No. 3 Cal Opens Pac-10 Swimming Championships on Wednesday

Feb. 13, 2007

BERKELEY - The third-ranked California women's swimming team heads to the Pac-10 Championships scheduled to run Wednesday through Saturday, Feb. 14-17, in Long Beach, Calif., at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool. The Golden Bears recently completed their dual-meet season with a 10-1 record (5-1 Pac-10). Last year, Cal head coach Teri McKeever's team took fifth place at the conference meet, which was also set at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool.

Stanford is the host of this year's meet.

The official meet site can be found at the following URL:

Young Divers Excel at Pac-10s
Cal had a strong performance from its divers at the Pac-10 Diving Championships last week in Federal Way, Wash. Bears freshman Samantha Young reached the finals of two events, taking fifth place (261.85) on the one-meter springboard and sixth (222.65) on the platform. Young's score on the platform is a lifetime-best mark. Freshman teammate Stephanie Whalen led the Bears with an 11th-place finish (235.25) on the three-meter board.

Bears Tough to Beat
Cal has a good shot at the conference title, with a talented array of swimmers and strong relays. Bears senior Erin Reilly is a defending Pac-10 champion in two races - individually in the 200-yard freestyle and as part of a foursome in the 800-free relay. That relay included former Bear Ashley Chandler and current senior Lauren Andrews and sophomore Lauren Rogers.

McKeever's team had nine second-place finishes at the conference meet in 2006, including a runner-up finish by current sophomore Jessica Hardy in the 100 breaststroke. Hardy, of course, went on to win the event at the 2006 NCAA Championships.

Sophomore Dana Vollmer has automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships in the most individual events (5) for Cal. Vollmer, a 2004 U.S. Olympic gold medalist, and Cal junior Emily Silver, who has collected three NCAA A cuts, are among the top sprinters in the nation. They will vie for top honors in the 50-, 100- and 200-yard freestyles at Pac-10s. Nationally, Silver is ranked eighth in the 50 free with a time of 22.43 (NCAA A or automatic NCAA Championships qualifying time), sixth in the 100 with a time of 48.96 (NCAA A) and 13th in the 200 (1:46.57, NCAA A). Vollmer is eighth in the 200 (1:46.04, NCAA A), 19th in the 50 (22.68, NCAA A) and 14th in the 100 (49.23, NCAA A).

In the butterfly events, Vollmer has the nation's third-best time (1:56.26) in the 200 and the fourth-best time in the 100 (52.11). She swam both those times in Cal's dual meet against Stanford on Feb. 3 in Berkeley.

Senior Erin Reilly and freshman Lauren Boyle are other strong options in the middle distances, as Reilly comes to Pac-10s with the 18th-fastest time (1:46.06, NCAA A) in the 200 free and Boyle has the 19th-fastest time (1:46.08) in the 200 free. Boyle, who has come on strong since joining Cal midway through the season, swam the Bears' fastest time (4:43.24) in the 500 free, which she swam in winning the race against Stanford. Reilly has a top time of 4:46.51 (NCAA B) in the 500.

Freshman Blake Hayter is Cal's top distance swimmer, with a team-leading time (16:27.25) in the 1650 free as well as an NCAA B cut in the 500 (4:48.80). Andrews also has an NCAA B time (4:53.80) in the 500.

In the backstroke, Rogers leads Cal with an NCAA A cut (54:08) in the 100 and Andrews paces the Bears with a B cut in the 200 (1:57.82). Senior Sherry Tsai has Cal's second-fastest time (54.48, NCAA B) in the 100 and third-fastest time in the 200 (2:00.08, NCAA B). Rogers also has a B cut (1:58.29) in the 200. All those times came against Stanford.

Besides Hardy, who leads the country with a 59.75 (NCAA A) in the 100 breaststroke, senior teammate Annie Babicz (1:01.15) and freshman Alexandra Ellis (1:02.33) have A cuts in the 100. Both Bears set those times against Stanford. Ellis also has Cal's top time and only NCAA A cut in the 200 breaststroke, with a 2:13.12. Hardy (2:14.48), Babicz (2:15.88) and freshman teammate Heather White (2:17.08) have B cuts in the 200.

Junior Rachel Ridgeway paces the Bears in the 200 individual medley (2:00.52, NCAA A) and has the second-best Cal time in the 400 IM (4:22.23, NCAA B). White leads Cal in the 400 (4:18.99, NCAA B) and is fifth (2:03.15, NCAA B) in the 200.

Cal has plenty of firepower in the relays, particularly in the medley relays, as the Bears hold the second-fastest time (1:38.36, NCAA, A) in the nation in the 200 and the third-fastest time (3:36.05, NCAA A) in the 400. In the freestyle relays, Cal heads into Pac-10s with the sixth-fastest times in the 400 (3:17.77, NCAA A) and 800 (7:10.52, NCAA B) and with the 10th-fastest time in the 200 (1:31.35, NCAA B).

