The week that Cal students have now been dreaming of for weeks has finally arrived - spring break has overtaken Berkeley.
While many of the Bears that are in season will remain on campus for the week, many more will travel around the country for competition and around the world for pleasure.
For example, Lauren Loerch, a freshman outside hitter on the volleyball team, leaves this morning for the Dominican Republic for a service trip.
Cal kicker Giorgio Tavecchio, meanwhile, is taking punter Bryan Anger back to his home land for the week and will be showing the Camarillo, California native around Italy.
And Elly Barrett, a sophomore on the volleyball team, returned home to Austin, Texas where she will be on hand watching the women's swim team look to capture an NCAA Championship this evening. (Cal leads Georgia 295 to 274.5 entering the final day of competition.)
All four of these Cal athletes will be sending us pictures from their different activities, meaning you'll be able to be a part of their spring breaks even if you get no such week off yourself.
As for myself, I am in the nation's capital to start of the week but will be keeping my eyes on the Bears around the country throughout the week. Meaning that while I may not blog quite as much over the next week, plenty of information will be going out to the world via Twitter.
So keep your eyes on the Bear Blog and all of its social media entities throughout the week and we'll be back in full swing when school resumes.
The Cal women's lacrosse tilt last night against Lafayette was in many respects a very sloppy matter.
With the first half of play occurring an incessant downpour, the artificial turf on Witter Rugby Field collected water, the pace of play slowed and simple ball mechanics like scooping ground balls became more difficult.
Before the start of the game, one of Cal's players noted that "weather can be the great equalizer, but it won't be today." Her claim held true as the Bears played impressively and took control of the game early, eventually dropping the Leopards 13-10.
Despite the conditions, we were on hand with Bear Blog photographer James Besser to catch Cal in action. Check out those photos below.
Senior goalkeeper came ready to play, eye black and all.
Sophomore Gina Holslag waits as the official checks to make sure her stick meets all requirements.
The Bears stand for the national anthem under the lights for the first time.
Shropshire, a senior and captain, breaks out her dance moves before taking the field.
Coach Theresa Sherry speaks to her team in the pouring rain.
Tuesday brought driving rain and cutting wins to Witter Rugby Field, but it didn't stop history from being made.
After years of calling the light-less Memorial Stadium home, the Cal women's lacrosse team hosted Lafayette last night at 7:00 p.m. for the program's first ever game under the lights at home.
The brutal weather didn't stop the Bear Blog from covering this quietly historic occasion, and we were even in the locker room (and momentarily protected from the rain) before the game. Here are some photos from head coach Theresa Sherry's talk to the Bears before they took the field.
Coach Sherry leads off the Bear's starting lineup for her program's first ever night game.
Senior goalkeeper Allie Shorpshire (center) listens to her coach's strategic directions.
The Bears break out of the locker room before stepping out into the downpour waiting for them outside.
Until we get the embed code to post the video for This Week in Cal Athletics right here on the blog, you can see it on the CalBears.com homepage.
Reporter Chelsea Brown will get you up to date with all of the Cal sports action this week, including an interview with men's tennis coach Peter Wright. And of course, there is an appearance by yours truly to give you a sneak peak into the Bear Blog this week.
At Cal, they live in the bowels of Haas Pavilion down a compact hallway from Spieker Pool. They are some of the most elite and successful athletes on campus, yet many people fail to acknowledge the Olympians that live in our midst.
Put an elite swimmer on land and you will get mixed results - some of the athleticism that is evident in the water translates well outside of the pool, but much of it does not. Swimmers are early to rise - often times their workouts begin before dawn - and definitely early to crash.
These athletes can seem lazy at times. The mystery of tapering, otherwise known as an excuse to never climb a flight of stairs, to sit down as much as possible and avoid physical movement at all costs, is foreign to athletes of other sports.
But after spending an afternoon in the pool with some of the Cal men's swimmers, I came away knowing one thing - these athletes are physical specimens.
Sunday afternoon's workout was barely that for the swimmers. It was an "on your own" light swim in the pool, probably equivalent to a walk-through for the football team. I came ready to work, complete with a tiger-striped speedo. After all, I wanted to do my best to blend in with the team.
As the swimmers swiftly swept through the water without exerting any effort, one lap at a "sprint" pace left me gasping for air. The lifeguard's extra concern was obvious.
