No. 5 Cal Battles No. 9 USC, UCLA This Week in Los Angeles

Jan. 26, 2010

On the Pool Deck
Fifth-ranked California takes an unbeaten dual-meet record to Los Angeles this week to take on ninth-ranked USC and UCLA. The Golden Bears, who have a 4-0 record (2-0 Pac-10), meet the Trojans (9-1, 2-1 Pac-10) at 1 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 29 at USC McDonald's Swim Stadium and face the Bruins (5-1, 2-1 Pac-10) at noon on Saturday, Jan. 30 at Spieker Aquatics Center.

Cal split with the L.A. schools last season, falling to USC, 152.50-147.50, and defeating UCLA, 172-123. Then-freshman Liv Jensen led a 1-2-3 Cal sweep in the 50-yard freestyle against the Trojans with a time of 22.85. The Bears also claimed the top three spots in the 100 and 200 freestyles, won the 100 butterfly and claimed the 200-free relay, but it wasn't enough to catch USC.

The Bears bounced back the next day, winning 10 of 16 events to beat the Bruins. They ended the meet in resounding fashion, with former Bear Madison Kennedy, current junior Hannah Wilson, Jensen and former Bear Dana Vollmer posting a Cal dual-meet and Spieker Aquatics Complex record of 1:31.49 to win the 200-free relay.

Scouting the Golden Bears
Cal was impressive in defeating No. 2 Arizona as well as Arizona State in its last two meets. The Arizona meet featured Senior Day, as Cal honored its six seniors - Lauren Boyle, Alexandra Ellis, Courtney Eronemo, Blake Hayter, Amanda Larson and Heather White - who competed in their final home meet. Cal freshman Caitlin Leverenz arguably made the biggest splash, posting a Cal dual-meet and Spieker Aquatics Complex record and NCAA B cut of 4:11.37 to win the 400-individual medley against Arizona. She won three events in each meet (200 butterfly, 200 breaststroke and 400-medley relay vs. ASU and 200 breaststroke, 400 IM and 200-medley relay against Arizona).

Sophomore Molly Hayes also had a big impact for the Bears, sweeping the diving events to contribute to Cal's win over the Wildcats. She won the one-meter springboard with a score of 258.63 and the three-meter springboard with a score of 259.88.

Nationally, several Bears rank among the fastest in the nation. They include junior Sara Isakovic, who has posted the second-fastest 200 free (1:44.95, NCAA B) and fifth-fastest 200 fly (1:55.66, NCAA B), Boyle (4th-fastest 1650 free, 16:07.21, NCAA B, and 9th-fastest 1000 free, 947.92), Leverenz (4th-fastest 400 IM, 4:06.69, NCAA A, 7th-fastest 200 IM, 1:57.97, NCAA B, and 10th-fastest 200 breaststroke, 2:12.24, NCAA B) and junior Amanda Sims (5th-fastest 100 fly, 52.96, NCAA B, and tied for the 7th-fastest 200 fly, 1:56.30, NCAA B).

Scouting the Trojans
Ninth-ranked USC's swimmers last competed in the Southern California Grand Prix held Jan. 15-18 in Long Beach, Calif., while USC last dove in the UCLA Diving Invitational. The Trojans feature some of the top young talent in the nation. Those Trojans include sophomore and Hungarian Olympian Katinka Hosszu, freshman Haley Anderson and sophomore diver Victoria Ishimatsu. Hosszu leads the nation with the fastest 200 butterfly time (1:53.37, NCAA A qualifier) and ranks second in both the 200 (1:56.11, NCAA A) and 400 (4:04.17, NCAA A) IMs.

Also in the national rankings, Anderson ranks third in the 1650 free (16:05.27, NCAA B), fifth in the 1000 free (9:44.46) and 10th in the 500 free (4:40.93), right behind ninth-place Hosszu (4:40.87, NCAA B). Ishimatsu is an All-American (5th place at 2009 NCAAs) on the one-meter springboard and the defending Pac-10 champion on the three-meter springboard.

Dave Salo is in his fourth season as USC head coach.

Scouting the Bruins
UCLA most recently hosted the Jan. 16-17 Bruin Diving Invitational, with junior Karin Silva winning the platform with an NCAA Zone E qualifying and season-best score of 263.95. She placed fourth (301.60) on the three-meter springboard and third (278.85) at one meter.

On Jan. 8, UCLA hosted Kansas and Fresno State in a double dual meet and beat both teams. Junior Brittany Beauchan, who ranks third in the nation in the 200 breaststroke (1:00.45, NCAA B), won both the 100 (1:02.53, NCAA B) and 200 (2:13.95, NCAA B) breaststrokes against the Jayhawks and Bulldogs. UCLA junior Lauren Hall, who ranks eighth nationally in the 400 IM, won the 400 IM in an NCAA B cut of 4:16.97.

Cyndi Gallagher is in her 21st season as UCLA head coach.

Next Time
Cal is off until it faces rival and fourth-ranked Stanford at 1 p.m. on Feb. 13 in Stanford, Calif. The Bears dropped a 162-129 meet to the Cardinal to end the regular season in 2009, but they topped Stanford in the ensuing Pac-10 and NCAA Championships.

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