COLLEGE STATION, Texas. November 21. THE sixth-ranked California Golden Bear women's swimming team had a strong showing in the first day of the Art Adamson Invitational hosted by Texas A&M at the Texas A&M Natatorium, site of the 2009 NCAA Championships. Cal's team score of 308 leads the competition.
"The girls did a great job tonight, top to bottom, we came out with energy and purposefulness," said head coach Teri McKeever. "I thought our relays were good as well."
Cal began the evening on the right track as the quartet of Dana Vollmer, Madison Kennedy, Tara Thomas and Liv Jensen swam a first-place time and NCAA qualifying time of 1:29.28 in the 200-yard freestyle relay- the fastest time of the season for Cal in this event and Natatorium pool record.
Junior Lauren Boyle nearly set a personal best (at Cal) with her first-place finish in the 500-yard free with a time of 4:41.76 (she had a 4:41.08 at the 2008 NCAA Championships). Boyle set the tone for the field earlier in the day when she clocked a 4:44.85 in the preliminaries. Freshman Sara Isakovic placed third in the 500 with her best time of the season at 4:43.42 – an NCAA B time. Junior Blake Hayter also reached an NCAA consideration mark of 4:48.17 (sixth-place) and freshman Shelley Harper came in seventh with a 4:49.06 (NCAA B time).
Vollmer lowered her time in the final of the 200 IM with a mark of 1:59.41, better than her 2:00.08 in the preliminaries earlier in the afternoon. The 1:59.41 is also a NCAA B standard and the fastest time of the season. Vollmer previously swam a 2:03.67 vs. Washington on Oct. 30.
Jensen, a freshman from Palo Alto, continued her early season success with a season-best and NCAA consideration mark of 22.30 (second place) in the 50-yard free. It is the fastest time this season, and it would place her fifth on Cal's all-time top-10 performance charts. Jensen swam a 23.08 in the prelims. Senior Madison Kennedy posted a fourth-place mark of 22.73 – also an NCAA B time.
In the final event of the evening, Cal's foursome of Lauren Rogers, Alexandra Ellis, Vollmer and Kennedy placed second in the 400-yard medley relay with an NCAA provisional time of 3:38.41.
Special thanks to Cal-Berkeley for contributing this report.