Feb. 27, 2008
Long Beach - The California women's swimming team continued its dominance of the 800-yard freestyle relay in the first day of the Pac-10 Championships in Long Beach at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool on Wednesday, capturing first-place with a time of 7:04.13 - a new Pac-10 meet record. The Golden Bears lead the championships after two events with a total team score of 118. Arizona is in second place with a team score of 116, followed by Stanford with 112.
Cal is no stranger to supremacy in the 800-free relays at the Pac-10s, winning the event for a fifth consecutive year (2004-08). This year's foursome of Dana Vollmer, Lauren Boyle, Madison Kennedy and Emily Silver, eclipsed last season's foursome of Vollmer, Boyle, Rachel Ridgeway and Erin Reilly, who owned the previous Pac-10 record time of 7:05.59.
The 7:04.13 also registers as an NCAA "A" qualifying mark.
"It was a good solid effort by the team tonight," said head coach Teri McKeever. "It was a really good race there with Stanford, Washington and Arizona. It was a good back and forth battle and just really exciting to watch. There was certainly a lot of strategy at work in this event."
The other event that took place tonight was the 200-medley relay in which Cal placed third. The Golden Bear foursome of Lauren Rogers, Alexandra Ellis, Hannah Wilson and Tara Thomas touched the wall with an NCAA `A" qualifying time of 1:38.70, nearly one second faster than last year's group of Sherry Tsai, Jessica Hardy, Erin Reilly and Silver, who posted a time of 1:39.16.
McKeever was quick to applaud the efforts of Rogers, who set the table with an unbelievable split time of 24.17 in the backstroke. She was extremely pleased with the effort of both freshman - Wilson and Thomas, noting that experimenting with this type of lineup will benefit the team when it comes to NCAA Championship time.
The conference championships continue tomorrow with the 500-yard freestyle, 200 individual medley, 50-yard freestyle and the 200-yard freestyle relay.