If a real bear and a beaver ever swam a race against each other, the result might be a lot closer than the meet between the Bears and the Beavers on Friday night. The Cal women’s swim team put on a masterful performance in Corvallis, Oregon, taking the meet against Oregon State University by a score of 163-88.
The Beavers were not able to win once in any of the 14 races. Even a trio of Cal’s freshmen got in on the action. Freshman Chenoa Devine finished the 1,000-yard free in 10:02.12, which was more than a minute ahead of the second-place swimmer. The other Cal freshmen that took first place in their events were Maddie Murphy and Keaton Blovad, winning the 100-yard butterfly and the 200-yard individual medley, respectively.
“It was particularly exciting to see the freshmen do well,” said Cal head coach Teri McKeever.
Cal’s freshmen round out a deep and talented roster. Returning swimmers Celina Li, Marina Garcia and Amy Bilquist each won two events of their own, as well. Li won the 100-yard (51.19) and 500-yard freestyle (4:56.82), Bilquist finished first in the 100-yard (54.07) and 200-yard backstroke (1:56.21), and Garcia took the 100-yard (1:04.39) and 200-yard breaststroke (2:18.09).
The Bears recorded comfortable margins of victory in all 14 of their events. The closest OSU could get in any event was a second-place finish by Czsarina Isleta, who finished behind Garcia by 1.04 seconds in the 100-yard breaststroke. Cal’s Farida Osman would win the 50-yard freestyle, barely edging out Murphy by .13 seconds. Kristen Vredeveld won the 200 free in 1:50.57 while Katie McLaughlin won the 200 fly in 1:59.14.
As for the relay teams, the team of McLaughlin, Li, Bilquist and Aislinn Light opened the meet by finishing first in the 400-yard medley relay (3:48.19), while the team of McLaughlin, Valerie Hull, Bilquist and Jasmine Mau closed out the meet by winning the 200-yard freestyle relay.
“I was really proud of how the team performed after a long day with travel,” McKeever said. “I thought they really raced tough and stayed focused on our journey and what we were committed to.”
Notably, Olympians Abbey Weitzeil and Kathleen Baker sat out the meet, presumably to give their less heralded teammates more opportunities to prove themselves in competition. But even without Weitzeil and Baker swimming, Cal still dominated the meet. Both Weitzeil and Baker had put up satisfactory showings in their season opening meet against Cal Poly the previous week. Of course, it’s up to McKeever to determine when Weitzeil and Baker swim, but it’s safe to say that the two Cal stars won’t be sitting out much longer.
The Bears will have a week off before their meet against Washington on Oct. 21 at the Spieker Aquatics Center. The meet will be Cal’s first home swim meet of the season.
Jeffrey Liu covers men’s tennis. Contact him at [email protected]