Dana Vollmer Wins Pac-10 Title in the 200 Free; Cal Takes Overall Lead
Feb. 27, 2009
Federal Way, Wash. - It was another strong performance by the Cal women's swimming team as senior Dana Vollmer won the Pac-10 Championship in the 200-yard freestyle on Thursday night at the King County Aquatics Center. The Golden Bears stormed ahead of Arizona into first place with 990.5 points heading into Saturday's final seven events.
Additionally, Cal swimmers are continuing to achieve personal best times and putting themselves in position to compete at the NCAA Championships later in March.
'Everyone really stepped up today and it was really good to everyone perform at a high level,' said head coach Teri McKeever. 'We need to get our rest tonight and come out strong tomorrow morning. We hope to finish strong.'
Vollmer took home the Pac-10 Championship in the 200-yard freestyle with a first place time of 1:42.68 - also an NCAA Automatic time. On Wednesday, Vollmer clocked a Pac-10, NCAA, Cal and American record time of 1:41.53 in the leadoff 200 yard leg of the freestyle. It was Vollmer's first title in the 200 free and the fourth time in the last five years that a Cal swimmer claimed the 200 free title (Emily Silver in 2005 and 07, and Erin Reilly in 2006).
Sara Isakovic finished right behind Vollmer in the 200 free with an NCAA Automatic qualifying time of 1:43.00 - a new best time at Cal. In the 2008 Olympics, Isakovic took home a silver medal for her native Slovenia in the 200-meter free, finishing in 1:54.97, just 0.15 seconds behind winner Frederica Pellegrini of Italy, who set a world record with a time of 1:54.82. The previous world mark was 1:55.52.
Liv Jensen, who is having a stellar Pac-10 Championship placed fourth in the 200 free with a time of 1:45.47. In the morning prelims, Jensen clocked a personal-best time of 1:44.92. Another young standout for the Bears, Erica Dagg, placed fifth with a time of 1:45.84. Dagg reached a new personal-best time of 1:45.64 in the morning prelims as well. Madison Kennedy rounded out the Cal top finishers in the 200 championship final with a sixth place and personal-best time of 1:45.85.
A total of five Cal swimmers occupied the top-8 in the championship final of the 200 free after only having two in the championship final last year.
Courtney Eronemo (4:14.17) and Heather White (4:14.6) finished 7-8 in the championship final of the 400 IM respectively - both times are NCAA provisional marks. Earlier in the preliminaries, White swam a personal-best time of 4:13.41, while Eronemo clocked a personal-best time of 4:13.70 - both times also good for NCAA provisional standards. Also in the prelims, Kelsey Hoff swam a lifetime-best 4:16.20, while Natalie LaRochelle posted a personal-best time of 4:18.46, before eclipsing that mark in the 'B' consolation final with a new personal mark of 4:15.12 - also an NCAA provisional time. Freshman Shelley Harper set a new standard in the prelims as well, swimming a personal-best time of 4:18.53, before topping that feat in the 'C' final with a time of 4:16.01.
Vollmer nearly had a three-peat in the championship of the 100-yard butterfly, coming in second to Stanford's Elaine Breeden (50.87) with a time of 51.11. Vollmer's time of 50.94 in the morning preliminaries was an NCAA Automatic qualifying time. Hannah Wilson lowered her personal-best time (51.82) in the prelims with a third place time and new personal-best 51.24 - also an NCAA Automatic qualifying mark. Wilson placed fifth in last year's 100 fly at the Pac-10s. Amanda Sims also had a stellar day in the 100 fly as she recorded a personal-best time of 51.63 in the prelims, before lowering it with a fourth place time of 51.59 - another NCAA Automatic qualifying standard. Sims finished fourth in last year's conference championship in the 100 fly.
Tara Thomas also achieved new heights in the 100 fly with her morning preliminary time of 52.87 and then lowering that mark with a new personal-best time of 52.64 in the 'B' consolation final. Ursula Dailey also achieved a new personal benchmark with a time of 53.28 in the consolation final as well. Both times are considered NCAA provisional marks.
Alexandra Ellis had a great performance in the championship final of the 100-yard breaststroke, placing third with a lifetime-best time of 1:00.51 - third-best mark on Cal's all-time performance list. Earlier in the prelims, Ellis swam a then personal-best time of 1:00.84. Ellis finished 15th in last year's conference championship in the 100 breast.
Kirstyn Colonias finished 14th in the 'B' final of the 100 breast with a time of 1:03.42. Colonias registered a personal-best time of 1:02.85 in the morning prelims.
Senior Lauren Rogers came so close to making it a three-peat in the championship final of the 100-yard backstroke, finishing second with a time of 51.86 (an NCAA Automatic time), behind Arizona's Ana Agy who touched the wall first with a time of 51.65.
Mary Beck took eighth place in the 100 back with a time of 53.55.
In the final event of the evening, Cal's foursome of Rogers, Ellis, Vollmer and Jensen took home a fourth place finish in the 400-yard medley relay with a time of 3:33.71.
Alissa Parker placed 17th on the 3-meter diving board with 210.5 points.
The Pac-10s conclude on Saturday with events in the one-meter diving, 1650 free, 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly and 400 free relay.
Live Streaming: The Pac-10 Women's Swimming Championship will be streamed live by the Pac-10 Conference. To access the video go to www.pac-10.org. The streaming can be found on the right side of the page under Pac-10 All Access. LiveStats can be found at http://results.teamunify.com/pnws2/
Video interviews from the Pac-10 Championship can also be found at www.floswimming.org.