Cal Women Shake Off Loss To USC With Win Over UCLA

LOS ANGELES, California, February 1. AFTER seeing their unbeaten streak snapped last night against the University of Southern California, the California Golden Bears looked poised this time around and cruised to an easy win over UCLA on Saturday afternoon. Missy Franklin won both the 200 free and 200 back for Cal, in addition to finishing second in the 500 free. Cal won 10 of 16 events.

Lauren Baker and Ting Quah led the way for the Bruins, winning two individual events each. Baker swept the distance freestyles, winning the 500 and 1000 free, while Quah claimed the 100 free and 100 fly.

California Press Release

What a difference a day can make. With 10 wins in 16 events, an inspired Cal women’s swimming & diving team rebounded from a lost at USC with a 187.5-112.5 victory over No. 17 UCLA Saturday. The Pac-12 Networks will broadcast the meet Sunday at 4 p.m. PT.

“Yesterday, I felt we got caught on our heels, and today we were in a much better place, taking care of our own business and doing what we need to do,” head coach Teri McKeever said. “For the most part, I am really pleased with the results.”

Cal, the top-rated team in the country, improved to 7-1 overall with one meet remaining – at Stanford in two weeks. The Bears lost at No. 5 USC on Friday. With the season rapidly moving toward its conclusion, McKeever said the Bears need to focus on what’s most important over this final stretch.

“We want to make sure that we’re being smart at workout, away from workout, taking care of ourselves, staying on top of academics, resting and making good choices,” McKeever said. “We’ve put a lot of hard work in and now it’s time to fine tune and see where it takes us. I think right now, the most is to reenergize.”

Although Cal did not win the 1000 free to begin the day against the Bruins – Marina Garcia led a 2-3-4 Cal showing with a season-best 10:09.24 – the Bears flexed their muscle in the 200 medley relay by taking the top two positions, with both times under the meet record. The foursome of Rachel Bootsma, Yvette Kong, Cindy Tran and Kaylin Bing won in 1:40.04 while Stephanie Au, Melissa Bates, Farida Osman and Camille Cheng were right behind in 1:40.59. The previous mark was 1:40.71 set by Cal in 2007.

Missy Franklin followed with a 1.5-second victory in the 200 free, finishing in 1:47.16. Camille Cheng took third in 1:48.87 with Rachel Acker fourth in 1:49.04. Elizabeth Pelton then led the Bears to a sweep of the top three placed in the 100 back in 54.24. Au was second in 54.41 and Bootsma third in 54.74.

In the 100 breaststroke, Kong led from the start and reached the wall in 1:02.46, just .06 off her season best from AT&T Winter Nationals in December. Garcia was next in 1:03.79 and Bates third in 1:04.39 for another Bears sweep.

The Bruins stopped Cal’s run in the 200 butterfly when Katie Kinnear touched in 1:58.65. Sophia Batchelor was the Bears’ top finisher, coming in third in 2:01.22.

However, Cal returned to the podium when Osman edged Bing in the 50 free (22.90 to 22.93) for a 1-2 Bears showing. UCLA’s Ting Quan withheld a late challenge from Cal’s Acker in the 100 free, prevailing in 50.07 to win by .08 seconds.

The diving competition took place Friday, with Anne Kastler winning the 1-meter competition (285.05) and taking second on the 3-meter board (294.95).

Franklin claimed her second event of the day, touching in 1:58.43 in the 200 back, while Garcia pulled away to prevail in the 200 breast in 2:16.92. Kong tied for second with UCLA’s Jessica Khojasteh in 2:18.65.

After a one-event break – less than five minutes between races – Franklin jumped back into the pool again and engaged in a battle with Lauren Baker of UCLA in the 500 free, with the Bruin holding on for first in 4:51.56. Franklin was second in 4:53.86. The Bruins kept the Bears out of the top spot in the 100 fly, with Quan claiming the race in 54.00 to Bootsma’s 54.51 and Kelly Naze’s 54.84.

Cal wrapped up the afternoon with a pair of victories, starting when Celina Li, Pelton and Kelly Naze went 1-2-3 in the 400 individual medley. Li was well in front in 4:15.66, with Pelton next in 4:17.40 and Naze third in a strong 4:20.87.

