Bears Sweep SoCal Schools

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It was a weekend of surprises in Pac-10 women's swimming, and Cal was right in the middle of it.

Saturday, the No. 5 Bears (8-1) took on unranked UCLA. After marginal performances at last year's Pac-10 and NCAA meet, the Bruins have remained unranked this season. Yet this weekend, UCLA (3-3) beat No. 3 Stanford and nearly outscored Cal, falling 152-147.

"They performed a lot better than anyone expected," said Bears team captain Nicole Omphroy. "Their swimmers swam a lot faster than they have this season. They beat Stanford, who turned around and creamed USC the next day. (The) Pac-10 (meet) this year is going to be pretty crazy."

Each event was crucial in Saturday's competition. Both squads battled to keep the other from gaining a substantial lead, keeping the competition intense all day long.

In the 200-yard freestyle, sophomore Joscelin Yeo challenged Bruins standout Keiko Price. The two paced each other until the last 50 yards, when Price started to pull away. But Yeo turned on the gas and zoomed her way to a first-place finish (1:48.93), beating out Price by one one-hundredth of a second.

"I was just focusing on the race," Yeo said. "I could hear everyone cheering, but I was concentrating on winning."

UCLA answered with a 1-2 finish in the 200-yard butterfly, and Yeo turned around and won the 100-yard butterfly.

After all was said and done, the two teams were tied going into the final race of the day, the 400-yard free relay. Cal won the race in a time of 3:23.49, setting a new pool record at UCLA's Men's Gym Pool.

The win came after the Bears defeated No. 4 USC (4-2) Friday at the Trojans' McDonald Swim Stadium.

While USC put forth an impressive showing, winning six of the 12 individual events swum that day, it was no match for the depth of Cal's roster.

In fact, each of the Trojans' first-place finishes were answered with a salvo of Bears swimmers scoring in the second through fifth places. USC's Paige Francis won the 50-meter freestyle, but Cal amassed more points in the event as Omphroy, Anya Kolbisen, Jennifer Riggs and Kristy Begin took second through fifth places.

The top scorers for the Bears were senior Elli Overton, who won the 200-meter freestyle (2:01.51) and the 200 individual medley (2:15.50), and Yeo, who won the 100-meter butterfly (59.92) and the 100 freestyle (55.27)

Additional top finishers for Cal were junior Haley Cope, who won the 100-meter backstroke (1:00.98), and freshman Staciana Stitts, who won the 200-meter breastroke (2:29.03).

The Bears get a two-week reprieve from competition, and next take on Stanford Feb. 12 on the Farm.


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