Our next second round match-up comes out of the Pete Newell region and features former Cal and current Olympic swimmer Nathan Adrian against former Cal running back Joe Igber. Adrian got here by beating Tyson Ross pretty easily while Igber beat Milica Vukadinovic by an even wider margin.
Adrian is an incredible swimmer who has a gold medal from 2008 and was the individual champion at the NCAA's in 2010. I have a feeling that those people that don't know about him now will definitely be familiar with him after the Olympics this summer. Igber may be overlooked in terms of name recognition, but he should not be unknown when it comes to his place in the Cal Football record books. He maintains a lofty place there but what really stands out is the fact that he went on to a successful career afterwards. He truly embodies the Cal ethos and is what all of the student-athletes ought to be striving for in both their athletic and professional careers.
I think that this will be a close vote befitting a 4/5 match-up and I could see it going either way. The winner will move on to face Russell White in the third round. You can take a look at the whole bracket here to see who has advanced and how. As always, you can see the full write-ups after the jump and voting will end on Friday. GO BEARS!
(4) Nathan Adrian
Cal Mens Swimming vs. USC 100y Freestyle (via AquaVolo)
At the 2008 Summer Olympics, Adrian swam in the heats of the 4×100 m freestyle relay and earned a gold medal when the United States won in the final. He has won a total of twelve medals in major international competition, ten gold, one silver, and one bronze spanning the Olympics, the World, and the Pan Pacific Championships.
paleodan adds: "And he helped out on Mythbusters. (A Bay Area show about nerds that like to blow stuff up with robots-and you can't get much more Cal then that.)"
• 2010 NCAA champion in the 100 free
• Member of 2010 NCAA champion 200 free, 400 free and 400 medley relays
• 2010 Pac-10 champion in the 50 and 100 free
• Member of 2010 Pac-10 champion 400 free and 400 medley relays
• 2009 NCAA champion in the 50 (American record 18.71) and 100 free (American record 41.08)
• 2009 Pac-10 champion in the 50, 100 and 200 free
• Member of 2009 Pac-10 champion 200 and 400 medley relays
• Named 2009 Pac-10 Swimmer of the Year
• Named 2010 CoSida ESPN The Magazine All-Academic All-American and first-team Pac-10 All-Academic
• Cal school record-holder in 50 (18.71), 100 (41.08) and 200 free (1:32.98)
• On Cal school record-holding 200 medley (1:22.50, freestyle leg), 400 medley (3:01.69, freestyle leg), 200 free (1:15.13, lead-off leg), 400 free (2:47.61, lead-off leg) and 800 free (6:19.79, lead-off leg) relays (joins Graeme Moore as only people to be on all five school record relays)
• Pac-10 record-holder in 50, 100 and 200 free, 200 and 400 free and 200 and 400 medley relays
(5) Joe Igber
I'll let BearStage talk about Igber here:
Joe Igber. My all-time favorite Cal running back. Often overlooked, his name litters the pages of Cal's record books.
- His 3,124 career rushing yards are the third most in Cal history. Only Russell White and Marshawn Lynch can claim more.
-His 2002 rushing total of 1,130 yards was the 3rd highest single-season total in Cal history (at that time)
His greatest performance: a 226-yard, one-touchdown performance in the 2002 Big Game, which Cal won 30-7. Not only did he set the record for most rushing yards in the history of the Big Game (which still stands), he helped bring the Axe back to its rightful home after a painful 7-year drought.
These accomplishments alone should be enough to garner him consideration. And while these are all great reasons to appreciate Joe Igber, I'm most impressed with him because his career typified what we strive for Cal to be. You see, Igber somehow managed to balance the workload of a star Pac-10 running back with the workload of becoming a civil engineer.
Now, most people can barely handle one of those challenges. We all know how time consuming and stress inducing engineering majors are - between physics/math/engineering courses, labs, projects, research (if you're ambitious) - it's more than enough for most of us. UC Berkeley is one of the best (and toughest) places in the world to study engineering. People come from all over the world to study engineering at Cal, and that reputation is well-deserved, and it was the main reason that Joe Igber decided to come to Cal in the first place.
Also, we've all heard about how much time, sacrifice, dedication it takes to play Pac-10 football, let alone be a starter - the practice, the training, and weight rooms, the film, the travel. Add to the that the pressure of being the star running back, and you've got yourself a full plate that very few have the patience and focus to handle.
On top of even that - to perform at the level that Joe Igber did, to set records and do things on the field no Golden Bear has ever done, while handling that academic workload - it's just ridiculous.
Joe Igber is that rare combination, the very best of both of Cal's worlds - an amazing athlete and an impressive scholar. As such, I nominate him for the CGB Hall of Fame.