Nov. 3, 2012
BERKELEY - On a weekend filled with events lauding California's aquatic programs, the third-ranked Golden Bears continued their run of success when they won all 16 events against No. 23 Wisconsin in a 170-110 dual-meet victory on a sunny Saturday afternoon at Spieker Aquatics Complex. Freshman Rachel Bootsma won a total of four events, including the 50-yard freestyle and 200-yard individual medley, while Cal's divers won both springboard events.
Freshman Lauren Driscoll won her first event at home, capturing the 1000 freestyle in a time of 10:01.73.
The Bears improved their record to 4-0 after the nonconference dual meet, while Wisconsin fell to 3-4.
The Bears improved their record to 4-0 after the nonconference dual meet, while Wisconsin fell to 3-4. The Cal men, who competed against their Badger counterparts today, also emerged victorious. 158-125.
"I thought today we did a really nice job," Cal head coach Teri McKeever said. "We swam some different things than we did yesterday, and last night with the football game and this morning with the ring ceremony, we had a lot of other things that we're putting into the weekend to take advantage of the alums being here and the energy around aquatics."
Cal fans celebrated the Bears - including McKeever and many of her protégés - who took part in the 2012 London Olympics during the football game against Washington on Friday night.
"A night game has a special energy to it," she said. "Obviously the Olympics are an international competition, but the University has such pride in what Cal student-athletes did and that the Cal coaches and support staff were so well represented in London. To have the Cal community acknowledge all of us was really great. And for Caitlin to get her Honda Award then, I'm so appreciative that she gets that recognition again in front of the Cal community."
The busy weekend for the Bears included a Saturday morning ring ceremony, in which the coaches awarded last year's NCAA winners with championship rings.
As in the previous meet against Texas, the opponent's head coach was a familiar face, as Whitney Hite coached under McKeever from 2004-06.
"That was what was even more special - that the people we were racing have ties to the university and to the aquatic program, and so the whole weekend has a really great feel to it, particularly the ring ceremony," McKeever said. "Today I had some women there - including our captain from 1995-98, Erin Jusfjeld, who spoke, Liz Rehmann [1997-98] was there, Nicole Omphroy [1997-00] was there and Margie Hollister [1996-98] was there. To have them come and speak to the girls on what it means to see the team where it is right now was a really special part of today."
The assembled throng watched as Cal won everything from the opening 200-yard medley relay - with Bootsma, Leverenz, junior Cindy Tran and freshman Rachael Acker clocking a time of 1:40.51 - to the closing 400-yard freestyle relay, with Acker, Bootsma, junior Melissa Bates and Tran swimming a time of 3:23.63. The Bears also won both diving events, with junior All-American Kahley Rowell capturing the three-meter springboard with a score of 304.95 and freshman Anne Kastler taking the one-meter board (277.58).
Bootsma posted a time of 22.98 to win the 50 free - by just two hundredths of a second over Wisconsin's Ivy Martin (23.00) - and later won the 200 IM in a time of 2:01.74. Other multiple winners included freshman Elizabeth Pelton - in the 100 backstroke (53.46), 100 free (50.33) and 500 free (4:51.48) - Leverenz, in the 100 (55.19) and 200 (1:59.58) butterflies, and sophomore Yvette Kong (1:03.34, 100 breaststroke; 2:19.16, 200 breaststroke).
The other victorious Bears were sophomore Caroline Piehl (1:48.76, 200 free) and Tran (1:59.10, 200 back).
McKeever was pleased with how her team did after competing in back to back dual meets for the second straight week.
"I thought they really stood up and performed real well, particularly the freshmen, who are really getting it," McKeever said. "This is really helping them understand this is what is going to be required in years to come. There was great leadership from Caitlin. I felt that this weekend that Mikkel-Ane Stipe really put herself in a different place than she ever had for us in a dual-meet situation, and that was awesome to see. She's a hard worker and to see her efforts be rewarded with some fast swims was really exciting. And having the alums and everybody here, it's kind of a sensory overload in a positive way."
Stipe, a junior, took second in the 100 back with a time of 56.41 and posted an exhibition swim time of 51.28 in the 100 free.
Cal returns to action when it swims in the Nov. 16-18 Arena Invitational in Long Beach, Calif., and dives in the Nov. 16-18 Wildcat Diving Invitational in Tucson, Ariz.