Feb. 28, 2008
Long Beach -
The California women's swimming team has five swimmers in the "A" finals of tonight's Pac-10 Championships in Long Beach at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool. Golden Bear juniors Madison Kennedy and Dana Vollmer both qualified in the 50-yard freestyle; seniors Emily Silver and Rachel Ridgeway both qualified for the 200 individual medley, and sophomore Lauren Boyle qualified for the 500-yard freestyle.
The finals start at 6:00 p.m. tonight, beginning with the 500 free relay, followed by the 200 IM, 50 free and 200-yard freestyle relay.
Kennedy posted the third-fastest preliminary time of the morning in the 50 free with a 22.41 - her fastest mark of the season. Vollmer checked in with a time of 22.64 - sixth-fastest preliminary post. Vollmer won last year's Pac-10 final in the 50 free with a time of 22.05 (a Pac-10 meet record).
A pair of freshmen will compete in the "B" finals of the 50 free - Tara Thomas and Hannah Wilson. Thomas posted the 13th-best time in the prelims at 22.91, while Wilson clocked in at a personal-best 22.96.
Boyle logged the fourth-fastest mark in the 500 free in the prelims at 4:45.55. She made up tremendous ground after the first 50 yards and clocked the fastest sixth 50-yard split among the top 8 at 28.28. Boyle placed 11th in last year's conference finals in the 500 free with a time of 4:48.14.
Sophomore Blake Hayter nearly made the finals of the 500 free, missing the cut by .66 seconds. She will compete in the "B" finals after posting a 4:48.87 - her best time in the event this season.
Silver jumped out to an explosive start in the 200 IM with the fastest split time (among the top 8) of 24.94, before finishing with the third-fastest and season-best preliminary time of 1:58.21. Ridgeway posted the fifth-fast mark at 1:58.70 (a season-best as well). Heather White qualified for the "B" finals with the 14th- best time of 2:01.72.
Live coverage of the Pac-10 women's swimming championships can be found at: http://www.collegeswimming.com/week3/#Pac10. The Bears lead the championships after two events with a total team score of 118.