Courtesy: Cal Athletics
The top-ranked Cal women’s swimming & diving team travels to Stanford on Saturday for its final dual meet of 2021 during a COVID-impacted, abbreviated season. The Golden Bears will see the Cardinal for the third time in three months as the teams squared off in back-to-back non-scoring competitions in November. Since the turn of the New Year, Cal hosted USC and UCLA in a pair of two-day meets that spanned Jan. 29-31 in Berkeley. Over that weekend, the Bears posted 11 dual-meet and 11 Spieker Aquatics Complex records – and registered one school record when Ema Rajic lowered her own mark to 58.79 in the 100 breast. Isabel Ivey, who set a pair of individual pool and dual-meet records and played a role in four relay marks, was named Pac-12 Swimmer of the Week for her performance.
LAST TIME OUT – A RECORD-SETTING WEEKEND AGAINST USC, UCLA: Cal hosted USC (Jan. 29-30) and UCLA (Jan. 30-31), defeating the Trojans, 207-119, and topping the Bruins, 218-119. The Bears produced 18 swims that ranked among the top 10 in the country at the time, while 14 women combined to establish 34 lifetime bests.
IVEY NAMED PAC-12 SWIMMER OF THE WEEK: Junior Isabel Ivey was named the Pac-12 Swimmer of the Week Feb. 3 following the Bears’ wins over USC and UCLA. The versatile swimmer established pool and dual-meet records in the 100 fly (51.54 vs. USC) and 100 free (PR 47.53 vs. UCLA), while also swimming a leg on four pool and dual-meet record-setting relays – the 200 and 400 free relay and the 200 and 400 free relay. Overall, Ivey won 11 of the 12 races she entered, with the only loss a runner-up finish to teammate Alicia Wilson, who set a pool record in the 200 individual medley against UCLA.
RAJIC LOWERS 100 BREAST RECORD AGAIN AND AGAIN: Junior Ema Rajic has lowered the school record in the 100 breast twice this season. The first time came Nov. 21 at Stanford when she covered the distance in 58.93 to break her own mark of 58.97 from the 2019 NCAA Championships. Then on Jan. 29 against USC, she hit the wall in 58.79. Rajic ranks sixth in the country in the event, while she is eighth in the 200 breast (2:07.16, #2 time in school history).
BEAR SMARTS: With a 3.65 GPA for the fall semester, the Bears earned CSCAA Scholar All-America honors for the 22nd semester in a row – every time the award has been presented. The team has also won the Newmark Award for having the highest GPA among all 30 Cal teams twice in the past three years.
CAL ON THE NCAA BEST TIMES LIST: Entering this week’s meet, Cal boasts 21 individual swims and four relays that rank among the top 16 in the country, including 16 among the top eight in individual events. The Bears are most prominent in the 100 free where Isabel Ivey (2nd, 47.53), Robin Neumann (8th, 48.34) and Emily Gantriis (11th, 48.44) all appear. Cal swimmers are ranked second in four events – Ivey (100 free), Isabelle Stadden (200 back, 1:49.77) and Alicia Wilson (200 IM, 1:53.58; 400 IM, 4:04.10).
10 FOR 10: The Bears have updated their all-time top-10 list with 10 swims earning a place in the record book. Leading the way is Ema Rajic, who has lowered her own school record in the 100 breast twice (now 58.79), while she has also improved her No. 2 time in the 200 breast (2:07.16). Alicia Wilson has stamped her name in three events (200 breast, 10th; 200 IM, 5th; and 400 IM, 3rd). Others to make their marks in the top 10 this year are: Isabel Ivey (100 free, 8th), Sarah DiMeco (1000 free, 4th), Isabelle Stadden (100 back, 7th; 200 back, 5th), and Rachel Klinker (200 fly, 6th).
RECRUITING AROUND THE GLOBE: Cal signed a 14-swimmer recruiting class in November, one that bolsters the Golden Bears in virtually every event and brings scholar-athletes to Berkeley from across the country and around the world. Five members of the group hail from California, including four from the Bay Area, while there are two from Illinois, and one each from Florida, Georgia, Oregon and South Carolina. The international contingent features swimmers from Hungary, Israel and the United Arab Emirates.