Cal Freshmen Come On Strong in Session 2 of Chick-Fil-A Invite

2021 Chick-Fil-A Invitational

  • Dates: October 8-9, 2021
  • Session 1: Friday, October 8 – 11:00AM
  • Session 2: Friday, October 8 – 6:00PM
  • Session 3: Saturday, October 9 – 10:00AM
  • Fresno State Aquatic Center, Fresno, California
  • SCY (25 yards)
  • Teams: Fresno State (hosts), San Diego State, San Jose State, Cal, UCLA and Washington State
  • Results: Meet Mobile (“Chick Fil A Invite 2021”)
  • Video: Mountain West Network

Session 2 of the 2021 Chick-Fil-A Invitational began with a wire-to-wire win by Cal freshman Lea Polonsky in heat 5 of the 400 IM. After picking up her first win as a Golden Bear in session 1 with the 200 IM, Polonsky clocked a 4:17.04 to lead a 1-2-3 Cal sweep in the event. Senior Robin Neumann (4:18.37) finished second, while freshman Annika McEnroe just held off San Diego State’s Kristina Murphy for third place, 4:22.48 to 4:22.66. Polonsky led the entire race, with Neumann and McEnroe just behind, but she pulled to a comfortable lead on the breaststroke leg, splitting 1:12.90 to Neumann’s 1:18.04 and McEnroe’s 1:15.91. Newman came home in 56.2, 4.5 seconds faster than Polonsky, but it wasn’t enough to close the gap.

Another Cal freshman won the next event: Mia Kragh went 53.53 to edge top-seeded teammate Isabel Ivey (54.16) in the final heat of the 100 fly, in which seven of the eight lanes were filled with Golden Bears. Freshman Lizzy Cook (54.52) made it 1-2-3 Cal. San Diego State’s Cassie Phillips, who had won heat 5 with 54.71, finished fourth overall.

Senior Elise Garcia added a win in the 200 free to her morning’s 50 free victory. She outsplit teammate Alicia Wilson over the second half to come from behind and win 1:50.24 to 1:50.34. Cook (1:50.43) finished third for the second event in a row, touching out teammates Mia Motekaitis (1:50.44) and Ella Mazurek (1:50.46).

San Diego State senior Klara Thormalm was the lone non-Cal event winner, beating out all the Golden Bears in the 100 breast with 1:01.80. She had time-trialed the event in the morning and swum a 59.18, which was just .02 off her time from prelims at 2021 NCAAs when she made the B final in 16th place. Cal senior Ema Rajic finished second with 1:01.97. Freshmen Alicia Henry (1:02.68) and Polonsky (1:02.88) touched third and fourth.

Isabelle Stadden clocked a 54.20 to win the 100 back ahead of teammates Ayla Spitz (55.04), Ivey (55.31), and Téa Laughlin (56.48). Fresno State’s Athena Clayson (56.62) touched out UCLA’s Sophia Kosturos (56.74) and Mia Chang (56.74). San Diego State’s Riley Tapley (57.00) also finished among the top 8.

Cal’s Neumann (1:50.07), Stadden (1:53.24), Spitz (1:47.93), and Ivey (1:47.13) closed out the session with a 7:18.37 in the 800 free relay, beating UCLA (7:31.12) and San Diego State (7:36.91) by 13 and 18 seconds, respectively.

Team Scores

  1. Cal – 952.5
  2. San Diego State – 406.5
  3. UCLA – 395.5
  4. Fresno State – 206
  5. Washington State – 171
  6. San Jose State – 120.5


In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

Read More »