Stanford Men Lead Cal After First Full Day at Pac-12's

Stanford won three events on the second night of the Pac-12 Championships as freshman David Nolan won the 200 individual medley, senior Chad La Tourette won his first ever 500 free title and the team closed out the night with a win in the 200 free relay. The Pac-12 leaders also had a second place finish from Aaron Wayne in the 50 free.

Stanford leads with a score of 324.5 ahead of Cal (257), Arizona (181) and USC (169).

Nolan's time in the 200 IM was the second-fastest in school-histroy, at 1:42.52, and about a second slower than Austin Staab's top time last year at 1:41.57. It was the second-straight year Stanford had won the event at the conference meet, joining Staab's win last year. Nolan had a one second lead after the first 50 yards, racked it up to a second and a half by the midway point before finishing nearly two seconds ahead of Cal's Martin Liivamagi (1:44.28)

Stanford racked up 67 points in the 500 free as David Mosko (third) and Brian Offutt (fourth) joined La Tourette in the top flight and Stanford had seven swimmers in the top-16. La Tourette led the field with a time of 4:17.38. La Tourette now has four conferenc titles in his four seasons and he looks for the sweep in the 1650 free on Saturday.

Stanford closed out the night with a win in the 200 free relay at 1:17.92, .04 seconds ahead of USC (1:17.96). USC had the lead over the first 100 yards, as Nolan and Geoff Cheah cut into the Trojan lead at the 100 and 150-yard mark. Andrew Saeta then swam 19.26 over the final 50 yards to finish just ahead of Jeff Daniels. Stanford has won five of the last seven 200 free relay titles.

Wayne was second in the 50 free to USC's Vladimir Morozov's time of 19.48. Wayne swam 19.55.

Stanford also had two consolation finals winners in Matt Thompson in the 200 IM (1:45.62) and Andrew Saeta in the 50 free (19.90).

Based on previous results in the 1-meter last week, Stanford's Taylor Sishc and Connor Kuremsky were third and fourth, joining Arizona as the only diving program with two divers in the top-8 final. With four divers in the top-10, Stanford scored a best of 47 points.

The championships run through Saturday.

The Cal men’s swim team had some solid performances during the second day of the 2012 Pac-12 championships Thursday night (March 1) at the East Los Angeles College Swim Center. Senior Martin Liivamagi was the runner-up (1:44.28, NCAA consideration) and sophomore Marcin Tarczynski was third (1:45.37) in the 200 IM, while the Golden Bears’ young 200 free relay team of freshman Tyler Messerschmidt, sophomore Shayne Fleming, freshman Seth Stubblefield and freshman Fabio Gimondi placed third with an NCAA consideration mark of 1:18.13.

Cal remained in second place at the conference championships with 257 points, trailing leader Stanford (324.5) by 67.5 points.

Other notable swims by the Bears included Messerschmidt finishing fourth (19.89 NCAA consideration) and Fleming eighth in the 50 free (20.07 NCAA consideration). Senior Nolan Koon added points for Cal with an eighth place finish in the 200 IM (1:47.37 NCAA consideration).

In the 500 free the Bears garnered points with freshman Adam Hinshaw’s sixth place finish (4:19.71), sophomore Jeremy Bagshaw’s seventh place (4:23.73) and sophomore Sam Metz’s eighth place (4:25.04). Freshman Will Hamilton won the 500 free B Final as well with a time of 4:17.50. The four Cal distance freestylers all had NCAA consideration times and earned a combined 45 points for the Bears.

On Wednesday night, Cal started off the Pac-12 championships by winning the meet’s opening event, the 200 medley relay, behind the strong swims of senior Mathias Gydesen, Koon, junior Tom Shields and Fleming in an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 1:25.09.

The Bears finished third in Wednesday only other event, the 800 free relay. Cal’s team of Shields, Messerschmidt, Metz and junior Ben Hinshaw swam an NCAA automatic time of 6:20.20, trailing only Stanford (6:18.99) and USC (6:19.71)

The Bears will continue the Pac-12 meet Friday competing in the prelims at 11 a.m. and the finals at 6 p.m. in the 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back and 400 medley relay.

At last year’s Pac-10 meet, Shields was the conference champion in the 100 back (45.65) and the 200 fly (1:40.31), and was a member of the league winning 200 free (anchor leg), 400 free (third leg) and 400 medley relays (butterfly leg). Koon was the Pac-10 champion in the 200 breast (1:54.42), while Gydesen swam the backstroke leg of the conference champion 400 medley relay.

Sophomore Vladimir Morozov won USC’s first 50y free title since 1996 while freshmen Cristian Quintero and Chad Bobrosky took second and fifth, respectively, in the 500y free to highlight USC’s second-day efforts at the 2012 Pac-12 Championships at the East Los Angeles Swim Center on Thursday (March 1) in Monterey Park, Calif.

