Cal Ready For NCAA Championships

Cal will send a team of 16 swimmers to Atlanta for the 2022 NCAA Championships set for March 16-19 at the McAuley Aquatic Center on the Georgia Tech campus. The Golden Bears, who placed fourth last season, have finished among the top five 15 consecutive times at the national meet – the longest current streak in the country.

Over its history, Cal has earned four NCAA team titles – 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2015 – and the Bears have been runner-up on four occasions, most recently in 2019. Cal swimmers have claimed a combined 75 all-time individual and relay crowns, including in the 200 free relay last season when the foursome of Eloise RileyEmily GantriisElise Garcia and Isabel Ivey touched first.

For this year’s meet, prelims will begin at 10 am ET (7 am PT) with finals starting at 6 pm ET (3 pm PT) each day. Finals sessions will be streamed via espn.com/watch, while all other sessions will stream through ramblinwreck.com.

Wednesday, March 16
200 Medley Relay, 800 Free Relay

Thursday, March 17
500 free, 200 IM, 50 free, 1-meter diving, 200 free relay

Friday, March 18
400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back, 3-meter diving, 400 medley relay

Saturday, March 19
1650 free, 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly, platform diving, 400 free relay

IVEY, CITY CLAIM PAC-12 TITLES: Senior Isabel Ivey and sophomore Isabelle Stadden captured Pac-12 titles during the conference meet Feb. 23-26 at Federal Way, Washington. Ivey earned her victory in the 200 free by swimming a PR 1:42.29, which moved her up to fifth in school history in the event. The win marked her fifth individual Pac-12 championship in four different events; she won the 100 back in 2020 and the 100 free, 100 back and 100 fly in 2021 on her way to Pac-12 Swimmer of the Year honors. Stadden claimed her second consecutive 200 back crown, this time in a PR 1:49.51. Both Ivey and Stadden are seeded second in their respective Pac-12 title-winning events for the NCAA meet.

NCAA EXPERIENCE: Of the 16 Golden Bears traveling to Atlanta, nine bring experience from the NCAA Championships, while five are freshmen. Each of the returning swimmers has scored at the meet either as an individual or relay swimmer. Isabel Ivey leads the group, having reached an individual final five times in two previous national championships. Last year, she was third in the 100 free and fourth in both the 100 fly and 100 back. As a freshman in 2019, Ivey took fourth in the 100 back and sixth in the 100 fly (she also won the B final of the 200 IM). Eight of the swimmers have been on scoring relays, three of which won NCAA titles – 2019 (Ivey: 400 free relay; Ema Rajic: 400 medley relay); 2021 (Eloise RileyElise GarciaIvey: 200 free relay).

LOOKING BACK AT 2021: In a pandemic-affected year in which no meet was taken for granted, the Bears came through with their fifth all-time Pac-12 title, placed fourth at the NCAA Championships for their 15th consecutive top-5 finish, and set a combined 25 Cal dual-meet and Spieker Aquatics Center records. At the NCAA meet, the foursome of Eloise RileyEmily GantriisElise Garcia and Isabel Ivey won the 200-yard free relay to give Cal its 75th all-time event win at the national championships. Ivey, who won three individual events and was on four winning relays, was named the Pac-12 Swimmer of the Year, while Teri McKeever was tabbed Pac-12 Coach of the Year for the ninth time.

CAL SECOND AT PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIPS: Cal finished as the runner-up at the Pac-12 Championships in February, marking the 12th time in the last 14 years the Bears have placed first or second. Isabel Ivey (200 free) and Isabelle Stadden (200 back) both captured Pac-12 titles, while Cal earned an additional six individual and five relay top-3 results. The swimmers reaching the podium were: Ayla Spitz (3rd, 500 free), Ivey (2nd, 200 IM; 3rd, 100 fre), Leah Polonsky (2nd, 400 IM), Stadden (2nd, 100 back), Rachel Klinker (2nd, 200flies)

LEAH POLONSKY POSTS 4 TOP-10 MARKS: only a freshman, Leah Polonsky already has put her name on Cal’s all-time top-10 list in four different events – 6th in the 100 breast (1:00.23), 6th in the 200 breast (2:09.93), 10th in the 200 IM (1:55.10 ) and 3rd in the 400 IM (4:03.90). She reached the Pac-12 A final in both IMs and the 200 breast, including a runner-up finish in the 400 IM with her PR effort.

ROBIN NEUMANN CHOSEN PAC-12 SCHOLAR ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: With a 3.95 GPA in global studies, Robin Neumann has been named the Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year for women’s swimming & diving. She becomes the third Golden Bear to receive the honor, following Rachael Acker in 2016 and Caitlin Leverenz in 2013. Neumann is a four-time CSCAA Scholar All-American, a three-time Pac-12 Academic Honor Roll selection and a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American.

BEARS NAMED A CSCAA SCHOLAR ALL-AMERICA TEAM AGAIN: Cal has earned Scholar All-America team status from the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) for its fall academic performance for the 24th semester in a row – or every time the award has been presented. Individual awards will be announced in the spring. All time, 87 Golden Bears have received Scholar All-America recognition a total of 154 times, including 11 four-time honorees.

IVEY NAMED PAC-12 SWIMMER OF THE MONTH: Senior Isabel Ivey was named the Pac-12 Swimmer of the Month for December 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 at the time. She is the reigning Pac-12 Swimmer of the Year and anchored Cal to an NCAA championship in the 200 free relay last March.

CITIES, 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. Her top individual result was a bronze medal in the 100m free, with the other medals coming in relays.

OLYMPIC BEARS: Eight Golden Bear swimmers plus head coach Teri McKeever participated in the Olympics in Tokyo over the summer – alums Abbey Weitzeil (silver, 400m medley relay; bronze, 400m free relay) and Katie McLaughlin (silver, 800 free relay) for Team USA, current team members Alicia Wilson (Great Britain) and Ema Rajic (Croatia), and alums Farida Osman (Egypt), Marina Garcia (Spain), Stephanie Au (Hong Kong) and Camille Cheng (Hong Kong). McKeever served as a US assistant coach for the third time (she was also head coach in 2012).

Wilson reached the final of the 200m IM, where she placed eighth, while Rajic swam the 100m breast and 50m free. Weitzeil earned a pair of relay medals – silver in the 400m medley relay and bronze in the 400m free relay) – and finished eighth in both the 50m and 100m free. McLaughlin, meanwhile, helped the US to a silver medal in the 800m free relay. With the results from Weitzeil and McLaughlin, Cal swimmers and divers have combined for 52 all-time Olympic medals.

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 US Olympic coach in 2012 and has been on the Olympic staff an additional three times.

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