Even the most basic elements of swimming were difficult. The flip-turn filled my nostrils with chlorinated water. The butterfly looked more like a dying caterpillar that emerged from his cocoon without wings.
I even put myself through a timed sprint. A 50-free, complete with dive-in and attempted flip turn, came out at about 40 seconds. Want some perspective? Senior Nathan Adrian holds the American record in 20.71 seconds.
So when the men's swim team leaves for the NCAA Championships in Minnesota next week, I'll have a new appreciation for what they do in the water. Their strength, endurance and precision with technique is truly phenomenal. The fact that many of them are the best in the country at what they do makes it all the more impressive.
So while swimmers were mysterious to me before, I now have a more complete understanding of what they go through. If I were them I'd avoid climbing flights of stairs as well. After all, I'm three days removed from this "light" swim and I'm still hurting in places I didn't know existed.
Don't worry, we'll do our part here on the Bear Blog to make swimming less of a mystery to all of you readers. The good news for you is that reading about the team doesn't leave you completely exhausted.
Can you even tell the difference between Bear Blog writer David Seawright, above, and returning national champion Tom Shields, below? Didn't think so.
AT&T Park has been good to the Bears the last couple of years, and with Cal football's move into San Francisco for its 2011 home schedule only six months and three days away (not that we're counting or anything), we can only hope this streak continues.
This past weekend, however, the home of the World Series champion San Francisco Giants was used for its original purpose - baseball. The Cal Baseball Classic hosted visitors Louisiana-Lafayette, Rice and Long Beach State at AT&T Park and the Bears escaped the weekend unscathed.
After beating Louisiana-Lafayette 7-6 on Friday night, No. 20 Cal turned around and beat No. 18 Rice by the same score in 15 innings on Saturday. The Bears closed out the weekend with a 6-1 win over Long Beach State Sunday afternoon.
We were on hand for all 15 innings of the Saturday evening game and spent most of the night in the dugout with the team. The game took close to five hours - the first pitch was thrown at 7:13 p.m. and the final run scored at 11:50 - and the Cal pitching staff managed to hold Rice scoreless for the final 10 innings of the match up.
The Bears will host the University of San Francisco at Evans Diamond on Wednesday afternoon before kicking off a weekend series with Ohio State here in Berkeley.
And if you didn't make it out to AT&T Park this weekend (or just couldn't survive the 15 inning marathon on Saturday night), here's a video of the game-tying run and game-ending celebration as well as some photos from inside the Cal dugout from the game.
Coach David Esquer looks out of the home dugout as Justin Jones throws the first pitch.
Coach Esquer from the dugout usually inhabited by the San Francisco Giants.
Catcher Chadd Krist waits to take an at-bat.
The Cal baseball team lasted 15 long innings but walked away with the win.
The Cal women's lacrosse team is currently in Evanston, Illinois awaiting a showdown with powerhouse (and currently No. 2) Northwestern at 1:00 p.m. PT this afternoon.
The 2010 NCAA Runner-Ups will may be the biggest test for the Bears during the regular season, as senior captain and goalkeeper Allie Shropshire can attest. We caught up with her earlier this week, so here's what she had to say about the match up.
David Seawright: What kind of mental focus are you carrying into such a big game?
Allie Shropshire: The mental focus is that we'll have to outwork them in every aspect of the game. We may not be more skilled than them but the one thing we can control is how hard we work.
DS: You guys are traveling to the east coast for the second trip in a row - what kind of challenges does that present?
AS: It definitely takes a bit out of you with the jet lag and everything. We actually [had] a five o'clock leave time [Thursday morning] so we'll get adjusted to the new time zone real quick. We'll have a practice Thursday and then the game Friday. It'll be nice to have a little bit time to get used to the time zone though.
DS: As a goalie, what type of individual challenge are you facing against the Wildcats?
AS: The individual challenge is that they'll shoot anytime from anywhere, with looking, without looking, behind the cage, in front of the cage. I'll have to be ready at all times.
DS: As a senior and captain, what are you emotions heading into what may be the toughest challenge of the season? AS: My emotions are that this is one of 7 or 8 games that we have in the next three weeks so this is the tone that'll be set for those games. I want to set a good leadership example and work hard myself and hopefully everyone else will follow suit.
Projected first-round pick Cameron Jordan did not participate in any measurable drills at Cal's Pro Day this morning, however he did take part in position drills and then joined us to talk about his day. Here's what he had to say.
