California Prepares for Bay Area Showdown with Stanford on Saturday

Feb. 10, 2009

BERKELEY - For the 36th time in program history, the California women's swimming and diving team will battle its cross town rival Stanford Cardinal in a Bay Area showdown at Spieker Aquatics Complex on Saturday, Feb. 14, at noon.

This Saturday marks two separate occasions as well for the Golden Bears, who have some momentum and rest on their side. Cal will honor its five departing seniors in their final dual meet - Madison Kennedy, Natalie LaRochelle, Lauren Rogers, Emily Verdin and Dana Vollmer. All five have represented Cal with honor in and out of the pool - either as All-Americans, NCAA champions, Pac-10 champions, Olympians, school record holders or academic standouts.

This meet will be one of the toughest challenges of the season for Cal. Stanford has won its last 18 consecutive Pac-10 dual meets, a streak dating back to the opening of the 2006-07 season.

Saturday also serves as recognition for one of swimming's greatest mentors - Richard Quick - who has been diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer. Thanks to Swim Across America's campaign for 'Swim Quick' anyone interested can now combat this disease and raise money towards finding a cure. In addition, the Cal-Stanford meet will be dedicated in Richard's honor by having a moment of silence at the beginning of the meet. Cal Aquatics will also be asking families and fans to donate as generously as they can to SAA in support of this cause.

There is plenty of information provided by SAA, and if you want to make any contributions or help in any way, please contact Janel Jorgensen, Executive Director, Swim Across America at or call (888) SWIM-USA. Swim Across America, Inc. is a non-profit organization created over 20 years ago with the mission of raising money and awareness for cancer research, prevention and treatment.

SAA has also provided a donor sheet for those interested in contributing. >Donation Form

With the 2009 Pac-10 Championships on the horizon, Cal head coach Teri McKeever is continuing to fine tune the small details to get the most out of her squad. Last time in the pool, Cal came away with a 172-123 dual meet win over UCLA (Jan. 31). In the process, Cal's quartet of Kennedy, Hannah Wilson, Liv Jensen and Vollmer set a pool record in the final event of the program - the 200-yard freestyle relay - with a time of 1:31.49.

The Bears have been a force all season long in the freestyle events, and their performances against UCLA and USC (Jan. 30) showed why. Against the Bruins, Vollmer (1:47.88) and Lauren Boyle finished 1-2 respectively in the 200 free, while Kennedy, who registered a first-place finish in the 100-yard freestyle against USC, repeated that feat against the Bruins with a time of 50.21. Jensen followed in second with a time of 50.35 and Wilson was third with a 50.36.

The Bears also controlled the lanes in the 500-yard freestyle as well after notching a 1-2-3 showing against UCLA. Boyle earned the victory with a time of 4:49.50, followed by Vollmer (4:53.44) and Blake Hayter (4:57.18).

Nationally, the Bears still rank amongst the best in individual times. Vollmer essentially punched her ticket for the NCAA Championships at Texas A&M with an automatic qualifying time of 1:43.66 - the second fastest time in the country - in the 200-yard freestyle. Vollmer also owns the 11th-fastest post in the 100 free (48.51), the sixth-fastest 100 fly (52.11) and the 12th-fastest 200 fly (1:56.24).

Cal swimmers have also logged over 30 NCAA 'B' standards this season: Kennedy (50 free, 100 free, 200 free); Jensen (50 free, 100 free, 200 free); Wilson (50 free, 100 free, 200 free, 100 fly, 200 fly); Thomas (50 free, 100 free, 100 back, 100 fly, 200 fly); Vollmer (100 free, 100 fly, 200 fly, 200 IM); Boyle (200 free, 500 free, 1650 free); Shelley Harper (500 free); Rogers (100 back, 200 back); Alexandra Ellis (100 breast, 200 breast); Amanda Sims (100 fly, 200 fly).

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