Courtesy: Cal Athletics
Cal opens 2022 with back-to-back home meets, with the Golden Bears hosting Arizona at 2 p.m. Friday and Arizona State at 12 noon Saturday. Both events will be double-duals with the men’s teams and will be streamed live from Spieker Aquatics Complex. Admission is free, and all fans in attendance must abide by local public health protocols. Cal last faced the Arizona schools in 2020, and the Bears won both of the meets convincingly – 199-101 vs. Arizona and 192.5-97.5 vs. ASU. Cal will visit USC and UCLA next weekend before hosting Stanford on Feb. 12 in the Bears’ final dual meet of the season.
CHANGES TO TOP-10 LIST: At the Minnesota Invitational Dec. 1-4, Cal produced five times that made the school’s all-time top-10 list, with freshman Leah Polonsky doing so in three events. She now ranks sixth in school history in the 100 breast (1:00.23), ninth in the 200 breast (2:11.30) and seventh in the 400 IM (4:07.93). In addition, Alicia Wilson’s PR 2:09.82 in the 200 breast puts her fifth in the event, and the 200 medley squad of Isabelle Stadden, Ema Rajic, Isabel Ivey and Elise Garcia posted the sixth-fastest time at Cal (1:34.93).
IVEY NAMED PAC-12 SWIMMER OF THE MONTH: Senior Isabel Ivey was named the Pac-12 Swimmer of the Month after a stellar meet at the Minnesota Invitational Dec. 1-4. She won two events (200 free, 1:43.13; 200 IM, 1:53.90), placed second in another (100 free, 47.57), and helped all five relays earn NCAA automatic qualifying times. Ivey’s individual times put her third in the country in the 200 free and 200 IM and fourth nationally in the 100 free. She is the reigning Pac-12 Swimmer of the Year and anchored Cal to an NCAA championship in the 200 free relay last March.
STADDEN, WEITZEIL COMBINE FOR 7 MEDALS AT SHORT-COURSE WORLDS: Cal sophomore Isabelle Stadden and alum Abbey Weitzeil combined for seven medals at the FINA Short-Course World Championships in Abu Dhabi Dec. 16-21. Stadden claimed a bronze medal in the 200m back (2:02.20), while Weitzeil tied for Team USA honors with six medals among her 10 top-10 finishes – two gold, three silver and a bronze. He top individual result was a bronze medal in the 100m free, with the other medals coming in relays.
TOP 25 RANKINGS: As the Golden Bears enter the new year, 13 Cal swimmers rank among the national top 25 in a combined 23 different events. Isabel Ivey leads the way with top-25 swims in six events – 50, 100 and 200 free; 100 back; 100 fly; and 200 IM – while Ayla Spitz holds spots in the 200 and 500 free and 200 back. Among newcomers, those on the lists are: Mia Motekaitis (500 free), Lizzy Cook (200 fly), Mia Kragh (200 fly) and Leah Polonsky (200 IM, 400 IM). In addition, Isabelle Stadden has attained an NCAA A qualifying time in the 200 back, where she ranks third in the country (1:50.02).
TERI McKEEVER RECEIVES PARAGON AWARD: Cal head coach Teri McKeever received the Paragon Award from the International Swimming Hall of Fame during the fall for her outstanding service and contributions towards advancing competitive swimming last weekend. Now in her 30th season leading the Golden Bears, McKeever is one of the most accomplished coaches in the sport, having guided Cal to five Pac-12 and four NCAA team titles, including 15 consecutive top-5 finishes at the national championships. She also served as head women’s U.S. Olympic coach in 2012 and has been on the Olympic staff multiple times, including this past summer in Tokyo.