2018-2019 Season: Women's Swimming

UrsusArctosCalifornicus
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Perhaps a mite early to be starting this thread lol - but following all the excitement of 2018 Pan Pacs @ Tokyo, reckon tis time to turn our eyes home, with move in day kicking off today...

A beary warm welcome goes out here to the first group of our 2018 Baby Bears to be spotted on campus

Cassidy (hmmm, next to who suspiciously looks like stud furdette Megan Byrnes - a sudden change of heart on Megan's part leading to a transfer from the Farm to Cal??! After all, Megan can always lay claim to double legacy roots as both of her parents are former Bears... Nah, srsly tho, prob. just good friends being former clubmates @ NCAP )






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Chris & Reece - well alright, this properly should belong to the men's thread - but seeing that one hasn't been created for this coming season, yet...nudge nudge






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UrsusArctosCalifornicus
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Froski Elise feeling right at home already with her big sissies (including Mike lol)

http://instagr.am/p/BmoW1ZjB7RJ



And they are baaaack!




Also:

UrsusArctosCalifornicus
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Roster has now been posted for the new season - no mugshots yet for our freshies.

As expected, Thleen no longer on the roster having gone pro. No incoming frosh divers, but Maggie Gallagher's no longer on the list of our divers.

2018-19 W Swimming & Diving Roster
OBear073akaSMFan
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UrsusArctosCalifornicus said:



And they are baaaack!



Other than Maddie in the front ..can you identify the freshmen
UrsusArctosCalifornicus
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OBear073akaSMFan said:

UrsusArctosCalifornicus said:

And they are baaaack!


Other than Maddie in the front ..can you identify the freshmen

Sorry, no freshies in sight in that photo above lol -> Abbey (jr), Ali (soph), Natalie (soph), Alexa (soph), Karl (jr)...with a photobomb appearance at the back courtesy of Nate Biondi (soph)

More of our sophomores, instead

http://instagr.am/p/Bmw6MMYH-tm

Alexa & Ali


Elizabeth, Sophie, Dannie


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  • Alright, here are our actual froskis @ convocation, all 5 of them + Teri (photo link will expire soon):

Cassidy Bayer, Ema Rajic, Alex Sumner, Alicia Wilson, Elise Garcia...and Teri, of course


Oh, and a quick refresher course here on our frosh class:

BEARS ADD 5 SWIMMERS FOR 2018-19




For more discussion on the freshman class of 2018, check here:

2018 Women's Swimming Recruiting


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http://instagr.am/p/Bmw8N4AhtB5

http://instagr.am/p/BmzEHCBhFgX

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tedbear
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Glad you were able to find the pic UAC. I still can't figure out how to link IG stories.
bearz012
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New roomies...?
Sarah, Alexa S-N, Natalie, Robin


Keaton & Phoebe


Phoebe & Jackie

Froskis first day... #fabfive

Left: Cassidy & Elise
Right: Alicia, Ema, Alex


Ema, Alicia, Alex, Elise, Cass


UrsusArctosCalifornicus
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bearz012 said:

Froskis first day... #fabfive

Left: Cassidy & Elise
Right: Alicia, Ema, Alex



Ema, Alicia, Alex, Elise, Cass

More of our "Fab Five" baebay bears:


Cass, Alex, Elise, Ema, Alicia


http://instagr.am/p/Bm9lZOFlQAT

(we'll overlook that unsightly colour-that-shalt-not-be-named on Alex just this once cos she's a frosh )



http://instagr.am/p/Bm8zL-7H7Ca


...freshies w/their big sis:

http://instagr.am/p/Bm8382sBFRA







http://instagr.am/p/BnFTpooAbJP
UrsusArctosCalifornicus
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http://instagr.am/p/BnKbj0CBZ1r







http://instagr.am/p/BnKgz7Lh0M7

http://instagr.am/p/BnLB4zOhUOy

http://instagr.am/p/BnK5blWBQ28

http://instagr.am/p/BnKk4H9lHNl

http://instagr.am/p/BnKlRSDnILN







UrsusArctosCalifornicus
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Since the schedule for this season hasn't been posted yet, and with a paucity of college swim news this Labour Day weekend, guess will just bore you with more photos of our talented Bears on Game Day...





http://instagr.am/p/BnSlhXghwnM



http://instagr.am/p/BnO5h0ZhiME



http://instagr.am/p/BnMZJI4FgbG

http://instagr.am/p/BnMZrrjAZfU

http://instagr.am/p/BnMXy4-BY8E

http://instagr.am/p/BnPF7UZhJKP

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Reckon a quick mention's in order here re froski Cassidy sporting a knee brace/sleeve - may well explain her absence from US Nationals this summer?

Hope our Baby Bear will make a smooth & quick recovery, much like furdette Megan Byrnes' progress (spotted in crutches beginning of last season, but went on to place 4th in the mile @ 2018 NCAAs!)

If a longer term recovery period is called for, perhaps as tedbear had proposed, a blueshirt wouldn't be such a horrible strategy since we would still have Bug, Madds & Elise amongst others to help take care of business in the fly dept...

