No. 3 Cal Defeats No. 7 USC, 160-140
Feb. 7, 2003
BERKELEY - The No. 3 University of California men's swimming team (5-0, 3-0) handed No. 7 USC (5-2, 2-1), its first Pac-10 loss after defeating the Trojans, 160-140 at Spieker Aquatics Complex, Friday afternoon.
The Golden Bears split the events with the Trojans, as each team won eight events apiece. Cal started the meet with an early win in the 400 medley relay (3:16.04) behind the team of junior Alex Lim, sophomore Caleb Rowe, freshman Michael Cavic and sophomore Duje Draganja. The Bears-with the nation's best 400 free relay team-won that event as well, with Cavic, freshman Jens Thiele, senior Anthony Ervin and Draganja clocking a 2:59.38 finish.
USC is deep in the distance events and won the 1000 free (Trent Staley), 500 and 200 free (Ous Mellouli), but Cal's sprinters were the strength of the day. The Bears went one-two-three in both the 50 free and 100 free. Ervin took the 50 free victory, clocking in his fastest time of the season with an NCAA 'B' mark of 20.02. Draganja was runner-up in the 50 free at 20.18, also a 'B' time, while freshman Matt Lyon finished in third place with a time of 20.70. Draganja, who has already posted an NCAA automatic qualifying time in the 100 free, won the event in 43.88. Freshman Evan Lane took second in the 100 free at 45.19, while Ervin finished third in 45.29.
Other wins for the Bears included Lim's first-place finishes in the 100 (49.60) and 200 back (1:46.77). Lim is an NCAA automatic qualifier in both events for Cal this season. Cavic won the 100 fly in 48.10 and placed second in the 200 fly at 1:47.77. Cavic has posted NCAA automatic qualifying times in the 100 fly and 100 free.
Other impressive swims on the day included Rowe's second-place finishes in the 100 (56.10) and 200 breast (2:01.29). Freshman Ricky Barbosa and senior Quentin Byma finished right behind Rowe in the 100 breast, tying for third-place at 56.49.
A trio of freshmen posted season-best times against the Trojans. In the second event of the day-the 1000 free-Ryan Lean clocked in his fastest time this season (9:18.21) with a runner-up finish. Chris Gibson also posted a season-best time, finishing the 100 back in 50.91, besting his previous time of 51.13, and Miguel Molina swam his fastest time this year in the 200 free at 1:38.71.
Cal's diving squad competed last weekend against USC and its marks were figured into today's score. Senior Nic Bartolotta won the one-meter competition (317.70) and finished second in the three-meter competition (319.25). Junior Robbie Quinn placed third in both the one-meter (277.65) and three-meter (303.82) diving events.
The Bears do not compete next weekend, and return to action at Spieker Aquatics Complex in Berkeley on Feb. 22 against Stanford. The meet versus the Cardinal begins at 1 p.m. and is Cal's final regular season meet before the Pac-10 Championships on Mar. 6-8.