Cal Makes Waves in Dallas, Stockton Over Weekend

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Reports about the Cal women's swimming team have sounded like a broken record for going on three years now.

That, of course, will continue as long as Natalie Coughlin is suiting up for the Bears.

Coughlin highlighted a busy weekend of swimming for Cal's women's and men's teams this weekend.

The men took second place in their division at the Pacific Invitational in Stockton while the women split their squad, winning the Pacific Invitational and finishing second at the Southern Methodist Classic in Dallas.

In Dallas, Coughlin won the High Point Swimmer Award after breaking three meet records and two pool records en route to victories in the 100-yard and 200-yard backstroke and the 100-yard butterfly.

Aside from Coughlin, women's coach Teri McKeever was also happy about the team's cohesiveness at this point in the season.

"We had a really positive team environment at both places," McKeever said. "We definitely had strong performances."

At Pacific, McKeever was especially pleased with the performances of sophomores Lisa Morelli and Amy Ng. Morelli won the 1650 free while Ng took the 200 individual medley.

"At (Pacific), Lisa had some personal best performances," said McKeever. "Amy was the High Point Winner. Her leadership was strong."

Freshmen Cheryl Anne Bingaman and Whitney Rockwell finished one-two in the 50 free at Pacific.

McKeever also mentioned the performance of senior Staciana Stitts, who took second in the 200 breaststroke in Dallas.

The women will pack their bags this weekend for a trip to Athens, Ga. to take on three-time NCAA champion Georgia Friday and Clemson Saturday.

The men's second place finish was highlighted by two 1-2-3 Cal sweeps.

Sophomore Duje Draganja, freshman Mike Cavic and freshman Jens Theiele took the top three spots in the 50 free.

The Bears also had the top trio in the 500 free, with freshmen Miguel Molina and Ryan Lean and sophomore John Dorr.

"Miguel was a real nice surprise," Cal men's coach Nort Thornton said. "He was in third or fourth and had a great last lap."

Thornton also praised junior Alex Lim, who won the 200 individual medley. Lim missed Cal's opening meet of the season while swimming at the Asian Games in Seoul, South Korea.

The second place finish satisfied Thornton.

"We pretty much accomplished what we wanted to," Thornton said.

The Pacific meet marks a time when the Bears will begin to cast their eye toward the later stages of the season.

"We're going into a phase of the season where we're specializing more," Thornton said.

The Bears do not return to action until Dec. 5-7 when they travel to Austin, Texas to take part part in the Texas Invitational.


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