Six Points Give USC the Edge; Bears Rebound Against Bruins

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L.A. Roadtrip Rundown

Daily Cal beat writer Kelly Suckow talks Cal women's swimming: who's doing well, what the implications of its split weekend in Los Angeles are and where she sees the team going in the next couple of weeks.

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Another year, another split.

Last season, the Cal women's swimming team lost to USC in a tight match and beat UCLA by a considerable margin. Despite several improvements since then, the result remained the same.

No. 5 Cal faced strong competition in the No. 9 Trojans on Friday, and the six-point differential (153-147) was a testament to just how close the two teams were matched.

"Both teams put in fast and high-quality swimming," freshman Caitlin Leverenz said. "It was no one's fault that we didn't do something right, it was more about getting a fourth place instead of a fifth and working on finishes and starts."

Leverenz's victory in the 200-yard individual medley over USC's Katinka Hosszu was a victory in a battle of talented opposition between the two renowned swimmers.

"Katinka is an awesome swimmer," Leverenz said. "She is an amazing competitor who is really tough and really gets after it. The more I can race against those kinds of elite athletes, the more experience I can get."

The Bears also impressed in their relay races. The foursome of Heather White, Alexandra Ellis, Katie Kastes and Amanda Larson wrestled the win from the Trojans in the 200-yard medley relay. Cal clocked a victory time of 1:40.51, good for NCAA consideration time.

Because the Bears knew they could not win the meet, Cal split its talent in the last relay of the day to try to take the two top spots.

They did just that to finish the contest strong.

"Any time you can beat a talented team like Cal, which is the defending NCAA champion, it's a good win and it gives our program confidence," USC head coach Dave Salo said. "I knew this would be a close meet and it kind of went the way we thought it might and we eked it out.

"Cal is a great team and we look forward to seeing them again at the Pac-10s."

Rebounding off the loss, Cal came back out the next day to face the Bruins. The Bears took control of UCLA's brand-new pool to win 13 of the 16 events. They closed the meet as the victors by a tally of 167-128.


Contact Kelly Suckow at [email protected]

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