Update: While we cannot confirm the exact nature of the violation of team rules, we have talked to sources that we trust, who have described the transgression as ‘very, very minor,’ and shouldn’t affect Li’s ability to swim in any future meets.
As the Cal women snuck by Pac-12 rivals Arizona on Saturday, by a final score of 157-143, they were without one of their stars: sophomore Celina Li.
In Cal’s official post-meet press release, head coach Teri McKeever says that Li was held out of the meet for “violating team rules” without elaboration.
Li swam on Friday when the Golden Bears raced against Arizona State, where she placed 3rd in the 1000 free (10:16.11), won the 200 fly (2:01.26), and was 3rd in the 200 breast (2:20.83).
Li had a standout freshman season at Cal in 2013-2014, where she placed 3rd in the 200 IM, 8th in the 400 IM, and 31st in the 200 breast at the NCAA Championships. She also swam the breaststroke leg on the Cal 400 medley relay that placed 5th, though with Marina Garcia swimming better this year, Li may cede that relay spot to her Spanish teammate, at least in finals.
Cal will have another tough double next weekend, though it will be at home, as they welcome in USC and UCLA, and then will take two weeks off before their big head-to-head with arch-rivals Stanford.