Cal Breaks School Record in the 200 Freestyle Relay; Sits in Third Place in the Pac-10 Championships

Feb. 28, 2008


Long Beach - The California women's swimming team sits in third-place after the second day of competition at the 2008 Pac-10 women's swimming championships in Long Beach at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool. The Bears have accumulated 396 team points after seven events. Arizona is in first-place with 496 points, followed by Stanford in second-place with 472 points.

Cal set a new school record in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a second-place finish in the championship final of 1:28.70, just one-tenth of a second off of Arizona's first-place time of 1:28.60. The Golden Bear foursome of Emily Silver, Madison Kennedy, Hannah Wilson and Dana Vollmer eclipsed the old record of 1:29.49 held by the foursome of Jessica Hardy, Silver, Erin Reilly and Vollmer set last season. Cal made a valiant last effort in the final 50 yards when Vollmer swam an incredible 21.78 - the fastest split among the top nine - almost catching Arizona's Lacey Nymeyer.

Cal practically rewrote the school record book in the 50-yard freestyle tonight as well. Kennedy nearly captured the title in the 50 free, touching the wall with a third-place, NCAA 'A' qualifying time of 22.25, .21 seconds behind first-place finisher Lara Jackson of Arizona (22.04). Kennedy's 22.25 was the fastest 50 free post this season for a Golden Bear, and fourth-fastest mark in school history. Vollmer took fifth-place with an NCAA 'A' qualifying time of 22.48 - the sixth-fastest time in school history.

Wilson (22.57) and fellow freshman Tara Thomas (22.88) placed 11th and 13th respectively in the 50 'A' consolation final as well. Wilson secured an NCAA 'A' qualifying mark in the processl. Her 22.57 was also good enough for the seventh-fastest time in program history. Lauren Rogers, who finished first (17th overall) in the 'B' consolation final, swam the eighth-fastest mark in school history at 22.60 (also a lifetime best). Thomas' 22.88 was a personal-best as well, and just .19 seconds from cracking the school's top 10 chart.

Silver and senior Rachel Ridgeway finished 4-5 in the 200 individual medley championship final with marks of 1:57.65 and 1:58.06 respectively (both times were NCAA 'A' qualifying marks as well). Silver's post of 1:57.65 was an all-time personal best, and fourth-fastest in school history, eclipsing her previous personal-best 1:58.55 set at the Hoosierland Open Invitational on Nov. 15. Ridgeway's 1:58.06 was also a lifetime-best, and sixth-fastest time in school history, eclipsing her previous best 1:59.25 set at the U.S. National Short Course Championships on Nov. 29.

Sophomore Heather White finished fourth (12th overall) in the 'A' consolation finals of the 200 IM with a personal-best time of 2:01.65. Junior Emily Verdin captured 23rd overall with a mark of 2:03.85 in the 'B' consolation final.

Lauren Boyle placed fourth in the 500 free championship final with an NCAA 'A' qualifying time of 4:45.37 - a big leap from last year's 500 final at the conference championships, when she placed 11th with a time of 4:48.14. Her time of 4:45.37 tied Vollmer for the tenth-fast mark in school history.

Freshman Sara Sun posted a fourth-place finish (20th overall) in the 'B' consolation finals with a time of 4:53.13 (a personal-best), three seconds faster than her preliminary time of 4:56.12 earlier in the morning. Sophomore Blake Hayter completed the 'A' consolation final in second-place (tenth overall) with a time of 4:48.28 (her best time in 2007-08). Hayter staved off Stanford's Caitlin Reynolds in the final 50 yards with a burst of energy with a final 50-yard split of 28.03, after both were in a virtual tie after touching the wall after the ninth 50 yard split.

Head coach Teri McKeever was very pleased with the effort set forth by her Golden Bears from top to bottom, noting the several records established by the younger members of the team. She was also happy to see the improvement in times from the prelims earlier in the day to the finals at night by the entire squad.

The conference championships continue tomorrow with the 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back, and the 400 medley relay. Live coverage of the Pac-10 women's swimming championships can be found at:

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1:30 AM PT

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