Bears Open NCAA Championships with Day 1 Prelims

March 23, 2006

ATLANTA, Ga. - Third-ranked California took fifth place in the 200-yard freestyle relay preliminary race to open the first day of the NCAA Men's Swimming & Diving Championships on Thursday afternoon at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center. The Golden Bears quartet of sophomore William Copeland, junior Jonas Tilly, senior Matt Lyon and sophomore Joe Whittington swam a 1:18.39 in the relay, which was won by Stanford (1:16.76).

Whittington, initially listed as an alternate at the championships, is now eligible to compete at the event.

Sophomore Dominik Meichtry was Cal's only individual swimmer to reach tonight's A finals. The 2004 Swiss Olympian took seventh place in the 500-yard freestyle in 4:17.14. Junior teammate Daniel Lysaught swam a 4:18.06 to take 10th and reach the consolation final.

Senior Miguel Molina had Cal's top finish in the 200-yard individual medley, taking 13th (1:46.25), while senior teammate Milorad Cavic and junior teammate Jernej Godec were 10th (19.51) and 13th (19.58), respectively, in the 50-yard freestyle.

In the 400-yard medley relay, Cal freshman David Russell, senior Henrique Barbosa, Godec and sophomore Garrett Wagner took ninth place.

'Meichtry swam well, as did Lysaught, who swam a personal record in the 500 free,' Cal head coach Nort Thornton said. 'We did well overall, but not qualifying [for the A final] in the 400-medley relay was kind of a bummer. We get a chance to come back strong tonight, though.'

The NCAA Championships' Day 1 finals begin at 7 p.m.

California Results from Day 1 Preliminaries of the 2006 NCAA Men's Swimming & Diving Championships

200-Yard Freestyle Relay
5. Cal A (William Copeland, Jonas Tilly, Matt Lyon, Joe Whittington) 1:18.39.

500-Yard Freestyle
7. Dominik Meichtry 4:17.14. 10. Daniel Lysaught 4:18.06.

200-Yard Individual Medley
13. Miguel Molina 1:46.25. 30. Louis Vayo 1:47.93. 32. Mark Eckert 1:47.99. 46. Patrick O'Neil 1:51.90.

50-Yard Freestyle
10. Milorad Cavic 19.51. 13. Jernej Godec 19.58. 21. Jonas Tilly 19.74. 30. William Copeland 19.91. 31. Matt Lyon 19.94.

400-Yard Medley Relay
9. Cal A (David Russell, Henrique Barbosa, Jernej Godec, Garrett Wagner) 3:10.93.

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