Note: This footage will be edited into a full video feature to be posted later this week on the Bear Blog.
Former Cal running back Shane Vereen followed up a strong performance at the NFL Scouting Combine, which included 31 reps of the bench press at 225 pounds (the second highest total among running backs), by participating in position drills at today's Pro Day.
Vereen joined us after the day was over to talk about his performance and the NFL Draft process. Here's what he had to say.
Note: This footage will be edited into a full video feature to be posted later this week on the Bear Blog.
As 17 former Cal football players showcased their talents on the field and in the weight room in an effort to prove their ability to play at the next level, many of these players also got a taste of NFL-caliber media attention.
A large group of reporters questioned many of the former Golden Bears, including projected first-round pick and defensive lineman Cameron Jordan, quarterback Kevin Riley, running back Shane Vereen and linebacker Mike Mohamed. Check out a few photos from earlier this afternoon.
Cameron Jordan answers questions from the media following his Pro Day performance.
Kevin Riley laughs at the questions from the congregated media members.
Shane Vereen speaks with numerous local media members.
Mike Mohamed, one of the first players to conclude drills, speaks to reporters on Witter Rugby Field.
For the former Cal players like wide receiver and return man Jeremy Ross who did not attend the NFL Scouting Combine, today's Pro Day was the biggest opportunity to audition in front of NFL scouts. Ross made the most of his opportunity.
One scout told us that Ross "really helped himself today." He was clocked at as low as 4.39 in the 40-yard dash and added an impressive 39 inch vertical leap and a 4.15 run in the 20-yard shuttle.
The scout spoke very highly of Ross' athletic ability and was impressed with his performance both in the weight room and on the field. He was optimistic that Ross' considerable physical abilities would translate well to the next level.
Here are some photos of Ross from throughout the morning.
Ross takes off for the broad jump.
Ross is captured midair during the broad jump.
Ross sticks the landing of his broad jump this morning.
Ross runs through the finish of his 40-yard dash, which was clocked as low as 4.39 seconds.
Former Cal cornerback Bryant Nnabuife may have opened the eyes of NFL talent evaluators today with an impressive 40 inch vertical leap, as well as posting 10 foot 2 inch broad jump and a 20-yard shuttle timed as low as 4.06 seconds.
Said one scout immediately following Nnabuife's vertical, "Now I have to go watch some tape." If he managed to capture the attention of NFL scouts, Nnabuife, who was not invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, certainly had a successful day.
The Pro Day held at Witter Rugby Field and at the adjacent weight lifting facility offered 17 Cal football alumni an opportunity to showcase their talents in front of a large group of congregated NFL scouts from more than 25 NFL teams.
With the NFL Draft rapidly approaching in late April, today's events played a role in the evaluation of each former Golden Bear. And while four players - Cameron Jordan, Shane Vereen, Mike Mohamed and Chris Conte - already worked out for scouts at the NFL combine just weeks ago, many more athletes had an opportunity to audition for the next level.
The day began with each player filling out necessary paperwork before having their hands, arms, and wingspan measured as well as their height and weight recorded. Here are some photos from this portion of the morning, with many more to come.
Offensive lineman Richard Fisher fills out his paper work prior to today's Pro Day.
Shane Vereen (seated) sits on the floor of the weight room while filling out paperwork.
Defensive lineman Cameron Jordan gets his arm measured by NFL scouts.
Cameron Jordan's arm span is analyzed by scouts as well.
Wide receiver and return man Jeremy Ross has his hand measured.
Running back Shane Vereen is measured while a host of scouts looks on.
The former Cal football players performing in front of NFL scouts at today's Pro Day have finished the measurable drills portion of the morning on Witter Rugby Field.
After working out in front of talent evaluators earlier in the weight room, this year's NFL prospects moved outside to run the 40-yard dash, the 20-yard shuttle, 60-yard shuttle and 3 cone drill.
As we promised earlier, we'll be back later with full coverage of the morning including results, photos, and on-camera videos with some of the athletes. Until then, keep up with the Bear Blog on Twitter for updates.
The group of former Cal football players, including prospects Cameron Jordan and Shane Vereen, have concluded the weight room portion of the 2011 Pro Day in front of NFL Scouts.
