BERKELEY, California, February 8. LED by senior standout Tom Shields and freshman stars Jacob Pebley and Josh Prenot, the Cal men's swimming and diving team had a dominating 175.5-120.5 dual meet victory over No. 3-ranked USC Friday (Feb. 8) at Spieker Aquatics Complex. The Golden Bears' Shields, Pebley and Prenot each won two events apiece with Shields establishing a new pool record with a 45.85 in the 100 fly.
With the win over the Trojans, David Durden's squad improved its dual meet record to 6-0. Cal, the defending 2011 and 2012 NCAA team champions, was ranked sixth entering the weekend despite having upended then-No. 1-ranked Arizona, 159-134, Jan. 25 in Tucson. The Bears actually dropped from fourth to sixth in the CSCAA rankings despite defeating the top-ranked Wildcats on the road at the end of January.
Shields, the 2012 NCAA Swimmer of the Meet, was spectacular, swimming the butterfly leg of Cal's victorious 200 medley relay (1:26.88) along with junior backstroker Tony Cox, senior breaststroker Trevor Hoyt and junior freestyler Shayne Fleming. Shields then won the 200 freestyle in a time of 1:34.68 before topping Milorad Cavic's former Spieker Complex record of 46.10 in the 100 fly.
Not to be outdone by upperclassman Shields, freshman Pebley placed first in both the 100 (47.84) and 200 back (1:43.55), while newcomer Prenot won the 200 breast (1:57.37) and the 200 IM (1:47.35).
Other individual champions for the Bears were sophomore Will Hamilton in the 200 fly (1:47.21) and junior Jeremy Bagshaw in the 500 free (4:24.50). The Cal divers were impressive as well. Sophomore Thomas Selby was first on the three-meter board with a score of 360.98, and freshman Collin Pollard won the one-meter board with a mark of 316.65.
“The key for us is that we are better than we were two weeks ago (when team defeated Arizona) and hopefully we'll be better two weeks from now when we host Stanford (Feb. 23),” said Durden. “USC is a great team, and fortunately for us our top tier talent was a little bit stronger than theirs today. The important thing is that our team is continuing to improve.”
The Bears conclude their 2012-13 dual meet season Feb. 23 at 1 p.m. versus Bay Area rival Stanford at Spieker Aquatics Complex.
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