2018-2019 Season: Women's Swimming

BearDevil
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Walked by Legends many times, but first time seeing an event there. Really nice facility, but not ideal for meets. Really narrow footprint given the available space, so limited space for seating (one set of bleachers) Would be nearly impossible to retrofit, so alas just a very nice training facility. Men's waterpolo vs LSJU was going on at Spieker at the same time.

Air quality was better than on Friday, but still not great. No way to know what Texas had previously planned in taking on LSJU and Cal back to back, but they are a very deep dual team and were rested and former Bear Carol Capitani unloaded on the Bears. She's animated and enthusiastic, so you can see why she's a good recruiter. Still don't quite understand why her talent hasn't translated into higher than a top five finish yet. Swept the Bay Area duopoly a few years ago, but like 'SC, they focus too much on duals and overperform early, but underperform in March. Have unbelievable facilities in Austin along with multiple volunteer coaches, so it's not for lack of resources. Lots of talent, so a puzzler. Lots of likable talented swimmers.

Once Ledecky and Manuel went pro, Bears had a very legit chance at a 2019 NCAA title. Thleen going pro and injuries to Billy, Cassidy, Sumner, and Chenoa allegedly leaving the program have depleted the team.

Billy was wearing a boot and on crutches. Didn't put any weight on her crutches, so not clear when she'll be back. Huge blow since she's a great swimmer and leader. Super close with Jenna, McL, and Abbey.

Not sure what Alex's injury is, but she's still not competing.. Possible blueshirt?

Was alarmed earlier to see pics of Casssidy wearing a knee brace. Surprisingly she swam the 500 Free, so she's gotta be relatively healthy, Tedbear thinks Teri wants to use her in 200 Fly so she's using her in duals to build up her endurance.

Abbey was by far the best swimmer in the meet. Smoked the field in the 50 and 100 and also looked great in her rightful anchor position in both relays (Thank Oski for Ema and Ali). Abbey's really well liked by her teammates and would be shocked if she's not the 2020 Captain.

McL was the second best swimmer in the meet. Fully recovered from her injury and extremely tough. Looked beaten with five yards to go in the 200 Fly, but gutted it out for the win. Stud free sprinter too.

Ema and Alicia appear to be highly underrated (like Bing, Farida, Maddie, Chenoa, Robin, Darcel, and Ali were). Teri can spot and develop talent. Ema won the 200 breast was second in the 100 and will move Abbey out of the medley breast legs. Alicia swam very well in the 200 back.

Aislinn also swam well in the back. She, Jenna, and Natalie Tuck are all beloved by their teammates. Maddie looks like she's bouncing back into form.

Erie Pfeifer was the third best swimmer in the meet. Has serious range and versatility. Would have been a prototypical Teri recruit because of her versatility. Same with Claire Adams. Cook and Ariola looked a little bit off.

For sure the Bears will drop in the dual meet rankings, but Teri used the meet to find her best relay combos and knew the 'Whorns were going after a big dual win. Overall depth wins duals, but concentrated elite talent wins NCAAs. Georgia Invitational will be an important data point. We'll see who qualifies for NCAAs early and how many A relay cuts the Bears get. SwimSwam's recent power ranking was spot on. Bears with a healthy Billy are the second best team in the country. Michigan and Texas are in the top three chase, but sadly the 'Furdettes are still a huge 2019 favorite.

Unclear the extent of Billy's injury and what her personal goals are, but a blueshirt might make sense. She and Abbey are a great combo and would give the Dream Team survivors one last shot at a title in 2020.

Schroeder71
How long do you want to ignore this user?
BearDevil--thank you for your in-depth response to my questions plus more. Does McKeever keep injuries close to the vest? How come nobody knows the seriousness of Amy Bilquist's injury? It sounds BAD. Since I got your
attention-how do the next couple of recruit classes look so far? GO BEARS!
OBear073akaSMFan
How long do you want to ignore this user?
solobear said:


Ali Harrison (So) didn't swim as well as last year. Injured?

thank goodness that Ema seems to be making good progress. Hoping she will be available to take over for Abbey in the relays especially with Billie not available.
BearDevil
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Schroeder71 said:

BearDevil--thank you for your in-depth response to my questions plus more. Does McKeever keep injuries close to the vest? How come nobody knows the seriousness of Amy Bilquist's injury? It sounds BAD. Since I got your
attention-how do the next couple of recruit classes look so far? GO BEARS!
Teri's private, but I don't think there's anything nefarious going on with information about Amy's injury. If it were season or career ending, Amy would retire. Assume that she's being treated, but that they're not sure of a recovery timetable yet. She's way too important to Cal to rush her back as damaged goods. SwimSwam has very good sources at Cal and they haven't written her off yet.

