Swimmers Complete Warm-ups For Pac-10

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While most students spent their break relaxing or trying vainly to scrounge up money for textbooks, the Cal men's swimming team enjoyed a scant 10 days off before returning to the Bay Area for some intensive training and competition.

After a brief vacation, the No. 5 Bears men's swimming team was back in the water training for Pac-10 competition. The team was given a one-day grace period after New Year's before returning to Berkeley for practice.

"The break didn't really seem to set anyone back physically," sophomore George Wilkinson said. "But it does take awhile to get your mind back into it."

Apparently Cal was focused enough, because on Jan. 3 the Bears headed south for a dual meet against UC Santa Barbara and defeated the Gauchos, 124-76.

Cal was led by sophomore Peter Aronsson, who took first in both the 200-meter individual medley (1:55.29) and 200 breaststroke (2:06.54). Additional victories came from sophomore Sean Gruver in the 200 freestyle (1:43.14), senior Bart Kizierowski in the 50 free (20.52), senior Sean Cargin in the 200 butterfly (1:53.59) and freshman Scott Ciammaichella in the 500 free (4:38.50).

On Jan. 5, the Bears took on UNLV in a short-course 25-meter meet in Las Vegas. Cal dominated the meet, taking first in seven of the 11 individual events.

Senior Ratapong Sirisanont and freshman Anthony Ervin led the way for the team, with Sirisanont taking first in the 400 and 800 free events (3:55.58; 8:16.29) and Ervin winning the 50 and 100 free (22.59; 49.48).

Other winners for the Bears were sophomore Peter Aronsson in the 200 IM (2:07.54) and sophomore Bruce Voglesang in the 200 backstroke (2:04.78). Cal also took first in the 400 medley relay (3:41.97).

The trip to Las Vegas took place during the post-break training intensive, affectionately referred to in the swimming community as "Hell Week." The Bears attended two workouts a day, one from 7-10 a.m. and another from 1-4 p.m.

The No. 5 Cal women's swimming team was also busy over the break, competing at the Winter Invitational in Las Vegas and the UC Irvine Invitational.

At the Winter Invitational, freshman Staciana Stitts earned herself a spot in the Bears record-books, breaking the 100-yard breastroke record swum by Olympian Hiroko Nagasaki in 1988. Stitts raised the bar by a few tenths of a second, dropping the record from Nagasaki's 1:01.98 to 1:01.60.

At the Irvine Invitational Dec. 18-20, Cal took first in six of the 10 individual events. Senior Elli Overton led the way for the Bears, placing first in both the 200-yard IM (2:03.51) and the 200 breast (2:15.68).

The other four races were won by Cal alum Marylyn Chiang, who swam unattached.

This past weekend, the Bears hosted the Cal Invitational at a crowded Spieker Pool, holding an open meet for teams from high schools and local swim clubs to raise money to send the team to the NCAA Championships.

Both the men's and women's team open Pac-10 competition this Friday with a highly competitive long-course dual-meet against Arizona. The following day, the Bears will host Arizona State in a standard yard-based meet. Both meets will be held at Spieker Pool and start at 1 p.m.


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