Sept. 19, 2012
BERKELEY - Defending NCAA champion California - led by U.S. Olympic head coach Teri McKeever - will open the 2012-13 season at the Cal Poly King and Queen of the Pool meet from Friday, Sept. 21, to Saturday, Sept. 22, in San Luis Obispo, Calif. There, Olympic bronze medalist and senior Caitlin Leverenz will look to retain her crown as the winner of the past three Mustang competitions, which include athletes swimming in five 100-yard events each on Friday and in nontraditional relays on Saturday.
There will be no diving at Cal Poly this weekend.
The Golden Bears will unveil a revamped roster with eight freshmen, including Olympic gold medalist Rachel Bootsma, fellow U.S. national team star Elizabeth Pelton and a host of talented veterans. Junior Cindy Tran - who won the last two 100-yard backstroke titles at the NCAA Championships - Hong Kong Olympian Stephanie Au and All-Americans Kaylin Bing, Catherine Breed and Caroline Piehl are among the returning Bears who contributed to Cal's NCAA championship last season.
Olympic Summer for Cal Swimming
Cal Repeats as NCAA Champion, Winning Third Title in Four Years
Contributions from every Golden Bear at the NCAA Championships - including 200-yard breaststroke champ Caitlin Leverenz and Kahley Rowell, only the second California diver to qualify for the national meet - gave Cal a repeat championship and its third national title in four years on March 17 at Auburn's James E. Martin Aquatic Center. Rowell's fifth-place finish on the platform clinched the title for the Bears before the last event of the meet - the 400-yard freestyle relay. Leverenz won the 200 breaststroke earlier in the night and later earned the NCAA Swimmer of the Meet award. Cal head coach Teri McKeever claimed the NCAA Coach of the Meet award.
The Bears scored 412.5 points, while second-place Georgia had 366, third-place USC tallied 325.5, fourth-place Stanford scored 318 and fifth-place Arizona collected 299.
Leverenz's 200-breaststroke win gave Cal a total of seven individual/relay titles at NCAAs, including her victory in the 200-yard individual medley, senior Liv Jensen's win in the 50 free, sophomore Cindy Tran's repeat title in the 100 backstroke and senior Sara Isakovic's championship in the 100 butterfly as well as Cal's 200- and 400-yard medley relay wins.
Last Time at Cal Poly
Leverenz recorded the fastest times in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:02.65) and 100-yard individual medley (56.79).