No. 3 Cal Hosts Top-Ranked Stanford in Final Regular Season Dual Meet

Jan. 30, 2007

BERKELEY - The third-ranked California women's swimming and diving team (10-0, 5-0 Pac-10) hosts rival and top-ranked Stanford (9-0, 5-0 Pac-10) at 12 p.m. on Saturday at Spieker Aquatics Complex. This is the Golden Bears' final dual meet of the season, leading into the Pac-10 and NCAA Championships.

For Cal senior swimmers Lauren Andrews, Annie Babicz, Erin Reilly, Nadia Staubitz and Sherry Tsai, the clash with Stanford represents the last home meet of their careers.

Last season, the Bears upset the Cardinal, 169-131, at Stanford to finish the dual-meet season undefeated, at 11-0 (7-0 Pac-10).

In the Rankings
Cal moved up one spot in the latest College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) national poll to No. 3, with 253 points. Stanford (269) is No. 1 and Auburn (258) is No. 2.

Last Time Out:
Bears Sweep L.A. Schools
Fourth-ranked California swept No. 11 USC and No. 14 UCLA on Jan. 19 and Jan. 20, respectively, at Spieker Aquatics Complex. The Bears defeated the Trojans 181-99 and beat the Bruins, 165-96.

Lexus Gauntlet Challenge
This meet is part of the Lexus Gauntlet Challenge, the year-long, all-sports challenge between rivals Cal and Stanford. Whichever team wins this meet will earn five points towards its school's total. As of Tuesday, Jan. 30, Cal and Stanford are tied with 22.5 points each.

The 2006-2007 academic year will mark the third year of the partnership with Lexus and the two universities. Stanford won the first two trophies in the challenge with the Bears.

A portion of the Lexus Gauntlet sponsorship is provided in recognition of good sportsmanship in competition between the schools. An annual scholarship recipient at both schools is determined and recognized at the end of each academic year when the Lexus Gauntlet trophy is presented.

Scouting Stanford
Stanford has a 9-0 record (5-0 Pac-10) after likewise sweeping No. 14 UCLA and No. 11 USC in its last homestand of the season.

Cardinal junior Caroline Bruce was named's Swimmer of the Week after she recorded NCAA A times in her sweep of the 100- (1:01.41) and 200-yard (2:11.31) breaststrokes against USC on Jan. 20. She also won the 200 backstroke and was a member of Stanford's victorious 400 medley relay team to help lead the Cardinal to a victory over UCLA on Jan. 19. Bruce was also a 2004 U.S. Olympian and a two-time NCAA champion as a freshman in 2005.

Stanford junior Brooke Bishop, the defending Pac-10 champion in the 50-yard freestyle, was a three-time All-American last season and is a member of the United States' 2007 World University Games team. Against USC, she won both the 100 back (55.47) and 100 free (50.82) in NCAA B cuts.

Freshman teammate Julia Smit had a strong weekend against the L.A. schools. She won the 200 individual medley in an Avery Aquatic Center pool-record, career-best and NCAA automatic qualifying time of 1:57.43 against UCLA. One day later she captured the 200 back (1:57.26, NCAA A) and 200 free (1:48.62, NCAA B) against USC. Smit, yet another U.S. swimmer for Stanford, actually tied freshman teammate Whitney Spence for first in that 200 free.

Senior diver Cassidy Krug took seventh place on the one-meter and ninth on the three springboards at last year's NCAA Championships. Krug also took third place on the three-meter board at the 2006 Summer Senior National Championships.

Lea Maurer, a 10-time NCAA champion under her maiden name of Lea Loveless at Stanford, is in her second year as head coach of her alma mater. Shane Whildin is in his second year as Stanford's assistant coach. Former Stanford star Erik Maurer, Lea Maurer's husband, is in his second year as the Cardinal's volunteer assistant coach.

Dr. Rick Schavone is in his 29th year as head diving coach on the Farm.

Hardy Named Swimmer of the Week
Cal sophomore Jessica Hardy was named the Swimmer of the Week for her role in the fourth-ranked Golden Bears' 159-142 upset of second-ranked Arizona on Jan. 13 in Tucson, Ariz.

The Long Beach, Calif., product swam on the winning 400-yard medley relay in an NCAA Championships provisional qualifying time of 3:39.78. She also won the 100 breaststroke in an automatic qualifying time of 1:01.43 and took second place in the 200 individual medley (2:03.09, provisional qualifying time).

The 2006 NCAA champion in the 100 breaststroke, with her time of 1:00.02, Hardy is also a former world-record holder in the long course 100-meter breaststroke. She set that mark with her semifinal time of 1:06.20 at the 2005 World Championships. Her winning time of 59.75 in the 100-yard version of the event at the 2006 Georgia Invitational on Dec. 1 is currently the fastest collegiate time in the nation.

Vollmer Named Pac-10 Swimmer of the Month of December
California sophomore Dana Vollmer was named the Pac-10 Swimmer of the Month for December. Vollmer swam five automatic qualifying times for the NCAA Championships as the Golden Bears took second place in the 2006 Georgia Invitational Dec. 1-3, in Athens, Ga. A 2004 U.S. Olympic gold medalist in the 800-meter freestyle relay, Vollmer also competed on three Cal relays that notched automatic qualifying times while at the Bulldogs' meet.

At the Georgia Invitational, Vollmer won the 50-yard freestyle in 22.68 (NCAA A, Dec. 1), won the 100 butterfly in 52.71 (NCAA A, Dec. 2) and won the 200 fly in 1:56.46 (NCAA A, Dec. 2). She led off Cal's winning 400-free relay in a 100-free time of 49.23 (NCAA A, Dec. 3) and led off Cal's second-place 800-free relay with a 200-free time of 1:46.04 (NCAA A, Dec. 2).

She also swam one individual provisional qualifying time for the NCAA Championships, when she took fourth in the 500 free in 4:46.51 (NCAA B, Dec. 1).

The Granbury, Texas, product helped that 400-free relay (3:17.77, Dec. 3) along with the winning 200-medley relay (1:39.12, Dec. 2) and winning 400-medley relay (3:36.05, Dec. 1) swim automatic NCAA Championship qualifying times in Athens. In addition, she swam on the winning 200-free relay (1:31.35, Dec. 1) and second-place 800-free relay (7:10.52, Dec. 2) that clocked NCAA B qualifying times.

Swimmers Qualify for NCAA Championships
All-American sophomore Jessica Hardy, the defending NCAA champion in the 100-yard breaststroke, was the first Bear to automatically qualify for the 2007 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 events at the NCAA Championships.

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

Young Qualified for NCAA Diving Regional
Samantha Young has had a strong freshman season so far, leading the Bears on both the one-meter (278.55 points on Jan. 12 against Arizona State) and three-meter (306.83 on Jan. 12 vs. Arizona State) springboards and on the platform (219.95 on Dec. 3 at the Georgia Invitational). She has also qualified to dive at the NCAA Regional, the possible prelude to the NCAA Championships.

The product of Shoreline, Wash., had won every diving event (one- and three-meter boards) for the Bears prior to the Georgia Invitational. In Athens, she took second place on the one-meter springboard (267.80), fifth place on the platform (219.95) and ninth place on the three-meter board (235.50).

Looking Ahead:
Bears Prepare for Pac-10s
Following the Stanford meet, the Cal divers next compete at the Pac-10 Diving Championships, Feb. 9-11 in Federal Way, Wash. The Cal swimmers next compete at the Pac-10 Championships, Feb. 14-17 in Long Beach, Calif. Last season, the Bears finished fifth overall at the conference meet.

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