Cal Wins 400-Medley Relay Prelim in Record Time at NCAA Championships

March 8, 2007

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Second-ranked California swam a school- and pool-record 3:32.47 to win the 400-yard medley relay preliminary and reach the A final on Thursday at the NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships held at the Minnesota Aquatics Center.

Golden Bears junior Emily Silver and freshman Blake Hayter also swam lifetime bests in the 50-yard freestyle prelim and 500 freestyle prelim, respectively, to reach the A finals, which begin tonight at 7 p.m. CT.

The quartet of sophomore Lauren Rogers, sophomore Jessica Hardy, sophomore Dana Vollmer and Silver composed the Cal 400-medley relay, which broke the old Cal record of 3:32.55 and the old pool record of 3:33.61, set by Stanford. Former Bears Natalie Coughlin, Staciana Stitts, Alice Henriques and Danielle Becks had held the old Bears mark.

Earlier in the day, Silver tied the old pool record and set a lifetime best of 22.16 to take fourth place in the 50 free, though Georgia's Kara-Lynn Joyce won the prelim in a new pool record of 21.79. Vollmer was 10th in 22.42. Silver's time ranks her third on Cal's all-time list for the 50 free, right behind the 22.05 Vollmer swam to win the event at this year's Pac-10 Championships.

Hayter swam a lifetime-best 4:42.05 to take sixth in the 500 free. That time ranks Hayter seventh on Cal's all-time list. Senior teammate Erin Reilly, who swam in the 200-freestyle relay prelim right before the 500 free, took 10th place in the 500 free with a time of 4:43.44. Florida's Caroline Burckle won the 500 free in 3:39.36.l

Cal just missed a spot in the 200-freestyle relay final, as the Bears quartet of Hardy, senior Annie Babicz, senior Sherry Tsai and Reilly took ninth with a time of 1:30.11 in the morning prelim. Texas A&M claimed the eighth and last spot in the final with a time of 1:29.97.

In the 200 IM prelim, Cal junior Rachel Ridgeway was 20th in a lifetime-best 1:59.93 and senior teammate Sherry Tsai was 21st in 2:00.08. Auburn's Ava Ohlgren won the race in a pool-record 1:56.52.

California Results - Thursday Preliminaries

200-Yard Freestyle Relay
9. Cal (Jessica Hardy, Annie Babicz, Sherry Tsai, Erin Reilly) 1:30.11.

500-Yard Freestyle
6. Blake Hayter 4:42.05. 10. Erin Reilly 4:43.44. 26. Lauren Boyle 4:47.58. 63. Lauren Andrews 4:57.30.

200-Yard Individual Medley
20. Rachel Ridgeway 1:59.93. 21. Sherry Tsai 2:00.08. 38. Heather White 2:01.79. 45. Courtney Eronemo 2:02.15. 50. Jessica Hardy 2:02.61. 61. Alexandra Ellis 2:03.46.

50-Yard Freestyle
4. Emily Silver 22.16. 10. Dana Vollmer 22.42.

400-Yard Medley Relay
1. Cal (Lauren Rogers, Jessica Hardy, Dana Vollmer, Emily Silver) 3:32.47.

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