Last Year:
Reilly, H. Silver, 800 Free Relay Win Titles for Bears
Senior Helen Silver swam a lifetime best time in the 200-yard backstroke to win the event on Feb. 25, the final day of the Pac-10 Women's Swimming and Diving Championships. The No. 3 Cal squad wrapped up the last day of competition with seven top five finishes at Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool in Long Beach.

As a team, the Golden Bears finished fifth with 1082.5 points. Arizona captured the team championship (1325.5) followed by UCLA (1246.5), Stanford (1227) and USC (1162.5).Silver won the 200 back in a time of 1:55.12. Freshman Lauren Rogers (1:57.86) finished fifth and senior Lauren Andrews (1:58.00) took sixth in the race.

A day earlier, Erin Reilly clocked a 1:45.70 to win the 200 free and was followed by senior Ashley Chandler in third place (1:46.14) and sophomore Emily Silver in fourth (1:47.19).

The Cal quartet of Chandler, Andrews, Rogers and Reilly clocked a 7:08.31 to capture the 800-free relay title on Feb. 22, the first day of the conference meet.

Silver Named Pac-10 Swimmer of the Month for January
Cal junior Emily Silver was named the Pac-10 Women's Swimmer of the Month for January, Commissioner Tom Hansen announced on Feb 8.

This is the second straight such award for the Bears, as Cal sophomore Dana Vollmer was the Pac-10 Swimmer of the Month for December.

Silver, a junior from Bainbridge Island, Wash., led the Golden Bears to wins in dual meets against Pac-10 foes Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA and USC. The 2006 All-American won nine individual events, including four victories in the 50-yard freestyle, in NCAA B qualifying times.

In addition to her individual titles, Silver was also a part of four winning relay teams that clocked NCAA B cuts during the month of January. Out of the 16 events in which Silver competed, she finished first in all but three, garnering second in the 100 free, 200 free and 100 butterfly.

This is the first monthly honor for Silver and Cal's fourth all-time Swimmer of the Month honor.

Hardy Named Swimmer of the Week
Cal sophomore Jessica Hardy was named the Swimmer of the Week for her role in the fourth-ranked Golden Bears' 159-142 upset of second-ranked Arizona on Jan. 13 in Tucson, Ariz.

The Long Beach, Calif., product swam on the winning 400-yard medley relay in an NCAA Championships provisional qualifying time of 3:39.78. She also won the 100 breaststroke in an automatic qualifying time of 1:01.43 and took second place in the 200 individual medley (2:03.09, provisional qualifying time).

The 2006 NCAA champion in the 100 breaststroke, with her time of 1:00.02, Hardy is also a former world-record holder in the long course 100-meter breaststroke. She set that mark with her semifinal time of 1:06.20 at the 2005 World Championships. Her winning time of 59.75 in the 100-yard version of the event at the 2006 Georgia Invitational on Dec. 1 is currently the fastest collegiate time in the nation.

Vollmer Named Pac-10 Swimmer of the Month for December
California sophomore Dana Vollmer was named the Pac-10 Swimmer of the Month for December. Vollmer swam five automatic qualifying times for the NCAA Championships as the Golden Bears took second place in the 2006 Georgia Invitational Dec. 1-3, in Athens, Ga. A 2004 U.S. Olympic gold medalist in the 800-meter freestyle relay, Vollmer also competed on three Cal relays that notched automatic qualifying times while at the Bulldogs' meet.

At the Georgia Invitational, Vollmer won the 50-yard freestyle in 22.68 (NCAA A, Dec. 1), won the 100 butterfly in 52.71 (NCAA A, Dec. 2) and won the 200 fly in 1:56.46 (NCAA A, Dec. 2). She led off Cal's winning 400-free relay in a 100-free time of 49.23 (NCAA A, Dec. 3) and led off Cal's second-place 800-free relay with a 200-free time of 1:46.04 (NCAA A, Dec. 2).

She also swam one individual provisional qualifying time for the NCAA Championships, when she took fourth in the 500 free in 4:46.51 (NCAA B, Dec. 1).

The Granbury, Texas, product helped that 400-free relay (3:17.77, Dec. 3) along with the winning 200-medley relay (1:39.12, Dec. 2) and winning 400-medley relay (3:36.05, Dec. 1) swim automatic NCAA Championship qualifying times in Athens. In addition, she swam on the winning 200-free relay (1:31.35, Dec. 1) and second-place 800-free relay (7:10.52, Dec. 2) that clocked NCAA B qualifying times.

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