Stanford Has Narrow Lead After Day One of the Pac-10 Men's Swimming Championship

LONG BEACH, Calif. - The 2011 Pac-10 Men's Swimming Championships got undeway at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool on Wednesday, March 2, 2011. The Stanford Cardinal, on a quest to win its 30th straight Pac-10 title, wasted no time going to work on the task in the first night on competition.

Stanford's Bay Area rival California proved on day one that they are going to be a worthy opponent for the Cardinal, winning the 200m medley relay with a time of 1:23.92, a new Pac-10 meet record and the top time in the country to date. The winning team included senior Guy Barnea on leg one, senior Damir Dugonjic on the second led, senior Graeme Moore in third and senior Nathan Adrian anchored the record-setting finish.

Stanford finished in second with a time of 1:27.99, an NCAA 'A' cut and USC finished in third at 1:25.42, good for NCAA 'B' consideration. UCSB came in fourth at 1:28.28, Arizona State in fifth at 1:29.59 and Cal Poly rounded out the field at 1:30.11. Arizona was disqualified in the race.

After event one, California held the very early lead with 40 points, Stanford was in second with 34 and USC rounded out the top three with 32.

The second and final race of the night, the 800m freestyle relay proved to be an exciting one. The crowd was raucous and the teams came out of the blocks fast. California sophomore Tom Shields swam the first leg at 1:32.88, putting Cal in front at the first exchange. USC was a close second at 1:33.37 off of senior Clement Lefert's first leg. Stanford and Arizona were neck and neck after the first exchange.

After the second leg, Cal was holding onto a narrow lead behind freshman Samuel Metz, who turned in a 1:36.46 split. Arizona junior Nimrod Shapira Bar-Or swam the fastest second leg split to bring the Wildcats into second. Stanford freshman Mitch Stoehr swam a 1:35.89 second leg to pull the Cardinal into third, handing off to junior Morgan Priestley, who swam a 1:34.01 split and moved the Cardinal into first, just hundredths of seconds ahead of California. Heading into the last leg, junior Rob Andrews brought it home for Stanford, as the team finished with a time of 6:19.17, an NCAA 'A' time. USC, finished in second with a time of 6:20.88 and California rounded out the top three with a time of 6:21.13, both were also NCAA 'A' qualifiers.

After the first two events, Stanford leads with 74 points, California is in second with 72 and USC is in third with 66 points. Santa Barbara has 58 points for fourth, Arizona State is in fifth with 54, Arizona in sixth with 30 and Cal Poly finishes things out with 26 after day one.

The competition will resume on Thursday at 11 a.m. with prelims and time trials. The finals for the 500m freestyle, 200m individual medley, the 50m freestyle and the 200m freestyle relay will take place tomorrow at 6 p.m. PT.

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