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bearz012
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RANKING THE 2018 WOMEN'S NCAA RECRUITING CLASSES: #9-12

#9: CAL GOLDEN BEARS

Top-tier additions: #17 Cassidy Bayer (DC fly), Alex Sumner (PA back), Elise Garcia (CA sprint free/fly), Ema Rajic (IL breast), Alicia Wilson (Great Britain IM/back)
It's kind of strange to see Cal not in the top 5 classes considering what we're used to. That said, while these five new Golden Bears are all very impressive, these swimmers have yet to really develop more than 1-2 high-impact events in yards. There is definitely a lot of quality in these additions nonetheless, and the name that could really blow up is Cassidy Bayer.

Bayer is an interesting case, as she's shown up in long course but has been sidelined and plagued by knee injuries the last couple of seasons. Lest we forget that Bayer at 16 was the third place finisher at the 2016 Olympic Trials in the 200 fly, AKA a first-alternate Olympian, and she wasn't far from snapping Mary T. Meagher's 15-16 NAG in the 100 fly that year, too. In yards, she's been 52.78/1:55.20, and it's the 200 fly where she really excels. The 1:55.20 would've B finaled at NCAAs this past season, and her 2:08.0 long course PR from 2015 suggests that a successful comeback from her knee problems might yield something more in the 1:53/1:54 range. A 1:46.9 PR in the 200 yard free from Bayer early in 2018 has to settle some worries about her future.

Alex Sumner is in a similar boat with Bayer in that her 200 is what she hangs her hat on. Her 1:52.33 PR would've been invited to NCAAs and just off of scoring, but the backstroke improvements we've seen nationally, and more specifically the progression of depth in the events, de-value her a bit. Sumner is also a strong 400 IMer with a 4:15.08, and she might focus on an endurance-based schedule with a 200IM-400IM-200BK lineup.

The American newcomers for Cal could actually form a quite nice medley relay with Sumner leading off, Ema Rajic 2nd, Bayer 3rd, and Elise Garcia holding down the anchor. Rajic is a top breaststroker, coming in with a 1:00.6 which is very good news for Cal, which has been experiencing a breaststroke drought that has gone on a bit too long for a top 3 program. Garcia, a homegrown product, slots in with a 22.6 50 free, but she's an exceptional flyer, too, with bests of 52.7/1:56.6.

The final piece is British all-arounder Alicia Wilson. She has an odd string of top events, boasting a 2:14 IM, 25.8 50 free, and 1:01.7 100 back in LCM, but those could all translate nicely. Considering Sumner (2:00/4:15), Rajic (2:00/4:14) and Bayer (1:58/4:12), this class is deceptively good at IM, and if Wilson figures in with good yards times, they can improve upon how they look on paper.

swimmer19
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bearz012
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Top Swimmers Named to 2018-19 National Team

- Baker, Kathleen: 100/200 back, 200 IM
- Kennedy, Madison: 50 free
- McLaughlin, Katie: 200 free, 100 fly
- Weitzeil, Abbey: 50/100 free
UrsusArctosCalifornicus
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UrsusArctosCalifornicus said:

Since the schedule for this season hasn't been posted yet

2018 - 2019 Schedule now officially out:
2nd half of season after the winter training trip @ Hawaii predictable as usual (away duals @ ASU & UofA, followed by hosting 'SC, UCLA & Furd @ Spieker).

1st half not harbouring any major surprises too - just a road trip to Fresno for the Chick-fil-A Invite in place of the customary match v. OSU...


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Also appears that mugshots on the roster page will soon be updated for the new season, yay!

http://instagr.am/p/BncHDiZhXeD
UrsusArctosCalifornicus
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Seems like a beary luvly quality bonding time being had by the whole team this weekend...mamma mia!!!


http://instagr.am/p/BnfP4fPh91O

http://instagr.am/p/BnfbAjOB4Yz




Baby Bears Ema, Alicia, Elise, Cass, Alex






Coach Teri, Sarah & Ann



Bug, Jenna, Alexa B (or is it Elizabeth?), Billy, Chenoa






Sam (?) & Ema



Ema, Dannie, Sophie



Aislinn & Elise (background photobombs courtesy of Ema, Dannie & Sophie...)



http://instagr.am/p/BnfOB_1FP0t




http://instagr.am/p/Bnh9miKBU-X

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Not to overlook our dive team...

http://instagr.am/p/BnfIqt7jXic

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UrsusArctosCalifornicus
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UrsusArctosCalifornicus said:

Also appears that mugshots on the roster page will soon be updated for the new season, yay!



Well profile photos aren't up on the roster page quite yet for the 2018-2019 season, but here's a sneak preview of our fave swimmers, divers & coaches:

2018.09.07 Women's Swimming: Roster

...presenting our froskis, finally in Cal uniforms:

Alex


Alicia


Cassidy


Elise


Ema





UrsusArctosCalifornicus
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Well, in anticipation of SwimSwam's College Swimming Previews & Team rankings for the 2018-2019 season coming out in a day or two with an article on our likely #2 ranked Golden Bears, here are their 2018-2019 OUTLOOK for the competition. For a more in-depth analysis, please go & read up the full text in the links below.

