Bears Post Podium Finishes In Two Relays
ATLANTA – Cal opened up the NCAA Championships Wednesday with a pair of season-best relay performances that have the Golden Bears in third place after two events at the McAuley Aquatic Center.
Cal started the meet with the 200-yard medley relay, and the foursome of Isabelle Stadden, Leah Polonsky, Mia Kragh and Elise Garcia sprinted to the wall in 1:34.60, which was good for seventh place. The time is the sixth fastest in school history and best for the team since 2019.
A short while later, Cal moved further up the podium with a third-place finish in the 800 free relay. Isabel Ivey got the Bears off to a great start as she completed the opening leg in 1:41.35, a career best and the fastest time in the country this year in the 200 free. The time also moved her up to second in Cal history behind only Missy Franklin's American record of 1:39.10 from 2015.
Ayla Spitz, Mia Motekaitis and Polonsky followed Ivey into the water, and they touched in 6:53.52. Racing as a unit for the first time, the quartet posted the eighth-best time ever at Cal and had a six-second improvement from the relay's result at the Pac-12 Championships three weeks ago.
After two events, Virginia leads championships with 74 points, followed by Texas (58), Cal (56) and Stanford (54).
The meet, which runs through Saturday, resumes Thursday with the 500 free, 200 individual medley, 50 free, 1-meter diving and the 200 free relay. Prelims begin at 7 a.m. PT and will stream live through ramblinwreck.com, with finals starting at 3 p.m. and streamed via espn.com/watch
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