BERKELEY – California will take the spotlight on the world stage once again when a large contingent of Golden Bears swims in the 15th FINA World Championships from July 28-Aug. 4 at the Palau Saint Jordi in Barcelona. Incoming freshman Missy Franklin, returning sophomore Elizabeth Pelton and alumnae Natalie Coughlin and Lauren Boyle are among the Bears competing in the long-course championships, while Cal head coach Teri McKeever is an assistant coach for the United States in Spain.
McKeever, the head coach of the U.S. squad at the 2012 London Olympics, will join several of her protégés on the U.S. team. Along with Coughlin, Franklin and Pelton, other Bears swimming for the United States include Rachel Bootsma, Elizabeth Pelton and Dana Vollmer.
Cal boasts swimmers competing for other countries at worlds as well. Boyle and incoming freshman Sophia Batchelor will swim for their native New Zealand. Fresh off the World University Games in Kazan, Russia, current Bears Stephanie Au and Yvette Kong will swim for Hong Kong in Barcelona. Farida Osman, another incoming freshman, swims for Egypt at worlds.
NBC and Universal Sports will broadcast action – both live and taped – from the World Championships; that TV schedule is available on USASwimming.org. Results for the World Championships will be available on OmegaTiming.com.
Comcast SportsNet Central recently featured three Cal alums – Coughlin, Nathan Adrian and Anthony Ervin – as they prepared in Berkeley for the World Championships. That video is available by clicking here.
Franklin, who won five medals at the 2012 London Olympics, will be even busier in Barcelona, as she is scheduled to swim in eight events – the 50-, 100- and 200-meter backstrokes, the 100- and 200-meter freestyles as well as three relays: 4x100-meter freestyle relay, 4x200-freestyle relay and 4x100-medley relay. Franklin, who swam in seven events in London, holds the long-course world record in the 200-meter backstroke (2:04.06).
The Swimmer of the Meet at the NCAA Championships last March, Pelton will be swimming in her third World Championships. The American record-holder (1:47.84) and 2013 NCAA champ in the 200-yard back, she will swim in the 100- and 200-meter backs and 4x100-free relay in Spain.
Bootsma, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist who like Pelton will be a sophomore at Cal this fall, will compete in the 50 back in Spain. One of the Bears’ many talented backstrokers, Bootsma won the 100-yard back at NCAAs.
The 2012 Olympic bronze medalist in the 200-meter individual medley, Leverenz completed her Cal career last fall by repeating as the NCAA champ in the 200-yard IM. She will swim in the 200 IM at worlds.
Coughlin – the Cal legend and 12-time Olympic medalist, who won a bronze medal in London – is slated to swim in the 50 freestyle and the 4x100-free relay. Over her storied career, Coughlin has won a total of 18 medals at long-course worlds.
The world record-holder in the 100 butterfly – which she set when she won the gold medal last summer in London – Vollmer will swim the 100 fly, 50 fly and 4x100-medley relay at worlds. She also won gold in the 4x200-free relay and 4x100-medley relay in 2012.
A two-time Olympian for New Zealand, Boyle is a strong contender in the 800 free, which she won at the FINA Short-Course World Championships last December. She will swim the 400, 800 and 1500 frees in Barcelona. Batchelor – who barely missed out on a spot at the London Olympics in the 100 butterfly– is the latest in a long-line of talented international swimmers to commit to Cal. The new Bear is slated to swim the 50 fly, 100 fly and 200 back at worlds.
Au, another two-time Olympian, who will be a Cal senior in 2013-14, is scheduled to swim in the 50 and 100 backs as well as in Hong Kong’s 4x100-medley relay. Kong, a returning junior, has a docket that includes the 50 and 100 breaststrokes and the 4x100-medley relay.
Osman, who will also begin her Cal career in the coming season, qualified to swim in the 50 and 100 frees as well as the 50 and 100 flies at worlds.