College swimming is not a huge sport. Two top five teams went at it in front of a few hundred spectators. There aren't betting odds on dual meets, conference meets, or NCAA title chances and there isn't a pro draft, so there isn't an overwhelming market for private information on college swimmers. Kathleen Baker was diagnosed with Crohn's when she was in junior high school, but it wasn't disclosed until she was an All-American college swimmer. If DeSean Jackson or Jaylen Brown had a similar medical condition, it would have been known well before signing day.

The 2019 recruiting class looks pretty good. Izzy will be a star. She's not very tall, but she's nearly as versatile as Baker. Extremely charismatic, so will help recruit future teammates. Chloe, Ayla, and Sarah are good gets. Emma is a very nice girl from a great family with a lot of upside. Long and lean and hasn't been swimming very long. Expect her to drop a significant amount of sprint time in college. Teri also added a bunch of distance depth.

Bears desperately need backstroke depth in 2020 and fortunately there's a ton of elite depth (Smith, Walsh, Stadden, Bacon) in the class. Bears will get one of those four. Also need sprinters and another sprint flyer. Lots of detailed info on 2019 and 2020 recruits in dedicated threads already.
OBear073akaSMFan
How long do you want to ignore this user?
BearDevil said:

Maddie looks like she's bouncing back into form.


Are you aware of any injures to Maddie last year? Compared to her freshmen year ..she had a subpar Soph year!
UrsusArctosCalifornicus
How long do you want to ignore this user?
OBear073akaSMFan said:

solobear said:

Ali Harrison (So) didn't swim as well as last year. Injured?
thank goodness that Ema seems to be making good progress.

Here's my quick take/opinion, FWIW

First of all, v. encouraged by froski Ema's initial outings for Bears. That unrested 1:01.55 from the dual v. the Horns is less than a sec off her 100 Breast PB, not to mention Rajic's 2:14.13 is a mere 0.01 sec from her 200 Breast personal record...

Now we are all quite cognisant here of Teri's undeniable knack for spotting prospects with huge potential who may fly under a lot of radars compared to their more heralded top-ranked colleagues (who we on the board tend to focus most of our attention on lol) - more importantly, McKeever recognising recruits with great personalities & character who would be a great fit and asset to the programme as well as to the school - but I must say, Ema's quicker-than-expected development pace is still a very pleasant surprise, and bodes brilliantly for the future!


Now for a peek at Ali's time progression in the 100 Breast as a Golden Bear @ some dual meets (not going to analyse her HS swims since her training cycle, coaching & team environment would have been completely different):
  • 2017: 1:04.03 (Cal Poly) -> 1:04.04 (Fresno) -> 1:03.43 (NCSU) 2nd half of season -> 1:02.05 (LSJU)
  • 2018: 1:05.77 (Cal Poly) -> 1:05.70 (Fresno) -> 1:04.76 (UT)
At first glance, one might well start panicking at Harrison being slower by almost 2 seconds here, relative to last season...

So let's next consider how Ali's times fare with a bit of rest at the mid-season invite, conference & nattys:
  • 2017: 1:00.54 {1:00.53 split @ 400 MR} (UGA Invite) -> 59.52 {59.06 split @ 400 MR} (Pac-12) -> 1:00.22 {58.89 split @ 400 MR} (NCAA)
So it appears that Alicia responds very well to a spot of taper, dropping some massive times to help her teammates out!

Keep in mind that Ali's lifetime best in the 100 Breast individual, before competing in the blue & gold, was a 1:00.80 @ 2017 CIF State Champs...prior to that, she had never dipped below the 1:01 mark.

Much akin to Maddie overperforming and shattering expectations left & right in her incredibly impressive freshie year, that sort of dream start does naturally create massive pressure to follow up under much heightened expectations.

