March 22, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS - Rachel Bootsma kept the 100-yard backstroke crown in the family as the freshman won California's third straight national title in that event - and her first collegiate national title - on Friday night at the NCAA Women's Swimming & Diving Championships at the IU Natatorium. Junior teammate Cindy Tran - who won the previous two NCAA crowns in the 100 back - finished fifth in tonight's final. After two days of the meet, Cal moved up to second place with 285 points, behind leader Georgia (300 points).
Bootsma clocked the second-fastest time in history - 50.13 - which ranks behind only Cal legend Natalie Coughlin's NCAA record of 49.97. Tran posted a time of 51.97 in fifth place. Cal junior Stephanie Au and sophomore Melanie Klaren finished back to back in the B final, as Au placed 12th in a time of 51.88 and Klaren took 13th in a time of 52.12.
The Bears collected eight championship-final finishes and a total of 12 championship and consolation final appearances on Friday. They also notched six top-three finishes on the night.
Cal opened the night by taking second place in the 200-yard medley relay, as Bootsma, Caitlin Leverenz, Tran and sophomore Kaylin Bing posted a time of 1:35.53 for the Bears. Tennessee won the relay with a time of 1:34.95.
Leverenz - the 2012 U.S. Olympic bronze medalist in the 200-meter individual medley - followed up her Thursday win in the 200-yard IM with a third-place finish in the 400 IM with a time of 4:02.98. Florida's Elizabeth Beisel - Leverenz's U.S. Olympic teammate - won the 400 IM in a time of 4:00.49.
Cal's talented freshmen added two second-place finishes in individual events, as Bootsma was second in the 100 butterfly in a time of 51.68 behind Auburn's Olivia Scott (51.64), and Pelton took second (1:42.13) in the 200 freestyle behind U.S. Olympian Allison Schmitt of Georgia (1:41.85). Four Bears reached Friday's finals in the 200 free, with sophomore Caroline Piehl taking seventh (1:45.14), freshman Rachael Acker - the Pac-12 champ in the 200 free - placing ninth (1:44.33) and sophomore Catherine Breed finishing 14th (1:46.01).
In the last final of the night, Cal finished third in the 800-free relay, with the quartet of Acker, Piehl, Breed and Pelton posting a time of 6:57.44. Georgia won the relay in a time of 6:54.43.
"We had another great morning today to build off of the momentum from Thursday night," Cal head coach Teri McKeever said. "It starts with the leadership of Caitlin, both in and out of the pool. She had some great swims today and helped keep the team moving forward.
"Getting four 100-backstroke finalists in Rachel, Cindy, Stephanie and Melanie and four 200-freestyle finalists swimming tonight in Elizabeth, Caroline, Rachael and Catherine was a huge boost. Moreover, we got a tremendous effort from Rachel Bootsma with her win and national championship title in the 100 backstroke, second-place finish in the 100 butterfly as well as some strong relay legs.
"We are excited about closing the gap in the overall team score and are looking forward to Saturday's final day of racing."
The last day of NCAAs begins on Saturday at 8 a.m. PT/11 a.m. ET with prelims in the following events: the 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly, platform diving and 400-free relay. Saturday's finals will include the 1650 free, which starts at 1:35 p.m. PT/4:35 p.m. ET. The main finals' session begins on Saturday at 4 p.m. PT/7 p.m. ET.
NCAA Women's Swimming & Diving Championships
March 22, 2013, in Indianapolis, Ind.
Top-10 Standings (Through 14 Events)
1. Georgia 300
2. California 285
3. Tennessee 263.5
4. Arizona 246
5. Texas A&M 216
6. USC 194
7. Stanford 189.5
8. Florida 189
9. Texas 115
10. Minnesota 99
400-Yard Individual Medley
3. Caitlin Leverenz 4:02.98.
2. Rachel Bootsma 51.68.
32. Kahley Rowell 282.40.