Loss to Stanford Closes Bears' Dual-Meet Season

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Sophomore Colleen Fotsch describes the Cal women's swim team's season as a compilation of three chapters.

Chapter one was the intense training that serves as preparation. Chapter two was the dual meet season against the other talented teams in the Pac-10. And the final chapter will be the postseason meets, the Pac-10 and NCAA championships.

The 167-131 loss to Stanford on Saturday closed the Bears' dual meet season and marked the endpoint of that second chapter.

"This meet was a great opportunity to pick up the information about what we need to work on in getting ready for our next chapter," Fotsch said.

Despite the loss, it seemed as if Cal took the contest as a way to gauge where the team stands at this point in the season.

"Teri (McKeever) said after the meet that we can't get any more in shape," Fotsch said. "It is all about fine tuning. Now we can start to work on turns, starts, breakouts-the specific things of our races. If you can improve a turn a little it can make a world of difference."

Overall, the Bears claimed wins in six of the 16 events at the meet, including the two relays. It was Fotsch, junior Amanda Sims, freshman Caitlin Leverenz and sophomore Liv Jensen who kicked off the Big Swim with a win in the 200-yard medley relay.

Freshman Samantha Pearson clocked Cal's fastest time of the season in the 200-yard backstroke to garner an impressive second place finish behind the Cardinal's Julia Smit.

"The race was so intense," Pearson said. "At the last 50 yards, I could see the other Stanford girls and that gave me the motivation to get my hand on the wall before them."

For Pearson, it was the end of her first collegiate dual meet season, but for the seniors, it was their last dual meet of their last season.

"It was an eye-opener," Pearson said. "It was weird thinking this is the last dual meet I'll ever swim with the seniors. Time went really fast."

Senior co-captain Lauren Boyle followed the win in the 200-medley relay with a win in the 100-yard freestyle, while fellow co-captain Blake Hayter took third. Alexandra Ellis, another senior, took two thirds in the 100- and 200-yard breastroke.

Emotions ran high for the some of the seniors at the end of the meet.

"There were definitely some teary eyes on deck," Fotsch said. "(The seniors) were so happy to be a part of this team and they realized all the memories they have over the years and are looking forward to the next chapter in their lives, whatever that may mean."

For the entire swimming team, that next chapter will be the final chapter of the season, when they return to action for the Pac-10 conference championships.


Contact Kelly Suckow at [email protected]

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