Bears Open Meet With Three Pool Records
FRESNO – With wins in 10 of 11 events, including pool records in three different relays, Cal completed the first two sessions of the Chick-Fil-A Invitational Friday with strong performances throughout its lineup.
The six-team meet, which also features squads from UCLA, San Jose State, Washington State, San Diego State and host Fresno State, concludes with the final seven races on Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. Fans can follow with live streaming on the Mountain West Network.
The Golden Bears started and ended the opening session Friday morning with pool records, beginning with the 200-yard medley relay. In the first race of the meet, the foursome of Isabelle Stadden, Ema Rajic, Isabel Ivey and Elise Garcia claimed first place in 1:39.69, shaving more than a second off the previous mark of 1:40.97 set by Cal's Ivey, Rajic, Maddie Murphy and Abbey Weitzeil in 2019.
The Bears concluded the morning with their second pool mark, completing the 200 free relay in 1:30.85 with a group featuring Ella Mazurek, Emily Gantriis, Garcia and Ivey. They lowered the old record of 1:32.15 from 2018 established by Cal's Keaton Blovad, Garcia, Katie McLaughlin and Weitzeil.
In between, Golden Bears captured three individual events. Ayla Spitz claimed the 500 free in 4:52.54 as Cal took the top eight spots. Freshman Lea Polonsky then won the 200 individual medley in 2:02.77, with Garcia prevailing in the 50 free in 22.72.
The teams returned for six more races in the evening, with Polonsky taking her second event of the day when she won the 400 IM in 4:17.04. Another freshman, Mia Kragh, next prevailed in the 100 butterfly in 53.53, while Garcia earned her second victory in the 200 free. Her time of 1:50.24 edged teammate Alicia Wilson's 1:50.34 as Cal swimmers took the first five positions, all separated by less than a quarter of a second.
Isabelle Stadden posted a comfortable win in the 100 back in 54.20 in the last individual competition of the night.
The Bears concluded the session with their third pool record when Robin Neumann, Stadden, Spitz and Ivey completed the 800 free relay in 7:18.37. The time broke the old mark of 7:19.70 set by Cal's Wilson, Abbey Weitzeil, Sarah Darcel and Neumann in 2018.