Feb. 25, 2011
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. - A pair of big victories and overall depth in the Friday night finals propelled California to first place with one day to go at the Pac-10 Championships at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center. Cindy Tran became the second-fastest 100-yard backstroker in Golden Bears history when she won the final in a meet-record time of 51.22 and later led off Cal's win in the 400-yard medley relay that clocked a meet record time of 3:28.99. Caitlin Leverenz, who also swam on the relay, broke her own school record with a third-place and NCAA automatic qualifying time of 4:02.72 in the 400-yard individual medley.
With one more day remaining in the conference meet, the Golden Bears ended Friday in first place with 1047.5 points. Stanford stands second with 990.5 points and USC is third with 886 points. Yesterday, Stanford led the conference meet, Cal was second and USC was third.
Tran swam an automatic NCAA qualifying time to capture the 100 back. That time also ranks her second in the Cal's all-time rankings behind star alumna Natalie Coughlin, who set the school record of 49.97 in 2002.
Cal produced a total of eight top five finishes in the A finals, including Sims, senior Hannah Wilson and junior Colleen Fotsch, who placed second, third and fifth, respectively, in the 100 butterfly. Sims posted an automatic NCAA qualifier (51.64), Wilson clocked an NCAA B consideration time of 52.41 and Fotsch swam an NCAA B time of 52.57. In the 200 free A final, junior Sara Isakovic placed second with an NCAA B time of 1:44.94 and Jensen finished fourth in an NCAA B time of 1:45.98.
Other top eight or A final finishes included Fotsch taking sixth place in the 100 back with an NCAA B time of 53.37 and freshman Melissa Bates taking sixth place in the 100 breaststroke with an NCAA B time of 1:01.06.
Sophomore diver Kelsey Heiken contributed to the move into first place, reaching the three-meter springboard final and posting an eighth-place finish with an NCAA zonal qualifying 292.05 points.
In the morning preliminary races, Leverenz broke her previous school record when she swam an automatic NCAA qualifying time of 4:04.69 to take second place. Cal won two prelims and finished second in two others. Isakovic claimed the 200-yard free prelim with an NCAA B time of 1:44.97.
"We really did a nice job this morning to put ourselves in situation to make a move in the team standings, and that was really exciting," Cal head coach Teri McKeever said. "Cindy Tran's title and then the relay title breaking the school and Pac-10 meet records and getting very close to the American record was a great way to cap it off. Colleen Fotsch was a stud swimming in two championship finals, Amanda Sims was awesome individually and in the relay, Melissa Bates really stepped up with a lifetime best in the 100 breast and Sara Isakovic and the 200 freestylers were great. It was a good night.
"We had 30 official swims and 26 of them came back to score, that's a pretty good percentage. In diving, Kelsey got to the final, and with six divers scoring, that kept us in a good place. Todd's really excited about how they're performing. They feel good going into the platform final tomorrow. It's a dog fight. It's like a dual meet."
The Pac-10 Championships conclude on Saturday.
Pac-10 Women's Swimming and Diving Championships
Standings (through third day)
Team Points 1. California 1047.5 2. Stanford 990.5 3. USC 886 4. UCLA 689 5. Arizona 590 6. Arizona State 545 7. Washington State 223 8. Oregon State 215Cal Results on Feb. 25
^ School record