They arrived. They swam. They conquered. And then they left.
The No. 4 Cal women’s swim team made a quick trip to Utah on Friday, flying in that day and then leaving immediately after defeating Utah, 186.5-109.5. The Bears won 11 of the 16 events, a lower number than expected from the rosters of the two teams, as the Utes do not carry the same type of recognition as Cal.
The Bears were able to display their depth once again, as the team had eight different swimmers win events. In addition, Cal won both of the relays, the 200-yard medley relay and the 400-yard free relay.
The only swimmer to win two events for the Bears was sophomore Missy Franklin. Swimming 1:48.92, Franklin led a Cal sweep of the 200-yard freestyle. Seniors Caroline Piehl, 1:51.90, and Camille Cheng, 1:53.04, followed suit, respectively. Franklin was also victorious in the 500-yard freestyle, winning the event for her first time this season in 4:56.02. This was also the first time this season the sophomore has been the only Cal swimmer to win two events.
Another first came from freshman Cierra Runge, who won her first 1,000-yard freestyle in impressive fashion, defeating freshman Madelynn Meisel from Utah by 11 seconds.
Another freshman had an impressive victory, with Noemie Thomas winning the 100-yard butterfly for Cal and beating her junior teammate Rachel Bootsma by more than two seconds. Bootsma won the 100-yard backstroke earlier in the meet with a time of 55.27, with teammate Elizabeth Pelton, who has been dominant in the race the past couple of weeks, not competing in the event. Pelton did perform in the 200-yard backstroke, winning it by just under two seconds.
There were a few close performances in the meet in which the Bears were barely able to escape with victories. In the 50-yard freestyle, sophomore Farida Osman won by .01 over Utes senior Madeline Jamora. The event could not have gotten much closer between the two, which showcases the quickness of the event.
In the 100-yard freestyle, two seniors tied for the win. Cal’s Cheng and Utah’s Giuliana Gigliotti both finished the race in 52.00. The .5 in the final scores above are rare in college swimming. They can only come in the event of a tie. These two events in a row, the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle, certainly added some extra excitement to the meet.
The Bears also were able to win one of the diving competitions, with junior Anne Kastler, continuing her strong diving from the week before, clinching the victory in the three meter diving by 11 points.
The win resulted in Cal closing out their fall dual meet schedule with a record of 3-1 before they start the real test of the season in January. The Bears hope their strong start will push them into success when it comes time to face the rest of the conference.
Alaina Getzenberg covers women’s swim. Contact her at [email protected]