The former Golden Bears will now move out to Witter Rugby field to run a 40-yard dash and complete other measurable drills to be evaluated prior to April's NFL Draft.
Each player had his hand size, arm length and wing span measured, as well as his height and weight taken to start of the day. They then had the option of performing in the vertical leap, broad jump and bench press at 225 pounds.
Check back with the Bear Blog throughout the day for more in-depth coverage, including exclusive photos and results from the morning. Until then, follow us on Twitter for further information from Pro Day.
Today a group of former Cal players, including notable 2010 performers Cameron Jordan, Shane Vereen and Mike Mohamed, will work out for a group of NFL scouts at this years Pro Day at Witter Rugby Field and the temporary weight room above Memorial Stadium.
The morning session will begin with weight lifting before the former Bears will run, jump and complete ball drills on the field to prove their worth heading into the 2011 NFL Draft to be held in April.
While Jordan, Vereen and Mohamed, along with safety Chris Conte, worked out in front of scouts at the NFL combine two weeks ago in Indianapolis, today's event offers many more former Cal players an opportunity to showcase their talents in quest of continuing their football careers at the next level.
Needless to say, the Bear Blog will be offering you exclusive coverage of the event from inside the weight room and on the field. Keep it here all morning for results, photos and video updates.
The No. 20 Cal baseball team hosted Santa Clara this afternoon at Evans Diamond and put on quite a show. Just moments ago, the Bears finalized a 20-5 victory that included a combined 17 run downpour during the 5th and 6th innings.
Today's match up acts as a preface to what is to come this weekend at the Cal Baseball Classic. The Bears play at 7 p.m. on Friday (vs. Louisiana-Lafayette), Saturday (vs. Rice) and Sunday (vs. Long Beach State).
Of course, AT&T Park is not only the home to the World Series champion San Francisco Giants, but also to the Cal football team during the 2011 season while Memorial Stadium is renovated.
We were in the dugout this afternoon to see the Bears in action. Check out those photos below.
Kyle Porter throws the first pitch, as seen from the third story of Haas Pavilion.
Head Coach David Esquer looks out at Evans Diamond from the dugout.
Coach Esquer (right) coaches up the Bears.
The Bears hydrate between innings during their game against Santa Clara.
Sophomore Trevor Hildenberger (right) and teammates prepare to take the field.
Last week we brought you an exclusive interview with sophomore Tom Shields right before the team left for the Pac-10 Championships in Long Beach.
Since then, all Shields did was score 57 points for the Bears, set an NCAA record and was named the "Swimmer of the Meet" of the championship.
Shields has already fielded an illustrious career at Cal, including an individual NCAA title in the 100 fly last year as a freshman. He was also named the Pac-10 swimmer of the month in January. In just two-and-a-half weeks, the sophomore will look to continue racking in the accolades at the NCAA Championships in Minnesota.
Certainly one of the big showdowns will be with Stanford senior Austin Staab, who won the NCAA title in the 100 fly in 2009 before missing last season due to personal reasons. In their two meetings this year, Staab has topped Shields in the event. The last meeting of 2011 just might field a different result.
The Cal men's swimming team does not fully rest or shave for the Pac-10 Championships. Instead, they wait for NCAAs to ensure that they're swimming their best. Stanford, meanwhile, shaved and fully rested for Pac-10s to uphold their now 30-year streak of winning the conference crown.
So yes, that means that Shields and the Bears finished second last weekend without being fully rested or shaved for the weekend, meaning that they'll be peaking at just the right time.
We caught up with Shields yesterday afternoon to talk about his weekend performance and what he anticipates from himself and his teammates at NCAAs next week. Here's what he had to say.
This photo, taken by Bear Blog photographer James Besser, captures Shields underwater during practice.
David Seawright:You were named Pac-10 "Swimmer of the Meet" - did you think that might happen heading into the weekend?
Tom Shields: Honestly? Yeah. It usually goes to whoever scores the most points, and I knew I would be contending for all the events I'm in. And I know that Nathan [Adrian], who's a very deserving athlete as well - I knew I would beat him in the 100 fly and that would help my cause. I knew it would come down to how Staab did in the 100 free and he came in third so I was like, sweet, I got it. DS:So 57 points on the weekend, you'll be shaved and rested for NCAAs in two weeks - do you think you'll be able to score a perfect 60?
