The talented Cal men’s swimming and diving team (3-0, 18-straight dual meet victories since 2012-13 season) – winners of three of the last four NCAA team titles and the past two Pac-12 crowns – opens conference competition this weekend at ASU and Arizona. The Arizona dual meet will be shown on the Pac-12 Networks (Rowdy Gaines, analyst; Rich Burk, play-by-play). David Durden’s squad returns 11 members from last year’s NCAA squad and will again vie for the national crown in 2015. Leading the Bears is two-time 2014 NCAA individual champion Ryan Murphy, who as a freshman captured the 100 (school record 44.63) and 200 backstroke (NCAA record 1:37.35), and was the 2014 Pac-12 Newcomer of the Year. Murphy was also a member of NCAA title winning 200 free relay, and 200 and 400 medley relays (backstroke leg). Other current Cal swimmers who joined Murphy as national champions at the NCAA meet in 2014 were junior Tyler Messerschmidtand senior Seth Stubblefield in the 200 free relay; and senior Chuck Katis (breaststroke) and Stubblefield (freestyle) in the 400 medley relay. Katis and Messerschmidt also joined Murphy on the Bears’ national champion 200 medley relay team that set an American record with a time of 1:22.83. Additionally, Cal features senior Will Hamilton, who was the 2012 NCAA champion in the 200 butterfly and junior Josh Prenot, who was the 2013 Pac-12 Newcomer of the Year and is the two-time conference champion in the 400 IM.
Golden Bears to Date
Despite just starting its conference dual meet schedule, Cal has some of the top times in the nation. Murphy has the nation’s top times in the 100 (45.30) and 200 back (1:39.32), while Katis has the fourth-best mark in the 100 breast (52.09) and Prenot the fourth-best time in the 400 IM (3:42.24). Freshman Justin Lynch has the fifth-best mark in the 100 fly (46.22). The Bears have four relays in the top five nationally. Cal has the second-fastest times in the 200 medley (1:24.15, Murphy, Katis, Lynch, Messerschmidt) and 400 medley relays (3:05.90, Murphy, Katis, Lynch, Stubblefield). The Bears have the fourth-best mark in the 200 free relay (1:17.97, Stubblefield, Messerschmidt, seniorHenry Chung, Murphy) just behind Arizona’s 1:17.88. The Wildcats are led by senior Kevin Cordes, the defending NCAA champion in the 100 and 200 breast, and senior Brad Tandy, defending champ in the 50 free. Last season, Cal defeated Arizona State, 178-113, and Arizona, 206-92, in Berkeley. At the 2014 NCAA meet, Arizona finished seventh, while ASU was 23rd. The Bears currently have six members – Murphy, Stubblefield, Prenot, junior backstroker Jacob Pebley, freshman backstroker Connor Green and sophomore distance freestyler Janardan Burns – on the USA National team.
2013-14 in Review
David Durden earned his fifth straight Pac-12 Men’s Coach of the Year honor in 2014 after the Bears finished 8-0 in dual meets and won their straight conference team title. Cal went on to win the 2014 NCAA championship with 468.5 points, topping host Texas (417.5). The Bears have now won five NCAA men’s swimming and diving team titles, winning back-to-back crowns in 1979 and 1980 under Nort Thornton, and now three titles under Durden (2011, 2012 and 2014). In the last five years, Cal men’s swimming has either placed first or second at the NCAA meet with national runner-up finishes in 2010 and 2013.
Head Coach David Durden
In his eighth season, David Durden has firmly established Cal men’s swimming and diving as one of the top programs in the country. Most recently, Durden and his staff have guided the Golden Bears to NCAA team titles in three of the last four years with national crowns in 2011, 2012 and 2014. In addition, his squad has captured back-to-back Pac-12 championships and 18 straight dual meets while also producing the past two Pac-12 Newcomers of the Year, Josh Prenot in 2013 and Ryan Murphy in 2014. Durden has been named NCAA Coach of the Meet in four of the last five seasons (2010, 2011, 2012, 2014) and Pac-12 Coach of the Year five consecutive years. He has now produced 18 individual national champions and has seen 12 relays win NCAA crowns. Durden has also guided Cal swimmers to 32 Pac-12 titles and 17 conference relay titles. Durden now owns an overall dual meet record of 42-9 (.823). He joined the Golden Bears in 2007 upon the retirement of Hall of Fame coach Nort Thornton, who is now Head Coach Emeritus. His assistant coach is Yuri Suguiyama and Cal’s diving coach is Todd Mulzet.
Above video and preview courtesy of Cal Golden Bears.
Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com.
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, …