Cal Sweeps Arizona Schools in Surprisingly Lopsided Results
Monday, January 24, 2011
Category: Sports > Winter > Swimming (Men's)
The Cal men's swimming team was expected to get their first real taste of highly contested competition in a pair of conference dual meets this weekend.
As it turns out, the Bears will have to wait a little longer to get that experience.
No. 4 Cal swept its road trip in Arizona, beating the unranked Sun Devils and the No. 2 Arizona.
Neither contest was close, as the Bears topped Arizona State 152-135 at the Plummer Aquatics Complex in Tempe, Ariz. They followed it up by thrashing the Wildcats, 174.5-123.5, the Hillenbrand Aquatics Center in Tucson, Ariz.
However, the Bears (2-0) realize that it's just one step in a long process towards winning a national championship.
"Our guys didn't get too emotional," coach David Durden said. "We just worked through it, worked through the races and handled the emotion of it all pretty well."
Cal hadn't beaten Arizona (0-2) in a dual meet since 2006, having lost the previous four match-ups. The Bears took nine events, and had seven 1-2 finishes.
"We were just consistent," Durden said. "Nothing too flashy, but we'll take it. Anytime you get on the road you're happy to come away with a couple W's."
Sophomore Tom Shields turned in an impressive meet, winning all three of his individual events. Shields took the 200-yard freestyle, 100 butterfly and 200 butterfly, and also swam the anchor leg of the winning 400 freestyle relay.
Senior sprinter Nathan Adrian also won multiple events, taking both the 50 and 100 freestyle. Senior Graeme Moore kept pace with Adrian in both races, taking second place in each.
In spite of the successful weekend, the Bears still feel that they need to become even faster in order to compete on the national level.
"We've still got to get a little more speed out of our guys," Durden said. "And that will come. That's not something you get worried about as a coach."
The Wildcats were widely considered to be the deeper team, boasting arguably the most talented freshman class in the country. However, Cal's underclassmen showed that they are a force to be reckoned with as well.
"Our sophomore guys stepped in to some new roles," Durden said. "I'm fairly happy with the younger half of our lineup."
In addition to Shields, freshman Jeremy Bagshaw turned in some very fast swims this weekend, highlighted by first place finishes in the 1,000 freestyle and 200 backstroke against Arizona State (0-2).
Performances in dual meets don't necessarily translate to performances on the national level, but the Bears appear to be as strong of a team as they've been hyped to be.
"In a dual meet, you're looking for good performances, but sometimes you're just looking to pick up a win," Durden said.
Connor Byrne covers men's swimming. Contact him at [email protected]
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