Bay Area opponents Cal and Stanford, who make up one of the most storied rivalries in all of collegiate athletics, waded gently back into the water of intercollegiate competition this weekend with an unscored, cross-town dual meet in Berkeley on Saturday.
The two teams have finished #1 (Stanford) and #2 (Cal) at each of the last 3 NCAA Championship meets. Originally, Pac-12 teams weren’t intending to return to competition until January 1 at the earliest. But after a reprieve in early September, the conference’s top two programs are the first to return to competition in the 2020-2021 season after the coronavirus quarantines eased.
While the meet was not scored, Cal swimmers won 7 of the 9 events. Freshman Emily Gantriis opened things up for the Bears, taking the 50 free with a 22.24 in her first race at Cal. Teammate Eloise Riley came in 2nd with a 22.44. Riley went on to win the 100 free, swimming a 48.90, which is just off her personal best of 48.76. Gantriis came in 2nd in the 100 free, clocking a 49.22, and teammate Elise Garcia made it a 1-2-3 performance for the Bears with her 49.33.
Isabel Ivey also put up a pair of big swims for the Bears. Ivey kicked off the meet with a decisive win in the 100 fly, posting a 51.77. She took the race out very quickly, splitting 23.79 on the first 50. Ivey also swam a 100 back time trial later in the meet, where she swam a 51.52.
Cal’s Isabelle Stadden also swam the 100 back time trial, finishing right behind Ivey in 51.72. Stadden also posted a huge win in the 200 back, swimming a 1:51.16. Teammate Alicia Wilson nearly swam a lifetime best in the 200 IM, touching in 1:54.69. Wilson has a personal best of 1:54.68, which she swam in December of last year.
Cal’s other event “win” came from Rachel Klinker, who won the 200 fly in the tightest race of the day. Klinker got out to the early lead, hitting the 100 mark in 55.44, while Stanford’s Hannah Kukurugya was 56.28 at the halfway mark. Kukurugya closed the gap on Klinker in the back half of the race, finishing in 1:56.10, just behind Klinker’s 1:56.02.
Brooke Forde had a monster 500 for Stanford, winning the event with a 4:39.58, with teammate Morgan Tankersley coming in 2nd in 4:41.58. Forde went on to time trial the 200 breast, swimming a 2:09.83 to lead the field by a large margin.
Stanford’s Allie Raab took the 100 breast in 59.75, coming in well ahead of Cal’s Ali Harrison (1:01.22). Notably, Cal breaststroker Ema Rajic was not present for the meet as she was competing at the San Antonio US Open.
PRESS RELEASE – CAL:
BERKELEY – Cal hosted Stanford in a non-scoring women’s swim meet Saturday at Spieker Aquatics Complex, with the two teams competing in a series of races, followed by several time trials. The Golden Bears posted 20 NCAA B qualifying times during the day.
Freshman Emily Gantriis, competing in her first race for Cal, kicked off the meet with a win in the 50-yard freestyle when she hit the wall at 22.24 seconds, just ahead of teammate Eloise Riley, who was second in 22.44
Another Cal freshman, Isabelle Stadden, also picked up a victory when she finished the 200 backstroke in 1:51.16, a more than four-second win over Golden Bear Alicia Wilson (1:55.17), and Cal’s fastest in the event since 2019. Wilson, meanwhile, also won the 200 individual medley in 1:54.69.
Junior Isabel Ivey had a couple of impressive swims, first completing the 100 butterfly in 51.77, then finishing the 100 back time trial in 51.52, in front of Stadden’s 51.72.
In the closest race of the day, Cal sophomore Rachel Klinker edged Stanford’s Hannah Kukurugya by .08 seconds to claim the 200 fly in 1:56.02. Sophomore Ayla Spitz took the 200 free in 1:45.98, while the Bears’ final win came from Eloise Riley in the 100 free with her time of 48.90, as Cal also took second (Gantriis, 49.22) and third (Elise Garcia, 49.33) in the race.