After some outstanding morning swims, the California Golden Bears put themselves in position to win the NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships tonight.

In a see-saw battle with Texas, the Golden Bears won three events on Saturday at Ohio State’s McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion and have an 18.5-point lead (348.5-330) over the Longhorns going into the third and final day.

Texas closed the gap with a win in the 800 freestyle relay but clearly has its work cut out for them. Arizona and Florida are separated by five points (269-264) and Stanford (221) and defending champion Auburn (215.5) are separated by 5.5 points.

In a thrilling finish to the night, the Longhorns broke the previous pool record of 6:15.80 (held by Michigan last month at the Big 10 Championships) with a 6:12.77 victory in the 800 freestyle relay.

Texas won its 11th 800 relay in the event’s history with outstanding splits from Scott Jostes (1:33.25), Dave Walters (1:32.76), Neil Caskey (1:33.86) and Ricky Berens (1:32.90).

Florida’s Shaune Fraser, Brett Fraser, Jeffrey Raymond, who grew up swimming in the Florida Gold Coast, and Conor Dwyer finished second in 6:14.72 in the 800 free relay.

California lost the chance to put the meet away finishing 10th in the 800 relay which may make Sunday morning’s prelims even more interesting than expected.

California, buoyed by its breaststroke leg, started off the night with a win in the 200 medley relay in a pool record 1:23.08 with Guy Barnea (21.30), Damir Dugonjic (23.10), Graeme Moore (20.01) and Joshua Daniels (18.67).

“The relay was unbelievable,” Daniels said. “We are just feeling great and having a blast.”

In the 400 individual medley, defending champion Tyler Clary of Michigan took it out fast and stayed ahead of the pack. By the third leg he was a full four seconds ahead and finished in 3:38.89. Clary was a true comeback story. He had the H1N1 virus and shoulder ailments earlier this season.

The Golden Bears picked up more points in the 100 butterfly with Tom Shields and Mathias Gydsen finishing 1-2. Shields went out fast to take the lead and win in 44.91 a full body length ahead of Gydsen, who came on late in his race to finish second in 45.83.

Florida’s Conor Dwyer won his second NCAA title in as many days in the 200 freestyle in 1:32.31, making him the seventh fastest performer of all time.

“It was a good swim,” said Dwyer, who won the 500 freestyle on Friday. “I really tried to push that third 50 to win the race and move us up in the team scores.”

The Golden Bears success in the breaststroke continued in the individual 100 breaststroke event. NCAA record holder and defending champion Damir Dugonjic won the event in 51.65.

The Bears finished 1-3-6 in the breaststroke. Martti Aljand took third and Sean Mahoney was sixth.

“I really felt I needed to have a good, fast first 50 to get myself in the lead and to have a chance to win,” Dugonjic said. “I just went out fast and I went out easy.”

Eugene Godsoe of Stanford won the 100 backstroke by a full second in 45.11, the only swimmer under 46 in the heat.

Purdue’s David Boudia won his second NCAA title in diving winning the 3-meter springboard title with 494.90 points. After winning the 1- and 3-meter titles, Boudia could become the first diver in NCAA history to sweep all three diving titles if he wins on platform today.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Author: South Florida Aquatic Club - SOFLO Swimming

Welcome to the South Florida Aquatic club, a premier community swim team dedicated to providing opportunity and encouragement to all team members, from the beginner to the seasoned Olympic athlete in their pursuit of excellence. The year-round development program for competitive swimming features life-enhancing qualities including integrity, discipline, teamwork, sportsmanship and health and fitness. We invite you to navigate the club’s portal for information about the team.

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