Jan. 28, 2011
BERKELEY - Liv Jensen won four events to power fourth-ranked California to a commanding 182-118 upset of third-ranked USC on Friday at Spieker Aquatics Complex. The junior swimmer captured both the 50- and 100-yard freestyles and swam on the Golden Bears' two winning relays, as a talented Cal team (5-1, 3-0 in the Pac-10) won 10 of 16 events and dealt the Trojans (8-1, 2-1 Pac-10) their first dual-meet loss of the season.
Cal began the day on fire, as its A team of freshman Cindy Tran, sophomore Caitlin Leverenz, senior Amanda Sims and Jensen posted a pool-record and NCAA B consideration time of 3:36.36 to win the opening 400-yard medley relay. USC came into the week with the fastest 400-yard medley relay time (3:32.20, NCAA A) in the nation, while Cal ranked fifth (3:34.87, NCAA B).
"Hopefully these next couple of meets are about getting better each time," Cal head coach Teri McKeever said."The relay set the tone. We knew they had a great relay; we had raced them at nationals toe to toe. I thought our girls stepped up. Cindy got out there from the beginning, Caitlin held her own, Amanda Sims was awesome and you can't ask for anyone better on the end than Liv. To be able to compete with their best relay really motivated everyone. It was pretty exciting."
Jensen, the defending NCAA champion in the 50 free, later won the 50 free in an NCAA B time of 22.48. Cal swept the top four spots in the sprint, with freshman Nathalie Lindborg second (23.15), senior Erica Dagg third (23.58) and junior Colleen Fotsch fourth (23.73). The 2009 Pac-10 Freshman/Newcomer of the Year, Jensen later claimed the 100 free in an NCAA B time of 49.87.
"It's incredibly important that you have a go-to sprinter like that," McKeever said of Jensen. "She's just embracing that role. It's obviously huge for us as a team. I see her confidence and her willingness to take that on growing. It's like the person that wants the last shot at the end of the game; that's Liv."
Bears sophomore Caitlin Leverenz, the 2010 Pac-10 Freshman/Newcomer of the Year, won two races, recording an NCAA B time of 2:10.89 to take the 200 breaststroke and an NCAA B time of 1:58.97 to nab the 200 individual medley.
Senior Amanda Sims, the 2009 NCAA champion in the 100 butterfly, triumphed in her specialty event today with an NCAA B time of 52.92, just four hundredths of a second ahead of USC's Lyndsay DePaul (52.96, NCAA B).
Cal freshmen finished 1-2-3 in the 200 backstroke, as Deborah Roth posted an NCAA B time of 1:59.10 to win, Tran took second in an NCAA B time of 1:59.78 and Stephanie Au placed third in 2:00.12. Roth and Tran switched places in the 100 back, as Tran won the 100 in an NCAA B time of 54.28, while Roth was second in an NCAA B time of 55.12.
"Without a doubt, this was the best day for the freshmen," McKeever said. "It's been touted as an impact class, and as I told them, we've been waiting a little longer than I would've liked to feel that collective impact. But I feel today that as a class they did a great job, and I'm proud of them. I've challenged them to do it again tomorrow."
Sophomore Kelsey Heiken notched a score of 322.35 to win the three-meter springboard, while junior Molly Hayes was second (287.48). Both Bears topped USC's Tori Ishimatsu, the two-time Pac-10 Diver of the Year and 2010 conference three-meter champ who finished third (287.25). Heiken (289.28) finished second to Ishimatsu (305.03) on the one-meter board.
Jensen won her fourth race in the last event of the day - the 200 free relay. Dagg, Fotsch, Lindborg and Jensen swam an NCAA B time of 1:31.68 to notch the win.
In the second race of the day, the 1000-yard freestyle, senior Katie Kastes finished second with a time of 10:02.54 and Au was third (10:05.93) behind USC's Haley Anderson (9:50.13). USC's other wins today came in the 200 free, with Hungarian Olympian Katinka Hosszu swimming an NCAA B time of 1:47.70; the 100 breaststroke, with freshman Kasey Carlson winning in an NCAA B time of 1:01.04; DePaul claiming the 200 fly in an NCAA B time of 1:55.92; and Anderson edging Kastes in the 500 free, 4:50.37-4:51.79 (both are NCAA B times).
Cal battles No. 21 UCLA at noon on Saturday, Jan. 29, at Spieker Aquatics Complex.
Cal Results vs. USC
Jan. 28 in Berkeley
200-Yard Freestyle Relay
1. Cal A (Erica Dagg, Colleen Fotsch, Nathalie Lindborg, Liv Jensen) 1:31.68*. 2. Cal B (Hannah Wilson, Cindy Tran, Amanda Sims, Katherine Raatz) 1:32.47*. 4. Cal C (Mikkel-Ane Stipe, Deborah Roth, Stephanie Au, Katie Kastes) 1:35.38.
*NCAA B qualifying time
^NCAA Zone E Diving Championships qualifying score