Nov. 28, 2012
BERKELEY - Second-ranked California battles a strong field when it competes in the Georgia Fall Invitational from Friday, Nov. 30, through Sunday, Dec. 2, at Gabrielsen Natatorium in Athens, Ga. Besides host and No. 3 Georgia, the meet also includes No. 9 Auburn, No. 10 Virginia, Penn State and Harvard.
The two-time defending NCAA champion Cal men will also swim in the Georgia Fall Invitational.
On the women's side, the meet will feature some of the top swimmers in the world with 2012 Olympians from Cal (U.S. bronze medalist Caitlin Leverenz and gold medalist Rachel Bootsma and Hong Kong's Stephanie Au), Georgia (U.S. gold medalists Allison Schmitt and Shannon Vreeland), Virginia (U.S. gold medalist Lauren Perdue) and Auburn (U.S. breaststroker Micah Lawrence and American Samoa freestyler Megan Fonteno) competing in Athens.
Live results will be available at this link on the Georgia website once the meet begins.
Last season, Cal finished second at the Georgia Fall Invitational behind the Bulldogs. The teams swapped places at the 2012 NCAA Championships, at which Cal won its second straight title and Georgia finished second.
Scouting the Golden Bears
Scouting the Field
Georgia senior and U.S. Olympian Allison Schmitt is back after redshirting last season to train for the Olympics in London, where she won three gold medals, one silver and one bronze
Schmitt currently holds the 15th-fastest time in the 200-yard freestyle (1:46.66), 16th-fastest time in the 1000 free (9:52.92), 17th-fastest time in the 100 freestyle (49.61)
Georgia junior and U.S. Olympian Shannon Vreeland - a gold medalist in London in the 800-meter freestyle relay - has the 20th-best time in the 200 free (1:47.53)
Georgia senior Megan Romano - who won the 200 free at the NCAA Championships last spring - has the 11th-best time in the 50 free (22.77)
Georgia All-American Amber McDermott - the 2012 SEC Freshman of the Year and a member of the Bulldogs' NCAA-winning 800-free relay last season - holds the nation's fourth-fastest time in the 1000 free (9:44.63), 17th-fastest time in the 500 free (4:46.99)
Virginia senior and U.S. Olympian Lauren Perdue won a gold medal in London as a member of the 800-meter freestyle relay
Perdue currently holds the nation's second-fastest time in the 50 freestyle (22.55), sixth-fastest time in the 100 free (48.91) and eighth-best time in the 200 free (1:46.45)
Freshman Cavalier Courtney Bartholomew could challenge the Bears in the backstroke, as she holds the fifth-fastest time in the 200 back (1:55.33) and 21st-best time in the 100 (53.68)
Virginia All-American Rachel Naurath holds the sixth-best time in the 500 free (4:43.83)
Auburn senior All-American Katie Gardocki is a star in the distance events, as she has clocked the fifth-fastest time in the 1000 free (9:45.42) and 14th-best time in the 1650 free (16:35.05)
Penn State's Paige Whitmire is ranked 13th in the 50 free (22.79), while teammate Gabi Shishkoff has the nation's 19th-fastest time in the 1000 free (9:55.73) and 20th-fastest time in the 500 free (4:47.49)
Cal Repeats as NCAA Champion, Winning Third Title in Four Years
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.
McKeever at Cal and Beyond
Last summer, McKeever became the first woman to claim the role of U.S. Olympic swimming head coach, leading a U.S. team that included current Bears Caitlin Leverenz and Rachel Bootsma along with former Cal stars Natalie Coughlin, Dana Vollmer and Jessica Hardy. Her other protégés in London included current Bear Stephanie Au (Hong Kong) and alumnae Sara Isakovic (Slovenia), Hannah Wilson (Hong Kong) and Lauren Boyle (New Zealand).
McKeever became the first woman to coach in any capacity on a U.S. Olympic swimming team when she worked as a U.S. assistant in the 2004, a role she duplicated in the 2008 Olympics. She was also the first woman to serve as a U.S. head coach at a major international meet when she led the women's national team in the 2006 Pan Pacific Championships.
Last March, her Bears won their second consecutive NCAA team title - and third in four years - one month after they won the inaugural Pac-12 team championship. McKeever, who also led Cal to NCAA titles in 2009 and 2011, claimed the Coach of the Meet award for the third time after emerging triumphant at this year's national meet. In April, the conference named her its Pac-12 Coach of the Year, which marked McKeever's fifth conference award (including awards in 1999, 2002, 2009 and 2011).
In 2002, McKeever garnered the American Swimming Coaches Association Coach of the Year award.
Olympic Summer for Cal Women's Swimming
The Cal swimming contingent produced perhaps the most prominent Golden Bears in London. Among the current Bears, U.S. and Cal head coach Teri McKeever, Caitlin Leverenz (USA), Rachel Bootsma (USA) and Hong Kong's Stephanie Au took part in the Games.
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