Stanford grad Eugene Godsoe swam to his first-ever medal at a FINA World Championships as he earned silver in the men's 50-meter butterfly on Monday in Barcelona, Spain.
"It feels absolutely amazing," Godsoe told Universal Sports. "I knew for the 50 fly, if you have a lane, you have a shot."
Godsoe, a Stanford assistant coach, was the USA's lone representative in the event after winning it at the Phillips 66 National Championships in June.
Godsoe sped to a 23.05 clocking while trailing only Cesar Cielo of Brazil (23.01). Godsoe qualified eighth in 23.16. The American record is 22.91 by Bryan Lundquist in 2009.
"Coming in lane 8, I knew I had no pressure," Godsoe said. "I just had to execute. The 50 fly is just one of those events where if some of those guys are trying too hard, they're going to be a little bit slower. So I knew if I could go a tenth or two-tenths faster (than I swam in semifinals), I'd have a chance to medal in it."
Godsoe said the race set him up well for the 100 fly later in the week (Saturday).
"I'm really excited for the 100," he said. "I knew coming in if I could match, or even come close to my 50 time, I was going to have a great 100. For me to go three-tenths faster, I've got some speed in me."
The former NCAA champ is not entirely new to the international scene. He won silver medals in the 100 back and the 100 fly at the 2011 Pan American Games, but this is the first time he's competed at a long course world championships.
American Ian Crocker won silver in this event three times -- in 2003, 2005 and 2007 -- but no American has ever won gold in the 50 fly at a long course world meet.
Cielo, meanwhile, became the second man to ever claim the sprint fly title twice since its inception at the 2001 World Championships.
Joining Godsoe on the medal stand Monday for the U.S. was former Cal star Dana Vollmer, who took bronze in the women's 100 fly.
Their performance on the second night of finals at Palau Sant Jordi brought the Americans' total medal count to eight -- three gold, two silver and three bronze. The U.S. leads all countries in medal count.
Other Americans swimming in finals Monday included Kevin Cordes and Nic Fink, who finished seventh and eighth in the men's 100 breast, and Caitlin Leverenz, who finished fifth in the women's 200 IM.
In other highlights, Lithuania's Ruta Meilutyte broke American Jessica Hardy's world record in the women's 100 breast, turning in a time of 1:04.35. The former mark stood at 1:04.45.
In events later this week, Stanford grad BJ Johnson will swim in the men's 200 breast on Thursday and Stanford senior Maya DiRado will go in the women's 200 fly (Thursday), 400 IM (Saturday) and 800 free relay (Saturday).