No. 6 Cal Wins Team Title at Short Course National Championships
Dec. 5, 2009
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. - Sixth-ranked California won the final event of the meet - the 400-yard freestyle relay - and claimed the collegiate team title on the third and final day of the 2009 AT&T Short Course National Championships on Saturday at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center. The Golden Bears foursome of senior Amanda Larson, junior Erica Dagg, sophomore Sara Isakovic and sophomore Liv Jensen swam an NCAA B qualifying time of 3:17.60 to claim the last race. Cal compiled 282 points to win the meet, with USC taking second (200).
Former Cal star Dana Vollmer, competing in Federal Way for the California Aquatics club, earned the meet's high-point award.
Also in the 400-free relay, the Cal B quartet of junior Katie Kastes, sophomore Colleen Fotsch, junior Amanda Sims and senior Lauren Boyle clocked an NCAA B qualifying time of 3:23.56 to finish fifth.
Also on Saturday, the Cal divers completed their stay in the Texas Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame Invitational, with sophomore Alissa Barker finishing eighth in the platform final with a score of 198.40 in Austin, Texas.
Boyle produced Cal's top individual finish of the night, placing second in the 1650-yard freestyle with an NCAA B qualifying time of 16:07.21. That time is Cal's fastest of the season. Senior Blake Hayter posted an NCAA B qualifying time of 16:44.57 for her fastest time of the season.
Bears senior Heather White clocked the team's top time of the season (2:00.19) in the 200 backstroke with her 19th-place finish. Freshman Samantha Pearson posted her fastest 200-back time (2:01.83) in the morning preliminary round.
In the 100 freestyle, a trio of Bears swam their fastest times of the season in the evening finals: Jensen (12th in NCAA B qualifying time of 49.78), Dagg (13th in NCAA B qualifying time of 49.93) and Larson (19th in 50.41).
Vollmer and Madison Kennedy, also competing for California Aquatics, reached the 100-free A final on Saturday night. Vollmer finished just .02 seconds behind winner Amanda Weir, 47.84-47.86, for second place, while Kennedy was eighth in a time of 49.57. Vollmer also claimed second in the 200 butterfly in a time of 1:53.59.
Freshman Caitlin Leverenz had Cal's best finish in the 200 breaststroke, with an NCAA B qualifying time of 2:12.86 to finish 11th.
In the 200 fly, Isakovic finished three spots behind Vollmer, her former teammate, with Cal's fastest time of the season (NCAA B qualifying time of 1:55.66). Sims swam an NCAA B qualifying time of 1:56.30, her best this season, to place seventh. Kastes (11th in NCAA B qualifying-1:57.79) and sophomore Shelley Harper (20th in NCAA B qualifying-2:00.13) swam their fastest times of the season in the evening finals, while Courtney Eronemo (NCAA B qualifying-2:00.48) clocked her fastest 200-fly time in the morning prelim.
Fans can view footage of the AT&T Short Course Nationals online at www.swimnetwork.com. In addition, the meet will be broadcast as a one-hour special on NBC on Dec. 12 from 2-3 p.m. ET.
In diving, Cal's Barker finished in the top eight for the first time in the three diving events in Texas.
'It was really a solid meet for the two women that went,' Cal diving coach said of Barker and freshman Kelsey Heiken. 'Kelsey's just gaining great experience, and it's fun to watch her learn as she goes. You can see her evolving as a competitor, which is very cool. She was inspired by some of the things she saw there. Hopefully that will help her in training over winter break.
'Alissa is primarily a platform diver, and she had a couple misses and a couple hits. This was her first platform competition of the season, so it was a benchmark to see what we have to work on.'
The Cal swimmers stay in Federal Way for one more day to compete in the U.S. Long Course Timed Final National Invitational on Sunday, Dec. 6. The Cal divers return to action when the Bears host Arizona State on Jan. 22 and Arizona on Jan. 23 at Spieker Aquatics Complex in Berkeley. The latter is Cal's last home meet of the season.
Cal Results from 2009 AT&T Short Course National Championships
Dec. 4 in Federal Way, Wash.
11. Caitlin Leverenz 2:12.86*.
* NCAA B qualifying time
Cal Results from 2009 Texas Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame InvitationalDec. 5 in Austin, Texas
8. Alissa Barker 198.40.