No. 3 Cal Women's Swimming Heads to NCAA Championships

March 14, 2006

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Date .................. Thursday - Saturday, March 16-18
Place ................ Ramsey Center Natatorium, Athens, Georgia
Time .................. All Day

The No. 3 Cal women's swimming team travels to the 2006 NCAA Championships to take on the nation's best at the 25th Anniversary of the NCAA Division I Women's Swimming & Diving Championships. The Golden Bears come off of a strong performance at the Pac-10 Championships, Feb. 22-25. Cal claimed one relay and two individual titles and finished fifth overall. The Bears won the 800-yard freestyle relay title for the third consecutive year, while senior Helen Silver won the 200-yard backstroke, and junior Erin Reilly claimed the 200 freestyle crowns.

This year, the Bears send 12 swimmers to the national meet, including two seniors, four juniors, three sophomores and three freshmen. All nine of the non-freshmen are returning NCAA competitors, including eight All-Americans. Cal is sending the second-most swimmers of any Pac-10 team. The Bears' 12 are second to Arizona's 14. USC qualified 10, followed by Stanford (9) and UCLA (8).

Last year, Cal finished eighth at the NCAA meet after entering the competition ranked No. 11. The 2005 championships featured eight top-10 finishes by the Bears - 100 free (Emily Silver, 4th); 200 free (Lauren Medina, 5th); 500 free (Ashley Chandler, 9th); 200 back (Helen Silver, 9th); 200 free relay (9th); 400 free relay (6th); 800 free relay (5th); 400 medley relay (8th).

Tickets for the 2006 NCAA Championships are available by calling the Georgia Athletic Association Ticket Office at 1-877-542-1231 (toll free) or by logging on to An all-session pass can be purchased for $55.

Live results and scoring will be available on the University of Georgia web site, Complete results and recaps will be available at following each day's competition.

Twelve women's swimmers will represent Cal at the NCAA Championships: seniors Ashley Chandler and Helen Silver, juniors Lauren Andrews, Annie Babicz, Erin Reilly and Sherry Tsai, sophomores Rachel Ridgeway, Emily Silver and Leann Toomey, and freshmen Jessica Hardy, Lara Pease and Lauren Rogers.The Bears will be competing in 12 individual events and all five relays.

The Pac-10 features at least one swimmer or relay team seeded in the top five of 19 of 21 events. Twelve events feature two Pac-10 swimmers seeded in the top five. Cal's junior Erin Reilly and senior Ashley Chandler are seeded fourth and fifth in the 500-yard freestyle. Cal is sending the second-most swimmers of any Pac-10 team. The Bears' 12 aresecond to Arizona's 14. USC qualified 10, followed by Stanford (9) and UCLA (8).

The Bears posted a number of impressive performances at the Pac-10 Championships (Feb. 22-25) in Long Beach, Calif. Over the three-day meet, Cal wrapped up three titles (two individual, one relay) and recorded nine second-place finishes and three third-place showings.

The Bears claimed their third consecutive 800 free relay title, with the team of senior Ashley Chandler, junior Lauren Andrews, freshman Lauren Rogers and junior Erin Reilly clocking season best of 7:08.31. Senior Helen Silver won the 200 back in a lifetime best 1:55.12 on the final day of competition. Reilly won the 200 free in 1:45.70 and was followed by Chandler in second (1:46.14) and Emily Silver in fourth (1:47.19).

Emily Silver posted two second-place finishes, in the 50 free (22.65) and 100 free (48.79). Rachel Ridgeway took second in the 400 IM in (4:16.34). The Bears had strong showings in the 500 free and 100 breast, taking second and third in both events. In the 500 free, Reilly was second (4:42.31) followed by Chandler (4:45.43). Jessica Hardy (1:00.15) took second in the 100 breast, followed by Annie Babicz (1:01.17). Cal's other relays were solid, with three second-place marks and one third: 200 medley (2nd, 1:39.98), 400 free relay (2nd, 3:18.01), 400 medley relay (2nd, 3:36.36) and 200 free relay (3rd, 1:31.83).

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