McLaughlin and Weitzeil Shine as Cal Women Win Chic Fil A Invite


  • October 5-6, 2018
  • Fresno State
  • Results
  • Participating teams
    • Cal
    • Washington State
    • Fresno State
    • San Jose State
    • San Diego State
    • Air Force

The Cal Berkeley women were all over the place at the 2018 Chic Fil A Invite in Fresno, with Katie McLaughlin and Abbey Weitzeil putting up very strong times for October.

Notably, All-American Amy Bilquist and freshman Alex Sumner, both backstrokers, were absent from the meet. Neither raced at Cal’s first meet against Cal Poly, either.


Cal opened up the first session with a victory in the 200 medley relay at 1:41.93, with notable 28.09 breast split from Weitzeil and a 22.48 anchor from McLaughlin. Cal had sub-25.0 butterfly splits from three people: freshman Elise Garcia (24.84), junior Maddie Murphy (24.76), and sophomore Sarah Darcel (24.67).

Weitzeil and McLaughlin later went 1-2 in the 50 free, with Weitzeil lighting things up posting a 22.17 ahead of McLaughlin’s 22.84 and Garcia’s 23.31. This year, only USC’s Louise Hansson has been quicker in the 50 free (22.10), though Hansson was suited and Weitzeil wasn’t.

Sophomores Robin Neumann and Darcel grabbed wins in the 500 free and 200 IM, respectively. Neumann was 4:52.38 and Darcel 2:00.72 ahead of freshman Alicia Wilson (2:02.24). Darcel hopped into the 200 IM right after exhibitioning a 4:59.14 in the 500.

Cal closed out the session with a 200 free relay win, anchored by Weitzeil’s 21.95.


Darcel opened up the evening session with a 4:15.32 in the 400 IM, well ahead of the rest of the field — nobody else was sub 4:20.

McLaughlin then went on a two-event win streak, taking the 100 fly (53.62) and the 200 free (1:46.65). Weitzeil showed some versatility with a 54.89 to take 2nd in the fly, while Neumann was also under 1:50 with a 1:47.93 for 2nd.

Weitzeil was back in the 100 breast, winning with a 1:02.76. Freshman Ema Rajic was close behind at 1:03.29. Aislinn Walsh edged Wilson 55.80 to 55.82 in the 100 back, and then Cal capped off the night with a 7:19.70 win in the 800 free relay.


Saturday morning, Cal opened the session with a 1-2-3-4 sweep in the 400 medley relay, with their A going 3:44.36.

Cal did give up a few wins in this third session, the first coming in the mile, though they had no Bears entered. McKenna Meyer of San Diego State took the mile, going 17:20.42. Fresno State’s Ugne Mazutaityte edged Wilson in the 200 back, 2:01.07 to 2:01.17. SDSU also went 1-2 in the 200 breast, with freshman Kristina Murphy hitting a 2:16.92 and sophomore Klara Thormalm right behind at 2:16.97.

McLaughlin and Weitzeil had one more win, each, on Saturday. McLaughlin was 1:57.33 to take the 200 fly, while Weitzeil dropped a 48.78 100 free. Cassidy Bayer was 2:01.52 for 2nd in the fly behind McLaughlin.

To finish up, Cal was 3:21.30 to win the 400 free relay.


1. University of California, Berkeley 1250
2. San Diego State University 963
3. Fresno State 487
4. Washington State University 380
5. U.S. Air Force Academy 367
6. San Jose State University 275

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4 years ago

Good to see Cassidy Bayer in the in the pool again.

4 years ago

Really really hope for the sake of their backstoke that Amy is ok

Reply to  Swimmerj
4 years ago

Amy is a Senior and an outstanding academic student. She probably stayed in Berkeley for studies or maybe another reason. I think the meet was a fair test for all the other schools to swim against Cal even though it was a low keyed meet.

4 years ago

Weitzeil and Mclaughlin put up some decent times if those are unsuited. If you look at the results they both swam over 10 events and still managed really well.

Reply to  Superfan
4 years ago

They both swam the 2 IM right before the 50 free as well, and Mclaughlin is looking quite promising for the 200 free. I wonder if she will do the 100 fly double again

4 years ago

why did chick-fil-a sponsor a college swim meet

Reply to  toastedcoconut
4 years ago

yeah, HOW DARE!

Reply to  Swimming4silver
4 years ago

Funny. I agree people get to bend out of shape.

Reply to  anonymous
3 years ago

it’s sarcasm b

Reply to  toastedcoconut
4 years ago

The meet wasn’t on Sunday so why not?

samuel huntington
4 years ago

it looks like Cal still has a breaststroke problem

Reply to  samuel huntington
4 years ago

From 1:05 to 1:03 in two weeks doesn’t seem like a “breastroke problem” for Ema.

Samuel Huntington
Reply to  gator
4 years ago

It was a nice time drop. Do you think that she will be competitive on the NCAA stage? I don’t.

Reply to  Samuel Huntington
4 years ago

I’d watch out for her. Very promising so who knows what will happen.

Reply to  GATOR
4 years ago

Ema definitely has potential and could very well be competitive on the NCAA stage. I always look at it this way…at least one freshmen girl who is a 1:00 breaststroker will end up being a point scorer. So why not Ema?!?!?

Samuel Huntington
Reply to  GATOR
4 years ago

I will be watching closely, I would like to see Cal perform better in breaststroke.

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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