Cal Sweeps Opening Night of UNLV Fall Invitational
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – No. 1 California swept all five events on the first day of the UNLV Fall Invitational, led by freshman Missy Franklin, who took first place in two individual races and anchored a pair of victorious relays. The Golden Bears showed off their depth with at least two swimmers among the top three in each individual event and by posting the top four times in the 400 medley relay.
In all, Cal produced 11 NCAA B standards, starting with the opening 200-yard free relay. The foursome of Kaylin Bing, Rachael Acker, Elizabeth Pelton and Franklin touched the wall in 1:29.97, more than two seconds ahead of the runner-up team from Arizona State.
Pelton came back a few minutes later to claim the 500 free, taking the title in a personal-best 4:42.87. As a freshman for the Bears last year, her top time in the event was 4:50.78. Cal’s Catherine Breed placed third in 4:44.97, with Celina Li finishing fifth in 4:51.77.
The Bears had two others go under 4:50, as well. Melanie Klaren won the C final in 4:47.11, while Caroline Piehl was second in the B final in 4:48.44.
Franklin led a 1-2-4 showing for the Bears in the 200 individual medley with the only time under 2 minutes. She finished in 1:58.24, just ahead of Caroline Piehl, who closed out in 2:00.18. Kelly Naze was fourth in 2:01.71. Alicia Grima claimed the C final in 2:00.19, the third-fastest time of the evening.
As strong as the Bears were in the IM, they were more impactful in the 50 free as Franklin, Bing and Acker claimed the top three places. Franklin won the event in 22.53, with Bing timed in 22.63 and Acker finishing in 23.13.
Cal also had four swimmers in the B final of the 50 free, led by Pelton’s 22.94.
The Bears continued to build on their night in the final event, the 400 medley relay. Swimming for Cal A, Pelton started the backstroke in 51.44, followed by a split of 1:00.54 by Marina Garcia in the breaststroke to give her quartet a nearly two-second advantage. Li in the butterfly and Franklin in the free completed the race in 3:35.02. Cindy Tran, Melissa Bates, Sophia Batchelor and Bing were second in 3:37.02, followed by Rachel Bootsma, Yvette Kong, Farida Osman and Acker in 3:37.43, and Melanie Klaren, Taylor Young, Naze and Camille Cheng in 3:41.81.
In the team standings, Cal is dominating with 329 points. UCLA is second with 192, with Arizona State third (158.5) and host UNLV fourth (127.5).
The UNLV Fall Invitational features competitors from 10 women’s teams and continues with racing on Friday and Saturday.