Bears are Golden on Day 3
March 6, 2009
LONG BEACH, Calif. - A pair of record-setting performances by California stole the show on day three of the Pacific-10 Conference Men's Swimming Championships at Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool.
The team of senior David Russell and sophomores Damir Dugonjic, Graeme Moore and Nathan Adrian blasted the previous NCAA record by .76 of a second to win the 400-yard medley relay in 3:03.30.
Adrian was able to hold off Stanford's Jason Dunford in the last leg, as the Cardinal also broke the previous mark with a time of 3:03.56. Arizona finished third.
'At the 50, I knew we were going to win [because] Nathan just doesn't lose,' Dugonjic said. 'It was really amazing. I got goose bumps.'
Dugonjic was a busy man, as he took hold of another NCAA record earlier in the evening. In the 100-yard breaststroke final, he bested the 2007 time of 51.56 set by Mike Alexandrov of Northwestern, who coincidentally was part of the team that held the 400-yard medley relay record until Friday.
Dugonjic downed Stanford's John Criste in 51.41, with Cal's Martti Aljand in third.
'We had a sense based off what Damir's done this past summer and for the past year and a half, he would have a great chance at that record,' Cal Coach Dave Durden said. 'You see it coming and it was something we saw coming for a while.'
With six races still to be decided, six new Pac-10 records have been set this week, something Durden attributed to continued advances in technology.
'With the new swimsuits out there, time is arbitrary now,' he said. 'We don't really have a baseline for what's fast anymore, so our guys just get in and race and it was exciting to see both those races.'
Adrian earlier dominated the 200-yard freestyle in 1:32.98, breaking the Pac-10 record established by Golden Bear alumnus and 11-time Olympic medalist Matt Biondi. Adrian also claimed the three-year old meet mark previously held by Simon Burnett of Arizona.
Wildcats junior Jean Basson was the runner up, finishing in 1:33.77, with USC's Zoltan Povazsay in third.
Stanford junior Eugene Godsoe seized the 100-yard backstroke with a winning time of 45.85, downing Cal senior David Russell (46.35) and Arizona junior Jake Tapp (46.55) in the process.
After setting new conference and meet records in the morning preliminary, Austin Staab of Stanford shattered his own marks in the 100-yard butterfly final. The sophomore won in 44.69, his second straight Pac-10 title in the event.
Dunford was second, posting an NCAA qualifying 45.93. Graeme Moore of Cal edged past Godsoe by .01 of a second for third place.
Junior Jack Brown of Arizona claimed the 400-yard individual medley in 3:43.22, besting Cal's Martin Liivamagi (3:43.55). Stanford senior Nate Cass finished third, followed by the Wildcats' Andrew Callahan and Golden Bears junior Aaron Casey.
2008 winner Vanni Mangoni of USC finished eighth. The Trojans had won the event at four of the past five conference championships.
Stanford maintained its lead in the race for the team title, with 607.5 points through 14 events. Cal sits in second with 572, while third-place Arizona has 421.
The three schools that have yet to win an individual or relay title this week - USC (269), Washington (216) and Arizona State (171.5) - round out the field.
The 2009 Pac-10 Men's Swimming Championships conclude Saturday with 1650-yard freestyle, 200-yard backstroke, 100-yard freestyle, 200-yard breaststroke, 200-yard butterfly and 400-yard freestyle relay to be decided. Preliminaries start at 11 a.m. with the finals set for 6 p.m.