One of the stories that emerged from the USC Men’s Swimming and Diving team’s narrow upset over Cal was the fact that top Cal middle distance swimmer Long Gutierrez did not participate. In the PAC-12 broadcast, Rowdy Gaines informed viewers that Gutierrez was not present due to an injury. Gutierrez could have made a big difference for the Bears, as it was Reed Malone of USC who captured the 200 freestyle.
We reached out to Cal coach Dave Durden for clarification on what, if any, injury Gutierrez had. Durden replied that “Long just had a little bit of irritation in his knee and rather than traveling on bus for six plus hours, we decided it would be best to have him here in Berkeley, train, and have access to our trainer (for dual meets, we do not travel with a trainer”.
Durden seemed unconcerned about the longterm prognosis for Gutierrez. The rapidly improving Junior will be a big factor in Cal’s upcoming competitions. Last year he won the 200 butterfly and finished second in the 200 freestyle at the PAC-12 Championships.