In a competition where the Bears nearly doubled their opposition’s points, the Cal women’s swim team topped San Jose State, 185-97, letting loose an uproar of strokes and demonstrating its superiority. Per usual, the Bears brought a fierce front to the pool and swept the board.
Friday marked just another sunny day for the residents of Berkeley, but to the collegiate swim team, it represented the final dual meet of the fall season. Cal finished with wins in every event, with the exception of the 3-meter dive, showing off a vast array of skills. In a final tally, the Bears took 14 of the 14 swim titles and one of the two diving events.
The smell of chlorine dominated the Spieker Aquatics Complex, paralleled by the sound of fast strokes from both teams. With the conclusion of each event, every swimmer wore a wide-eyed grin and high-fived one another after jumping out of the pool and pulling on windbreakers. Loud cheers erupted from either side of the pool as the swimmers tore off their caps after touching the wall.
The fresh faces for Cal brought strong results. These new members included top recruits Amy Bilquist, Kathleen Baker and Katie McLaughlin. Both Bilquist and Baker exited the meet with two individual victories under their belts. Bilquist captured the 200-yard freestyle in 1:48.64 and the 100-yard freestyle in 49.97, while Baker took the 100-yard backstroke in 53.92 and the 500-yard freestyle in 4:50.29. Baker was also a member of the winning 200-yard freestyle relay. McLaughlin’s single win came from the longest event of the meet, the 1,000-yard freestyle, finishing in 10:02.26.
Aside from strong results on behalf of the freshmen on the team, members in their final year on the team made hedgeway as well. Senior Elizabeth Pelton conquered the 200-yard IM in 2:00.46, and she was also a part of the 200-yard medley relay, which was won in 1:41.85. Senior Kelly Naze triumphed the 200-yard backstroke in 2:00.70.
Not only did the newest and oldest swimmers show off their skills, but so did the entire team as both individuals and a whole. Junior Marina Garcia demonstrated her abilities with a win in the 100-yard breaststroke in a time of 1:03.24, while sophomore Maija Roses conquered the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:20.49. Competing in her most decorated stroke, sophomore Noemie Thomas seized the 100-yard butterfly in 52.66. Junior Farida Osman touched first in the 50-yard freestyle with a quick 22.92. With these events, the Bears were able to advertise their fluidity in a multitude of events with a wide range of distances.
Cal now embarks on the second half of its fall season, where it will train to encounter more individualistic structured formats rather than the dual-meet style presented in the first half of the season.
Isabella Busacca covers women’s swim. Contact her at [email protected].