Bears Host San Jose State/Fresno State This Week
Nov. 11, 2003
No. 9 Cal (2-0) Back in Berkeley for Final Home Meets of 2003
Date: Friday-Saturday, Nov. 14-15, 2003
Place: Spieker Aquatics Center, Berkeley, CA
Time: 1 p.m./10 a.m.
Led by three-time NCAA Swimmer of the Year, Natalie Coughlin, the No. 9 California women's swimming team (2-0) is back in Berkeley to take on San Jose State and Fresno State Friday and Saturday at Spieker Aquatics Complex. The Bears take on the Spartans at 1 p.m. Friday and face the Bulldogs at 10 a.m. on Saturday. These meets mark the final home events for Cal women's swimming until Jan. 23-24, 2003 versus desert rivals Arizona and Arizona State.
CAL VS. OPPONENTS
The Golden Bears own sizeable series records against both of their weekend opponents. Cal holds a 21-1 all-time record against San Jose State, last defeating the Spartans, 178-113, Nov. 15, 2002. The Bears are 20-1 against Fresno State. Cal last competed against the Bulldogs in 2001, winning the meet by a score of 182-112.
SCOUTING THE SPARTANS
It has been a rough start so far for San Jose State, as the Spartans are sporting an 0-3 dual meet record. Two of those losses have been at the hands of Pac-10 teams, as San Jose State fell to Washington State and Oregon State earlier this year. The Spartans are a veteran team with nine seniors and juniors dotting the roster.
SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS
Fresno State's squad has not competed in nearly a month, after opening the season with a loss to Nevada on Oct. 18. Last season, the Bulldogs posted a winning percentage of .500 or better with a 7-4-1 overall record. Among Fresno State's strongest swimmers are freestyler Melissa Johnson, backstroker Julie Heaton and butterflier Nika Nakamoto.
The Golden Bears last competed at the Colleges' Cup in British Columbia, Vancouver on Friday-Saturday, Oct. 31-Nov. 1. The short course meters meet featured swimmers from the following schools: University of British Columbia, University of Calgary, University of Victoria and Simon Fraser University. Cal won 10 events spanning the two day meet. The Bears were led by senior Natalie Coughlin's four wins. Coughlin was victorious in the 200 individual medley (2:16.17), 100 (1:01.29) and 200m backstroke (2:12.75) and 100m butterfly (59.99). Coughlin, who owns the short course world records in both the 100 fly and 200 back, also led Cal to a victory in the 200 (Coughlin, Danielle Becks, Erin Reilly, Keiko Amano- 1:44.69) and 400m free relays (Amano, Coughlin, Becks, Reilly-3:48.34). Reilly was also impressive in Canada, garnering three individual wins. She touched the wall first in the 200m fly (2:13.88) and 400m (4:12.74) and 800m free (8:44.85).
The Bears feature five first-year collegiate swimmers this season. Annie Babicz, from Sarasota, Fla., is a versatile swimmer who will contribute in the breast, fly and IM events. Babicz was nationally ranked No. 1 in the 100 breast during her 2001 high school season, was a member of the 2002 U.S. National Junior team and competed at the 2000 Olympic trials. She also was a four-time Florida state champion in the 100 breast and three-time champion in the 100 fly. Catherine O'Neal, from Austin, Tex., will also contribute in the breaststroke events. Erin Reilly is a distance freestyler/butterflier from Sacramento, Calif. An 11-time high school All-American in the 200 and 500 free, 100 fly and 200 and 400 free relay events, Reilly was also the Sac-Joaquin section record holder in the 100 fly and 200 free. Cal also added two backstrokers to its roster this season with Kelly Sanders (Los Altos Hills, CA) and Nadia Staubitz (Mesa, AZ). Staubitz, who is also a prolific butterflier, was the 2002 Arizona state high school champion in the 100 and 200 back.
Cal claimed eighth place at the 2003 NCAA Championships with 215 points. Natalie Coughlin led the Bears with her third consecutive titles in the 100 and 200 back and 100 fly. She earned her third NCAA Swimmer of the Year honor and became the first swimmer in NCAA history to win three titles in the 100/200 back and 100 fly. She also broke the NCAA and American record in the 100 free (47.00), leading off the Bears' 400 free relay. At the NCAAs, three Cal school records fell. Staciana Stitts rewrote her school record in the 100 breast with a time of 1:00.30, while the 200 (1:30.03) and 400 free relays (3:16.21) also set new school records. At the 2003 Pac-10 Championships, the Bears placed fifth (940.5 points). Cal hosted the conference meet in Federal Way, Wash., where Coughlin came away from the meet with three individual victories. She broke her own American record in the 100 free (47.42) and posted two other championship meet records in the 50 free (22.05) and 100 fly (51.01). She also swam the second leg on Cal's victorious 200 free relay team (1:31.01), helping Cal to its fifth-consecutive 200 free relay championship title. Other Bears who posted top five finishes included Helen Silver's runner-up finish in the 200 back (1:58.08) and fifth-place showing in the 100 back (54.85). Stitts also posted a fifth-place finish in the 100 breast (1:02.47). In addition to Cal's win in the 200 free relay, the Bears' other relays teams were impressive. The Bears' 200 free relay and 200 and 400 medley relays each finished second. In the regular season, Cal was 8-3 overall and 4-2 against Pac-10 opponents.
DID YOU KNOW?
Cal boasts seven All-America swimmers on the 2003-04 squad. They include seniors Natalie Coughlin (21x), Danielle Becks (8x), Natalie Griffth (2x) and Micha Burden, junior Lauren Medina and sophomore Cheryl Anne Bingaman.
CAL SWIMMERS AMONG NATION'S BEST LAST SEASON
Several returnees from the 2002-03 Cal team were splashed on the 2003 College Quick 50--a list of the top 50 times in the nation for each event. Additionally, the Bears' 400 free (3:16.21) and 400 medley relays (3:34.95) ranked third, while their 200 free (1:30.03) and 200 medley relays (1:38.65) ranked fourth and 800 free relay ranked ninth (7:13.52).