Hardy, Vollmer, 800-Free Relay Win Titles at NCAAs
March 9, 2007
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - California sophomores Jessica Hardy and Dana Vollmer won the 100-yard breaststroke and 100-yard butterfly titles, respectively, and the Golden Bears capped off Friday night with a record-breaking victory in the 800-yard freestyle relay at the NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships held at the Minnesota Aquatics Center.
With one day remaining in the meet, Cal stands in third place with 261.5 points, behind leader Arizona (375) and second-place Auburn (343).
The Cal foursome of Vollmer, junior Emily Silver, freshman Blake Hayter and senior Erin Reilly swam a 7:00.89 to win the 800-free relay. That time is a new school record, American record, U.S. Open record, NCAA meet record and pool record. Cal has now won four titles at this year's NCAA Championships, including Thursday night's record-breaking victory in the 400-medley relay.
'I'm real proud,' Cal head coach Teri McKeever said. 'We've done a lot of great things to put ourselves in a position to win individual titles and relay titles and set American records.
'Everyone's contributed. Alexandra Ellis comes in at 1:03 in the 100 breaststroke and swims a 1:01.72 in the prelim. Erin made a statement. We were in third in the relay, and she ran down people. Dana has really embraced what we're doing. Emily had a bit of a hiccup and found a way to learn from it and get back on track. Sherry Tsai is an individual All-American for the first time in her career.'
Hardy swam a school-record and lifetime-best 59.43 to repeat as the 100 breaststroke NCAA champion, while Vollmer swam a lifetime-best and pool-record 50.69 to collect her first individual NCAA title.
'Jessica broke the school record, and that's pretty awesome,' McKeever said. 'Anytime you can win a title like that when you're the hunted as the defending champion, that's great.'
Vollmer, a Florida Gator last year, earned praise for the success she has found since joining Cal.
'She's extremely happy,' McKeever said. 'I'm very proud of her. Last year at this meet she didn't score any individual points, though she was an All-American in a relay. In a year the progress that she's made has been great. Everybody's career has ups and down. As I said to some of the team, it's not what you do when things are going great, it's what you do when you hit the bumps, and Dana's come out on top.'
To open the night, the Cal foursome of sophomore Lauren Rogers, Hardy, Vollmer and Silver set a new school record of 1:36.60 to take second place in a fast 200-medley relay. Arizona won the title in an American-, U.S. Open-, NCAA- and pool-record 1:36.09. Cal also surpassed the previous American, NCAA and U.S. Open record of 1:36.69, set by Auburn in 2003.
Reilly took third place in the 200 freestyle in a time of 1:44.66. Arizona's Lacey Nymeyer won the race in 1:43.49.
Junior Rachel Ridgeway placed eighth in the 400 individual medley, swimming a 4:16.27. Auburn's Ava Ohlgren won the 400 IM in a pool-record 4:04.08.
Cal sophomore Lauren Rogers won the consolation final of the 100 backstroke with a time of 53.59. Rogers' time was actually the fifth-fastest of the night overall. Senior teammate Sherry Tsai tied Arizona's Andrea Boritzke for 11th in 53.93.
Saturday's preliminary races begin at 11 a.m. CT.
Top 10 Team Standings (through 6 events)
School Points1. Arizona 3752. Auburn 3433. California 261.54. Stanford 167.55. Georgia 1956. Texas A&M 167.57. Texas 1568. Florida 1379. Michigan 11910. Tennessee 94
California Results - Friday Finals
400-Yard Individual Medley
8. Rachel Ridgeway 4:16.27.
1. Dana Vollmer 50.69p.
California Results - Friday Preliminaries
* Cal school record
^ American record
% U.S. Open record
m NCAA meet record
p Minnesota Aquatics Center pool record