No. 4 Cal Opens 2007 at No. 23 Arizona State, No. 2 Arizona

Jan. 11, 2007

The fourth-ranked California women's swimming and diving team (6-0) opens the New Year with dual meets at 23rd-ranked Arizona State and second-ranked Arizona. The Golden Bears take on the Sun Devils on Friday at 1 p.m. in Tempe, Ariz., and then face the Wildcats on Saturday at 1 p.m. in Tucson, Ariz.

In Cal's last meetings with the Arizona schools, the Bears beat ASU, 167-90, in a Jan. 20, 2006, dual meet and then defeated the Wildcats, 178-122, in a Jan. 21, 2006 dual meet.

In the Rankings

The latest College Swimming Coaches Association of America national poll ranks Cal, with 190 points, at No. 4 in the nation. Arizona has 204 points and only trails No. 1 Stanford (209). ASU has 54 points in 23rd place.

Last Time Out:Bears Take Second Place in Athens

Fourth-ranked California took second place behind the host and eighth-ranked Lady Bulldogs at the 2006 Georgia Fall Invitational that wrapped up on Dec. 3 at Gabrielsen Natatorium in Athens, Ga. The Golden Bears, with wins by sophomore Dana Vollmer, junior Emily Silver and their 400-freestyle relay, collected 996 points to Georgia's 1,073 and finished ahead of Minnesota (891), Missouri (485), Harvard (298) and Georgia Tech (160).

Vollmer swam an automatic NCAA Championship qualifying time of 1:56.46 to win the 200-yard butterfly, as the Bears collected three automatic qualifying times to finish 1-2-3 in the event. Right behind Vollmer, Cal junior Rachel Ridgeway notched a 1:58.32 and senior teammate Erin Reilly swam a 1:58.96 in the 200 fly.

Silver swam an automatic NCAA time of 49.01 in the 100 free, with freshman teammate Amanda Larson taking eighth in 51.85.

The Cal A quartet of Vollmer, Reilly, sophomore Jessica Hardy and Silver raced to an automatic NCAA qualifying time of 3:17.77 to win the 400-free relay. The Cal B team of senior Lauren Andrews, freshman Blake Hayter, Larson and junior Kelly Stravers was fifth in 3:26.19.

The Cal divers competed on the platform for the first time this season. Bears freshman Samantha Young was fifth with a score of 219.95 and freshman teammate Stephanie Whalen, who competed for the first-time ever on the platform, was 12th with a 137.90.

Vollmer, Hardy Set the Pace

All-American sophomore Jessica Hardy, the defending NCAA champion in the 100-yard breaststroke, was the first Bear to automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships, but four teammates joined her at the Georgia Invitational. Sophomore Dana Vollmer, senior Erin Reilly and juniors Emily Silver and Rachel Ridgeway have also automatically qualified for individual eventse at the NCAA Championships.

Hardy's best time of 1:01.01 in the 100-yard breaststroke, in a win against Minnesota on Oct. 13 in Minneapolis, Minn., qualifies her for that event.

Vollmer has automatically qualified for the most events for Cal: the 50 free (22.68), 100 free (49.23), 200 free (1:46.04), 100 fly (52.71) and 200 fly (1:56.46). Silver has qualified in the 100 free (49.01) and 200 free (1:46.99), Reilly has qualified in the 200 fly (1:58.67) and Ridgeway has also qualified in the 200 fly (1:58.32).

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