Will add the #1 ranked Furdettes (er, SS rankings, not necessarily mine haha) to this post once the writeup is published.

Bears will more than deservedly get a separate & more detailed post here on the thread once we have the article in hand, of course


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STRONG FREE CORPS BUOYS #3 MICHIGAN WOMEN

Michigan appears to be a very good place heading into this season, despite the losses at the top. They're strong across the freestyle spectrum, and could even score more individual points there than they did last year.

Thanks to Tucker, breaststroke is a strength rather than the weakness that even many top-notch teams have. Their fly group should get better this year, and the other three strokes are strong enough that they don't have to have a stellar backstroke group. Add in a diver or two who can score at NCAAs, and you've got the recipe for an incredibly strong team.

We'll toss in the usual caveat about how Stanford and Cal are still juggernauts, but Michigan stands a very good chance of being at the top of the "not Stanford or Cal" sub-division.


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SOMETHING'S COOKING WITH #4 TEXAS LONGHORNS

Before we get into our outlook, it's important to note that Texas is a team that will again benefit from its diving group - the Longhorns return two NCAA scorers, including 2018 platform runner-up Murphy Bromberg.

Adams and Pfeifer are back with potential for more than one A final appearance each, with freestylers Evans and Carrozza and butterfliers Rule and Case lurking and carrying potential for individual scoring. There isn't a significant weak point in this roster, and the stud freshman sprinters are going to elevate relays and should both have great scoring chances on their own.

Texas should give Louisville a run for their money, and with Michigan and Texas A&M suffering considerable graduation losses, the 'Horns may have enough in the tank to jump up - maybe just enough for a coveted top 3 finish.


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#5 LOUISVILLE WOMEN RETURN ALL FROM FIVE TOP SIX RELAYS

With no big losses but no freshmen who seem immediately poised to make an impact at NCAAs, there's every reason to think that the Cardinals should perform very similar to how they did last year. There doesn't immediately appear to be a ton of depth, in terms of NCAA scoring, behind last year returners, but many of them saw some big improvements last year. They're not going to challenge Stanford, or even Cal, but they definitely have the ability to hold position and maybe jump up a spot or two if everything breaks right.


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#6 TEXAS A&M REBUILDING AFTER BIG DEPARTURES

Sprint free takes a huge hit due to Gastaldello's departure, and the medleys may run into trouble finding a strong enough lead-off leg. The sheer depth on this roster shows, though, as A&M will still have a fantastic IM and breaststroke group led by Pickrem and Belousova.

Rasmus and Portz will be key in keeping the free relays together, Quah and Pike could do substantial damage in butterfly, and key sophomores like Yelle and Toney will be relied on to pitch in individually. Freshmen Kopenski and Carlton might end up yielding considerable contributions, while Carlton will be a very important piece in the medley and sprint free relay re-works.

A&M will be hard-pressed to repeat in the top 3 with their relays under renovation, but there are still several high-impact individuals on this roster who have a proven record of getting the job done - this team is down, but they're not out.


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#7 IU INJECTS NEW BLOOD INTO SPRINT GROUP

All in all, the Hoosiers are realistically looking to compete for another top-10 finish at NCAA's. Based on what they lost and what they have gained, there isn't any tangible evidence that suggests they can make a large jump as a team - say top-5 or top-3 NCAA finish. As they have been for the last 3 years, Indiana will be led by the superstar King. They gained some much needed talent to fill holes in the sprint freestyle arena, but that likely won't materialize into significant NCAA points right away. IU's top 3 medley relays took a big shot with the loss of Rockett and will need an unlikely hero to step up in a big way if those relays want to stay in the top 8.


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SOARING CEILING FOR #8 TENNESSEE WOMEN

While we don't dedicate a section entirely to diving, it's worth noting that Tennessee had one-even scorer Rachel Rubadue put up 7 points as a junior and brings in Georgia state champ Rachel Renner.

There was a lot of internal discussion within our staff regarding Tennessee's #8 ranking and for good reason. It's hard not to get excited by the ceiling of this team. Scoring last year's NCAA meet just based on season-bests (using our Swimulator program), Tennessee finishes 6th at NCAAs, and just a half-point back of Louisville in 5th. Without two very strange relay flubs alone, Tennessee scores about 56 more points than it actually did last year. They also graduated very few point and impact scorers from last year.

On the other hand, there are plenty of teams that look great on paper, but it's hard to project a team to swim to their ceiling when they previously haven't done so at NCAAs. Outside of projecting the future (which is usually a difficult task), the biggest pluses for Tennessee are an absolutely loaded sprint group (complete with dominant relays), great IMers and flyers and all the momentum in the world. On the flip side, the issues are the very painful graduations of the team's best backstroker and breaststroker along with a freshman class that looks like great developmental talent without any surefire instant-impact additions.

