Bruckart Breaks Cal's 200 IM Record at NCAA Championships

March 27, 2003

Senior captain Joe Bruckart broke the University of California's school record in the 200-yard individual medley and the Golden Bears garnered 115 points to stand in third place after day one at the 2003 NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships in Austin, Texas. The University of Texas, the defending national champion, hosts the event at the Jamail Texas Swimming Center. Cal finished in sixth place at the 2002 NCAA Championships.

Notching two wins in the first day of action, Auburn leads the field with 206 points. Stanford is in second place (121 points), while Texas ranks fourth (107) and Florida rounds out the top five teams with 81 points. USC is currently in sixth place (69) and Minnesota is seventh (61). Georgia accumulated 55 points in day one to place eighth and Arizona State (52) and Texas A&M (45) hold the ninth and 10th spots, respectively.

In the first event of the evening, Cal's 200-yard freestyle relay team of freshman Michael Cavic, sophomore Duje Draganja, freshman Matt Lyon and senior Anthony Ervin posted its fastest time of the season, finishing third in 1:17.39. The team was anchored by an impressive 18.58 split time from Ervin. Cal's other relay swimmers also clocked impressive splits, as well, as Cavic swam a 19.73 leadoff split, while Draganja's was 19.31 and Lyon's was 19.77. Stanford's 200 free relay squad took first place (1:17.03), while Auburn's team finished second (1:17.28).

In the evening's second event, USC's Erik Vendt captured the 500 free title with a 4:13.63 finish. In the morning's preliminaries, Cal sophomore John Dorr finished in a time of 4:26.49, while freshman Miguel Molina touched the wall at 4:29.99.

Bruckart rewrote his own Cal's school record in the 200 IM, posting a second-place finish in 1:44.30. Bruckart previously set the record earlier this season with a time of 1:44.49. Junior Jeff Natalizio also scored points for the Bears in the 200 IM, placing 14th in a time of 1:47.26. Auburn's George Bovell placed first (1:42.66), breaking the NCAA and U.S. Open records in the event.

Auburn notched its second victory in a row, as Fred Bousquet won the 50 free in 19.31. Cal's top sprinters finished 2-3 in the 50 free, as Cavic was runner-up (19.37), followed by Ervin in third place (19.38). That time is Cavic's fastest of the season, while during the preliminaries, Ervin swam a season-best time of 19.25. Cavic's time moves him to No. 4 on Cal's all-time Top 10 performances list. Also in the prelims, Draganja was one place shy of making the finals cut, turning in a season-best time of 19.80.

Cal closed out the evening by swimming a season-best time in the 400 medley relay (3:08.68), good for a fourth-place finish. The squad of junior Alex Lim, senior Quentin Byma, Cavic and Ervin shaved nearly four seconds of their previous season-best time of 3:12.10. Texas' relay team of Aaron Peirsol, Brendan Hansen, Ian Crocker and Chris Kemp placed first, setting the new American, NCAA and U.S. Open record at 3:04.47.

The NCAA Championships continue through Saturday. Friday's events begin with the 200 medley relay, followed by the 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back, three-meter diving and 800 free relay. Preliminaries begin at 11 a.m. with finals at 7 p.m. Check for prelim results and for a complete Cal recap and results.

2003 NCAA Men's Swimming & Diving Championships (Cal Results)

Team Scores: 1. Auburn (206), 2. Stanford (121), 3. California (115), 4. Texas (107), 5. Florida (81), 6. USC (69), 7. Minnesota (61), 8. Georgia (55), 9. Arizona State (52), 10. Texas A&M (45).

200-yard Freestyle Relay-3. California (Cavic, Draganja, Lyon, Ervin) 1:17.39. 500-yard Freestyle-(prelims) 37. John Dorr 4:26.49, 47. Miguel Molina 4:29.99. 200-yard Individual Medley-2. Joe Bruckart 1:44.30, 14. Jeff Natalizio 1:47.26, (prelims) 43. Caleb Rowe 1:51.72. 50-yard Freestyle-2. Michael Cavic 19.37, 3. Anthony Ervin 19.38, (prelims) 17. Duje Draganja 19.80, 29. Matt Lyon 20.10, 38. Jens Thiele 20.28. 400-yard Medley Relay-4. California (Lim, Byma, Cavic, Ervin) 3:08.68.

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