However, swimmers are only human...even at the elite level, they don't just get faster & faster at a linear robotic rate - no matter how hard they are dedicated to their training, esp in this modern era when athletes are creeping closer & closer to their physical potential. There will be plateaus hit, setbacks & obstacles to overcome or perhaps stumble at, inevitably other priorities considered. Experiencing & embracing collegiate life fully shouldn't be, and most certainly isn't, confined to or defined by just stats in the pool

Pardon the soapbox haha...anyway, we should certainly take note that Ali Harrison has had a considerably "slower" start to her sophomore season than her remarkable breakout frosh debut. But it's still early on in the season, reckon we should maybe wait until the results from the Georgia Invite in a fortnight's time before rushing to any sort of judgement?

Will definitely cheer Ali, Madds and all the talented & likeable team on regardless - they are all jolly fine Bears imo

OBear073akaSMFan said:

BearDevil said:

Maddie looks like she's bouncing back into form.
Are you aware of any injures to Maddie last year? Compared to her freshmen year ..she had a subpar Soph year!

Footnote: Chenoa is no longer listed on the official roster for this season? We do have a pretty deep squad of incoming 2019 Baby bears who are quite adept @ distance and the longer races, however...
UrsusArctosCalifornicus
How long do you want to ignore this user?
BearDevil said:

For sure the Bears will drop in the dual meet rankings, but Teri used the meet to find her best relay combos and knew the 'Whorns were going after a big dual win. Overall depth wins duals, but concentrated elite talent wins NCAAs. Georgia Invitational will be an important data point. We'll see who qualifies for NCAAs early and how many A relay cuts the Bears get. SwimSwam's recent power ranking was spot on. Bears with a healthy Billy are the second best team in the country. Michigan and Texas are in the top three chase, but sadly the 'Furdettes are still a huge 2019 favorite.

TEXAS WOMEN, CAL MEN REMAIN ATOP CSCAA DUAL MEET POLL

RANK | PREVIOUS | TEAM | POINTS
1 | 1 | Texas | 274
2 | 3 | Michigan | 264
3 | 2 | Stanford | 252
4 | 7 | Virginia | 234
5 | 5 | California | 218
6 | 11 | Southern California | 214
7 | 4 | NC State | 212
8 | 8 | Louisville | 202
9 | 24 | Tennessee | 178
10 | 10 | Florida | 177
11 | 6 | Texas A&M | 160
12 | 17 | Auburn | 152
13 | 9 | Indiana | 150
14 | 13 | Notre Dame | 139
15 | 11 | Georgia | 136
16 | 20 | Duke | 91
17 | 18 | Kentucky | 87
17 | NR | Purdue | 87
19 | NR | North Carolina | 81
20 | 14 | Wisconsin | 77
21 | 16 | Minnesota | 60
22 | NR | Florida State | 49
23 | 15 | Ohio State | 31
24 | NR | South Carolina | 24
25 | NR | Missouri | 12

Also Receiving Votes: UCLA/Arkansas (6), Northwestern/Alabama (1)

----------

Surprise - Bears hang onto the 5th spot, for now!

Even more of a surprise (well at least to me lol)...UVA jumps ahead of Cal, and Trojans are ranked just behind us...

A bit off-topic - BearDevil will surely be quite pleasantly surprised that the Blue Devils are now @ 16th, ahead of UK, UNC, Wisconsin, Minnesota & Ohio State?!

Anyway, as BD had commented, let's wait for those important data points from the UGA Invite where our #5 Bears will go up against the #2 Wolverines / #4 Hoos / #15 Dawgs (tho our dive team didn't compete in the past couple of editions of this mid-season invite, thus handing off a sizeable points advantage right from the bat to our rivals), before a clearer picture emerges of where the favoured contenders stand this season.

Not to be overlooked at all, #3 Furdettes with their vaunted freshie superstars & established studs have yet to show their full hand - we'll get a glimpse of whether the trees are as dominant as reputed at the Ohio State Invite, set to start up tomorrow.
UrsusArctosCalifornicus
How long do you want to ignore this user?

Go Bears!

http://instagr.am/p/BqLMnKPlsql
UrsusArctosCalifornicus
How long do you want to ignore this user?
UrsusArctosCalifornicus said:

#1 recruit Isabel Ivey signing her National Letter of Intent to Cal this morning!



What's particularly fascinating are the mentions from several sources of Izzy starting @ Cal on 3 Jan 2019...er, just in time for that coveted mid-winter training trip to Hawaii?

May account for Izzie not having competed @ 2018 Florida HS States last week, though Ivey has re-affirmed that she'll be graduating from Buchholz High.