All that combined makes this #8 ranking one of the higher-variance rankings of our top 10. Check back later this fall, because this is one high-talent team that could see some serious fluctuations in our running Power Rankings.


KOZELSKY, DIVERS LEAD #9 MINNESOTA

This is a thinner roster than we're used to seeing with the Gophers, but there's no doubt they have a proven star in Kozelsky and enough talent to field strong relays. Look for their medleys to make noise again this year, especially the 200 medley, which is looking for an encore after cracking into the A final in 2018.

Padington, Nack, and Avestruz hold things down in the freestyle, but it would be hugely beneficial if a newcomer can step up and become a relay asset for Minnesota. It certainly helps, though, that they return 2018 NCAA 1-meter diving champ Sarah Bacon as well as NCAA scorers Kristen Hayden and Morgan Justus.


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#10 USC POWERED BY HANSSON AND BREASTSTROKE

Louise Hansson, Madison Wright, and breaststrokers Scott and Aroesty are the big returners for the Trojans. This team is very strong in butterfly and breast, but isn't incredibly deep in backstroke. Caldwell helps the backstroke hole and makes the sprint free group considerably stronger.

Kirsten Vose (a 47/1:42 free split on relays, and a 59/2:07 breaststroker) and Leach are both on the roster for the upcoming season, and the Trojans will be hugely supported if both are back and near their bests.

Sullivan is the blue-chip addition of the freshman class who should be a great individual scoring option, but the Trojans may need to employ some interesting relay choices and bank on their stars delivering to stay afloat in the top ten nationally this season.


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FRESHMEN BRINGING REINFORCEMENTS FOR #11 GEORGIA

It's getting tougher and tougher for recruits to come in with times that'll score big points at NCAAs, but this freshmen class feels like it has a very high ceiling. How much they develop their first year in Athens will go a long way to determining just how much the Bulldogs are able to bounce back.

They're bringing in enough that they should not slip any more, both in terms of SEC finish (2nd behind Texas A&M) or NCAAs. If they are able to hit on all, or even most, of their cylinders, the 'Dawgs could end up as high as 7th or so at NCAAs this season, with the potential to move back up the ranks rapidly in the next few years.


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#12 VIRGINIA WOMEN NEED TO FILL SPRINT RELAY SPOTS

There's no doubt that the loss of the seniors will hurt, particularly on the sprint free relays. However, DeSorbo does have a reputation for working some sprinting magic, so there's a good chance that the Cavaliers will find some new faces to fill in those relays. A lot will depend on the freshmen, some of whom's best times come from two or three years ago.

This team looks built to contend for another ACC title, but there's some question as to whether or not it has the top end point scorers necessary for March. If the team wants to hold on to a top ten position at NCAAs, it'll also need some of the women who took a step back from ACCs to NCAAs to peak in March rather than February, something that should happen with experience.


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UrsusArctosCalifornicus
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UrsusArctosCalifornicus said:

Not to overlook our dive team...

http://instagr.am/p/Bn1NPEBjrMD
UrsusArctosCalifornicus
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Varying interpretations of #monyay fun amongst the team:

  • a) Freshie initiation/tradition of paint maintenance on the Big C up @ Charter Hill (mixtape dropping soon? )
http://instagr.am/p/Bn2rIdehk0V
http://instagr.am/p/Bn2nBNtHRlu


  • b) Moshpit shenanigans...
http://instagr.am/p/Bnzllbtghmu


  • c) Cupcakin' treats @ Berkeley
http://instagr.am/p/Bn15NciBuZX
UrsusArctosCalifornicus
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Hmmm, personally take exception to Swimming World not having regarded any of our Bears as Top 10 worthy material in their rankings below ~smh~...esp as 3 furdettes were deemed fit for inclusion there.

Do however look very much forward to seeing Bug & co. tearing it up @ 2019 NCAAs and show up the inaccuracies of some of these contentious rankings!

Smashing to see Sarah Darcel making it @ #29 here, but at the same time reckon Robin also deserves some mention & credit for her achievements in her debut NCAA season.

btw wondering if Teri & Sarah may consider putting Billy on all 5 relays this year as she would be a key factor in all of them - taking over back leadoff duty on the medley relays in Thleen's absence, and parlaying her wickedly swift relay free mojo to devastatingly effective results on all 3 free relays...


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Ranking the Best NCAA Women's Swimmers in Division I From 1-25

With the 2018-19 school year underway, many teams are getting their toes wet with fall training as we dive into a new season. Last year, the Stanford women won their second straight national title and won all five relays, putting themselves amongst the talks of the greatest NCAA teams of all-time.

With a new season commencing, many big names have left. NCAA champions Simone Manuel and Ally Howe have graduated. Katie Ledecky and Kathleen Baker also left college early to pursue pro careers. However with all those big names gone, there are still some big names left in college.

This senior class for 2019 might be one of the strongest we have ever seen in recent years, comparing to the class of 2017 which included Leah Smith, Olivia Smoliga, Lia Neal and Missy Franklin. With this year's strong senior class, it could be one of the fastest NCAA women's meets on record.