TS: I mean, I'd love to, but we're adding a lot of swimmers - some guys who have better times than me in some of the races. There are some really good athletes, and this is the big show, so that's the ultimate goal for everyone there - to win every race they're in. So obviously I'm hopeful, I'd love to.
DS: How much of a difference does it really make to be shaved and rested?
TS: I think it's the difference in the 12 one-hundreths between myself and Staab. I think that with a lot more rest, personally, I can be faster. For other guys it makes a huge different - when they're rested it's like they're a different athlete. I know I'll be faster - I dropped almost a full second in the 100 fly at NCAAs last year, so even though that's mathematically impossible this year I'm hoping to drop time in all of my events.
DS:So what will the next two weeks look like for you as you rest and taper?
TS: I don't know - listen to the coaches I guess. I'll stay off my feet as much as possible and tone down the social life. Just coming in and focusing every day. DS:Your team has now fallen to Stanford two times in a row. Your third shot is on the biggest stage there is. Aside from the personal desire to win, what does it mean to have a third shot at Stanford?
TS: I think that winning the last four events last weekend really gave us a confidence boost. We know that we're not shaved and rested but we performed really well. I think we're in a good spot right now - we got our swag back and are swimming well. I think we can win and it's a matter of if we really decide to. This is the one that counts, so we're disappointed that we lost at Pac-10s but this is the one we've been working toward.
DS:Realistically, what do you think you can achieve personally and as a team at NCAAs?
TS: As a team, I think we can win. We'll have to do it without divers, but it's a testament to the strength of our swimming program. And personally, the American record in the 200 fly is right there. I'm right there behind Phelps and I think I can get it. Of course I want to win as many events as I can, win as many relays as I'm involved with since I know that we have a great shot at those. I just love winning - I want to go after as many titles as we possibly can individually and as a team.
While much of the focus on campus this weekend was on Cal's basketball win over Stanford, another group of Bears quietly came away with a huge victory on Saturday afternoon.
The women's water polo team beat No. 2 USC 8-3 at Spieker Pool, and in one fell swoop Cal came up with an important league victory and knocked off the defending national champions.
Goalie Stephanie Peckham, a junior, had a monster of a day for the Bears, coming up with 20 saves against the Trojans. She joined us this afternoon to talk about the victory and her hopes for the team moving forward.
David Seawright: Congratulations on the win on Saturday - what did the "W" mean to you? Stephanie Peckham: It was the first time I ever beat USC being here. I'm a fourth year so it was awesome. It was so good to see everyone play so hard. It was a really rewarding feeling knowing that we won and we won together, as a team. It was one of my best experiences at Cal so far.
DS: Beating the defending national champions must give you guys a mental edge moving forward. Is that a fair assumption? SP: Yeah - it was a lot of affirmation that we can beat any team. A lot of
people thought USC would beat us, but now we have no doubt that we can
win NCAA's if we keep working hard. We have a lot of motivation going into the
rest of the season. DS: It was a big win for the team, but you also came up huge with 20 saves on the day. Where does that rank in your personal accomplishments as a Golden Bear?
SP: That's pretty high up there, but I really didn't think about it during the game. I just wanted to do it for the team. I didn't care about the number of saves I had, I cared about looking at my teammates knowing we beat the defending national champions. It definitely ranked high up there, but I'm proud of everyone. We did well together. DS: What are your goals moving forward?
SP: Just to get better every day. I want to win every game that we
play, go to NCAAs and win and all that stuff, but right now it's just to be better at this
practice so we're ready to play this weekend. DS: What big games do you have remaining here in Berkeley that you'd like fans to check out? SP: We're playing [current No. 1] Stanford at home. It's our last home game, at 7:00 p.m. on April 16. It's big for us because, obviously, it's Stanford.
We're seated right at half court up on press row for Cal's match up with rival Stanford this afternoon. Whether or not you're able to watch or listen at home, chat with us here for updates and analysis throughout the game.
Just a reminder, tonight we'll be hosting a live chat during the Cal basketball game against Stanford from press row of Haas Pavilion.
If you can't make it on campus for the game, you can watch on CSN California or listen on KNEW 910 AM. While you watch or listen, chat with us - and many more Cal fans - about the game as it happens right here in Berkeley.
The game tips off at 4 p.m., so we'll have the chat live starting at 3:45 to hash out any pregame news or updates before the Bears take the court. We hope to chat with you here, on the Bear Blog home page, this afternoon!
