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CGB Hall of Fame Semifinal Round: (1) Layshia Clarendon vs. (5) Dave Durden

In the last round Layshia defeated one of Cal's most decorated athletes in the pool. Can she take down another of Cal's aquatic heroes? She'll face a tough challenge from Dave Durden, who has garnered tons of votes in the previous two rounds. The winner of today's matchup advances to the finale of the Pete Newell region. Check out the most recently updated bracket here.



Last week wrapped up our final Round of 32 matchups:

  • (1) Justin Cobbs became the third 1-seed to be knocked out of the tournament.  He lost 71%-29% to (9) Sean Lampley.  Who would have predicted that only one 1-seed would make it into the Sweet 16?
  • Big Game hero (4) Mike Mohamed defeated teammate (5) Marvin Jones 73%-27%.
  • (3) Mike Montgomery advanced with a 61%-39% victory over Alexis Gray-Lawson.
  • (2) Seamus Kelly earned the final spot in the Sweet 16 with a 59%-41% win over (10 Joe Igber.

The decisions keep getting tougher!  We've now advanced to the Sweet 16 round.  We have four available Hall of Fame spots (one for each region) plus a wild card spot, which means that these Sweet 16 matchups determine who advances to the final round.

(1) Layshia Clarendon

NorCalNick gives us some thoughts:

I don't know exactly what Layshia's legacy will be as an individual player. She's probably the best shooting guard in Cal history, depending on whether or not you think of Alexis Gray-Lawson as a point guard. But the legacy of the teams she led is secure: The greatest in Cal history.

And if you only remember her for one game, it's a doozy. When nobody else could score, it was Layshia who sank shot after shot, willing the Bears back against Georgia in the Spokane Regional Final with 25 points. The Bears wouldn't have made the Final Four without her. But we already knew that. Throughout the season she proved herself as a leader, both tangible and intangible. Is it normal for your leading scorer to also be your glue? I don't know, but that's how her teammates described her.

When Joanne Boyle left for Virginia, Clarendon helped hold the team together. She quickly became the go-to player for Lindsay Gottlieb. And yet her off-the-court record is perhaps even more impressive. She was the conference academic player of the year and a senior class award nominee in part because of her volunteer work. She's as well-rounded a player as I can recall, and has never felt the need to publicize her accomplishments. Perhaps that's why the push to win her the Senior CLASS award was so strong.

Her combination of team, individual, academic and community achievement is as strong an argument for CGB Hall of Fame enshrinement as there can be. #Vote4Layshia.

(5) Dave Durden

Dave Durden is now eligible for our Hall of Fame tournament, and not a moment too soon. Durden has quickly established Cal as one of the top men's swimming programs in the nation. highlights his accomplishments:

David Durden, beginning his sixth year at the helm of the California men's swimming and diving program, has led the Golden Bears to back-to-back national team titles in 2011 and 2012, and has been named NCAA Coach of the Meet and Pac-12 Coach of the Year three seasons in a row.

In just five years Durden has brought the Cal program to the pinnacle of college swimming as he coached the Golden Bears to their first NCAA team title since 1980 in 2011, and then guided his squad to another national crown this past March in Federal Way, Wash.

In his spectacular fifth year at Cal, Durden led his 2011-12 team to the program's fourth NCAA title with a dominating 535.5 to 491 point victory over second place Texas at the national meet. Before his pair of national crowns, Durden led the Bears to an NCAA runner-up finish in 2010 and fourth-place finishes in 2008 and 2009. He now owns an overall dual meet record of 24-9 (.727).
Since his arrival to Berkeley in 2007, Durden's (along with head coach emeritus Nort Thornton) swimmers have established school records in 18 of 19 swimming events, including all the relays. He has guided Cal to 23 NCAA titles, including nine relay crowns and 33 Pac-12 individual and relay titles, in five seasons.

That article is woefully out of date, however, as Durden and the Bears won another National Championship two weeks ago. This is how he celebrated: