Aug. 4, 2012
LONDON - Cal increased its medal count to 13 so far in the Olympic Games in London with four more medals in the pool on Saturday in the final day of swimming at the Olympic Park Aquatics Centre. Nathan Adrian added another gold medal, anchoring the United States' winning men's 400 medley relay team, while Dana Vollmer helped guide the U.S. women's 400 medley relay team to gold in world record time and teammates Rachel Bootsma and Jessica Hardy earned gold competing in the medley-relay prelims.
With the swimming competition now complete, representatives from Cal earned a total of 11 medals - seven gold, one silver and three bronze - in the pool. The list includes alumni, one current student and one incoming freshman.
Here is the breakdown of medals by the Golden Bears in the pool:
Outside of the pool, former Golden Bear women's rowing standouts Erin Cafaro (gold, USA 8+) and Kara Kohler (bronze, USA 4x) each collected medals so far in the games.
The 13 medals ties for third most in school history. The Bears won 17 medals in Beijing in 2008 and 15 medals in Athens in 2004. Cal also captured 13 medals in Sydney (2000) and London (1948).
It was the third Olympic medal of the 2012 Olympics for Adrian. On July 29, he led-off the American's 400 free relay (with a time of 47.89) that won the silver medal and then on Aug. 1 he etched his name among the school's all-time greats when he won Olympic gold medal in the 100-meter freestyle, out-touching Australia's James Magnussen by one one hundredth of a second, 47.52 to 47.53, for the title.
Adrian, the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials champion in the 100 free, upended the favored Magnussen (who won the 100 free at the 2011 World Championships and had predicted an Olympic victory) to become the first Cal men's swimmer to win an Olympic gold medal in the 100 free since Matt Biondi in 1988. He is the first individual Cal Olympic champion in men's swimming since Anthony Ervin won the gold in the 50 free in 2000.
The Cal women's swimmers, coached by Cal head women's swimming & diving coach Teri McKeever, ended the London Olympics with a total of eight medals: Vollmer won three (golds in the 100 butterfly, 800-free relay and 400-medley relay), Hardy earned two (bronze in the 400-free relay and gold in the medley relay), Bootsma took medley-relay gold, Caitlin Leverenz won bronze in the 200 IM and Natalie Coughlin tied the all-time U.S. women's Olympian record of 12 with her bronze in the 400-free relay.
In other action Saturday, Hardy placed seventh in the 50 freestyle in the pool, while former Cal water polo standouts Aleksa Saponjic of Serbia and John Mann of the USA squared off. Over in Eton Dorney on the final day of rowing competition, Will Dean (Canada) competed in the men's four and Julie Nichols rowed in the women's lightweight double sculls. In group play in the Olympic Basketball Stadium, former Golden Bear Max Zhang scored two points and collected two rebounds for China in its loss to Brazil.
Golden Bear star Adrian joined backstroker Matt Grevers, breaststroker Brendan Hanson and butterflyer Michael Phelps as the Americans topped the 400 medley relay field with a time of 3:29.35. Japan was second (3:31.26) and Australia placed third (3:31.58).
Between his freshman and sophomore years at Cal, Adrian swam in the prelims of Team USA's 400 free relay that won the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He went on to lead the Bears to the 2011 NCAA team title while capturing 11 individual/relay national titles and earning first-team Academic All-American honors during his Cal career.
Also on Saturday, Hardy finished in seventh place in the 50-free final with a time of 24.62.
Men's Water Polo
Saponjic and Mann did not score for their teams on Saturday, but Saponjic gathered one steal in 2:15 minutes of action and Mann logged 10:42 for the contest.
Serbia will next battle Romania (1-3) and the United States will take on Hungary (2-2), the 2008 Olympic champions, on Monday, Aug. 6 to wrap-up Group B play. Earlier, Serbia had a 14-10 win over Hungary (July 29), a 21-7 victory over Great Britain (July 31) and an 11-11 tie with Montenegro (Aug. 2). Team USA had defeated Montenegro, 8-7 (July 29); Romania, 10-8 (July 31) and Great Britain, 13-7 (Aug. 2) before Saturday's loss to Serbia.
So far, Mann has tallied two goals in the Olympics - versus Romania and versus Great Britain. Saponjic notched a goal in Serbia's big win over host Great Britain.
Dean and the Canadians finished third in their final, clocking in at 6:11.15. Nichols and her partner, Kristin Hedstrom, took fifth in their final, crossing the finish line at 7:23.31. The U.S. pair was coached by Cal women's rowing head coach Dave O'Neill.
The highlights for Cal rowers at the London Games were Cafaro's (USA) gold in the women's eight and Kohler's (USA) bronze in the women's quad sculls. It was Cafaro's second straight Olympic gold medal after she and five of her teammates on this year's boat also won gold in Beijing in 2008. The future looks bright for Kohler to be back on the U.S. Olympic team in four years. She still has two years of eligibility remaining at Cal.
The 7-3 center from Shanghai, who was a member of the Cal men's basketball team for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons, played just under nine minutes in Saturday's game. He converted his lone field goal attempt and assisted on another basket while collecting a pair of defensive rebounds in his limited time on the floor.
Marquinhos Vieira Sousa led four members of Brazil in double figures in the scoring column with 14 points in the victory.
China, which dropped a 97-81 decision to Spain in its Olympic opener, a 73-54 contest to Russia on Tuesday, and an 81-61 game to Australia on Thursday, owns a 0-4 record in Group B play so far in the Olympics with its final game of group play scheduled for Monday (Aug. 6) against host Great Britain at 8:45 a.m. (PT).