Dugonjic helps Cal take lead over Texas

Updated: March 28, 2010, 12:51 AM ET
Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Damir Dugonjic won the 100-yard breaststroke Saturday and was part of California's winning 200 medley relay, helping the Golden Bears grab the lead in the NCAA men's swimming and diving championships.

Thomas Shields also had a key win for California, finishing the 100-yard butterfly in 44.91 seconds to edge teammate Mathias Gydesen.

The Golden Bears have a 348½-330 lead over Texas heading into the final day of competition on Sunday. Arizona (269) is third.

"The guys are in a good place, racing really well and enjoying each other's company," California coach David Durden said. "We're enjoying the moment."

California also won the 200 free and 400 medley relays Friday, but the Longhorns had the lead after the first day.

The 6-foot Guy Barnea, from Israel, anchored the 200-yard freestyle and led off the 400 medley Friday and was first leg Saturday in the 200 medley relay.

"He's not imposing," California coach David Durden said. "He's doing what he does best. He's a great relay guy. He has such tremendous passion in his heart."

Dugonjic led the Golden Bears' charge on Saturday, finishing the breaststroke race in 51.65 and helping the 200 medley team to a time of 1:23.08.

Also, Michigan's Tyler Clary defended his championship in the 400 individual medley in a time of 3:38.89. Florida's Conor Dwyer added the 200 freestyle title (1:32.31) to his 500 free victory on Friday, and Stanford's Eugene Godsoe was the 100 backstroke winner in 45.11 seconds.

"It was a good swim," Dwyer said. "I'm trying now to move us up in the team scores."

Texas (6:12.77) won the 800 free relay and Purdue diver David Boudia followed Friday's 1-meter win with a first-place finish in the 3-meter.

Brigham Young's Brandon Watson pulled out of Sunday's platform diving final because he is a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints and is forbidden from competing on Sundays. The event was scheduled for Saturday but the start of the meet was delayed 24 hours to Friday after 18 athletes and a coach contracted a gastrointestinal virus.

The NCAA offered to move the diving event to Monday or have Watson complete all his dives on Friday but BYU coach Keith Russell said Watson did not want to disrupt the meet.

"The main thing is the NCAA tried as best it could to make this situation as fair as it could for everyone," Russell said. "We appreciated that we had the option to dive on a different night."


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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