No. 11 Cal Kicks Off NCAA Competition

March 17, 2005

BERKELEY -- The No. 11 Cal women's swimming and diving team posted three top-10 finishes on the first day of the 2005 NCAA Championships, held in West Lafayette, Ind Thursday. The Golden Bears sit in eighth place going into day two.

In the 400-yard medley relay, Cal finished eighth in 3:40.70, with the team of junior Helen Silver, sophomore Annie Babicz and freshmen Emily Silver and Leann Toomey.

Junior Ashley Chandler turned in the ninth-best time overall in the 500 free (4:43.33), which was first in the consolation final.

The 200 freestyle relay team of Emily Silver, Helen Silver and sophomores Sherry Tsai and Lauren Andrews posted a ninth-place finish in 1:31.17. The Bears were the top team in the consolation final.

'The 200 free relay, the first event of the day, got the ball rolling nicely,' said Cal assistant Whitney Hite. 'I didn't know if we were going to make it (to the finals), and we got ninth. The medley relay did a nice job, getting in the top eight. That was one of our goals.'

Cal earned 49 points in the first day of competition. Georgia (211) leads the pack, followed by Auburn (137), Arizona (120) and Stanford (108).

'We had a really good day,' said Hite. 'Going in, we were only supposed to score 34 points on day one, and we're at 49 already. Certainly we did a good job, and we're in a good spot.'

Three Cal swimmers recorded lifetime best times on Thursday: senior Lauren Medina (4:46.52) and freshman Rachel Ridgeway (4:50.71) in the 500 free, and Tsai (2:01.41) in the 200 IM.

Competition continues Friday, with prelims beginning at 11 a.m. (EST) and finals at 7 p.m. (EST). Day two events include the 200 medley relay, 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back, 3-meter diving and 800 free relay.

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