 200-yard individual medley at 1:45.72. Cal also broke the 200- and 400-yard medley relay records, setting new times at 1:26.02 and 3:09.65 respectively. Cal finished sixth at the 2002 NCAA Championships, led by Ervin's national titles in the 100 free (41.62) and the Bears' 400 free relay victory (2:50.01). Ervin won the 100 free NCAA title for the third consecutive year (it was the 100-meter free in 2000) and broke his own NCAA, American and U.S. Open records he had shared with former Bear Matt Biondi. Draganja, was the national runner-up in the 100 free with a time of 42.22. Other impressive showings at the championships included Lim's runner-up finish in the 100 back (46.05) and Ervin's second-place finish in the 50 free (19.10). At the Pac-10 Championships, the Bears squad finished second with 708.5 points to Stanford's 918. The team won an individual title-Draganja's victory in the 100 free (42.82)-and the 400 free relay title, as the team of Mattias Ohlin, Draganja, Macedo and Ervin turned in a 2:51.08 performance. Cal also had runner-up finishes in the 50 free (Ervin, 19.43), 400 medley relay (3:09.92), 200 medley relay (1:27.43) and 100 and 200 breast (Bayani Flores, 54.82 and 1:58.61, respectively).
CAL NEWCOMERS: Cal features nine newcomers to this season's team. There are three local additions in Henrique Barbosa, an East Bay product from California High School in San Ramon who will compete in breaststroke events, Adrian Chase, a local freestyler from Walnut Creek and Matt Lyon, also a freestyler, from Oakland and a graduate of nearby Miramonte High School. Other freestylers from California include Mike Cavic , from Tustin who can also swim butterfly events, Jonathan Hubbard from Sacramento and Ryan Lean from Newport Beach. There are two East Coasters on the squad in Dorian Delamare, a butterflier from Bernardsville, NJ and Chris Gibson, a backstroker from Bethesda, MD. And, there is an international flavor to this year's team as well, as Miguel Molina and Jens Thiele join the squad. Molina is from Tokyo, Japan and graduated from St. Mary's International School, while Thiele grew up in Hamburg, Germany. Molina will compete in IM events and Thiele can be a competitor in both free and back events.
SCOUTING THE TIGERS: Cal has a 59-6 dual meet record versus Pacific. The Bears last defeated the Tigers, 121-77, Jan. 11, 2002 in Berkeley. The Tigers claimed the Big West Title in 2002, and the victory broke a 23-year reign in the Big West for UC Santa Barbara and was Pacific's first title in men's swimming since 1974. The team finished with 948 points, 114.5 better than the Gauchos. The Tiger squad clinched the championships with five wins in the final five events they competed in. Following the meet, senior Filip Wronski was named the Big West Swimmer of the Year. The Tigers are piloted by new head coach Danny May, who coached three seasons at Northern Iowa University prior to joining Pacific.
HEAD COACH NORT THORNTON: Nort Thornton, the 1999 Pac-10 Coach of the Year, is in his 29th season as the skipper of the Cal men's swimming team. Thornton, the dean of Pac-10 swimming coaches, sports a career dual meet record of 200-79 (.717) with the Golden Bears and his 2002 squad finished sixth at the NCAA Championships. Thornton led Cal to back-to-back NCAA titles in 1979 and 1980, and his teams have finished in the Top 10 nationally 23 of the 28 years he has directed the Bears.
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