Cal Takes 3rd In NCAA 800 Free Relay
GREENSBORO, North Carolina – Cal opened up the 2021 NCAA Championships with a third-place finish in the 800-yard free relay, marking the Golden Bears' 14th consecutive year to finish among the top 3 in the event.
Due to COVID-19 protocols, the 17 qualifying relays teams were divided into five timed heats with lanes left empty between squads. Cal raced in the final heat along with Virginia, Texas and North Carolina State.
Robin Neumann led off in 1:44.09 and Ayla Spitz followed with a 1:43.87 split, the Bears' fastest of the day. Rachel Klinker followed on the third leg with Alicia Wilson handling anchor. Wilson passed Texas on her final lap to move Cal up the standings, as the Bears finished in 6:57.06.
Virginia won the event in 6:52.56, and Kentucky, swimming in an earlier heat, took second in 6:57.02.
The NCAA Championships continue on Thursday with morning qualifying starting at 7 a.m. PT in the 500 free, 200 individual medley and 50 free. Diving prelims on the 1-meter springboard will begin at 9:30 a.m. PT, with finals in all four events plus the 200 free relay and 400 medley relay starting at 3 p.m. PT. All sessions will be streamed live on espn3.com.