Home Aquatic Cal’s Latest NCAA Title Won Through Power and Depth

Cal’s Latest NCAA Title Won Through Power and Depth


A Cal Custom: Golden Bears’ Newest NCAA Title Earned By way of Energy and Depth – And Expectation

Nathan Adrian and Tom Shields.

Jacob Pebley and Josh Prenot.

Seth Stubblefield and Ryan Murphy.

Andrew Seliskar and Ryan Hoffer.

Over the previous decade-plus, California has featured among the largest names in swimming, guys who excelled individually and concurrently acknowledged the crew side of the game. They gave their all for the Golden Bears and coach Dave Durden, proud to be a part of a program that’s wealthy in custom and – for so long as anybody can think about – can be a significant component within the chase for NCAA championships.

Many of those fellas have stood on worldwide podiums, from the Olympics to the World Championships. Adrian and Murphy are particular person Olympic champions, assured future spots within the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

From A to Z, there has additionally been a group of men who could be lesser recognized, however who’ve performed equally important roles in Cal’s success. Guys who gained nationwide titles below the radar. Males who scored some extent right here or there on the NCAA Champs. Athletes who pushed a teammate throughout a grueling apply. A person who supplied completely timed phrases of encouragement forward of a key race.

Nolan Koon.

Will Hamilton.

Justin Lynch.

The listing goes on.

On Saturday night time, on the McAuley Aquatic Heart in Atlanta, California hoisted the seventh NCAA championship in program historical past – and fifth for the reason that 2011 marketing campaign, and of the Durden period. Bolstered by a spectacular final-day displaying, the Golden Bears completed with 487.5 factors, 51 forward of defending champion and longtime rival Texas.

Extra, the 2022 marketing campaign marks the twelfth time in 13 years wherein Cal has completed both first or second within the NCAA crew standings. The one time the Golden Bears didn’t produce a top-two effort since 2010? How concerning the 2020 season, when the COVID-19 pandemic compelled the cancellation of the season-ending meet, one which – not surprisingly – was anticipated to characteristic a showdown between the Bears and Longhorns.

So, sure, that makes 12 consecutive finishes within the high two on the NCAA Champs. It’s one hell of a streak, among the many greatest in any sport on the collegiate stage.

“They do swim for each other,” Durden stated. “That is wonderful to see. Even working through this meet with Bjorn. Bjorn was so concerned with everybody else’s swimming, recovery, etc., that he probvbly spent 10% thinking about his swimming. That’s a challenge to get everybody redirected, and that’s why it’s such a great meet. It’s the best meet in the world to see young men go after a goal and do it for each other. We knew how the path of this meet was going to go, knowing that the last day is our best day. I don’t like it that way. I would like to get to a spot where it’s more comfortable, but that’s a testament to the programs that we’re swimming. This meet is getting faster and faster. That’s probably our fastest NCAA meet that we’ve ever had. It’s super competitive. Our conference meet was tough. Moving the three-and-a-half days at our conference meet really put us in a spot where we could handle the situation at this meet. Have it be close when we get to Saturday, and we can get after this thing.”

No matter sport, most applications that attain dynastic proportions possess a particular character. It’s a mixture of confidence, assist, excessive expectations and calm. Cal displayed every of these traits throughout its 4 days in Atlanta. The Bears believed they might excel. They lifted one another emotionally. They remained unphased when Texas constructed an early lead, totally conscious that the again half of the competitors was its time to shine.

This newest Cal crew provided a spectacular mix of top-flight expertise and key contributors. Contemplate the crew’s scoring breakdown:

  • The Bears obtained particular person scoring from 14 athletes, clear proof of this system’s mixture of energy and depth.
  • Destin Lasco and Hugo Gonzalez captured particular person championships, besting the competitors within the 200 backstroke and 400 individual medley, respectively. In the meantime, Bjorn Seeliger was the runnerup in each sprint-freestyle occasions.
  • Cal’s lowest relay end was a fourth-place displaying within the 800 freestyle relay on the opening night time of the meet. In any other case, there was a title within the 400 medley relay, a second-place effort within the 200 freestyle relay, third place within the 400 freestyle relay and a tie for third within the 200 medley relay.
  • Though he didn’t qualify for any championship finals, Jason Louser was an integral a part of Cal’s championship run, as he assured scoring in every of his three occasions by nailing down bids to a trio of comfort finals.

Mainly, what Cal confirmed over the previous 4 days has been customary of the Golden Bears. It’s change into a formulation, actually. All performances are valued and revered, no level taken for grant. Extra, athletes enter this system desirous to study concerning the Cal means, and go away having handed alongside the custom to others.

“This iteration has been through a lot of different experiences, and I think those experiences create a lot of maturity,” Durden stated. “These guys have done some different things in their career. They are an extension of our coaching staff, and we just have conversations about it. That’s a lost art in this day and age where you can actually talk to people and very logically work through a season, work through a training segment, work through a week or work through a meet. I think our guys do a good job of that. Conversation is lost in this day and age of text, Twitter and Instagram. We try to work through that and make sure we’re having conversations about things… There’s a level of trust in the room that we know exactly where we need to be.”

What is going to subsequent yr convey? Nicely, one other title run is probably going. In spite of everything, loads of expertise returns, and spectacular ability is on the best way. However for now, let’s permit Durden and his crew the chance to take pleasure in this newest championship.

A title which is the newest in a particular legacy.

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