Feb. 29, 2008
Long Beach - Led by Dana Vollmer and Lauren Rogers, the California women's swimming team advanced nine swimmers to the "A" finals of tonight's Pac-10 Championships in Long Beach at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool. Rogers qualified for the 100-yard backstroke, while Vollmer, senior Emily Silver and freshmen Amanda Sims and Hannah Wilson qualified for the 100-yard butterfly, senior Rachel Ridgeway and sophomore Heather White qualified for the 400 individual medley, and finally junior Madison Kennedy and sophomore Lauren Boyle advanced in the 200-yard freestyle.
The finals start at 6:00 p.m. tonight, beginning with the 400 IM, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke and the 400 medley relay.
Rogers displayed the dominance in the 100 back, just as she has all season long, with the fastest preliminary time of 52.83 - a lifetime best and the third-fastest mark in school history. Rogers now owns three of the 10 fastest 100 back times in program history.
Cal governed the preliminaries in the 100 fly, as Vollmer, one of the nation's elite, swam the fastest post at 51.87 - the fourth-fastest time in school history. Silver displayed her excellence with a 52.73 - the third-fastest prelim and seventh-fastest post in program history. Sims (53.30) and Wilson (53.34) placed 6-7 as well.
Freshman Tara Thomas qualified for the consolation finals in the 100 fly with the 13th-fastest preliminary time of 54.28.
Ridgeway swam an incredible 4:11.96 in the 400 IM (fourth-fastest preliminary time), nearly eight seconds faster than her previous season-best of 4:19.21 set against Arizona State on Jan. 26. The 4:11.96 was not only a lifetime best for Ridgeway, but also the third-fastest mark in school history. Ridgeway placed third in last year's Pac-10 Championships in the 400 IM with a time of 4:13.12. White, meanwhile, posted the sixth-fastest preliminary time of 4:14.70 - a new personal best and the fifth-fastest in program history.
Kennedy (1:48.03) and Boyle (1:48.09) finished 7-8 in the 200 free prelims to qualify for the finals, while sophomore Amanda Larson posted a personal-best 1:48.91 to qualify for the consolation final. Freshman Erica Dagg swam a lifetime best 1:49.36, which was good enough to qualify in the consolation final as well.
Live coverage of the Pac-10 Women's Swimming Championships can be found at: http://www.collegeswimming.com/week3/#Pac10. The Bears are in third-place in the championships after seven events with a total team score of 396.