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COLUMBUS, Ohio, March 27. IN what has become a heavyweight prize fight between California and Texas, the Golden Bears connected with a devastating strike in the men's 100 breast.
Damir Dugonjic, the NCAA record holder with a 50.86 to his credit, won the race with a blazing time of 51.65. That is the fourth fastest all time behind Dugonjic's record, a 51.41 from 2009 and Mike Alexandrov's 51.56. Dugonjic crushed Alexandrov's pool record of 52.24 set back in 2007. The win allowed Dugonjic to become the first man to defend the 100 breast since Brendan Hansen swept it four straight years from 2001-04. The triumph is also Cal's fifth ever in the event. D. Graham Smith won the event in 1977 (55.10) and 1979 (54.91), while Henrique Barbosa won in 2006 (52.52).
"I really felt I needed to have a good, fast first 50 to get myself into the lead and to have a chance to win," Dugonjic said. "So, I just went out fast and I went out easy."
Texas' Scott Spann completed what has been a remarkable comeback season with a second-place 52.22. That performance moved him up to 13th all time in the event. Cal's Martti Aljand completed the top three in 52.32, while teammate Sean Mahoney took sixth in 52.52 as part of a three up for Cal. Nolan Koons also won the consolation heat for Cal with a 53.16 to complete a strong block of point scoring.
California jumped back into the lead with 304.5 points, while Texas fell back to second with 271 points. Florida (202), Auburn (187.5) and Arizona (186) made up the rest of the top five.
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