Cal opens his two-game season with a home game of last year’s NCAA Championships Top-4, welcoming Virginia at 5 p.m. Friday at the Spieker Aquatics Complex. The competition will feature men’s and women’s teams from both schools, and admission is free.
Last March, Cal placed fourth at the national championships for its 15th consecutive top-5 ranking – the longest streak in the country today – while Virginia won its first NCAA title. Over the course of the Bears, the Bears won four national championships to follow with four second and four third places.
The game marks the very first meeting between the Golden Bears and the Cavaliers. The encounter is also Cal’s first home event with fans since the Bears defeated Arizona State on January 25, 2020 – a span of 629 days.
LAST TIME OUT – BEARS DOMINATE AT CHICK-FIL-A INVITATIONAL: Cal won 16 of 18 swimming events and set pool records in all five relays at the Chick-Fil-A Invitational at Fresno State last weekend. Three Golden Bears captured two events each – freshman Lea Polonsky (200 IM, 400 IM), second year Isabelle Stadden (100 back, 200 back) and senior Elise Garcia (50 free, 200 free). For relays, each record broken by Cal lowered a mark set by the Bears in 2018 or 2019. In the team competition, Cal placed first ahead of six teams, San Diego State second, and UCLA third.
HOW MANY DISCS THIS YEAR? : In the last pandemic-affected season, the Bears approached each competition as if it could be their last and swam each double competition in a race suit. As a result, they forced the severe edition of the record book with 14 double meet records and 12 pool records set during the year. Isabelle Ivey led the way with new scores in the 100 freestyle, 100 backstroke and 100 fly while Ema rajic (100 chest, 200 chest), Ayla Spitz (500 free, 1650 free) and Alicia wilson (200 IM, 400 IM) also set records in two events.
200 free relay – ERiley / Gantriis / Garcia / Ivey (1: 27.57) *
400 free relay – Neumann / Gantriis / ERiley / Ivey (3: 12.79) *
200 medley relay – Stadden / Rajic / Ivey / Gantriis (1: 35.83) *
400 medley relay – Stadden / Rajic / Ivey / Neumann (3: 29.22) *
* double competition and pool records
TERI McKEEVER RECEIVES THE PARAGON AWARD: Cal Head Coach Teri mckeever Received the Paragon Award from the International Swimming Hall of Fame for outstanding service and contributions to the advancement of competitive swimming last weekend. Now in his 30th season at the helm of the Golden Bears, McKeever is one of the most accomplished coaches in the sport, having guided Cal to four NCAA team titles and five Pac-12 team titles, including 15 rankings. in a row among the top 5 at the national championships. She was also the Women’s Olympic Head Coach in the United States in 2012 and has been on the Olympic staff several times, including last summer in Tokyo. The Paragon Awards have been presented annually since 1996 to individuals or organizations for their outstanding contributions to water sports in six categories: competitive swimming, water polo, competitive diving, water safety, synchronized swimming and recreational swimming.
NATALIE COUGHLIN WINS THE BASHOF HONOR: Natalie Coughlin, one of the most capable swimmers in history, was inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame on October 10. 3. 12-time Olympic medalist, 20-time world championship medalist and former world record holder, Coughlin was three-time varsity swimmer of the year for the Bears from 2001 to 2003. She was named the Foundation athlete. women’s sports in 2003. of the year, US swimmer of the year in 2002 and world swim swimmer of the year in 2002. Coughlin is Cal’s third swimmer to join BASHOF, the others being Ann Curtis Cuneo (1983) and Mary T. Meagher (2002).
AT THE OLYMPIC SUMMER IN TOKYO: With eight Golden Bear swimmers and the head coach Teri mckeever winning places at the Olympics, Cal spent an entire summer at the Tokyo Games. Alums Abbey Weitzeil (silver, 400m medley relay; bronze, 400m freestyle relay) and Katie McLaughlin (silver, 800m freestyle relay) both won medals for Team United States. Weitzeil also reached the finals in the 50m and 100m freestyle events. Current team members Alicia wilson (Great Britain) and Ema rajic (Croatia) also made the trip across the Pacific, Wilson reaching the final in the 200m individual medley where she placed eighth. In addition, alumni Farida Osman (Egypt), Marina Garcia (Spain), Stephanie Au (Hong Kong) and Camille Cheng (Hong Kong) also participated in the competition, while McKeever served as an assistant coach of the United States for the third time (she was head coach in 2012). With the results of Weitzeil and McLaughlin, Cal’s swimmers and divers have won 52 all-time Olympic medals.
A LOOK BACK ON 2020-21: In a pandemic-affected year in which no encounter was taken for granted, the Bears won their fifth all-time Pac-12 title, placed fourth at the NCAA Championships for their 15th consecutive top 5 and set a total of 26 Cal dual-meet and Spieker Aquatics Center records. At the NCAA meet, the quartet of Eloise Riley, Emilie Gantriis, Elise Garcia other Isabelle Ivey won the 200-yard free relay to give Cal his 75th all-time national championship victory. The Bears swept all five relays and added seven individual wins to the Pac-12 competition – Ivey (100 freestyle, 100 backstroke, 100 butterfly), Robin neumann (200 free), Rachel Klinker (200 flies), Isabelle Stadden (200 back) and Alicia Wilson (200 IU). Ivey, who also competed in four winning relays, was named Pac-12 Swimmer of the Year, while Teri mckeever was named Pac-12 Coach of the Year for the ninth time.
EMA RAJIC BREAKS THE BREAST CUP BRAND AGAIN AND AGAIN: Senior Ema rajic lowered the school’s 100 breaststroke record four times during the 2020-21 season, ending the year with a best of 58.45 in his final at the Pac-12 Championships. She first beat the mark in 2019 NCAA competition (58.97) – her first time in under 59 seconds – then produced seven runs in under 59 seconds in 2020-21.
INTELLIGENT BEARS: The Bears added to their streak of school honors last year, winning CSCAA U.S. Student Team honors for the 23rd consecutive term in the spring of 2021 – each time the award was presented. Individually, nine Bears were named CSCAA Scholar All-Americans, with 10 Cal swimmers and divers making the 2021 Pac-12 Academic Honor Roll. Robin neumann, with a cumulative GPA of 3.94 as a Major in Global Studies, was named to the Second CoSIDA Academic All-American Team.