Cal Hosts Fresno State on Thursday
Nov. 3, 2009
On the Pool Deck
Defending NCAA champion California (1-0) hosts Fresno State (1-6) in a swimming and diving dual meet at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 5 at Spieker Aquatics Complex. The last time the Golden Bears took on the Bulldogs was in 2003, when the Bears won, 166-100. Cal head coach Teri McKeever formerly coached at Fresno State, producing a 54-22 record with the women's team (1998-92) and a 19-18 record with the men's team (1990-92).
The Fresno State meet will serve as the 2009-10 debut for the Golden Bears divers, who have not yet competed this season. They will be busy this week, however, as first-year Cal diving coach Ben Herdt will lead his Bears to the USC Diving Invitational Friday, Nov. 6 to Saturday, Nov. 7 in Los Angeles.
Scouting the Golden Bears
The Bears took on UC San Diego in an exhibition on Oct. 15 and San Diego State two days later on a trip to the San Diego area. Cal won seven of 10 races, including such unconventional races as the 300-yard butterfly relay and 1,500-yard freestyle relay, at the relay-only meet at the Aztec Aquaplex. The Bears also trained with both the Tritons and Aztecs during the trip, which included beach workouts and swimming in the Pacific Ocean.
Cal defeated Pacific, 158-87, on Oct. 10 at Spieker Aquatics Complex in its first dual meet of the season. Four Bears won individual events, with impressive freshman Caitlin Leverenz winning in NCAA B qualifying times in the 200-yard breaststroke and the 400-yard individual medley. The Tucson, Ariz., product swam a time of 2:13.13 in the 200 breaststroke and a time of 4:13.96 in the 400 IM.
Senior Heather White, junior Erica Dagg and sophomore Sara Isakovic also won two events each against the Tigers. White also posted an NCAA B qualifying time (4:19.12) in the 400 IM. The local product from Oakland, Calif., won the 100 breaststroke (1:05.08) and 200 backstroke (2:03.33).
Dagg, from New Orleans, led a top-four Cal sweep of the 100 backstroke (56.71) and later claimed the 100 freestyle (50.76). Isakovic, a 2008 Olympic silver medalist from Bled, Slovenia, won the 200 freestyle in an NCAA B qualifying time of 1:47.45.
The Bears opened the 2009-10 season on Sept. 18 at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, Calif., where Leverenz won the title of the Queen of the Pool after swimming the lowest combined time in a pentathlon of 100-yard events.
Ben Herdt has a stable of five divers: sophomores Alissa Barker, Molly Hayes and Laura Sanford and freshmen Rachel Becker and Kelsey Heiken. Barker posted Cal's top finish on the platform at the 2009 NCAA Zone E Championships (14th, 390.70) and Pac-10 Championships (4th, 237.90) and on the three-meter springboard at Pac-10s (17th, 210.05). Hayes recorded the Bears' best marks on the one-meter springboard (15th, 460.40) and at three meters (38th, 205.05) at the Zone E meet and at one meter (14th, 220.60) at Pac-10s. Sanford also competed at Pac-10s, taking 14th on the platform (137.00), 18th at one meter (204.85) and 19th at three meters (178.75).
Scouting the Opposition
Fresno State has a 1-6 dual-meet record after its most recent competition - a 184.5-110.5 setback against three-time defending Western Athletic Conference champion Nevada on Oct. 30 in Reno, Nev. Against the Wolf Pack, Fresno State freshman Dani Yoho won the 50-yard freestyle in a time of 24.71 and tied for first in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 54.62. Bulldogs sophomore Heidi Gjoen won the 100-yard backstroke in a time of 59.01, took second in the 200-yard backstroke (2:09.09) and placed second in the 200-yard individual medley (2:16.11). Freshman Stacey Luke collected FSU's top diving finishes against the Wolf Pack, taking second on the one-meter springboard (232.50) and finishing fourth at three meters (252.08).
The Bulldogs defeated Fresno Pacific, 182-77, on Oct. 23 for their first dual-meet win of the season and their first win since the FSU restarted the program returned last season.
Jeanne Fleck is in her second year as the Bulldogs' head coach.
Cal will next compete in the Toshiba Classic from Nov. 19-21 in Long Beach, Calif.