Cal Women's Swimming Signs Four to Letters of Intent

Nov. 27, 2001

BERKELEY, CA - The University of California women's swimming program has signed four athletes to National Letters of Intent, it was announced today by Golden Bear head coach Teri McKeever. Joining Cal in January will be Chelsea Hastings, and next fall Whitney Rockwell, Cheryl Ann Bingaman and Gina Merlone and will begin competing for the Bears.

Hastings is from Bowie High School in Austin, Texas and swims for the Circle C Swim Club, coached by Randy Reese. She scored in the 2001 Senior Nationals and has a best of 1:58.13 in the 200-yard back and bests of 2:02.82 in the 200 IM and 4:21.00 in the 400 IM. Hastings also has bests of 1:04.90 in the 100-meter back (LCM) and 2:16.96 in the 200-meter back (LCM).

'Chelsea will contribute right away for us this season,' said Cal assistant coach Adam Crossen. 'She is very talented and very versatile. She will definitely be a valuable addition to our team.'

Rockwell is from Cape Elizabeth, Maine where she attends Cape Elizabeth High School and swims for Coastal Maine Aquatics, coached by Gabe Mazurkiewicz. She has a best of 23.25 in the 50 free.

'Whitney is one of the top high school freestyle sprinters in the nation,' said Crossen. 'She will continue our tradition of outstanding sprinters here at Cal.'

Bingaman attends Lodi High School in Lodi, Calif. and swims for the Lodi Swim Club. She is a freestyler with bests of 23.77 in the 50 free and 51.70 in the 200 free.

'Cheryl Ann is starting to come into her own as a top-notch swimmer,' said Crossen. 'She should be able to provide us with depth in the freestyle events.'

Merlone will be a fourth generation Cal student when she joins the Bears next fall. She is from Menlo, Calif., attends the Menlo School and swims for Tony Batis of the Palo Alto Swim Club. She has a best of 1:03.66 in the 100 breast.

'Gina comes from a well-respected club program and is well coached,' said Crossen. 'She will add to our breaststroking corp.

'Overall, we have such a young team that our recent signees will have a chance to adjust to collegiate swimming. We will be looking for them to continue to improve as next season goes on and just get better and better.'

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