Dec. 4, 2011
ATHENS, Ga. - Caitlin Leverenz captured two more individual events to lead No. 2 California to second place on the last day of the Georgia Fall Invitational Sunday at Gabrielsen Natatorium. The junior Golden Bear won the 200-yard breaststroke and 200-yard butterfly as Cal collected 745.5 points to finish behind host and top-ranked Georgia, which had 995 points. Auburn finished third with 594 points.
On Dec. 3, Leverenz won the 400-yard individual medley and 100-yard breaststroke in Athens. She also claimed the 200-meter IM on Dec. 1 and 400-meter IM on Dec. 2 at the AT&T Winter National Championships in Atlanta.
Cal competed at Winter Nationals on Dec. 1-2 - and not on the meet's final day on Dec. 3 - while the Bears swam all three days at the Georgia Fall Invitational.
"There was wonderful racing and competition at both meets," Cal head coach Teri McKeever said. "It allowed us to stretch outside our comfort zone and see what we could do in two very different challenges. The Georgia Fall Invitational gave us the opportunity to race some of the elite programs in the nation."
Leverenz posted automatic NCAA qualifying times to win both the 200 breast (2:07.06) and 200 fly (1:53.78). Two more Bears reached the championship final of the 200 fly, with senior Sara Isakovic taking second place in an NCAA B qualifying time of 1:56.25 and senior Shelley Harper finishing fourth with an NCAA B qualifying time of 1:57.74.
"We're very pleased with Caitlin's performance," McKeever said. "She is making the decisions every day that a world-class athlete should, and it's an inspiration for us all."
Sophomore Stephanie Au took ninth place in the 200 breast with an NCAA B time of 2:13.49 and also placed ninth - Cal's best finish - in the 200 backstroke with an NCAA B time of 1:55.37. Freshman Catherine Breed claimed Cal's best finish in the 1650 freestyle with an NCAA B time of 16:23.18.
Natalie Coughlin starred in the 100-freestyle final. The Cal alumna posted an American-record time of 46.84 to win the event. Senior Liv Jensen took fourth place and posted an NCAA B time of 48.34 for the current Bears' best finish in the 100 free.
"We had tremendous leadership from Liv and Shelley," McKeever added. "Both led by example and let their performances inspire their teammates. Melissa and Cindy did a solid job and freshmen Melanie Klaren, Catherine Breed and Caroline Piehl are showing how valuable they will be to our team success. Katherine Raatz was very good and exceptional in her relay performances.
"Now is the time to focus on school and then really make strides come winter break. These meets gave us lots to digest and process as we move forward through the season."
Cal next swims when it hosts Arizona on Jan. 20, 2012, at Spieker Aquatics Complex. The Cal divers return to action when they compete in the Cardinal Diving Invitational from Jan. 13-15, 2012, in Stanford, Calif.
2011 Georgia Fall Invitational - Day 3
Team Points 1. Georgia 995 2. California 745.5 3. Auburn 594 4. Indiana 550.5 5. Virginia 548 6. Harvard 177 7. Florida 88 8. Maryland 77 9. Unattached 70 10. Alabama 33
400-Yard Freestyle Relay
^ NCAA A qualifying time