Cal Wins 800-Free Relay in Record Time at Pac-10 Championships
Feb. 14, 2007
LONG BEACH, Calif. - Third-ranked California won the 800-yard freestyle relay for the fourth straight year and also took second in the 200-medley relay on Wednesday, the first day of the Pac-10 Women's Swimming and Diving Championships at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool. In the 800-free relay, the Cal A quartet of sophomore Dana Vollmer, freshman Lauren Boyle, junior Rachel Ridgeway and senior Erin Reilly swam a school- and meet-record 7:05.59 to win a tight race. Arizona was second (7:06.11) and Stanford was third (7:06.59).
Reilly also swam on Cal's previous three Pac-10 winning 800-free relays.
The Golden Bears beat the school record of 7:07.38 they set when they took fourth place in the 800-free relay at the 2006 NCAA Championships. They broke the Pac-10 Championships record they set when they won the 2004 title in 7:08.13.
'The 800-free relay was really a great race between Cal, Arizona and Stanford,' Cal head coach Teri McKeever said. 'Dana's lead off 1:43.95 was pretty strong. That might be the fastest time in the country [in the 200 free]. Lauren and Rachel were solid in the middle, and Erin Reilly was a rock star tonight, swimming in both relays.
'There were a handful of people who swam both tonight, but Erin did a good job as far as being on both relays and contributing. I think we were third when she took off, and she went by both Arizona and Stanford to help us win.'
Reilly swam on the Golden Bears' second-place 200-medley relay to open the meet. The Cal A foursome of senior Sherry Tsai, sophomore Jessica Hardy, Reilly and junior Emily Silver swam a 1:39.16, an automatic qualifying time for the NCAA Championships, in the 200-medley relay. Stanford won the race with an NCAA A cut of 1:37.71.
Cal swam a faster 200-medley relay against Stanford in a Feb. 3 dual meet, in which the Bears clocked a 1:38.36.
The Pac-10 Championships continue at 11 a.m. on Thursday with the preliminaries in the 500 free, 200 individual medley and 50 free. Tomorrow's finals begin at 6 p.m.