This would be rather significant news if true, as would give Bears a massive shot in the arm for 2018-2019 NCAAs, considering the uphill battle we're facing with the early loss of Thleen (pro), probable absence of Billy (stress fractures), froski Alex being MIA (moshpit injuries??! ) & Cassidy still recovering from her knee issues, Chenoa (no longer on the roster), etc.

Still in the process of digesting this rather surprising & significant development that has massive ramifications for Bears @ NCAAs this season...

Let's just start off with some potential/projected NCAA events for Izzy this March:

Day 2 | 200 IM (1:55.77 -> 2018 NCAA B Final)
Day 3 | 200 Free (1:43.64 -> 2018 NCAA A Final)
Day 4 | 100 Free (47.88 -> 2018 NCAA B Final)


  • Alternative/Backup/Secondary Events (less likely...but you never know, depending on team needs!):
Day 2 | 50 Free (22.43 -> 2018 NCAA, #26 in prelim)

Day 3 | 100 Back (52.27 -> NCAA, #19 in prelims)
Day 3 | 100 Fly (52.61 -> NCAA, #27 in prelims)
Day 3 | 400 IM (4:12.08 -> NCAA, #30 in prelims)
Day 3 | 100 Breast (1:00.99 -> NCAA, #41 in prelims)

Day 4 | 200 Fly (1:56.48 -> NCAA, #27 in prelims)
Day 4 | 200 Breast (2:11.56 -> NCAA, #38 in prelims)


Relay lineups will be a challenge to guesstimate accurately this early on in the season (should have some data points after seeing the rested & suited times from the UGA Invite), think Teri & Sarah are still experimenting with various permutations as all the bits & pieces haven't come together quite yet.

Haven't given this much thought, so just blithely putting down some possible relay configurations out here - so that you can all tear this down subsequently and replace with much improved-upon combinations!

Do apologise if I have omitted some better choices for the various legs, as these aren't by any means comprehensive or even close to the ideal lineups. Also had assumed the absence of Billy (not necessarily a foregone conclusion), and that everyone's tackling 3 individual events => 4 relay limit...

200 FR -> Madds | Elise? (Robin/Izzy/Ema/Alicia?) | Katie | Abbey
400 FR -> Robin (Keeks/Madds?) | Izzy | Katie | Abbey
800 FR -> Robin | Izzy | Sarah? (Abbey/Elise/Alicia/Keeks?) | Katie
200 MR -> Keeks (Izzy) | Ema (Ali) | Madds/Elise (Katie) | Abbey
400 MR -> Keeks (Izzy) | Ema (Ali) | Katie (Madds/Elise/Cass?) | Abbey

Have bolded Isabel's name on the relay listings here where I reckon she'd be a key component - assuming that she can adjust to her new team & school and also get back to the elevated level of her SCY PBs, in such a short span of time (not to put undue stress & excessive expectations on our Baby Bear lol)
tedbear
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Can you imagine adding a healthy Billy to those relays!?! Maddie, Amy, Katie, and Abbey might be a 200 Relay record waiting to happen.
UrsusArctosCalifornicus
How long do you want to ignore this user?
UrsusArctosCalifornicus said:

UrsusArctosCalifornicus said:



#12 Chloe Clark had tweeted: "Officially Berkeley bound!! Can't wait to be a baby bear in January"
  • *wot???!!!...me doing a double take*
Ah, that would explain Chloe's "roomies" comment to Izzy!

Well well, it now appears that we'll be welcoming 2 new Baby Bears next semester then...yay!

Here are some of the events which versatile Chloe could potentially tackle, at the conference championship level if not quite yet @ NCAAs in her freshie year:

Day 2 | 200 IM (1:57.32 -> 2018 Pac12 B Final)
Day 3 | 100 Back (53.21 -> Pac12 B Final...a 53.18 would have made A finals)
Day 4 | 200 Back (1:56.79 -> Pac12 B Final)

  • Alternative/Backup/Secondary Events:
Day 2 | 50 Free (22.65 -> Pac12 B Final)

Day 3 | 400 IM (4:13.94 -> Pac12 B Final)
Day 3 | 100 Breast (1:02.68 -> Pac12 C Final)

Day 4 | 100 Free (49.27 -> Pac12 B Final)
Page 4 of 4
×
Verify your student status
See Subscription Benefits
Trial only available to users who have never subscribed or participated in a previous trial.