The final race saw the quartet of Bing, Tran, Osman and Franklin set a meet record with a time of 1:30.87 in the 200 free relay, breaking the mark of 1:31.49 set by Cal in 2009.

The Bears have one remaining dual meet before championship season begins, at Stanford on Saturday, Feb. 15 beginning at 10 a.m. The matchup will also be televised by the Pac-12 Networks. The conference is meet at the end of the month with the NCAA Championships in March.

Among those in attendance at UCLA were a couple of Golden Bear alumni and Olympic medalists – Caitlin Leverenz, who earned a bronze in the 200-meter IM in 2012, and Sara Isakovic, a silver-medal recipient in the 200 free in 2008.

UCLA Press Release

Seniors Lauren Baker and Ting Quah each won twice on Saturday, while senior Paulina Guzman and sophomore Katie Kinnear also claimed race wins, but the 17th-ranked Bruins fell to #1 California 183.5-116.5 at Spieker Aquatics Center.

The Bruins (8-3 in dual meets, 5-3 in Pac-12) got the meet off to a great start with a win in the 1000 Freestyle by Baker, who swam in a time of 9:54.15. Junior Kacey Milligan also earned some points for UCLA with a fifth-place showing (10:17.26). California would go 1-2 in the 200 Medley Relay, with the Bruins finishing third, as the quartet of freshman Linnea Mack, junior Jessica Khojasteh, sophomore Katie Kinnear and senior Kathryn Murphy going 1:41.81.

Cal (7-1, 5-1) won each of the next three events. In the 200 Free, Quah was second with a 1:48.67. UCLA went 4-5 in the 100 Backstroke, with freshman Madison White posting a 55.19 and Mack going 56.20. It was another 4-5 finish for the Bruins in the 100 Breast, as Khojasteh had a 1:04.41 and fellow junior Taylor Carlson went 1:05.52.

UCLA bounced back with a 1-2-5 finish in the 200 Butterfly. Kinnear finished first in a time of 1:58.65, followed by junior Noelle Tarazona at 2:00.22. Sophomore Arlyn Upshaw was fifth (2:03.28). Prior to the first break, Cal won the 50 Free. Murphy was third (23.43) and Mack fifth (23.65).

The 1-Meter and 3-Meter diving events took place on Friday. Cal won the 1-Meter, with the Bruins finishing 2-3-4. Freshman Annika Lenz was second (266.90), followed by senior Paulina Guzman (253.05) and freshman Danni Repper (season-best 235.75). In the 3-Meter, Guzman claimed first-place honors with a season-high 312.90. Lenz was fourth (276.35) and Repper fifth (season-best 239.40).

The Bruin divers participated in the Platform on Saturday. Lenz was second with a 281.20, while sophomore Montana Monahan placed ninth (215.95).

Out of the first break, Quah won the 100 Free with a time of 50.07, while Murphy was fifth (51.25). In the 200 Back, the Bruins had a 2-3 showing, with White going 1:59.36, followed by senior Anna Senko (1:59.78). In the 200 Breast, Khojasteh dead-heated with Cal for second place in a time of 2:18.65. Freshman Ashley Tse was fourth (2:20.38).

Baker made it a long-distance double in the 500 Free, beating Cal’s Missy Franklin by more than two seconds with a time of 4:51.56. Freshman Michaela Merlihan was fourth (season-best 4:57.41). In the final race before the second break, Quah claimed her second event of the afternoon with a 53.67 in the 100 Fly and led a 1-2 finish for the Bruins, as Kinnear had a 54.37. Tarazona was fifth (55.74).

The Golden Bears won the final two events, the 400 Individual Medley and the 200 Free Relay. The Bruins were fourth and fifth in the 400 IM with Tarazona (4:24.40) and Upshaw (4:26.52). UCLA was second in the 200 Free Relay, with Murphy, Quah, Mack and junior Monica Dornick recording a time of 1:31.87.

The Bruins are back in the pool for their final home meet of the season at Spieker Aquatics Center on Monday, Feb. 17 against USC.

Results For: California vs. UCLA

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Author: Emily Sampl

Emily Sampl, an editorial assistant for Swimming World Magazine, is a freelance writer for USA Swimming and an assistant coach at Boulder High School and Boulder Elks Swim Team in Colorado. Emily graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Colorado and master's degree in sport administration from the University of Northern Colorado.

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