Swimming World has compiled a list of the 25 best swimmers returning this season to get a sense of what the field looks like as we start duel meets in the next few weeks. This "pre-season poll" was based off of 2017-18 performances, with some newcomer's converted times factored into play.


Others receiving votes: 26. Joanna Evans, Senior, Texas; 27. Lindsey Kozelsky, Junior, Minnesota; 28. Bailey Andison, Senior, Indiana; ***29. Sarah Darcel, Sophomore, California***; 30. Riley Scott, Senior, Southern Cal; 31. Kirsten Jacobsen, Junior, Arizona; 32. Annie Ochitwa, Senior, Missouri; 33. Evie Pfeifer, Sophomore, Texas


25. Zoe Bartel, Freshman, Stanford
24. Claire Adams, Junior, Texas
23. Grace Oglesby, Junior, Louisville
22. Meghan Small, Junior, Tennessee


21. Katie McLaughlin, Senior, California

2018 times: 100 fly, 51.17 (Pac-12); 200 fly, 1:52.64 (NCAA)

Going into the fall of 2015 if someone said that Katie McLaughlin would walk into her senior year with zero NCAA titles, no one would believe them. But injuries have gotten in her way and she is just starting to get back to where she was in 2015.

McLaughlin reached three A-Finals in 2018, including the impressive 100 fly-200 free double that was perfected by another Cal great Dana Vollmer in 2009. She made her first National team since 2015 by getting second in the 100 fly at Nationals this summer and is going to be a very strong asset for Cal's relays in 2019.


20. Elise Haan, Senior, NC State
19. Anna Belousova, Junior, Texas A&M
18. Miranda Tucker, Junior, Michigan
17. Rose Bi, Senior, Michigan


16. Abbey Weitzeil, Junior, California

2018 times: 50 free, 21.41 (Pac-12); 100 free, 46.63 (Pac-12)

Like her teammate McLaughlin, it's a little hard to believe Weitzeil has yet to win an individual NCAA title. To be fair though, Weitzeil had to compete with one of the best NCAA swimmers of all-time in Stanford's Simone Manuel, whom Weitzeil competed with at the 2016 Olympics.

The sprint free events are wide open this year and Weitzeil is definitely a favorite in both the 50 and 100 because remember, Weitzeil still has the American Record in the 50 with a 21.12 from 2016 before she got to Cal.


15. Cierra Runge, Junior, Arizona State
14. Aly Tetzloff, Senior, Auburn


13. Amy Bilquist, Senior, California

2018 times: 50 free, 21.74 (Pac-12); 100 back, 51.28 (Pac-12); 200 back, 1:50.23 (Pac-12)

With no Kathleen Baker at Cal, senior Amy Bilquist is now one of the go-to swimmers in Berkeley. Bilquist has a wide range from the 50 free to the 200 back and can help out the Golden Bears on any of the five relays.

If Cal has any chance to chase down Stanford, they are going to be looking at someone like Bilquist to be able to swim as many events as she can. With Bilquist and Weitzeil back, Cal's sprint free relays look to be dangerous and could challenge some American Records.


12. Siobhan Haughey, Senior, Michigan
11. Ally McHugh, Senior, Penn State
10. Beata Nelson, Junior, Wisconsin
9. Katie Drabot, Junior, Stanford
8. Sydney Pickrem, Senior, Texas A&M
7. Erika Brown, Junior, Tennessee
6. Asia Seidt, Junior, Kentucky
5. Taylor Ruck, Freshman, Stanford
4. Louise Hansson, Junior, Southern Cal
3. Mallory Comerford, Senior, Louisville
2. Lilly King, Senior, Indiana
1. Ella Eastin, Senior, Stanford


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UrsusArctosCalifornicus
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UrsusArctosCalifornicus said:

Well, in anticipation of SwimSwam's College Swimming Previews & Team rankings for the 2018-2019 season coming out in a day or two with an article on our likely #2 ranked Golden Bears, here are their 2018-2019 OUTLOOK for the competition.

Will add the #1 ranked Furdettes (er, SS rankings, not necessarily mine haha) to this post once the writeup is published.

Bears will more than deservedly get a separate & more detailed post here on the thread once we have the article in hand, of course

NO MORE BAKER FOR #2 CAL


Amy Bilquist will be of huge importance to the Golden Bears as she enters her senior season. Current photo via Tim Binning/TheSwimPictures.com


#2 CAL GOLDEN BEARS

Key Losses: Kathleen Baker (53 NCAA points, 4 NCAA relays), Noemie Thomas (22 NCAA points, 2 NCAA relays)
Key Additions: Cassidy Bayer (DC fly), Elise Garcia (CA sprint free/fly), Ema Rajic (IL breast), Alex Sumner (PA back), Alicia Wilson (GBR IM)


2017-2018 LOOK BACK
Thanks to the outstanding racing from Kathleen Baker and a very deep sprint free group, Cal secured a 2nd place finish at the NCAA Championships behind only Bay Area rival Stanford. The Golden Bears finished as high as 2nd in three different relays, while Baker won the 200 back crown in NCAA and American record fashion and Abbey Weitzeil found her way to the A final in the 50 and 100 frees. Freshmen Robin Neumann and Sarah Darcel delivered, both reaching an individual A final, while another rookie, Ali Harrison, helped Cal's breaststroke problem with a very solid 58.8 400 medley relay split.


