Jan. 23, 2013
Cal Women's Swimming & Diving Weekly Release
Senior All-American Caitlin Leverenz will swim in her hometown of Tucson, Ariz., for the last time as a Golden Bear when the third-ranked California women's swimming and diving team (4-0, 1-0 in the Pac-12) competes at No. 6 Arizona (7-2, 2-2 Pac-12) on Friday, Jan. 25, at 1 p.m. PT. The dual meet will mark the two-time defending NCAA champions' first appearance on the Pac-12 Networks. (The Pac-12 Networks will air the meet on a delayed basis; check local listings for airtimes.) The Bears will then travel to Tempe for another Pac-12 dual meet against No. 20 Arizona State (4-2, 2-2 Pac-12) on Saturday, Jan. 26, at noon PT.
The meets will also feature the Cal men taking on their Arizona and ASU counterparts.
Ted Robinson and Summer Sanders - the former U.S. Olympic and Stanford star - will provide commentary for the Arizona broadcast.
Scouting the Bears
Leverenz - the Honda Sports Award winner for Swimming, NCAA and Pac-12 Swimmer of the Meet and Pac-12 Swimmer of the Year in 2012 - is coming off an amazing junior season that culminated - collegiately - in Cal's latest NCAA team championship. Her year only got better when she qualified for her first Olympics and then won her first Olympic medal - a bronze in the 200-meter individual medley - in London.
The lone senior on the team, Leverenz is the defending NCAA champion in the 200-yard IM and 200 breaststroke. She brings the country's third-fastest time in the 200 IM (automatic NCAA qualifying time of 2:06.46), fourth-fastest time in the 400 IM (4:03.07, automatic NCAA qualifier), fourth-fastest time (tied with freshman teammate Rachel Bootsma) in the 200 butterfly (1:55.69, NCAA A) and 13th-best time in the 100 breaststroke (1:00.33, provisional or NCAA B qualifying time) to Arizona.
The 2012 U.S. Olympic head coach now in her 21st season as head coach at Cal, Teri McKeever led the Bears to win three of the last four NCAA team titles, including the last two. She is the leader of a talented group of Golden Bears that also includes the following standouts:
The two-time defending NCAA champ in the 100-yard backstroke, junior Cindy Tran brings the nation's fastest time in the 100 back (50.42, NCAA A) to the desert for this week's duals; her other top-10 times include the following: eight in the 200 back (1:53.24, NCAA B), seventh in the 100 butterfly (52.41, NCAAA B)
Freshmen teammates Bootsma and Elizabeth Pelton could be Tran's biggest challenges in her bid to threepeat as the 100-back champ; an Olympic gold medalist, Bootsma holds the nation's second-fastest time in the 100 back (50.54, NCAA A) and Pelton has the third-fastest 100-back mark (51.26, NCAA A)
Pelton also holds the nation's fastest times in the 200 back (1:48.90, NCAA A) and 200 IM (1:53.39, NCAA A), ranks third in the 200 freestyle (1:44.04, NCAA B) and is 13th in the 400 IM (4:09.89, NCAA B); she has Cal's top 50-free time (28th nationally, 22.67, NCAA B), while freshman teammate Rachael Acker (25th, 49.13, NCAA B) holds the Bears' top time in the 100 free
Bootsma has recorded Cal's best time in the 100 fly (3rd in the nation, 52.16, NCAA B) and is 11th nationally in the 200 IM (1:57.01, NCAA B)
Cal's talented freshman class includes Kelly Naze, who holds the 16th-fastest time in the country in the 400 IM (4:10.10, NCAA B) and the 26th-best mark in the 200 IM (1:58.91, NCAA B)
Not to be outdone, the sophomore class includes Caroline Piehl (11th-fastest time in the 200 free/1:45.29, NCAA B) and backstroker Melanie Klaren (13th fastest in the 100/52.86, NCAA B, and 15th fastest in the 200/1:54.27, NCAAB)
Junior Stephanie Au - a 2008 and 2012 Olympian for Hong Kong - is yet another talented backstroker for Cal; a 2012 honorable mention All-American in the 200 back, Au currently holds the nation's 14th-best time in the 100 back (52.92, NCAA B)
Junior Kahley Rowell became only the second Cal women's diver to reach the NCAA Championships in 2012 - she placed fifth on the platform - and leads the young Cal diving corps into the desert
Elizabeth Pelton broke her own American record and broke Cal's school record in the 200-yard backstroke (1:48.90, NCAA A) and Caitlin Leverenz and Rachel Bootsma also won events on the last day of the Georgia Fall Invitational on Dec. 2. The then second-ranked Golden Bears finished with 876 points to take second place behind host and third-ranked Georgia (991 points) at Gabrielsen Natatorium. Tenth-ranked Virginia (630) placed third. Leverenz won the 200 breaststroke (2:06.46, NCAA A) and tied Bootsma for the win in the 200 butterfly (1:55.69, NCAA B).
More recently, the Cal divers competed in the Bruin Diving Invitational, which ran from Jan. 11-13 at UCLA. Freshman Sara-Lina Boushakra posted Cal's top finish (7th, 453.55) on the platform, edging platform All-American and junior teammate Kahley Rowell (8th, 451.45). Boushakra also had Cal's best mark on the three-meter springboard (17th, 486.95), while freshman Anne Kastler was the top Bear on the one-meter board (12th, 477.25).
Cal returns to the cozy confines of Spieker Aquatics Complex for its last three dual meets of the season. The Bears take on No. 1 USC on Feb. 1, No. 12 UCLA on Feb. 2 and No. 8 Stanford on Feb. 16. Prior to the last dual, Cal will honor Caitlin Leverenz - its lone senior - as part of Senior Day.