Cal Women's Swimming Opens 2004-05 Season

Oct. 5, 2005

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Date Friday, Oct. 7/Saturday, Oct. 8
Place Pullman, Wash./Moscow, Idaho
Time 5 p.m./11 a.m.

The Golden Bears open the 2005-06 season this weekend when they travel to the Nortwest to face Washington State and Univeristy of Idaho. The trip will mark the first dual meet between Cal and the Cougars since October of 2003, and it will be the first time that Cal has competed against Idaho.

The trip north will take some of Cal's swimmers a little closer to home. Those hailing from the Northwest are: the Silver sisters, senior Helen and sophomore Emily (Bainbridge Island, Wash.), sophomore Genevieve Patterson (Vancouver, Wash.) and sophomore Leann Toomey (Sammamish, Wash.).

The Bears graduated eight team members in May, including seven-time All-American Lauren Medina. But Cal returns a plethora of talent this season, including nine All-Americans, many of whom took part in national and international competition over the summer. Golden Bear All-Americans include sophomore Emily Silver, junior Erin Reilly, senior Helen Silver, sophomore Emily Verdin, junior Annie Babicz, senior Ashley Chandler, junior Sherry Tsai, junior Lauren Andrews and sophomore Leann Toomey.For up to date results and recaps, visit

Cal welcomes five swimmers who qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials a year ago, and two swimmers with international experience. Jessica Hardy and Lauren Rogers headline the impressive incoming class.

Hardy set a world record in the 100 breast (1:06.20) at the XI FINA World Championships in Montreal. The Long Beach native set the world-leading mark in the semifinal of the event and ended up placing second in the final. Hardy, who graduated from Long Beach Wilson High School, owns two national titles as well as four 18 and under national titles. She was named Swimming World's Magainze High School Swimmer of the Year in 2004 and 2005.

Rogers competed for the United States at the World University Games in Izmir, Turkey, where she placed sixth in the 100 back in 1:03.15. A graduate of Carondelet High School, Rogers was an eight-time North Coast Section champion.

Samantha Heath, who hails from San Ramon, was a four-time MVP at California High School as well as an NCS Champion in 2003. Natalie La Rochelle holds nine school records at Vintage High in Napa Valley and was named CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Swimmer of the Year in 2004. Lara Pease, out of Long Beach Wilson High School, was a senior All-American in the 100 back, a sophomore All-American in the 100 back and200 IM relays, and a freshman All-American in the 100 back and 100 fly.

Best of the Best
The Bears made a splash in the summer of 2005 on both the national and international scene. Led by a group of former, current and incoming Cal swimmers, the Bears collected five first-place finishes, six second-place finishes and posted four first-place showings. Overall, Cal swimmers notched 21 top-10 finishes in international and national competition.

Cal head coach Teri McKeever served as an assistant US squad during the 2005 World Championships held in Montreal.

The World Championships in Montreal featured freshman Jessica Hardy (three silver medals), sophomore Emily Silver and former Bear Natalie Coughlin (one gold medal, two silvers and two bronzes). Hardy set a world record in the semis of the 100 breast in 1:06.20.

At the World University Games in Turkey, senior Ashley Chandler and recent grad Lauren Medina swam on the first-place 800 free relay team. Junior Sherry Tsai, representing Hong Kong, and freshman Lauren Rogers competed in the 100 back.

At the National Championships, Cal posted three first-place finishes. The 800 free relay team of Emily Silver, Erin Reilly, Chandler and Medina took first, the 400 free relay team of Medina, Reily, Silver and Lauren Andrews, and Helen Silver in the 100 back. The 400 medley relay team of Helen Silver, Emily Silver, Annie Babicz and Reilly placed second. Medina, Reilly, Chandler, Helen Sivler and Emily Silver also placed in the top 10 in individual races.

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