No. 4 Cal Wins 3 Races on Day 2 at Georgia Fall Invite

Dec. 2, 2006

ATHENS, Ga. - Fourth-ranked California swam automatic NCAA Championship qualifying times to win three of eight events on Saturday night at the Georgia Fall Invitational at Gabrielsen Natatorium at the University of Georgia. Cal freshman diver Samantha Young also qualified for the NCAA Zone Regional with a second-place finish on the one-meter springboard. But the host Bulldogs, who won three events themselves, took over the overall lead in the meet from the Golden Bears, with 745 points to Cal's 715, with one day of competition remaining on Sunday.

The Cal A foursome of sophomore Lauren Rogers, sophomore Jessica Hardy, sophomore Dana Vollmer and junior Emily Silver opened the finals session by capturing the 200-yard medley relay in an automatic qualifying time of 1:39.12, which was just three hundredths of a second off the time that Cal swam to take fourth place at last season's NCAA Championships. The Cal B team of senior Lauren Andrews, senior Annie Babicz, senior Erin Reilly and junior Kelly Stravers took fourth place in a time of 1:44.33.

Vollmer and junior teammate Rachel Ridgeway finished 1-2 in the 100 butterfly, with Vollmer swimming a 52.71 (NCAA A) and Ridgeway swimming a lifetime-best time of 54.07 (NCAA B). Hardy was fourth in a lifetime best of 54.81 (NCAA B).

Later, Hardy returned to the pool to win the 100 breaststroke in an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 59.71, which was two tenths of a second off her Cal-record time of 59.51, set at last year's Georgia Fall Invitational. Babicz was third in this year's meet in a season-best time of 1:02.31 (NCAA B) and freshman teammate Alexandra Ellis was seventh in 1:03.91.

Two freshmen swam season-best times for Cal's best finishes in the 400 individual medley: Heather White was fourth in 4:20.10 (NCAA B) and Courtney Eronemo was fifth in 4:22.82 (NCAA B).Minnesota's Jenny Shaughnessy was first in 4:13.44 (NCAA A).

Three Bears swam in the A final of the 200 freestyle, with Silver taking second in 1:46.99 (NCAA A), Reilly taking third in 1:48.19 (NCAA B) and freshman Blake Hayter taking seventh in 1:49.28 (NCAA B). Silver was just five hundredths of a second behind Georgia's Anna Miller, who won the race in 1:46.94 (NCAA A).

In the 100 backstroke, Rogers was third in 55.16 (NCAA B) and Andrews was sixth in a season-best time of 56.38. Georgia's Aleksandra Putra won in 53.98 (NCAA A).

Young, who was seeded fifth on the one-meter board after the morning prelim, scored a lifetime-best of 267.80 to finish behind Harvard's Samantha Papadakis (270.25).

'She did really well,' Cal diving coach Tom Davidson said. 'She did everything I asked her to do and didn't leave a dive short, which is why she ended up where she did. Sam scored a season best and qualified her for zone competition. It's nice to get that out of the way. I was really happy with how she did today.'

The Bears' A quartet of Vollmer, Silver, Ridgeway and Reilly closed the night with a second-place finish in the 800-free relay (7:10.52, NCAA B), as the Georgia A team won in 7:09.05 (NCAA A). The Cal B team of Andrews, freshman Jenna Wesley, freshman Amanda Larson and Hayter was sixth in 7:27.26.

'We had a really solid evening session today, and we were hoping to win that 800 free relay, but it was just a little closer than expected and Georgia swam really well,' Cal assistant coach Johan Steiner said. 'We had a bunch of lifetime bests, so that was exciting.

'We're pretty happy with these solid swims. It's going to give us a lot of extra incentive for the remainder of the dual-meet season and going into Pac-10s. We have lots of things to work on. But it's great to race against quality teams.'

On Sunday, the final day of competition at the Georgia Fall Invitational, prelims begin at 9:30 a.m. ET and finals begin at 3 p.m. ET.

Georgia Fall Invitational

1. Georgia 745 points
2. California 705
3. Minnesota 590
4. Missouri 339
5. Harvard 208
6. Georgia Tech 112

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