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Cal snaps Card’s 31-year conference title streak in men’s swimming

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For the first time in 31 years, Stanford men’s swimming and diving failed to get its hands on the conference championship trophy.

Sophomore Drew Cosgarea took first in the 1650-yard freestyle at this weeks Pac-12 Championships, but for the first time in 31 years, Stanford did not come away with the team title. (HECTOR GARCIA-MOLINA/StanfordPhoto.com)
Sophomore Drew Cosgarea took first in the 1650-yard freestyle at this week’s Pac-12 Championships, but for the first time in 31 years, Stanford did not come away with the team title. (HECTOR GARCIA-MOLINA/StanfordPhoto.com)

Propelled by senior star Tom Shields, winner of four individual events, and impressive depth in the breaststroke events, Cal ended Stanford’s 31-year streak by amassing 825 points, narrowly besting the Cardinal’s 800. USC, Arizona and Utah rounded out the top five.

Trailing Cal by 63 points going into the last day of competition, Stanford made a valiant effort to close the gap. Sophomores Drew Cosgarea and David Nolan headlined the rally, coming up gold in the 1650-yard freestyle and 200-yard backstroke, respectively. Nolan’s time of 1:40.39 broke the meet record, set by Stanford’s own Eugene Godsoe in 2009, by just over a tenth of a second. Senior sprint specialist Aaron Wayne took second in the 100-yard freestyle.

But the Bears ended the Cardinal’s hopes of a 32nd-straight conference title when Shields obliterated the rest of the field by over three seconds in the 200-yard butterfly, clocking in at 1:41.23.

The Cardinal returns to The Farm to taper for the NCAA Championship, which begins March 28.

George Chen is a senior staff writer at The Stanford Daily who writes football, football and more football. Previously he worked at The Daily as the President and Editor in Chief, Executive Editor, Managing Editor of Sports, the football beat reporter and a sports desk editor. George also co-authored The Daily's recent book documenting the rise of Stanford football, "Rags to Roses." He is a senior from Painted Post, NY majoring in Biology. To contact him, please email at gchen15@stanford.edu.