March 21, 2008
Columbus, OH -
The California Golden Bears sit in fifth place after 14 events of the 2008 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion hosted by Ohio State on Friday evening. Arizona continues to lead the overall competition with 361 points, followed by Auburn (244), Texas A&M (227) and Stanford (212). The Bears have accumulated 203 total points.
"We're in a real dogfight with Texas A&M and Stanford," said head coach Teri McKeever. "There were definitely some highs and lows today, but I was really pleased with having five of our swimmers compete (in the A and B finals) in the 100 (butterfly). We just need to stay focused and maximize our opportunities tomorrow morning." McKeever also was quick to praise Lauren Rogers who competed in her first Championship Final.
The quartet of Rogers, Emily Silver, Dana Vollmer and Madison Kennedy gained 30 points for Cal in the first even of the evening after a fourth-place finish in the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1:38.07. The Cal foursome held off Auburn (1:38.35) and Georgia (1:38.79) of the Southeastern Conference.
Vollmer took second place and 17 points in the 100-yard butterfly after touching the wall with a time of 51.32, behind Tennessee's Christine Magnuson (50.70). Vollmer fought her way back into contention in the last two 50-yard splits and sped past Arizona's Hailey Degolia in the final split with a 13.82 for the second-place finish. Hannah Wilson, who swam a lifetime best 52.85 in the morning preliminaries, swam a 53.02 in the 'B' Finals, followed by Emily Silver (53.06) and Tara Thomas (a lifetime best 53.09). Amanda Sims finished 15th overall with a 53.49.
Rogers, who was competing in her first-ever Championship Final, held off Arizona's Justine Schluntz to pick up 15 points and a fourth-place finish in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 52.24 in the `A' Final. Rogers, who was the Pac-10 Champion in the 100 back, qualified earlier in the preliminaries with a 52.52. She exceeded her previous time in the 100 back when she placed ninth overall in last year's NCAA Championships in Minnesota (in the 'B' final) with a time of 53.59.
Cal's foursome of Vollmer, Lauren Boyle, Kennedy, and Silver placed third (29 points) in the final event of the evening in the 800-yard freestyle relay with a time of 7:01.09 - three seconds ahead of Georgia and Stanford. The 7:01.09 was three seconds faster than their Pac-10 Championship first-place time of 7:04.13 earlier this month in Long Beach.
The 2008 Championship concludes tomorrow, as preliminaries begin at 11:00 a.m. (EST) and finals at 7:00 p.m. (EST). Saturday's events include - 1650-yard freestyle, 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 200 butterfly and 400-yard freestyle relay.