Bears Off To Fresno For Six-Team Weekend Meet
Cal takes to the road for the second time this season, heading to Fresno for the Chick-fil-A Invitational Friday-Saturday. The six-team meet features squads from Cal, UCLA, Washington State, San Diego State, San Jose State and host Fresno State. Racing is set to begin at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Friday and at 10 a.m. on Saturday. All sessions will be streamed on the Mountain West Network.
The Golden Bears last competed at the meet in 2019 and came home with victories in all five relays and 13 individual events. Isabel Ivey, now a senior, won three individual races - 100 and 200 fly and 100 back, while senior Robin Neumann captured both the 200 and 500 free, and junior Sarah DiMeco prevailed in the 1650 and 400 IM. DiMeco (17:00.36, 1650 free) and Alicia Wilson (2:00.59, 200 IM) both set pool records during their races.
LAST TIME OUT - IVEY CROWNED QUEEN OF THE POOL: Senior Isabel Ivey, who earned Pac-12 Swimmer of the Year honors last year, picked up right where she left off by demonstrating her prowess in all four strokes to claim the 2021 Queen of the Pool title in Cal's opening women's swim meet of 2021-22. The meet features each swimmer taking part in 100-yard races in free, fly, back and breast events, plus a 100-yard individual medley. The person with the lowest total time is crowned queen. Ivey came through in 4:39.91, the fastest of her career and third best in the history of the event. Abbey Weitzeil set the all-time mark at 4:38.76 in 2019, while Kathleen Baker went 4:39.54 in 2017. Junior Ayla Spitz took second in 4:45.26, while sophomore Isabelle Stadden was third in 4:4711, followed by sophomore Emily Gantriis (4:48.74) and freshman McKenna Stone (4:19.12).
TERI McKEEVER TO RECEIVE PARAGON AWARD: Cal head coach Teri McKeever will receive the Paragon Award from the International Swimming Hall of Fame for her outstanding service and contributions towards advancing competitive swimming this weekend. Now in her 30th season leading the Golden Bears, McKeever is one of the most accomplished coaches in the sport, having guided Cal to four NCAA and five Pac-12 team titles, including 15 consecutive top-5 finishes at the national championships. She also served as head women's U.S. Olympic coach in 2012 and has been on the Olympic staff multiple times, including this past summer in Tokyo. The Paragon Awards have been given annually since 1996 to individuals or organizations for outstanding contributions to aquatics in six categories - competitive swimming, water polo, competitive diving, aquatic safety, synchronized swimming and recreational swimming. Although initially announced in February 2020, the presentation of the honor was postponed until this weekend due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
NATALIE COUGHLIN EARNS BASHOF HONOR: Natalie Coughlin, one of the most proficient swimmers in history, was inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame this past Monday. A 12-time Olympic medalist, 20-time World Championships medalist and former world-record holder, Coughlin was a three-time collegiate swimmer of the year for the Bears from 2001-03, She was named the 2003 Women's Sports Foundation Sportswoman of the Year, the 2002 USA Swimming Athlete of the Year and the 2002 Swimming World female World Swimmer of the Year. Coughlin is the third Cal women's swimmer to join the BASHOF, with the others being Ann Curtis Cuneo (1983) and Mary T. Meagher (2002).
GOLDEN BEAR NOTES: Eight Golden Bear swimmers, plus head coach Teri McKeever, participated in the Tokyo Olympics, with alums Abbey Weitzeil (silver, 400m medley relay; bronze, 400m free relay) and Katie McLaughlin (silver, 800 free relay) bringing home medals for Team USA. Current Bears Alicia Wilson (Great Britain, 8th 200m IM) and Ema Rajic (Croatia, 100 breast/50 free) also made the trip across the Pacific … Eloise Riley, Emily Gantriis, Elise Garcia and Isabel Ivey won the 2021 NCAA 200-yard free relay to give Cal its 75th all-time event win at the national championships … Ivey was named the 2021 Pac-12 Swimmer of the Year, while McKeever was tabbed 2021 Pac-12 Coach of the Year for the ninth time … Rajic lowered the school record in the 100 breast four times during the 2020-21 season, ending the year with a best of 58.45 during her running-up finish at the Pac-12 meet … the Bears earned CSCAA Scholar All-American team honors for the 23rd consecutive term in the spring of 2021 - every time the award has been presented.