The women from the University of Florida made their way out to California this weekend. In a two day meet in Berkeley, Cal holds a lead over Florida, 135-108. The scoring will continue tomorrow with 11 more races to determine the winner of the match up.
Cal got off to a strong start in the opening 400 medley relay. Missy Franklin took out the backstroke leg in 53.90 giving the Bears a lead they would not relinquish. Yvette Kong followed in the breaststroke, with Rachel Bootsma in the butterfly and Elizabeth Pelton swimming the freestyle anchor to finish in 3:40.48.
Cal’s B relay held off Florida A team for second. They had a two second lead and were able to hold off Natalie Hinds anchor split of 48.66.
Florida showed the depth of the distance group, taking the top five spots in the 1000 freestyle (though only the top 3 swimmers could score). Alicia Mathieu led the way in 9:53.37, and was followed by Danielle Valley in 9:58.62. Jessica Thielmann topped off the scoring Gators with a time of 10:01.34.
Cal’s best effort in the event was Melanie Klaren with a time of 10:10.16.
Swimming in an event we normally see Franklin in, she earned her first individual victory in the 200 freestyle, touching nearly three seconds ahead of her nearest competitor in 1:45.19.
Camille Cheng and Carolina Piehl displayed mid-distance depth with third and fourth finishes at 1:48.08 and 1:48.59. Lindsey McKnight finished in 1:48.07 for second; with her teammate Sinead Russel in fifth at 1:51.70.
Hinds got a chance to show off her speed in the 50 freestyle. She captured the Gators first individual win of the day with a time of 22.82. She finished comfortably ahead, for the 50, of Farida Osman (23.28) and Kaylin Bing (23.39).
In a thrilling race that came down to the final 50, Pelton nudged out teammate Celina Li and Florida’s NCAA Champion Elizabeth Beisel to claim the 200 IM in 1:57.48. Li was second in 1:58.18 and Beisel third in 1:58.29.
Li garnered a solo win in the 200 fly in 1:57.98, again holding off Beisel, who was second in 1:58.54. Florida’s freshman Taylor Katz and Alussa Yambor-Maul brought in more points for the Gators for their third and fourth finishes – 2:01.65 & 2:02.48.
Hinds returned back for some more sprinting, this time in the 100 freestyle. She was the only swimmer under 50, at 49.67. She teammate Ellese Zalewski slid in for third overall. Rachel Acker was second for the Golden Bears at 50.55.
In the 200 back, Pelton led from the start and continued to build her lead throughout the race. She finished in 1:53.94 – almost six seconds ahead of runner-up and teammate Klaren. The time was a pool record, breaking Pelton’s own mark of 1:53.99 set last year vs. USC.
Pelton, Klaren and Stephanie Au would finish a sweep in the event for Cal. Russel was Florida best finisher, back in fourth in a time of 1:59.85.
Franklin followed up her 200 with a convincing swim in the 500 free. Her time of 4:45.40, bettered the field by nearly seven seconds. Mathieu finished second, 4:52.15, with her teammates Katz and Valley finishing third and fourth.
Florida would also grab spots 5-7, but did not score in the meet. Cal’s next best finisher was by Catherine Breed, who was 8th overall in 4:56.21.
Florida’s divers swept the 1m. They could not repeat in the 3m event, where they finished 1-3-5 and Cal in 2-4.
Marina Garcia Urzainqui would win the final individual event of day 1 in the 200 breaststroke. She was about three second ahead of Florida’s Hilda Luthersdottir with a time of 2:12.97 to 2:15.63.
Li also swam this event for the Bears finishing third; Beisel was in the event for the Gators, with a time of 2:16.92 for fourth.
Cal’s A & B team relays beat the Florida’s A team in the 200 freestyle relay to end the day. Osma, Acker, Bing and Bootsma averaged 23-lows to finish 1:33.13. The B team averaged more around 23-mid to finish at 1:34.29.
Florida was just .03 back at 1:34.32 with a team of Zalewski, Ashlee Linn, McKnight and Kaitlin Frehling – with a 23-high average overall.