Golden Bears Make a Clean Sweep in Pac-10 Awards
April 2, 2009
BERKELEY - California women's swimming head coach Teri McKeever, senior Dana Vollmer and freshman Liv Jensen earned top honors from the Pac-10 on Thursday as McKeever was selected as the Coach of the Year, Vollmer as the Swimmer of the Year and Jensen as the Newcomer of the Year.
McKeever, who has been at the helm of the women's swimming program at Cal for 17 years, was also named the 2009 NCAA Coach of the Year. Under the direction of McKeever, the Golden Bears won their first Pac-10 and NCAA titles this year. The NCAA Championship victory made McKeever the first woman to be credited with an NCAA swimming and diving team title. McKeever has taken the Cal program to new heights and is often regarded in the coaching circle as the sports' influential innovator, because of her unique training methods. Under McKeever's tutelage, the Golden Bears have produced six Pac-10 Swimmers of the Year, including three-time winner Natalie Coughlin and 13 consecutive top 10 NCAA finishes.
Vollmer, who on Wednesday was named as the 2009 recipient of Honda Award for Swimming and Diving (awarded to the country's top collegiate female athlete in swimming & diving), was also named the 2009 NCAA Swimmer of the Year after claiming individual titles in both the 100- and 200-yard freestyle events at the 2009 NCAA championships and helping lead her team to its first-ever national championship. She also helped her team claim titles in the 400- and 800-yard freestyle relays. In the 100 free, Vollmer swam a personal-best time of 47.17, and also posted a time of 1:42.01, a new NCAA meet record, in the 200-yard freestyle prelims. She leaves Cal with three individual NCAA titles in three years (including a 100-yard butterfly championship in 2007). Vollmer was also instrumental helping the Bears win their first Pac-10 team title.
Jensen exploded on the scene in her first year with the Cal swimming program. The Palo Alto product posted the fastest time of the season and the second-fasted time in school history in the 50-yard free at 21.94. She was a part of the 800-yard freestyle relay team, which set new school, NCAA, NCAA Championships, American and U.S. Open records with a time of 6:52.69 at the 2009 NCAA Championships. She set the tone early and finished her 200-yard split in 1:43.15. In the consolation final of the 100 free she swam a personal-best time of 48.26 in the prelims and in the consolation final of the 200 free she established a new personal mark of 1:44.81. She earned honorable mention All-America honors in the events, held in College Station, Texas. Jensen was also a member of Cal's 800-yard freestyle relay team which won the Pac-10 title in a Conference record time of 6:56.87.