Teri McKeever, it appears, has proverbially responded to the criticisms over Cal’s need to bring in a big-name breaststroker to join the depth of talent that this Cal program has on the backstroke, butterfly, and freestyle legs.
McKeever confirmed to SwimSwam today that in April, Cal inked Spanish National Teamer, National Record holder, and European Championship medalist Marina Garcia Urzainqui.
Garcia has been 31.2, 1:07.0 and 2:22.2 in the long course breaststrokes, all earlier this year. Those times convert to 58-mid and 2:04-mid in yards, which are both significantly faster than Cal had last year and should put her immediately into the top 5 at NCAA’s.
She was also the bronze medalist at the 2012 European Long Course Championships in the 100, and at the 2012 European Short Course Championships took silver in the 200 and bronze in the 100, showing that she should make a solid transition to yards.
Next year, Cal’s medley relay looks something like this:
Backstroke: Missy Franklin (Olympic/World Champion in 100) or Liz Pelton (4th at Worlds in 100) or Rachel Bootsma (Olympian in 100) or two-time NCAA Champion Cindy Tran
Breaststroke: Marina Garcia (7th at Worlds in 100)
Butterfly: Farida Osman (7th at Worlds in 50 fly) or Rachel Bootsma
Freestyle: Kaylin Bing (18th in the NCA last year in the 50) or Rachael Acker (48.0 in the 100) or Kristen Vredeveld (one of the fastest high school sprinters in history) or Missy Franklin (4th at Worlds in the 100 meter free)
Scary, and Garcia’s addition really brings these medleys to a point. Cal now looks like the big favorites to win next season’s team NCAA Championship. The Cal medley relay, even if made up of just freshmen and sophomores, could legitimately medal at the World Championships