BERKELEY, California, January 29. CAITLIN Leverenz displayed her versatility in four victories and fourth-ranked California defeated No. 21 UCLA, 168.5-131.5, on a cloudy Saturday afternoon at Spieker Aquatics Complex. The Golden Bears won 10 of 16 events to run their dual-meet record to 6-1 (4-0 in the Pac-10). UCLA’s dual-meet record fell to 9-3 (3-3 Pac-10).
Cal won its second straight home dual meet, after beating No. 3 USC, 182-118, on Jan. 28 at Spieker.
“It was really important to come back and race tough,” Cal head coach Teri McKeever said, “and in some cases swim in the same events and compare that to what you did the day before and in some cases swim some of your other events as we prepare for Pac-10s and NCAAs. Pac-10s is three and a half days and NCAAs is three days, and this is good practice for that.
“I was impressed with UCLA. I thought UCLA did a great job. They’re significantly improved. They have a great senior class and freshman class; kind of similar to us. It seems that they did a really good job in filling in where they needed help, and I think we did, too. That provided for some good matchups today.”
For the second straight meet, Cal won the opening 400-yard medley relay. This time, the quartet of freshman Cindy Tran, Leverenz, senior Amanda Sims and junior Liv Jensen posted a winning NCAA B consideration time of 3:40.35, after Cal set a pool record of 3:36.36 to beat USC.
Leverenz, who earlier this month earned a berth on the U.S. World Championships team, later captured the 200 butterfly in an NCAA B time of 1:57.61, the 200 breaststroke in an NCAA B time of 2:13.05 and the 400 individual medley in an NCAA B time of 4:12.10.
Tran won the 100 backstroke for the second straight day, swimming a time of 55.18 to beat the Bruins. Fellow freshman backstroker Roth finished second in a time of 55.24 and then posted an NCAA B time of 1:58.70 to take second in the 200 back.
Jensen, one of the nation’s best sprinters, won the 50 free in an NCAA B time of 22.69, and senior teammate Hannah Wilson won the 100 free in a time of 50.58.
Seniors Katie Kastes and Amanda Sims, who have one more home dual meet left in their college careers, also picked up wins. Kastes claimed the 500 free in an NCAA B time of 4:50.28, while Sims swam an NCAA B time of 53.48 to win the 100 fly.
Sophomore Kelsey Heiken collected Cal’s best finishes in diving, taking second in both events. On the three-meter springboard, Heiken posted an NCAA Zone E Championships qualifying score of 292.20 to place second and Bears junior Molly Hayes also recorded an NCAA Zone E qualifier of 283.73 to finish third. Heiken again took second, with a score of 255.82, on the one-meter board.
Cal closed the meet when the foursome of Roth, Tran, junior Sara Isakovic and Jensen clocked an NCAA B time of 3:22.78 to win the 400-free relay.
“Amanda is racing really tough,” McKeever said. “Caitlin obviously did another nice job, particularly that 200 fly, and Shelley Harper, Katie Kastes and others did well. We had some different people stepping up in different ways, so there are lots of things to be proud of and give us confidence as we move towards the most important part of the season.”
Harper had a long day, posting Cal’s best finish in the 1000 free (2nd, 10:01.64), placing fourth in the 500 free (4:54.35) and taking sixth in the 400 IM (4:26.12).
Six different Bruins won events: Sam Vanden Berge (1000 free, 9:59.38), Ting Quah (200 free, 1:48.58, NCAA B), Brittany Beauchan (100 breaststroke, 1:02.67, NCAA B), Paulina Guzman (three-meter springboard, 296.63, NCAA Zone E qualifier), Anna Senko (200 back, 1:58.11, NCAA B) and Laura Winn (one-meter springboard, 256.72).
Cal closes out the dual-meet season when it hosts rival and top-ranked Stanford at noon on Feb. 12.
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