#9 Bruins Lose Thriller to #5 Cal, 155-145

Jan. 31, 2004

Los Angeles, CA - In an exciting neck-in-neck meet between two of the top-ranked teams in the nation, the #9 UCLA Bruins lost to the #5 California Golden Bears. The Bruins scored 145 points to the Bears' 155 points.

UCLA began the meet in impressive fashion, with the 200m Medley Relay squad of freshman Katie Arnold and seniors Leslie Hovsepian, Kristen Lewis and Sara Platzer winning in 1:55.78. The Bruins also won four individual events. In the 200m Fly, sophomore Kim Vandenberg, who leads the nation in this event, won in 2:10.93. Sophomore Shellene Catalano won the 200m Breast in 2:31.98. Sophomore Amanda Blong won the one-meter, scoring 273.59 points. And, sophomore Sara Clark won the three-meter with 254.78 points.

The Bruins had 10 individual runners-up in the pool. Freshman Katie Nelson placed second in the 800m Free (8:37.37) and 400m Free (4:14.45). Arnold was second in the 100m Back (1:02.89). Vandenberg was second in the 200m Free (2:05.15) and 100m Fly (1:00.49). Catalano placed second in the 100m Breast (1:12.80). Lewis placed second to Vandenberg in the 200m Fly (2:15.30). Platzer was the runner-up in the 50m Free (25.83). Senior Naoko Watanabe was second in the 200m Back (2:14.14). And, junior Kim Scarborough was the runner-up (4:48.67) in a very close 400m IM race that came down to the wire.

Other top Bruin performances were third-place finishes by senior Malin Svahnstrom (200m Free, 2:02.36), Watanabe (100m Back, 1:03.52), freshman Amy Thurman (50m Free, 26.33), Platzer (100m Free, 57.33), Arnold (200m Back, 2:14.59), freshman Jane Imagane (400m Free, 4:14.90) and Lewis (100m Fly, 1:02.04).

In diving, the Bruins swept the one- and three-meter events. In the one-meter, Blong's 273.59 points led the Bruins. Sophomore Paige Thompson was second (261.00 points) and Clark was third (245.25 points). On three-meter, Clark was the winner for the second day in row, scoring 254.78 points. Blong was second (244.65) and Thompson was third (236.85).

Cal's top performer of the day was senior Natalie Coughlin, who won the 50m and 100m Frees (25.40 and 54.88, respectively), 100m Fly (58.91) and led off the 400m Free Relay.

The meet came down to the final leg of the 400m Free Relay. Entering the last event, Cal was ahead of the Bruins 142-141. After the first two legs of the relay, swum by Bruins Platzer and Thurman, the Bears had pulled just ahead. Vandenberg pulled the Bruins within striking distance. In the final leg, Cal's Lauren Medina just edged out Svahnstrom for the win. Cal clinched the meet, finishing in 3:44.89. UCLA finished in 3:45.30.

The Bruins are now 7-2 overall, 4-2 in Pac-10 competition. The next Bruin meet will be against cross-town rival USC, currently ranked #8 in the nation, on Saturday, February 14. Diving will begin at 11:00 AM at Sunset Recreation Center. Swimming will begin at noon at Men's Gym Pool.

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