SPRINT FREE: A+
The top-end talent here is deep, and with Simone Manuel done at Stanford, Weitzeil will be in contention with Erika Brown for the 50 free title and Mallory Comerford for the 100 free title, pending any freshmen who could compete. Whether she wins or not is hardly too important, though - Weitzeil is one of the fastest sprinters in yards, ever, and she will keep relays in the title conversation while also bringing in a good 30+ points on her own.

Meanwhile, Amy Bilquist and Maddie Murphy were both 21 flat starts last year and went 1-2 in the 50 free B final. Katie McLaughlin has made considerable strides in her sprint freestyle game, and freshman Elise Garcia comes in at 22.6/49.4.

While more of a 200 freestyler, Neumann was a 48-low last season and will likely replace Baker's 400 free relay leg to join Bilquist, Weitzeil, and McLaughlin. As far as the 800 free relay goes, we might see those same four again, though a substitution might be made if Coach Teri McKeever wants to save a big gun for another relay.


DISTANCE FREE: C-
McLaughlin (4:39.4), Chenoa Devine (4:40.6) and Neumann (4:40.9) were all clumped together to lead the Bears in the 500 last year. McLaughlin could do either the 500 or the 50 on day 2 of NCAAs, but she may end up on all five relays and skip a day 2 individual since Noemie Thomas is graduated and off the fly medley leg. Whether or not that's the case, these three would all be cusp B final scorers.

Devine was the only person to race the 1650 on the Cal roster last year with a 16:16.20 season best at Pac-12s, which is not in NCAA scoring range.


IM: A-
Baker out is tough, but Sarah Darcel scored in the 400 IM A final last year and raced the 200 IM B final as a freshman. Half of the 2018 400 IM A final is either graduated or has gone pro, giving Darcel a great shot to repeat in the top 8. Keaton Blovad's 1:55.7 from Pac-12's would have B finaled at NCAAs, giving the Bears another option.

Meanwhile, freshmen Bayer (4:12), Rajic (4:14), and Sumner (4:15) could all develop in the 400 IM, and British freshman Wilson brings in a 2:14 IM in long course which is not to be overlooked.


BUTTERFLY: A-
McLaughlin went up top for both butterfly events, touching 4th in the 200 and 6th in the 100. She should also provide very strong relay splits for the Bears, though Maddie Murphy may be called on for the 200 medley relay. A pure sprinter, Murphy could free up McLaughlin to focus on the other four relays and add a third event, or she might allow for McLaughlin to anchor the 200 medley giving Weitzeil more room to do something else. Individually, Murphy is a fringe player for a 100 fly B final appearance.

Cassidy Bayer is one of the best 200 flyers in yards in the incoming class, and could be a scorer in that event individually. Elise Garcia, too, is a very strong flyer with times of 52.7/1:56.6, so look for her to be another potential scorer for Cal.


BACKSTROKE: A-
There's no replacing Baker, but having Bilquist in your back pocket (sorry for the pun) is a life saver. Bilquist is capable of sub-51 (her best is 50.50), and she wound up 10th in the 100 back at NCAAs. She traded out the 200 back for the 100 free individually last year, but she has been 1:49 before.

Blovad was strong last year at 51.8/1:53.3, while Sophie Krivokapic-Zhou hit a 52.5 last year in the 100. Freshman Alex Sumner will certainly play into things in the 200 in particular, having been 1:52.3 (and 2:09.0 in LCM).


BREASTSTROKE: C+
Being in C+/B- territory is pretty darn good for the Golden Bears considering past seasons. Breaststroke may no longer be their Achilles heel, with 26-mid relay potential out of Weitzeil in the 50, and a sub-59 split from Harrison on the 400 medley was nothing to scoff at. Distance is the only roster group weaker than breaststroke, but Cal can get by with what they have, and Harrison is a fringe scoring option in the 100.

Freshman Rajic may develop into something great for Cal, coming in at 1:00.6 and 2:14.1, and she's on the sprintier side of things which could be good for the 200 medley, too.


2018-2019 OUTLOOK
Cal lost Baker and Thomas, two huge talents, but their roster is padded with so much primo talent that they will fare just fine without them. Their freshman class is a bit more modest than some of the classes we've seen in the past (Baker-Bilquist-McLaughlin?! All in one class?!) but has the potential to bite, and the depth for relays paired with the fact that at least 7-8 women are poised to score on their own means Cal should be in good standing for another 2nd place finish.
bearz012
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UrsusArctosCalifornicus said:

btw wondering if Teri & Sarah may consider putting Billy on all 5 relays this year as she would be a key factor in all of them - taking over back leadoff duty on the medley relays in Thleen's absence, and parlaying her wickedly swift relay free mojo to devastatingly effective results on all 3 free relays...

