June 24, 1997
Cal Women's Swim Finishes Ninth in NCAA Meet; Men Place 15th
The Cal women's swim team (13-4) finished an outstanding 1996-97 season with its best national finish since 1991, placing ninth (148.0 points) at the NCAA championships March 20-22 in Indianapolis.
The Bears, who last placed in the Top 10 with a fourth in 1991, finished in the Top 10 nationally for the ninth time in school history and for the first time in the tenure of fifth-year coach Teri McKeever.
Cal was led by sophomore Marylyn Chiang, who was involved in setting three school records. Chiang placed second nationally in the 100 back with a school record time of 53.29 (former record 55.27 set by Akiko Thomson in 1994), third in the 200 back (1:56.30), fourth in the 200 IM with a school record 1:58.81 (former record 2:00.56 set by Lisa Summers in 1992) and was a member of the Bears 400 medley relay team (Chiang, Elli Overton, Waen Minpraphal, Nicole Omphroy), which set a school record (3:43.50, 10th). The former Cal mark in the 400 medley relay was 3:44.53, set in 1990.
Chiang's time in the 100 back was the fifth-fastest time ever in that event.
Another top performer for the Bears was sophomore Elli Overton. Overton placed fourth in the 400 IM with a school record 4:13.06 (former record 4:15.02 set by Carol Felton in 1990). She also placed sixth nationally in the 200 IM (1:59.82).
The Bears also placed seventh in the 800 free relay (7:17.25 Chiang, Anya Kolbisen, Nicole Omphroy, Overton) and freshman Waen Minpraphal was 10th in the 200 fly (2:00.48, third-best all-time Cal mark).
The 14th-ranked Cal men's swimming team (7-2) had a disappointing finish at the 1997 NCAA championships March 27-29 in Minneapolis, placing 15th (95.0 points).
A star for Cal, however, was junior Bart Sikora, who placed second in both the 400 IM, setting a school record with a 3:45.80, and the 200 back (1:42.95). He also finished sixth in the 200 IM (1:47.03 in the prelims). Sikora ended the meet as the nation's fifth-leading point scorer (47.0).
Despite the finish, the Bears still had some good individual performances this season, with a school record set by sophomore Gordan Kozulj in the 200 back (1:42.80).