LONG BEACH, Calif. -- The Stanford Cardinal lead after first day of the 2003 Pac-10 Men's Swimming Championships with 218 points, behind the strength of their Pac-10 meet record in the 400 medley relay. California stands just behind them with 208 points, while USC (169 pts.) is in third and Arizona State (130 pts.) stands in fourth at the competition held at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool.

Arizona is fifth with 83 points and the Washington Huskies sit in sixth after scoring 41 points.

The California Golden Bears got the 2003 Pac-10s underway with a victory in the 200 free relay. The foursome of Mike Cavic, Duje Draganja, Matt Lyon, and Anthony Ervin registered a 1:17.92 to notch the victory over second-place Stanford by 15-hundredths of a second (1:18.07). Both of those times are good for automatic NCAA consideration. Arizona State came in third place with a season-best 1:19.03, helped by Nick Brunelli's opening split of 19.82, two-hundredths of a second off of his career best. That is good for an NCAA consideration time.

Erik Vendt of USC, the reigning NCAA Swimmer of the Year, captured the Pac-10 title in the 500 free with a 4:17.64. Stanford's Matt Sorlien went for a 4:19.09 and touched the wall second. Both of those swimmers earned automatic NCAA qualification. Jeff Lee rounded out the top three (4:21.44) for a USC team that placed five athletes in the top seven spots of this event.

In the 200 IM, Cal's Joe Bruckart captured first with an NCAA automatic time of 1:44.49, over a second faster than Markus Rogan of Stanford (1:45.87) who also recorded an 'A' time. Dan Trupin of the Cardinal finished in third after swimming a 1:46.94.

Cal's Anthony Ervin, the 2002 Pac-10 Swimmer of the Year, recorded a blistering 19.28 in the 50 free to take home the victory by over four-tenths of a second over his teammate Mike Cavic (19.69). Randall Bal of Stanford (19.77) took third to round out the trio of NCAA automatic times in that event. Duje Draganja, the third Golden Bear in the top four, was fourth (19.84). Arizona State claimed the remaining two swimmers in the top six, with Nick Brunelli clocking a 19.97 for fifth and Bobby Zaabadich coming in sixth with a 20.14.

The 400 medley relay featured Stanford's record-setting race and a rash of infractions, as USC, California, and Washington all were disqualified. The Cardinal squad of Peter Marshall, Michael Bruce, Dan Westcott, and Randall Bal clocked a 3:08.74 to better the previous Pac-10 meet record (3:09.22) set by Stanford last year. That time automatically qualifies Stanford for the NCAAs. Arizona came in second with a 3:13.97 while ASU was third after recording a 3:15.40. Ahmed Hussein led off the Sun Devil relay by recording a 47.62 split in the 100 back to tie his own school record.

Action resumes tomorrow with prelims at 11 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m. The standings after day one are as follows:

3) USC 169

NCAA 'A' Times Recorded Today (not including relay splits):
California: 200 Free Relay, Joe Bruckart (200 IM), Anthony Ervin (50 free), Mike Cavic (50 free)
Stanford: 200 Free Relay, Matt Sorlien (500 free), Markus Rogan (200 IM), 400 medley relay
USC: Vendt (500 free)

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