Speaking of relays, I thought it'd be a good idea to take a first glance at what our relays will be like, especially after the graduation of Noemie and Thleen's early departure from the team, as they both contributed to four relays.

Of course, Teri might decide to allow for Billy or Katie McL, or even Abbey to swim all five relays, rather than three events and four relays, depending on how the rest of our team develops.

200 FREE RELAY:
Last year NCAA's => Maddie Murphy (21.94), Amy Bilquist (21.08), Katie McLaughlin (21.47), Abbey Weitzeil (21.01)
Projected relay this year => Murphy, Bilquist, McLaughlin, Weitzeil

Other options:
Robin Neumann (22.38, 2018 Pac-12s anchor)
Elise Garcia (22.64, 2016 CIFs)

400 FREE RELAY:
Last year NCAA's => Amy Bilquist (47.59), Abbey Weitzeil (46.37), Kathleen Baker (47.21), Katie McLaughlin (46.88)
Projected relay this year => Bilquist, Weitzeil, Neumann, McLaughlin

Other options:
Keaton Blovad (47.97, 2018 Pac-12s split)
Maddie Murphy (48.22, 2017 NCAA's)

800 FREE RELAY:
Last year NCAA's => Robin Neumann (1:43.78), Kathleen Baker (1:42.78), Katie McLaughlin (1:41.64), Amy Bilquist (1:42.63)
Projected relay this year => Neumann, McLaughlin, Darcel, Bilquist

Other options:
Keaton Blovad (1:45.42, 2018 Pac-12s split)
Cassidy Bayer (1:46.92, 2018 VHSLs)
Abbey Weitzeil (1:43.25, 2016 American SC Championships)

200 MEDLEY RELAY:
Last year NCAA's => Kathleen Baker (23.56), Abbey Weitzeil (26.68), Noemie Thomas (22.66), Amy Bilquist (20.95)
Projected relay this year => Blovad, Harrison, Murphy, Weitzeil

Other Options:
Amy Bilquist (if swimming 5 relays - free/back)
Abbey Weitzeil (breast instead of free)
Katie McLaughlin (if swimming 5 relays - free/fly)
Maddie Murphy (fly/free)
Elise Garcia (fly/free)

400 MEDLEY RELAY:
Last year NCAA's => Kathleen Baker (50.66), Ali Harrison (58.89), Noemie Thomas (50.25), Abbey Weitzeil (47.06)
Projected relay this year => Bilquist, Harrison, McLaughlin, Weitzeil

Other Options:
Keaton Blovad (51.83, 2018 Pac-12s - back)
Ema Rajic (1:00.65, 2018 YMCA Meet - breast)
Maddie Murphy (51.15, 2017 NCAAs - fly)
Elise Garcia (52.70, 2017 Sectionals - fly)
Cassidy Bayer (52.78, 2015 NCAP Invitational, 58.33 LCM => 51.30 SCY, 2016 Olympic Trials - fly)

I know there's lots of discussion for this, especially the medley relays, and it's all depends heavily on whether or not Katie and Amy will swim all five relays. Also take into account that some swimmers might blow up this year, or drop a ton of time after freshmen year
OBear073akaSMFan
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Good stuff! Thanks for the analysis.
UrsusArctosCalifornicus
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OBear073akaSMFan said:

Good stuff! Thanks for the analysis.
Hear hear!

Haven't analysed all the potential permutations cos of so many moving parts, and a lot can change in the course of this new season with fresh players involved, but the suggested lineups seem pretty spot on, well done there!

bearz012 said:


200 MEDLEY RELAY:
Last year NCAA's => Kathleen Baker (23.56), Abbey Weitzeil (26.68), Noemie Thomas (22.66), Amy Bilquist (20.95)
Projected relay this year => Blovad, Harrison, Murphy, Weitzeil

Other Options:
Amy Bilquist (if swimming 5 relays - free/back)
Abbey Weitzeil (breast instead of free)
Katie McLaughlin (if swimming 5 relays - free/fly)
Maddie Murphy (fly/free)
Elise Garcia (fly/free)

I know there's lots of discussion for this, especially the medley relays, and it's all depends heavily on whether or not Katie and Amy will swim all five relays. Also take into account that some swimmers might blow up this year, or drop a ton of time after freshmen year

Er, sort of torn 'bout whether to slot Billy into the 200 MR in place of Keeks for finals...

Keaton has been making steady improvements, and I have been quite impressed by her freestyle progression, but her 24.62 PB in the 50 Back does represent over a sec disadvantage to Thleen's insane 23.56...would basically be a massive margin to give away to our opponents in such a short relay.

In contrast, Amy's 23.81 from 2017 Pac-12s would be a slam dunk for leading off almost every other Division I team in the country - and we would need every bit of speed against the furdettes' front end juggernaut lineup likely comprising of their freshman studs Taylor Ruck & Zoe Bartel (even if they move Ruck to anchor, Lucie can still fill in capably on leadoff).

