The top-ranked Cal women’s swimming team gets it first taste of a championship meet format this year when the Golden Bears partake in the UNLV Fall Invitational Thursday through Saturday in Las Vegas.
The women’s field features 10 teams, including Pac-12 schools Arizona State, Oregon State and UCLA. Host UNLV, BYU, Colorado State, Northern Arizona, UC Santa Barbara and Wyoming round out the competition.
With approximately 300 swimmers entered, preliminary heats will be held each morning, followed by late-afternoon finals, similar to what the Bears will see at the Pac-12 and NCAA Championships at the end of the season.
Following this week’s event, Cal will send a select number of swimmers to AT&T Winter Nationals in Knoxville, Tenn., Dec. 5-7, then resume with dual-meet racing in late January.
Four Bears Up for Golden Goggles: The annual Golden Goggles ceremony is set for Sunday in Los Angeles, and four Golden Bears – sophomore Elizabeth Pelton, freshman Missy Franklin and graduates Natalie Coughlin and Dana Vollmer – are nominated for awards in four different categories. Pelton is up for the Perseverance Award, while Franklin is a candidate for Female Athlete of the Year and Female Race of the Year (200 free at the World Championships). In the Relay Performance of the Year category, Franklin and Coughlin were teammates on the USA 400 free relay at Worlds, and Franklin was part of the nominated USA 800 free relay. Franklin and Vollmer were also on the nominated USA 400 medley relay.
Missy Franklin Named Sportswoman of the Year: Golden Bear freshman Missy Franklin added to long list of awards Oct. 16 when she was named the Sportswoman of the Year for an individual sport by the Women’s Sports Foundation during a ceremony in New York. Franklin captured a women’s-record six gold medals during the 2013 FINA World Championships and was a four-time individual champion at U.S. Nationals. Among the finalists were Serena Williams (tennis), Inbee Park (golf) and Jenn Stuhr (track & field).
Cal has had two others recognized by the WSF. Swimmer Natalie Coughlin received the individual sport award in 2003, while soccer star Alex Morgan took home the Sportswoman of the Year for a team sport last year.
More for Franklin: Earlier this month, Time magazine listed Missy Franklin as one of the top 16 most influential teens of 2013. Among the others included were Malia Obama, Justin Bieber and Lorde.
Last Time Out: Cal last got in the water for a competitive meet three weeks ago when the Golden Bears hosted Wisconsin Nov. 1, coming away with a 163-111 victory. Cal picked up wins in 12 of 14 swimming events plus both diving competitions to improve its record to 4-0 on the year. Multiple winners on the afternoon included Missy Franklin (200 back, 200 IM), Celina Li (1000 free, 200 breast) and Anne Kastler (1-meter and 3-meter diving). The Bears wrapped up the meet when the foursome of Elizabeth Pelton, Li, Rachael Acker and Franklin produced a season-best time of 3:20.99 in the 400 free relay.