No. 2 Cal Faces No. 9 USC, Bakersfield, UCSB in SoCal

Jan. 31, 2006

BERKELEY, Calif. -

The second-ranked California men's swimming and diving team (5-0, 2-0 Pac-10) has a busy week, competing in three road meets over three straight days this Thursday through Saturday. The Golden Bears take on host Cal State Bakersfield in a non-scoring meet at 2 p.m. on Thursday, clash with Pac-10 rival and ninth-ranked USC in a regular dual meet at 1 p.m. on Friday, and end their road trip with another non-scoring meet at 10 a.m. on Saturday at UC Santa Barbara. Cal has a 10-0 record against Bakersfield, a 15-48 record against USC and a 20-1 record against UC Santa Barbara. The Bears complete their regular season with a dual meet at Stanford on Feb. 18.

Cal remained in second place in the latest College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) national top 25 rankings. Defending NCAA champion Auburn is ranked No. 1, Stanford is No. 3, Florida is No. 4 and Texas is No. 5.

The Division II Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners, who placed second at the NCAA Division II Championships last year, are coming off a 179-121 dual-meet win over Cal Baptist last Sunday in Riverside, Calif. The Roadrunners won 10 of the 16 events, with eight different swimmers winning nine individual events.

Freshman diver Sean Ogren won both the one-meter (296.75) and three-meter (311.45) springboards against Cal Baptist, while sophomore teammate Mansoor Al-Mansoor won the 1000-yard freestyle in a time of 9:39.49. Bakersfield senior Quinlan Chaves took third in the 1000 free in 9:45.36.

Lance Cansdale is in his second year as Bakersfield's head coach. Larry Everingham is Bakersfield's diving coach.

Ninth-ranked USC (5-2, 1-1 Pac-10), which took ninth place at the 2005 NCAA Championships, haven't competed since beating both Cal State Bakersfield (161-60) and Cal Poly (166-43) on Jan. 14 in Los Angeles.

Mark Schubert is in his 14th year as USC's head coach. Trojans third-year head assistant coach Vic Riggs was a second-team All-American for Cal in 1986.

USC boasts stellar talent, including junior and U.S. Olympian Larsen Jensen (the defending 1650 freestyle NCAA champion) and senior Ous Mellouli (the defending 400 individual medley NCAA champion). The Pac-10 named Mellouli its Swimmer of the Month for December after the 2004 Tunisian Olympian Mellouli posted two of the nation's fastest times at the Texas Invitational at the start of the month. The product of Tunis, Tunisia, won the 500-yard free in 4:12.18, a national-best time and swam a nation's fastest 400 individual medley (3:43.66), before placing second in the 1650y free (14:50.07, third-fastest in the country). Mellouli also medaled at the 2005 and 2003 World Championships, taking bronze in both the 400-meter free and 400 IM in 2005 and winning bronze in the 400 IM in 2003. Jensen, who won silver medal in the 800- and 1500-meter frees at the 2005 World Championships, won the silver medal in the 1500-meter free at the 2004 Athens Olympics. He was also ninth in the 500-yard free at the 2005 NCAA Championships.

Against Cal State Bakersfield and Cal Poly, USC senior Tyler Panos won the 200-yard back in a season-best of 1:52.78 while junior Mihaly Flaskay won the 50 free in a season-best of 21.21. Mellouli won the 1000 free (9:08.32) while Jensen won the 500 free (4:31.54) and was second to Mellouli in the 1000 (9:15.18).

Trojans sophomore Viktor Bodrogi won the 200 butterfly (1:48.43) and the 200 free (1:40.75). Junior teammate Sean Sussex won the 100 free (45.64) and USC junior Joon Youm won the 200 breaststroke (2:05.45). USC Junior Kenny Jenkins won the platform (387.97) while fellow junior Michael Hilde won the 1-meter (326.55).

While USC holds a 48-15 advantage in the all-time series with the Bears, Cal won the last meeting, 161-136, on Feb. 4, 2005, in Berkeley. In that meet, Cal won 10 of 15 events, including Henrique Barbosa's wins in the 100- and 200-yard breaststrokes and Milorad Cavic's wins in the 100 backstroke and 100 butterfly.

UC Santa Barbara completed its dual-meet season with a loss to UNLV, 156-106, on Jan. 28 in Santa Barbara, Calif. The Gauchos won just four events against the Rebels, taking the 200-yard freestyle relay (senior Pat Ota, sophomore Blake Nilsson, junior Pat Cary and senior Grant Hurst, 1:32.39), 100 backstroke (Ota, 50.15), 200 butterfly (Cary, 1:49.63) and 200 backstroke (freshman Chris Good, 1:50.64). Good also took second (1:52.35) in the 200 fly and second (1:56.58) in the 200 individual medley.

Gregg Wilson is in his 27th season as head coach of the Gauchos.

Second-ranked Cal beat Arizona, 202-98, in the Bears' final home meet of the season. Cal (5-0, 2-0 Pac-10) won 13 of 16 events Saturday and was led by impressive wins by junior Daniel Lysaught (1000-yard freestyle) and senior Henrique Barbosa (100 and 200 breaststrokes) at Spieker Aquatics Complex. Saturday's meet marked the last meet in Berkeley for seven Cal senior swimmers: Barbosa, Milorad Cavic, Chris Gibson, Evan Lane, Ryan Lean, Matt Lyon and Miguel Molina.

Lysaught got the Bears going with two lifetime-best performances in the 1,000- and 500 freestyle races. Lysaught's winning time of 8:56.68 in the 1000, is second on Cal's all-time list and the fastest by a Bear since 1989. Though he took second in the 500 behind teammate Dominik Meichtry (4:22.06), Lysaught's 4:22.17 was also a lifetime best.

Meichtry, a sophomore, also posted an impressive win in the 200 free, defeating Arizona's Simon Burnett, who is the defending NCAA champion in that event. Meichtry won in 1:36.37, followed by Burnett in 1:37.07.

Barbosa swept the breaststroke events, winning the 100 in 54.13 and the 200 in 1:57.13. Molina took first in the 200 individual medley, finishing in 1:47.87. The Bears were led in the diving events by Sam Helvie's win in the 1-meter event (332.92 points).

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