However, having lost Baker, we may need Bilquist to step in to help out in either or both of the individual backs, even though her free has looked more menacing as of late in short course (Billy's ongoing stress fracture issues possibly still negatively impacting her backstroke to a greater degree than her freestyle, esp on starts & walls).


bearz012 said:

200 FREE RELAY:
Last year NCAA's => Maddie Murphy (21.94), Amy Bilquist (21.08), Katie McLaughlin (21.47), Abbey Weitzeil (21.01)
Projected relay this year => Murphy, Bilquist, McLaughlin, Weitzeil

Other options:
Robin Neumann (22.38, 2018 Pac-12s anchor)
Elise Garcia (22.64, 2016 CIFs)

Another thought - I wouldn't completely discount the option of throwing our versatile Home Counties lass into the 200 FR lineup, perhaps @ morning heats, if she adjusts smoothly & quickly to the little pool.

To be sure, Bears are impressively deep in the sprint free area, and AW is hardly a sprint specialist in spite of her being an all-rounder.

Still, reckon consideration should also be given to Alicia for this relay if her development curve turns out to be promising in her froski season, and she can improve further on her personal best that presently stands at a converted time of 22.68 in this event (25.84 in the 50m Free from this year's British Summer Championships).

Although my suggestion does stem from more than a wee spot of bias, I'll unashamedly confess to here lol
solobear
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Blovad has greatly improved her 50 LC Back.
At National, her time was 28.05 (Bilquist's PR is 28.5)

It could be that Bilquist's leg injury prevented her from improving while Blovad got faster.
UrsusArctosCalifornicus
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solobear said:

Blovad has greatly improved her 50 LC Back.
At National, her time was 28.05 (Bilquist's PR is 28.5)

It could be that Bilquist's leg injury prevented her from improving while Blovad got faster.

Brill observation there, solobear!

Keeks did leap from a 28.91 in her 50m Back @ 2017 Santa Clara PSS down to that 28.05 @ 2018 Nationals which is a rather massive drop at this distance!

Amy's fastest 50 Back in LCM was a 28.25 back @ 2017 Nationals, but got slower in the 2018 edition with her 28.57, possibly stemming from her reported leg issue.

For reference, Little Bean's 27.48 from semis @ 2017 Budapest (Worlds) earned her the 3rd seed into finals, and Baker went on to place 5th in finals with a 27.50.

At any rate, methinks Teri will have a host of options to play with come March 2019...

At the back of my mind, was just idly thinking/daydreaming that if Thleen didn't have to overcome the massive stress of managing her Crohn's on a daily basis under the combined expectations & pressures of training for the NCAA Championships whilst striving simultaneously to do well in the intellectually vigorous environment of Cal (i.e. not going pro early), and if Taylor Ruck hadn't converted to the Dark Side at the same time lol, well there could well have been more than a jolly decent chance of Bears claiming the 2019 NCAA team title for the Dream Team in their last season of eligibility... *sigh*

Fantasies aside lol, looking forward to this season and all that it may bring - always proud of the stellar accomplishments & valiant efforts of our swim reps in the blue & gold, both in and out of the pool! Go Bears!
UrsusArctosCalifornicus
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Cal Opens Season At Cal Poly

Annual Queen of the Pool Meet Kicks Off 2018-19 Campaign

Queen of the Pool

Friday, Sep. 21 | 11:00 AM | Anderson Aquatic Center | San Luis Obispo, Calif.


Cal kicks off its 2018-19 season Friday with what has become an annual visit to Cal Poly for the Queen of the Pool meet in San Luis Obispo. The competition features each swimmer taking part in 100-yard races in free, fly, back and breast events, plus a 100-yard individual medley, and the person with the lowest combined time will be crowned queen. A new winner will be declared this year, as Kathleen Baker, who claimed the last two titles, has turned professional. Last year, Sarah Darcel, now a sophomore for the Bears, was the runner-up with a combined time of 4:45.17, and she was followed by Abbey Weitzeil (4:47.34), Amy Bilquist(4:50.87) and Katie McLaughlin (4:51.62).

10 IN A ROW AMONG NCAA TOP 3
Coming off a national runner-up finish, Cal has placed among the top three at the NCAA Championships 10 years in a row - the longest current streak in the country. Included in the run are four national titles, coming in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2015. The Bears were also second in 2013, 2017 and 2018, and third in 2010, 2014 and 2016.

WHO'S BACK? WHO'S NEW?
Cal returns 23 members from its 2017-18 squad that finished as the NCAA runner-up. Included in the group are eight All-Americans - Amy Bilquist, Keaton Blovad, Sarah Darcel, Ali Harrison, Katie McLaughlin, Maddie Murphy, Robin Neumann and Abbey Weitzeil. The Golden Bears also welcome five freshmen to the roster - Cassidy Bayer, Elise Garcia, Ema Rajic, Alex Sumner and Alicia Wilson.
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