By Kevin Noth, SwimInfo Special Correspondent
Photos by Tim Morse
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn., March 24. CAL-BERKELEY emphatically stated that it is prepared to challenge Auburn during the Tigers quest to win three straight NCAA titles.
The Golden Bears opened the 2005 NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships by capturing the 200 freestyle relay title, clocking a record time of 1:15.78 in the process. Cal’s winning time set new U.S. Open, NCAA and meet marks. After setting an NCAA meet record during the morning session, Cal returned to clock the first-ever time below 1:16 in the finals.
After Duje Draganja got the Golden Bears started with a split of 19.24, Rolandas Gimbutis (18.86) and Jonas Tilly (19.04) popped strong second and third legs. Milorad Cavic brought it home in 18.64.
Auburn, the defending champion in the event, recorded the second-fastest time in history, touching in 1:16.00. The former record was held by Auburn at 1:16.09.
Arizona picked up third place (1:16.96) and Stanford was fourth in 1:17.46 as Ben Wildman-Tobriner went 19.15 on the leadoff leg.