Stanford Men Fight Adversity to Claim Pac-10 Crown

Full Meet Results

The biggest buzz around the Stanford men’s swim team this season has been the loss of Austin Staab, the defending 2009 NCAA Champ in the 100 fly who left the team for undisclosed reasons last month. This weekend, at the 2010 Pac-10 Championships, the rest of the Cardinal team made it clear that they weren’t going to let that define, or ruin, their season, as they cruised to their 29th consecutive Pac-10 team title.

Besides Staab, Stanford was also missing All-American diver Dwight Dumais, who is battling a shoulder injury. Between the two athletes, Stanford was giving up in the neighborhood of 80 or more points. Good thing for the competition, because otherwise their relatively comfortable 67.5 point victory could have been ugly.

The big surprise of the meet was a disappointing third place finish by Arizona, who came into the meet looking poised to end Stanford’s impressive run at the top.

The California Golden Bears were back and forth through the first 3-days of competition with the Cardinal, thanks in no small part to their butterfliers. In an impressive performance, probably the most dominating of the meet, Cal swimmers were 9 out of the top 11 finishers in the 100 fly, for a massive 101 point haul. Led by event winner Tom Shields in 45.75, that is the biggest point total I’ve seen this championship season, especially in a conference with 5 teams.

Coming into the final day of competition, the Golden Bears had a narrow 10 point lead over Stanford. It didn’t take Stanford long to grab the lead for good, thanks to a win by Chad La Touretta in the mile. Touretta, a true distance specialist, couldn’t even crack the A-final in the 500, where he finished ninth overall. His 14:46.70 gave him the top time in the nation this year.

The real drama in the mile was the battle for second, between Stanford’s David Mosko and Richard Charlesworth. Usually, the 1650 isn’t all that notable. But in the high-level, high-stakes Pac-10, nothing comes easily. At the wall, Mosko and Charlesworth were seperated by a mere .02 seconds, which is simply unheard over such a long distance.  That means over the course of 33 laps, 66 lengths, they were separated by an average of .0006 seconds per 50. That’s simply mindblowingly close. Mosko ended up taking the win, but this battle is by no means over. The top 7 finishers, and 10 out of the top 11, in the mile will all be returning next season to battle it out again.

In addition to his gutsy performance in the 1650, Mosko won the 500 freestyle.

The most exciting race of the day was the 200 breaststroke. In a back-and-forth race, the placings weren’t decided until the final touch, and in two cases, even that wasn’t enough. Arizona freshman Carl Mickelson won the race in 1:54.96, followed very closely by a tie for second place between Stanford’s Curtis Lovelace and John Criste at 1:54.99.

If that wasn’t close enough, the next two finishers, Sean Mahoney of Cal and Kevin Munsch of Arizona also tied for fourth, at 1:55.57.

Eugene Godsoe of Stanford received the swimmer of the meet award. He won the backstroke double for the second straight year, 46.03 in the 100 and 1:40.97 in the 200, and finished runner up in the 100 fly in 46.10.

An honorable mention of the award goes to Cal’s Nathan Adrian. Even though the Golden Bears finished runner-ups in the meet, Adrian did about all he could to keep them competitive. He won an extremely fast 50 freestyle in 19.20, which is one of the top times in the nation, and the 100 freestyle in 42.59.  Adrian also anchored two Cal relays to victories: the 400 free and the 400 medley.

In the much anticipated 200 freestyle, USC’s Clement Lefert came out on top of a slew of Olympians in 1:33.75. The race was so fast that even one olympian didn’t even make the A final: Arizona’s Jean Basson, who won the consolation championships.

Stanford also picked up two individual event wins from  Sophomore Bobby Bollier, who won the 400 IM (3:45.05 and the 200 butterfly (1:41.84) crowns, the latter of which was done in Pac-10 record setting fashion. Stanford’s lone relay win of the meet came in the 200 free, where the foursome of Alex Coville, Aaron Wayne,  Jake Allen, and David Dunford won in 1:17.32, despite California’s Nathan Adrian attempting a fierce comeback in the anchor leg. Cal finished second in 1:17.45.

Cal also had  several other event winners,  namely Matt Liivamagi in the 200 IM (1:43.73) and Damir Dugonjic in the 100 breast (52.12). They also won the 200 medley relay, with the team of Guy Barnea, Dugonjic, Graeme Moore, and Josh Daniels touching in 1:24.85.

USC’s only other swimming win was in the 800 free relay, which is no surprise considering they had the top two finishers in the individual 200 freestyle. In addition to champion Lefert, who led the relay off, USC’s group also included individual runner-up Patrick White, James Martin, and 2008 olympian Zoltan Povazsay. Their winning time was 6:19.17.

Arizona State freshman Constantine Blaha was named the diver of the meet, after winning the 3-meter, placing second in the 1-meter, and fourth on the platform. His teammate, and fellow freshman, Riley McCormick set the conference record twice in the platform: once in prelims, and once in finals. USC’s Harrison Jones won the 1-meter. Diving was held previously, so as to allow more time between the conference championships and the Zone Diving competitions.

Men’s Team Rankings

1.Stanford, 897
2. California, 829.5
3. Arizona, 654.5
4. USC, 521
5. Arizona State, 326

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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