Cal Places 4th At NCAA Championships
GREENSBORO, North Carolina – With a pair of third-place finishes and lifetime bests by Isabel Ivey and Isabelle Stadden, Cal finished fourth in the team standings at the NCAA Championships Saturday, marking the 15th year in a row the Golden Bears have finished among the top 5 at the national meet.
The Bears, who captured the 2021 Pac-12 title last month, have been in the top 5 at NCAA's every year since 2006 – a current streak of consistency unmatched by any other team in the country. Included in the run are four national championships (2009, 2011, 2012, 2015) and four runner-up finishes.
"I want to say how proud I am of the women here who represented us and the team as a whole," head coach Teri McKeever said. "Obviously, it's been a challenging year for everyone. To get back on the podium – I take that as a victory. We definitely had some ups and downs – the season has been full of ups and downs. We will continue to ride that out and celebrate all the things that we have to be grateful for. We look to learn from this and be ready for next year. I'd like to thank all the Cal Bears who have extended their well-wishes and congratulatory messages – they really mean a lot. We all really appreciate it, and I'd like to wish our men's team good luck in their championship meet next week."
On Saturday, Stadden, a freshman, got Cal going in the final session when she took third in the 200-yard back in 1:49.66. The time edged down her previous best of 1:49.77 from earlier this season and keeps her No. 5 all-time at Cal in the event.
Ivey followed with a blistering 46.95 in the 100 free to take third, which was not only a PR but moved her up to third in school history in the event behind only Abbey Weitzeil (46.35) and Missy Franklin (46.66). The result also gave Ivey her third top-4 finish of the meet after taking fourth in both the 100 back and 100 fly.
In addition, the Bears had two swimmers in the B final of the 100 free, as Robin Neumann placed 13th in 48.54 and Emily Gantriis 14th in 48.58. For Neumann, it was her highest placement in the 100 free after taking 15th as a freshman and 14th as a sophomore.
Rachel Klinker was up next for the Bears in the 200 fly. With a more than one-second improvement from her morning qualifying swim, she came through in 1:53.19 to win the B final and take ninth overall.
Sarah DiMeco just missed scoring in the 1650 free, as she finished 18th in 16:13.75, while Brian Thai, competing through an injury she sustained just before leaving Berkeley, finished 43rd in platform diving.