Cal Wins Relay Prelim in Record Time at NCAAs

March 24, 2005

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Top-ranked California tied an NCAA meet record and set a new pool record by winning the 200-yard freestyle relay preliminary in a time of 1:16.49 on Thursday at the 2005 NCAA Championships at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center. Sophomore Rolandas Gimbutis led off the Golden Bears relay, followed by sophomore Jonas Tilly, junior Evan Lane and senior Duje Draganja.

In all, Cal has seven entrants in tonight's finals.

In the 200 free relay, the Golden Bears edged second-place Auburn, which swam a 1:16.97. The Tigers, the 2004 NCAA champions, still hold the NCAA record in the relay (1:16.09), set last year.

Individually, Draganja finished third in the 50 freestyle, in 19.32, behind an amazing swim by Auburn's Fred Bousquet. The latter broke former Bear Anthony Ervin's NCAA, American and U.S. Open record with a time of 18.74. The time was also a pool record. Arizona's Lyndon Ferns (19.30) was second and Stanford's Ben Wildman-Tobriner tied Draganja for third. Ervin swam a 19.05 in 2002.

Other Cal qualifiers for the 50 free final include Gimbutis, who was eighth in 19.45, Milorad Cavic, who was 10th (19.46), and Tilly, who was 16th (19.71).

Draganja qualified for a third final when he anchored Cal's eighth-place 400 medley relay, which swam a 3:11.17. Junior Milorad Cavic led off for Cal, followed by junior Henrique Barbosa, freshman Jernej Godec and Draganja.

Cal senior John Dorr finished seventh in the 200 individual medley, in 1:45.91, to qualify for the final.

Bears senior diver Louie Gagnet, who was 17th with a score of 286.85, did not qualify for the one-meter springboard final.

The Bears did not qualify any swimmers in the 500 free.

Day 1 finals are scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. ET tonight.

2005 NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships

California Results

200-Yard Freestyle Relay
1. California (Rolandas Gimbutis, Jonas Tilly, Evan Lane, Duje Draganja) 1:16.49**^

500-Yard Freestyle
30. John Foster 4:22.91. 33. Dominik Meichtry 4:23.75. 45. Louis Vayo 4:30.37. 47. Michael Jafari 4:31.88.

200-Yard Individual Medley
7. John Dorr 1:45.91. 20. Miguel Molina 1:47.13. 25. Mark Eckert 1:48.20. 34. Caleb Rowe 1:49.32.

50-Yard Freestyle
3. Duje Draganja 19.32. 8. Rolandas Gimbutis 19.45. 10. Milorad Cavic 19.46. 16. Jonas Tilly 19.71. 37. Evan Lane 20.08.

400-Yard Medley Relay
8. California (Milorad Cavic, Henrique Barbosa, Jernej Godec, Duje Draganja) 3:11.17.

One-Meter Springboard
17. Louie Gagnet 286.85.

** NCAA Meet Record. ^Pool Record.

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