Thursday's 75-51 loss to No. 2 Stanford was the last regular season game for two seniors on the Cal women's basketball team. While much of the squad will return next year, Rachelle Frederico and Rama N'Diaye's careers as Golden Bears are coming to an end.
Although the score did not end up favoring the Bears, the two seniors - and the entirety of the Cal roster - can be proud of the effort put forth throughout the year.
Cal will leave next week for Los Angeles to play in the Pac-10 Tournament at the Galen Center on the USC campus. The Bears will tip off the tournament on Wednesday, March 9.
Here are the final photos from the Bear Blog's trip to Palo Alto for last night's game.
The Bears shake hands with the Cardinal following Thursday's match up.
Senior Rama N'Diaye looks on as her final regular season game for the Bears comes to a close.
The Bears huddle for the final time during this year's Pac-10 Conference schedule.
After playing the Cardinal close in the first half, No. 2 Stanford took control of the game and outlasted the Bears, winning 75-51.
Despite the score, one thing that was evident from the bench was that Cal undoubtedly played with tremendous heart until the final buzzer. Joanne Boyle and her staff continued to coach up the Bears even as the game slipped from their grasp. One thing is for sure,this young group of players certainly has valuable experience moving forward.
Here are the photos we took during the second half.
Joanne Boyle during a second half timeout.
Freshmen Mikayla Lyles (right) and Avigiel Cohen listen attentively to coach Boyle.
Boyle draws up offensive schematics for the Bears.
Boyle energetically instructed her team throughout the game.
Eliza Pierre waits to inbound the ball right in front of the scorer's table.
The Cal women's basketball team fell to No. 2 Stanford 75-51 last night in Palo Alto, concluding the Pac-10 schedule for the Bears and seniors Rachelle Federico and Rama N'Diaye.
Federico led Cal with 16 points in her final regular season game in a blue and gold jersey. Freshman Lindsay Sherbert added 13 of her own and sophomore Layshia Clarendon finished with 12 points on the night. You can read a recap of the game here.
The Bear Blog was fortunate enough to be sitting courtside for the game and caught all of the action from there. Here are some photos from the pregame festivities, with more posts to come throughout the day.
The Cal women's basketball stands during the national anthem.
Coach Joanne Boyle (Center) and her assistants during the national anthem.
Assistant coach Kevin Morrison jots down some notes at the scorers table, right in front of where we were sitting.
The Bears huddle up one more time before tip off.
Coach Boyle looks on while her starting lineup is announced.
After watching film of Stanford, the Cal men's basketball team went up the stairs from its locker room to the weight room on the first floor of Haas Pavilion.
The Bears went through what was described as a "flesh-out" workout - after a week's worth of hard lifts and practices, today's focus was preparing their bodies for Saturday's game. This included a lengthy and dynamic core workout and a series of arm and shoulder lifts in the weight room.
Next up for the Bears is a full practice on the floor of Haas Pavilion. Here are the photos from the weight room session.
The Bears go through a dynamic warm up before entering the weight room.
Jorge Gutierrez during his pre-lift warm up.
Harper Kamp does a plank as part of today's core workout.
Guard Brandon Smith does some dumbbell curls.
Harper Karm works out on the leg press machine.
Senior Markhuri Sanders-Frison works on his shoulder strength.
Just moments ago, the Cal men's basketball team sat down to watch film of upcoming opponent Stanford. The Bears got dressed for their upcoming workouts - in the weight room and on the court - before sitting down in the film review room with coach Mike Montgomery.
Ever wonder what a day looks like in the life of a Cal basketball player? If you haven't, I'm assuming you are now - which is good news since we'll be bringing that to you right here this afternoon.
The Bear Blog will be with the men's basketball team throughout the day today as it prepares for a big match up with Stanford on Saturday night. We'll be with the team during its meetings, weight lifting session and practice, so keep it here and follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.
In case you haven't heard by now, the Cal men's basketball team is playing Stanford on Saturday at 4 p.m. at Haas Pavilion.
Thanks to the Bear Blog, you have an opportunity to go to the game for free (read this post for all of the details). The Cal athletic department must be in a good mood, because there's more good stuff coming your way on Saturday as well.
If you're planning on being in Berkeley for the game, you can pick up a "Beat Stanford" t-shirt for only five bucks.
