Liv Jensen Named Team MVP at Annual Banquet
April 27, 2010
BERKELEY - California sophomore swimmer Liz Jensen, who won the 50-yard freestyle NCAA title this season, claimed the team MVP award at the Golden Bears' annual banquet held on April 24. The Palo Alto, Calif., product took home six All-America honors overall from the NCAA Championships in March. Cal named award winners in five other categories: Coaches Award (swimming), Coaches Award (diving), Golden Bear Award, Most Improved and Scholastic Award.
At the NCAA Championships, Jensen took second as member of a pair of relays - the 400- and 800-yard freestyle relays - placed third as part of the 200-free relay, finished third individually in the 100 free and took fourth as part of Cal's 200-medley relay. The 2009 Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year was a key member of the team that took third place in the 2010 NCAA standings and took second place in the 2010 Pac-10 Championships.
Senior Lauren Boyle and junior Hannah Wilson shared the Coaches Award (swimming). Boyle, a 2008 New Zealand Olympian, earned three All-America honors (2nd/500 free, 2nd/800-free relay and 3rd/1650 free) and one honorable mention All-America accolade (12th/200 free) at NCAAs. The veteran, who hails from Whenuapai near Auckland, also captured the 500-free title at the Pac-10 Championships. Wilson collected Cal's most All-America honors at the national meet, with six All-America finishes (2nd/400-free relay, 2nd/800-free relay, 3rd/200 free, 5th/100 fly, 7th/50free and 7th/400-medley relay) and one honorable mention (9th/100 free). The 2008 Hong Kong Olympian won Cal's only other Pac-10 title this year in the 100 free.
Freshman Kelsey Heiken, from San Clemente, Calif., earned the Coaches Award (diving) after producing stellar performances in her first year. In her collegiate debut, Heiken won the three-meter springboard against Fresno State. Heiken took a Cal-best eighth place on the three-meter board at the Pac-10 Championships, and in her last action of the season, Heiken placed a team-best 14th at three meters at the NCAA Zone E Qualifying Meet.
Sophomores Shelley Harper and Sara Isakovic shared the Golden Bear Award for displaying the most team spirit. Harper, a Walnut Creek, Calif., swimmer, posted personal records in the 200 free (1:49.04) and 1000 free (9:58.65) this season. She also contributed to Cal's strong result at Pac-10s by placing 14th in the 400 IM, 14th in the 500 free and 14th in the 200 butterfly. Isakovic, a 2008 Olympian who took home a silver medal from Beijing in the 200-meter freestyle, brought home four All-America honors from the 2010 national meet. The Bled, Slovenia, star placed sixth in the 200-yard free, eighth in the 200 fly and second in the 400- and 800-free relays.
Heather White, another East Bay product, earned the Most Improved Award. The senior from Oakland earned her first All-America honor when she swam to sixth place in the 400-individual medley and also became an honorable mention All-American in the 200 IM (15th place) at NCAAs.
Senior swimmer Alexandra Ellis clinched the Scholastic Award for the highest grade-point average from the spring of 2009 through the fall of 2009. Ellis, from San Diego, earned All-America status as part of two top-eight relays - 200-medley relay (4th) and 400-medley relay (7th) - and was an honorable mention All-American in the 200 breaststroke (10th). Ellis' performance in the 200-breaststroke consolation final was also notable in that it broke her own school record with a time of 2:09.38.