Cal Wins First Pac-10 Title in School History; Major Records Set in the Process
Feb. 28, 2009
Federal Way, Wash. - The California Women's Swimming and Diving Team earned its first ever Pac-10 Championship with 1550 total points at the King County Aquatics Center on Saturday night. The final day highlights also included an NCAA record; a relay title, two individual titles, three school records and two Pac-10 Conference Championship records. The 1550 points were the most for the Bears since the conference championship began in 1987, and the most points since Stanford recorded 1533 points at the 1999 conference championship.
Arizona, who finished second, had its streak of three consecutive conference titles snapped.
In the last event of the evening, Cal's foursome of Dana Vollmer, Erica Dagg, Madison Kennedy and Hannah Wilson sprinted to an NCAA, Pac-10 and school record time of 3:11.05 in the 400-yard freestyle relay, eclipsing the previous NCAA record time of 3:11.34 set by Arizona last season. The previous school record in the 400 free relay was 3:12.13 set in 2007.
Lauren Boyle broke her own school record in the 1650-yard freestyle and repeated as Pac-10 Champion with a time of 15:56.93 - an NCAA B consideration. Boyle's season-best time in the 1650 entering the conference championship was 16:15.16 set at the Art Adamson Invitational back in November. Boyle and Sarah Anderson (1989) are the only two Cal swimmers to win a Pac-10 title in the 1650 since 1987.
Blake Hayter registered a fourth place showing in the 1650 with a season-best 16:18.84, eclipsing her previous best time of 16:41.03 also set at the Art Adamson Invitatioanl.
Sara Isakovic helped the Bears gain 22 points with an eighth place finish in the 1650 with a time of 16:26.60. Mattea Perrotta also gained some points for the Bears with a personal-best and 15th place finish time of 16:37.23.
Vollmer, who had the performance of a lifetime at these conference championships, continued to set records with a Pac-10 conference championship meet record and first place time of 47.19 in the 100-yard freestyle. Vollmer was 0.19 seconds off of tying Natalie Coughlin's school record 47 flat in 2003. This was Vollmer's second conference title this week and her first in the 100 free. Emily Silver was the last Cal swimmer to win the 100 free in 2007. The 47.19 was not only a personal best, but an NCAA Automatic qualifying time.
Wilson finished right behind Vollmer in the 100 free with a personal-best time of 47.89, while Kennedy touched the wall in fourth with a lifetime-best time of 48.18. Dagg lowered her previous personal-best time of 48.81 with a sixth place finish a new personal mark of 48.42. Cal had three swimmers place in the top-8 in last year's championship.
In the consolation final of the 100 free, Liv Jensen clocked a personal-best time of 48.68, almost a second lower than her previous best time of 49.35 registered in the morning prelims. Tara Thomas also swam in the consolation final and clocked a 49.09 and a personal-best 48.81 in the prelims.
Cal had two swimmers place in the championship final of the 200-yard backstroke - Mary Beck and Lauren Rogers. Beck placed fourth with a time of 1:54.71, after setting a Cal best and NCAA provisional mark of 1:54.36 in the morning preliminaries. Rogers came in fifth and garnered 25 points with a lifetime-best mark of 1:54.92 - still the third-best time on Cal's all-time top 10 performance list.
In the consolation final of the 200 back, senior Emily Verdin clocked a personal-best time of 1:56.97, eclipsing her previous best time of 1:57.19 set in the morning prelims.
Swimming in the 'C' final of the 200 back, Kelsey Hoff clocked a personal-best time of 1:59.72 in the morning prelims.
Alexandra Ellis also completed a highly successful conference championship with a school record and second place finish in the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:10.57, eclipsing the previous school record time of 2:11.34 set in 2000. Ellis finished 10th in last year's conference championship.
Kirstyn Colonias also had a solid showing in the consolation final in the 200 breast with a personal-best mark of 2:16.05. Natalie LaRochelle swam a personal-best time of 2:17.54 as well in the 200 breast.
Amanda Sims had an efficient conference championship as well and swam a personal-best time of 1:54.20 - good enough for fourth place and an NCAA Automatic qualifying time.
Swimming in the consolation final, Sara Isakovic swam a Cal best 1:55.98 - an NCAA provisional mark as well as Shelley Harper, who swam a personal-best time of 1:58.48. Courtney Eronemo swam a lifetime best 2:00.13 in the morning prelims.