Here's how: starting at 2:30 p.m., "check-in" on your Facebook for iPhone application (or at touch.facebook.com), claim the deal and show it to a cashier at the Cal Team Shop. If you use a Blackberry or Android, don't worry - if you "check-in" on your Facebook application and show that to the cashier, you'll get a shirt for five bucks as well.
If you don't want to hold out for free tickets - the winners will be contacted this afternoon - you can still purchase tickets to the game here. And if you're not able to be in Berkeley, you can chat with me live right here on the Bear Blog during the game.
Here are some iPhone screen shots to show you how to get a five dollar shirt.
Update: You still have more than 24 hours to participate in this giveaway before the winners are selected.
Two weeks ago, the Bear Bloggave away tickets to 20 lucky fans to see the Cal men's basketball team play USC at Haas Pavilion.
Fortunately for you, we're back with another ticket giveaway. This time around we'll be giving out five pairs of tickets to see the Bears conclude their season this Saturday night against Stanford.
The rules are simple (and exactly the same as last time around): retweet this tweet to be put in the running to win a pair of tickets. Be sure to follow the Bear Blog on Twitter as well.
If you're not on Twitter, comment on this post and provide an accurate email address - after all, if you win we'll have to contact you to let you know about it - and you will still have a chance to win.
We will contact the winners Thursday afternoon. If you win, we will ask you for the full name that the tickets should be waiting under at will call.
As if you needed any more incentive, remember that the Bears are currently on a three-game winning streak after sweeping the Oregon schools this past weekend.
After Saturday's tilt, Cal will head down to Los Angeles for the Pac-10 tournament - meaning that this is your last opportunity to see the Bears in action in Berkeley. This is your chance to see it all for free.
There's a lot going on in the Cal athletic department this week. Thankfully, This Week in Cal Athletics saved us from having to summarize it here. Just watch this video to get filled in on everything that's going on this week.
The off-season is difficult for many different reasons, but one definite challenge comes with the physical limits that are regularly pushed.
Earlier this morning, after a practice and weight lifting session (much like the one we featured here last week), the Cal volleyball team endured a trying cardio circuit, which included five different five-minute stations with only one-minute breaks in between each drill.
The good news? Strength and conditioning coach Hank Behrens gave the Bears some extra motivation. If each player improved upon their scores from the last time they did this exact circuit, they would enjoy a day off this Friday.
When it was all said and done, they have a three day weekend ahead of them.
Tarah Murray (right) and Lauren Loerch (middle) are joined by head coach Rich Feller on the elliptical machines.
Kat Brown (right) and Elly Barrett push themselves on stationary bikes.
Shannon Hawari works the ropes during the cardio circuit.
Correy Johnson and Adrienne Gehan run on treadmills in the Haas weight room.
Strength and conditioning coach Hank Behrens looks on as the Bears endure his circuit.
Just a quick reminder: the Bear Blog is giving away 10 tickets to the Cal men's basketball tilt versus Stanford this Saturday at Haas Pavilion. Read about how to win a pair of tickets to the game here.
Additionally, we will be hosting a live chat from press row during the game, so even if you can't make it to Haas we can make you feel as if you are. You'll be able to access that chat on the blog home page.
The game will be broadcast by CSN Bay Area on television and 910 KNEW on the radio, meaning you should tune in there and chat with us here.
Tom Shields is the defending national champion in the 100 butterfly. He's also a Cal sophomore. We caught up with him this morning before the Bears left for the Pac-10 Championships in Long Beach, California. Here's what he had to say.
Right before 7:00 a.m. this morning, the Cal men's swim team began to trickle into their locker room on by Spieker Pool.
While their female counterparts were in the water preparing for the NCAA Championships in a couple weeks, the guys packed their bags and loaded onto a bus to catch a plane headed to Long Beach, California.
By 7:20, the Bears were en route down Bancroft Way and will not return until Sunday night - hopefully with a Pac-10 Championship in hand.
The Bear Blog, including photographer James Besser, was there with the team all morning, so here are those pictures.
We woke up bright and early to see the Cal men's swimming team embark for the Pac-10 Championships in Long Beach this weekend, and fortunately for you it's all coming your way whether you were up early today or not.
Stick around with the Bear Blog to see photos from the locker room and bus as well an exclusive on-camera interview with one of the Bear's defending national champions.