Feb. 12, 2013
Cal Weekly Release
Saturday, Feb. 16
Noon - No. 7 Cal (6-2, 3-2 Pac-12) vs. No. 2 Stanford (7-1, 4-0 Pac-12)
Spieker Aquatics Complex - Berkeley
Cal Series vs. Stanford: 5-34
Last Time vs. Stanford: L 174-126 (2/11/12 in Stanford, Calif.)
Coverage: Pac-12 Networks
There are many good reasons to attend the Saturday, Feb. 16, Big Meet between seventh-ranked California (6-2, 3-2 in the Pac-12) and No. 2 Stanford (7-1, 4-0 Pac-12) starting at noon at Spieker Aquatics Complex: It's a battle between talented rivals; it's the last chance to see Cal compete at home this year; and it's the last chance to see Cal senior Caitlin Leverenz compete at home, period.
Prior to the meet, Cal will honor Leverenz, its lone senior, as part of Senior Day.
The season is far from over, as the Pac-12 Championships and NCAA Championships loom ahead. However, this is the last college dual meet that Leverenz - the talented NCAA champion and 2012 U.S. Olympic bronze medalist - will swim in anywhere.
If fans somehow can't make it to Spieker, they can watch it (delayed) on the Pac-12 Networks.
Cal legend Natalie Coughlin is the swimming analyst, Rich Cellini returns as the play-by-play announcer (he worked the Feb. 1 USC meet) and Cynthia Potter is the diving analyst for the Pac-12 Networks' broadcast of Saturday's meet. This is the third women's swimming & diving dual meet that conference television is airing, and all three (Cal at Arizona on Jan. 25, USC at Cal on Feb. 1 and Stanford at Cal on Feb. 16) feature the defending Pac-12 champion Bears. The Pac-12 Networks have also shown two men's dual meets featuring the two-time defending NCAA champion Cal men: Cal at Arizona on Jan. 25 and USC at Cal on Feb. 8.
Scouting the Bears
Head coach Teri McKeever's team boasts a talented collection of Olympians, national champions, Pac-2 champions, and flat-out amazing student-athletes. Leading the team is senior co-captain Caitlin Leverenz, the defending NCAA champ in the 200-yard breaststroke and 200-yard individual medley as well as the winner of an Olympic bronze medal in the 200-meter IM last summer in London. Here's a quick look at the team:
Leverenz currently holds the following top-10 times: 1:54.30 in the 200 IM (2nd in the nation, automatic NCAA qualifying time/NCAA A), 2:06.46 in the 200 breaststroke (3rd, NCAA A), 4:03.07 in the 400 IM (4th, NCAA A), 1:55.69 in the 200 butterfly (tied for 4th, provisional NCAA qualifying time/NCAA B)
Cal has the fastest three swimmers in the 100 backstroke so far this season, led by junior Cindy Tran - the defending NCAA champ in the 100 backstroke - whose top time is 50.42 (NCAA A); freshman Rachel Bootsma is second (50.54, NCAA A); and freshman Elizabeth Pelton ranks third (51.26, NCAA A)
Tran also ranks seventh in the 100 butterfly (52.41, NCAA B) and eighth in the 200 backstroke (1:53.24, NCAA B)
Pelton holds the nation's top times in the 200 back (1:48.90, NCAA A) and the 200 IM (1:53.39, NCAA A) and ranks third in the 200 freestyle (1:44.04, NCAA B)
Bootsma - the 2012 U.S. Olympic gold medalist - ranks third in the 100 fly (52.16, NCAA B), is tied with Leverenz for the fourth-best time in the 200 fly (1:55.60, NCAA B) and has clocked the 11th-fastest time in the 200 IM (1:57.01, NCAA B)
Cal boasts the following top-10 times in relays, including the fastest times in both medley relays: 1:36.29 in the 200-yard medley relay (Rachel Bootsma, Caitlin Leverenz, Cindy Tran and Rachael Acker); 3:29.86 in the 400-yard medley relay (Cindy Tran, Caitlin Leverenz, Rachel Bootsma and Elizabeth Pelton); 1:28.78 (3rd) in the 200-freestyle relay (Kaylin Bing, Rachel Bootsma, Rachael Acker and Cindy Tran); 3:13.66 (2nd) in the 400-free relay (Rachael Acker, Rachel Bootsma, Elizabeth Pelton, Cindy Tran); and 7:02.78 (2nd) in the 800-free relay (Caroline Piehl, Rachel Bootsma, Elizabeth Pelton and Melanie Klaren)
Caroline Piehl, a sophomore swimmer, is Cal's other co-captain, who holds the nation's 15th-fastest time in the 200 free (1:45.29, NCAA B)
Junior Kahley Rowell became only the second Cal women's diver to reach the NCAA Championships when she placed fifth on the platform in 2012; Rowell qualified for the USA Diving World Championship Trials in May with that effort at NCAAs
Teri McKeever - the 2012 U.S. Olympic head coach - is in her 21st season as head coach of the Golden Bears
Scouting the Cardinal
Another reason to attend Saturday's meet is to witness the return of former Cal men's associate head coach and first-year Stanford women's head coach Greg Meehan to Spieker
The Cardinal won two NCAA titles - in the 200- and 400-free relays - last season, with senior Andi Murez and sophomore Maddy Schaefer the lone returnees from both winning relays
Stanford's fastest times in the relays this season are as follows: 1:38.91 (10th nationally) in the 200-medley relay (Maya DiRado, Sarah Haase, Haley Sims and Maddy Schaefer); 3:33.73 (7th) in the 400-medley relay (Maddy Schaefer, Katie Olsen, Maya DiRado and Andi Murez); 1:30.82 (14th) in the 200-free relay (Maddy Schaefer, Julia Ama, Maya DiRado and Andi Murez); 3:15.69 (4th) in the 400-free relay (Maddy Schaefer, Maya DiRado, Julia Anderson and Andi Murez); and 7:03.18 (3rd) in the 800-free relay (Maya DiRado, Maddy Schaefer, Julia Anderson and Andi Murez)
The Cardinal boasts top-10 individual times in the following events: 50 free - 22.18 (Maddy Schaefer, 3rd, NCAA B) ; 100 free - 48.36 (Schaefer, 4th, NCAA B) and 48.72 (Maya DiRado, 9th, NCAA B); 200 free - 1:44.83 (Andi Murez, 8th, NCAA B) and 1:44.95 (DiRado, 9th, NCAA B); 200 back - 1:52.52 (DiRado, 5th, NCAA A); 200 IM - 1:56.19 (DiRado, 6th, NCAA B); 400 IM - 4:06.48 (DiRado, 7th, NCAA B)
Cal split a pair of home meets against the schools from southern California, falling to top-ranked USC, 155-145, on Feb. 1 and beating No. 12 UCLA, 165-135. Against the Trojans, Cal produced a strong effort to win eight of 16 events. Caitlin Leverenz (100 and 200 breaststrokes) and Elizabeth Pelton (200 free and 200 back) each won two individual events for the Bears. Pelton's 200-back time of 1:53.99 broke the freshman' own Spieker pool record.
Six different Bears won individual events and Cal swept the relays - 200-free relay and 200-medley relay - in its Pac-12 dual-meet win over No. 12 UCLA.
Cal competes in the Pac-12 Women's Swimming & Diving Championships from Feb. 27-March 2 in Federal Way, Wash.