Cal Holds Off Florida Charge This Morning To Win Two Day Duel

Full Results Here. 

With victories in four of the last six races Sunday morning, California held off a strong challenge from Florida to prevail in a two-day dual with the Gators, 238-210, at Spieker Aquatics Complex.

The Bears held a 135-108 advantage following Saturday’s 13 events. But Florida came out fast and won the first five events Sunday to grab a 170-66 advantage.

The Gator 200 medley relay team of Sinead Russell, Hilda Luthersdottir, Ellese Zalewski and Natalie Hinds was not going to let Cal 1-2 them in their relays this morning. Florida got the win today, holding off Cal by .16.

Longer freestyle races are not Cal’s strong point, and Florida capitalized on that in the 1000 freestyle. Danielle Valley and Alicia Mathieu went 1-2 for Florida, 9:53.64 and 9:56.29.

McKeever admittedly said that they need to use Missy Franklin’s versatility within their weak spots in their line up. She swam the 1000 today and was Cal’s best finisher in 10:03.94 for third.

After being beat to the wall in a couple of races yesterday, Elizabeth Beisel was in great form this morning. She took the 200 freestyle in 1:48.15, with her teammate Lindsey McKnight behind in second in 1:48.66.

Rachael Acker and Caroline Piehl would finish third and fourth for Cal, 1:49.51 and 1:50.07 – slightly off the performances from yesterday from the Golden Bears.

With momentum on Florida’s side, Hinds continued her sprinting dominance with yet another win in the 50 freestyle in the weekend. Her final time today was 23.09. Kaylin Bing was able to get Cal on the wall for second in 23.58.

Biesel returned back to the blocks, this time in an anticipated 400 IM race with Elizabeth Pelton and Celina Li. While the race was tight through the first half, Beisel pulled away with a sub 1:11 breaststroke split, plus a 56-high freestyle. She finished comfortably ahead in 4:09.54.

Pelton was in second at 4:13.65 and Li back in third in 4:16.17.

Li was back on the block in the 100 butterfly, clinching Cal’s first victory of the day in the 100 butterfly. She finish in 54.33 and her teammates Rachel Bootsma and Sophia Batchelor in fourth, was the catalyst for the Bears.

Florida’s Zalewski was second behind Li in 55.76.

Seeing there team needed to continue to fight, Pelton stepped up to take on Hinds in the 100 freestyle. Thus far Hinds had dominated all the individual sprints races. Hinds had a .6 lead on Pelton at the turn, but with an incredible second 50 Pelton got to the wall in 49.96 over Hinds in 50.00.

Acker was in third at 50.25 for Cal as well.

Florida bounced back in the 100 backstroke. An event were Cal is loaded with talent, Russell finished in 54.41, just over Stephanie Au in 54.45. Two-time NCAA Champion Cindy Tran was in third at 54.57.

After already two individual victorious, Beisel stepped up in the 500 freestyle to race Franklin. Franklin couldn’t keep up with Beisel’s move at the 250 mark, and Beisel would win the race in 4:45.91.

Franklin was in second at 4:50.84 and Li in third at 4:51.50 – probably the best showing in the longer races for Cal over the two days.

The Bears clinched the meet with a 1-3-4 performance in the 100 breaststroke. Marina Garcia Urzainqui, Yvette Kong and Melissa Bates sealed it up for the Bears. Urzainqui finished in a time of 1:02.39, just better than Florida’s Luthersdottir in 1:02.50.

To wrap up the two day duel, Cal would again have both A & B relay teams beat Florida’s A relay team. Franklin, Piehl, Camille Cheng and Pelton finished in 3:21.27 – with the first and last legs under 50-point.

Bootsma also anchored the B relay with 50.95.

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surprised rachel bootsma doesn’t swim more events.

also VERY impressed with celina li.


She hasn’t been swimming as well this fall as she was last fall. I wonder if that’s due to time off after Worlds or just being in heavy training?


I was again at the meet in Berkeley this morning albeit a 9am start was sure different from the 1pm yesterday! Credit to Florida for swimming well and making Cal more aggressive which paid off for my Bears! Beisel did so much better this second day of the meet for the Gators. As I remarked on the Cal sports board, Missy Franklin “took one for the Gipper” by swimming two 500 frees and a 1000 free in 2 days in events which are not her forte. And she did very well anyway! Plus she was a boon on the relays. The buzz in Berkeley is a lot about Celina Li (besting Beisel twice) and the sheer dominance of Liz Pelton… Read more »


Great insights. As you said, Florida, led by Beisel, swam an exceptional second day of this meet. And it was great to see Li and Pelton stand out for Cal.

It is strange to have to point out (though I’m glad you did!) that kind of performance from one of the most versatile swimmers in the NCAA (who is proving to be a linchpin in season) and the defending swimmer of the year. Just a testament to Cal’s depth these days.


I’m very impressed with how Florida hung with what is probably the most loaded and deepest Cal women’s team in history. Florida has some depth issues in breaststroke that hopefully they’ll address in recruiting. They will get even deeper in backstroke later this year as they have a girl that goes 1:01/2:09 LC on the roster who has yet to swim but should be a big factor by year’s end if history prevails. I see a three-way battle emerging between Cal, Georgia, and Florida at NCAAs for the team championship with Stanford at an outside shot to challenge.

what about texas a&m? i think they are gonna be in the mix. but florida impressed me here. i didn’t expect it to be this close. missy franklin is definitely the greatest long course swimmer on the planet, but like in high school, she isn’t as strong in yards. my personal bias says, who cares? 25 yards isnt a real course, but i know as an american thats blasphemous


Gators surprised me with such a strong showing! We all know how beaten up they are in-season over at Troy’s program, so to come so close to taking out the talented & much hyped Golden Bears, and on the road too, tells us something. McKeever and her coaches are no doubt re-assessing their options and strategies right now in the face of the rather sobering results from the weekend. Franklin who always swims fast in-season isn’t posting the kind of times that we have grown accustomed to seeing her put up in LCM. Bootsma also appears to be still struggling a bit with her slump from trials & worlds this summer. Tran has yet to show glimpses of her stunning… Read more »


ARE YOU KIDDING!?: “Franklin who always swims fast in-season isn’t posting the kind of times that we have grown accustomed to seeing her put up in LCM.”

1:45.1 in 200/4:45.0 in 500 are the #1 and #2 times right now in the nation in those events.

i’ll say it ONE MORE TIME: can’t a Cal post go up without some “DAWG” fan leaving shade in the comments!?


Missy may “always swim fast in-season” but you conveniently chose to ignore that she also has a history of dropping a ton timewise for the big competitions. Case in point: Trials followed by London last year. Same thing for Barcelona. Not to downplay the heavy training that Beisel & her teammates are in currently but Cal aren’t exactly taking it easy either in their yardage work… Thought I’d quote a post from ‘BearDevil’ on the Cal boards which might provide a more balanced perspective. ‘Longseekeer’ also has contributed some great insights too. “Props to both teams: great races and great racing. I’m stoked the Golden Bears won, but I still wouldn’t read all that much into the outcome. There’s no… Read more »

About Amanda Smith

Amanda Smith is a former swimmer at both Indiana and USC, where she earned a total of nine All-American honors at the NCAA Championships. Smith, a middle-distance specialist as a swimmer, was also 3-time USC School Record holder, a 2012 NCAA Woman of the Year nominee, and an Olympic Trials …

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