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Cal Men's Swimming and Diving proves again that Pools are Bear Territories!
Cal Men's Swimming and Diving wins program's 7th NCAA Team Title after Men's Water Polo won their 15th NCAA title last semester
After winning the NCAA title for Men’s Water Polo last semester, Cal has now also claimed the NCAA title for Men’s Swimming (and Diving)! Somewhat surprisingly, this is the first time that Cal has achieved this double in the same school year. Golden Bears are the most successful school in collegiate Men’s Water Polo history with 15 titles. They are shooting up the Men’s Swimming and Diving list to 7th with this 7th title.
Once upon a time, Cal and USA Olympic legend Matt Biondi participated in both! He won three NCAA Water Polo team titles and 8 NCAA individual swimming titles as well as being a part of 4 NCAA winning relays.
Back to the present, Christopher Zheng’s recap of NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Day 4 can be found here. In this year’s battle between Cal and Texas, the Golden Bears prevailed.
Many of the upperclassmen on the Cal team got to win the 2nd NCAA team title of their collegiate career. The Bears also won back in 2019.
The team title was won by a combination of elite swimmers but also roster depth. The Bears also claimed two individual championships and a relay championship.
Hugo Gonzalez set the fastest 400y IM in history
Destin Lasco is the latest Cal 200y backstroke winner
Bjorn Seeliger, Reece Whitley, Trenton Julian, and Destin Lasco won the 400y Medley Relay
Congratulations to Cal head coach Dave Durden, his entire coaching staff, and all 38 members of the swimming team, not just the 18 that qualified for national!
Cal head coach Dave Durden chatted with the press after another national championship. He spoke about his team, having his mentor and swim coaching legend David Marsh as an assistant this year, as well as the specialness of Cal - the place, the people, and the successful swimming alumni who become donors.
A lot of what Durden said was echoed by what the Cal 400y Medley Relay winners said the day earlier. Bjorn Seeliger talks about the preparation and the difference in mentality between prelims (business for 1 hour per day) and finals (fun). Destin Lasco talked about the Cal fans in the stands. By the way, Reece Whitley has got a really great deep voice - very commanding for the Cal senior.
Below are the Cal family, alumni, fans that cheered on the Golden Bears to this NCAA title.
400y IM winner Hugo Gonzalez also spoke to the press on Friday night. He talked about his long journey in collegiate swimming and hinted that he might use his extra year of eligibility to come back next year.
Cal alumni are also thrilled about this national title.
This is the 7th NCAA Team title in program history and the 5th under Dave Durden in this last decade. Cal Athletics is also on the verge of breaking triple-digits in the number of team national championships. Cal Rugby might be able to achieve that on April 30th, if Cal Women’s Gymnastics doesn’t shock everyone by winning their first NCAA team title in two weeks!
The 99 team national championships won by Cal are not all in sports governed by the NCAA. In fact, Cal Athletics is one of the few schools to not succumb to the power of the NCAA and sponsor only NCAA sports to maximize their chance to win the Director’s Cup or the Capital One Cups.
Nonetheless, Cal’s latest NCAA title makes it 540 of that kind for the Pac-12.
Our new Pac-12 Commissioner is clearly mistaken on the number of “NCAA team titles” in Cal history. Only 40 of the 99 national championships are awarded by the NCAA.
Cal won this natty without diving after a misfire in the diving coach hire last summer.
Yes, that’s Cal AD Jim Knowlton in the team celebration photo. Hopefully, Knowlton used his time in Atlanta wisely by getting Cal a quality diving coach so the Bears can continue to win more championships even after Texas Diving rebounds to its usual point-scoring way. Cal does have a state-of-art diving facility now and Cal Aquatics, unlike the rest of Cal Athletics, is fairly well-funded.
For winning the team championship, everyone gets to dive into the pool to celebrate. Dave Durden and some of the Cal swimmers have pretty good diving form.
ROLL ON YOU BEARS!