Golden Nuggets: Cal Men's Swimming and Diving Wins Pac-12 Championship, Ending Stanford's 31-year Winning Streak

Al Bello

Although they're two-time defending national champions, the Bears have not won the conference title since 1981. Worse yet, Stanford had won the past 31 conference titles. Fortunately that all came to an end on Wednesday.

It was a great week in the pool for Cal. The Bears won their first conference title since 1981 and, even better, ended Stanford's 31-year winning streak.

Behind senior Tom Shields' victory in the 200 fly (1:43.23) and several other strong performances, the Cal men's swimming and diving team has broken Stanford's 31-year streak of winning the conference team title as the Golden Bears captured the 2013 Pac-12 championship, 825-800, over the Cardinal Wednesday night (March 6). USC was third with 638.5 points and Arizona fourth at 483.

"I am proud of the way our men competed over the last three and a half days," said Cal coach David Durden. "It is amazing to think about a 31-year streak such as Stanford's and all of the great teams that they have held off over the years. I am glad that we were able to do this for our fans, alums, parents, and for Nort (Thornton)."

Cal, the defending 2011 and 2012 NCAA team champions, was the last school besides Stanford to win the conference team title, accomplishing the feat back in 1981 when Nort Thornton was the head coach. This season, the Bears are 7-0 in dual meets and are looking for a third straight national title at the 2013 NCAA championships, March 28-30 in Indianapolis.

Shields was named the 2013 Pac-12 Swimmer of the Meet after five first place finishes and a second place finish during the championship. He won individual Pac-12 titles in the 100 and 200 fly and the 100 back, and was a member of the Bears' 200 and 400 medley relays. In addition, he was a member of Cal's second place 800 free relay. The senior finished his career with a total of 16 Pac-12 titles.

Now it's time for the three-peat.

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