USC, which also just missed a title in the 200y free relay, is in fourth place after day two with 169 points. Stanford (324.5) is in first with Cal second (257), Arizona third (181), Utah fifth (114), ASU sixth (108), UCSB seventh (107.5) and Cal Poly eighth (67).

Morozov, who finished second last year in the 50y free to Cal’s Nathan Adrian, was the top qualifier in prelims with a 19.46. In the final, he out-touched Stanford’s Aaron Wayne, 19.48 to 19.55, to claim USC’s first 50y free conference crown in 16 years. The win also gave USC at least one conference title in 16 straight years.

Trojan senior Jeff Daniels earned a second swim in the race, winning the ‘C’ final in 19.82, just off his PR of 19.72. The 19.82 would have made the A final out of prelims and would have placed fourth in tonight’s ‘A’ final.

USC nearly won its first 200y free relay title since 1996. The quartet of Morozov (who led off with a season-best 19.27), sophomore Dimitri Colupaev, sophomore Jack Wagner and Daniels finished in 1:17.96 to Stanford’s 1:17.92. Daniels actually began the final leg in third and passed Cal’s on the final leg. Cal finished third in 1:18.13

Quintero was in a four-way battle between Stanford seniors Chad La Tourette and David Mosko as well as Bobrosky throughout Thursday’s 500y final. Mosko led after 300 yards but was passed by La Tourette after 350 with Bobrosky hot on their trail. Bobrosky moved to second at 400 and was still there at 450 as Quintero moved into third. La Tourette, however, had enough to win the race in 4:17.38, holding off Quintero (4:17.83) while Bobrosky slipped to fifth (4:19.93) behind Mosko (4:18.00) and a late charging Bryan Offutt of Stanford (4:18.77). Quintero’s time was USC’s top this year and a strong NCAA ‘B’ cut.

Trojan senior Julian Bonse finished 11th with a solid ‘B’ cut (4:21.27, PR) while sophomore Nick Johnson was 15th (4:25.63, PR).

Junior Alex Lendrum, one of the top seeds in the 200y IM, missed qualifying for the final by 0.54. He then finished second in the consolation final (10th overall) in 1:46.73 while sophomore Sean Mulroy took 16th (1:48.66, PR). It marked Mulroy’s debut as a postseason scorer. Wagner was 20th (1:49.25) while junior Justin DiFederico was 24th (1:51.73).

The competition continues Friday through Saturday with prelims at 11 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m.

Records fell as the Utes hit the pool at East Los Angeles College Swim Stadium for day two of the Pac-12 Championships. The Utes ended the day in fifth place, outscoring Arizona State, UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly. The men managed to qualify at least one athlete for the finals in each of the three morning events, and broke two school records, including one set in 1987.

Ken Tiltges dropped more than five seconds off his 200 IM time to snap a 25-year-old school record, set by Shawn Rowland, with a time of 1:48.59 in the finals to finish in 18th place. Karson Applin broke his personal record in the same event twice with a 1:49.97 preliminary time and a 1:48.74 finals time. Applin captured third-place in the Utah record book, while Major Robinson earned 10th all time with his 27th-place finish (1:51.19).

Eric Murray took 29th in the 200 IM (1:52.62), Corey Williams was 36th (1:55.78) and John Tilghman was 38th (1:56.62).

Another Utah school record was set by Soedel, Gunnarsson, Applin and Fernandes in the 200 free relay (1:19.94) bringing home sixth for the Utes.

His 50 free personal record for the fifth time this year, Nick Soedel touched in 19.98 in the prelims to earn the Utes second-fastest history time. Soedel grabbed seventh place in the Pac with a 20.01 finals time. Bjorn Gunnarsson recorded the seventh-fastest Utah time and took 19th (20.32), while Alexandre Fernandes brought home 22nd for the Utes (20.55) with the 10th-fastest school record. Alex Brown followed in 34th (21.08), Winter Heaven took 36th (21.14), Andy Lamb was 37th (21.15) and Seth Wynn was 50th (22.37).

Ryan Hansen landed in 24th (4:30.76) in the preliminaries of the 500 free to grab a slot in the finals later in the evening. Moving up, Hansen recorded a personal best and ninth-fastest Ute time of 4:28.92 to take 22nd in the event.

“We’re half way through now and we’re really excited about where we’re at,” said Utah head coach Greg Winslow. “ We hope more records will fall and we’re really excited about our times.”

At the end of day two, Stanford leads with 324.5 points with UC Berkley in the runner up slot (257). Arizona is third (181) and USC is fourth (169). Utah sits in fifth (114) with Arizona State close behind with 108 points. UC Santa Barbara is seventh (107.5) and Cal Poly is eighth (67).