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Cal Olympic Sports Roundup: Golden Bears representing their country during the summer break

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The Cal season may be over during the summer, but for many Cal student-athletes, it just means that they are representing their countries in international competitions rather than wearing the Blue and Gold.

Golden Bears Sophomore Missy Franklin shares a laugh with incoming freshman Golden Bears Cierra Runge
Golden Bears Sophomore Missy Franklin shares a laugh with incoming freshman Golden Bears Cierra Runge
Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

We start with some updates from the currently ongoing US Swimming Nationals taking place down in Irvine. Rather than representing their countries, the Golden Bears here are vying for the right to represent their country in the Pan American games late in August and beyond (in the Worlds next summer, etc.).

Swimming


Any time there is a swimming competition, you can be sure that the Golden Bears (past, current, and future) are well represented. Missy Franklin's photo above only contain the women's squad. There are also plenty of male swimmers (or alum that train with them like Nathan Adrian, Anthony Ervin, and even Natalie Coughlin) that is represented in the Nationals.

The main story in the Phillips 66 Nationals this week may be the return of Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte to competitive swimming, Cal's Seth Stubblefield took both of them on in the 100 Free, in a field that also includes Golden Bears in Nathan Adrian and Anthony Irvine.

USA Swimming has the story (actually a Q&A with Seth):

If you’re a swimmer, you’ve probably had that dream. You know the one.

You’re about to swim the finals of the 100m freestyle. You look to your left. There’s Ryan Lochte. To your right, Matt Grevers.

You look down the row of swimmers getting ready to step up on the blocks. Everyone in this race – Ervin, Adrian, Phelps, Feigen, Dwyer – has won an Olympic medal. Everyone except you.

Last night, Seth Stubblefield lived your dream.

Stubblefield, of California Aquatics, is no slouch. Heading into his senior year at the University of California, he’s finished fifth in the 50y free and seventh in the 100y free at NCAAs, and has won two NCAA team titles as a member of the Golden Bears.

More from the Q&A with Stubblefield:

Coming into this meet, what do you think your biggest accomplishment has been to this point?
Stubblefield:
Honestly, just being a part of two NCAA Championship-winning teams my freshman year and last year. I think that’s just a testament to our team, and how we are able to feed off each other and stay hungry in that way. Individually, I’d have to say last night was a pretty big one. Just being in that big-boy heat. I was in my hotel room just looking at some statistics, and there was like 47 Olympic medals in that heat, and I was like, "That’s unreal." It was pretty cool just to have the opportunity to race the best.

How has training with the likes of Nathan Adrian and Anthony Ervin prepared you for a race like last night’s? That had to have helped a little bit.
Stubblefield:
Absolutely. Just having that wealth of knowledge and experience on the pool deck every day, you’d be a fool not to utilize that to try to make yourself better, and hopefully I help them get better in my own way. Going into the ready room last night, with seven Olympians, it can be kind of nerve-racking. Then I looked around, and I see Tony and Nathan in there, and it’s very calming. I get to swim against those guys every day, and it’s just a reminder that I do belong there. That’s very reassuring and very calming.

Golden Bears who have made the team already:

In that stacked field, Nathan Adrian came through with the 100 Free win.

Tom Shields also punched his ticket onto the team with a 200 Fly victory.

Out of the current Bears, sophomore Ryan Murphy made the team with a 2nd place finish in 200 Back. Junior Josh Prenot finished 3rd in 200 Breast.

On the women's side, Missy Franklin (who else) already captured 2 titles in 100 Free and 200 Back. She also got a 2nd place finish in 200 Free. Incoming freshman Cierra Runge finished 2nd in the 800 Free.

The Swimming Nationals continue through Sunday, you can find the live webcast of the meet here. Prelim starts at 9AM PT with the finals starting at 3PM 6PM PT.

The Nationals is on the heel of the end of the Arena Grand Prix Series earlier in the summer, which involved a few Golden Bears alum.

Congrats to Caitlin Leverenz on being the top eligible finisher, edging Georgia's Megan Romano by half a point, for the 1 year BMW hybrid lease at the Arena Grand Prix Series,.

Women's Water Polo

The 2014 European Championships had a strong Cal flavor, particularly the extremely talented now sophomore class and its trio of stars. Roser Tarrago and her Spain team won gold (10-5 victory over the Netherlands) in the 2014 European Championships, finishing the tournament with 16 goals (2nd overall) and 12 steals (tournament high). For the bronze winning Hungarian team, Golden Bears Dora Antal and Anna Illies. Antal contributed 2 goals and Illies 1 in the bronze winning 10-9 victory for Hungary over Italy.

Note for future 2012 London Olympics medal counts, Roser Tarrago was part of the Spain team that won the Silver in that Olympics. If we ever revisit that Olympics and include the medal counts for future Bears, such as Tarrago and Missy Franklin, that would look even more impressive.

Men's Water Polo

Past, current, and future Golden Bears were in Spieker back in early June for an exhibition game. Former Golden Bears star John Mann, senior goalie Jon Sibley, and incoming freshman defender Nicholas Carniglia suited up forTteam USA who fell 18-15 to Serbia.

Women's Crew

They may be without a head coach for the moment, but the very talented Cal Women's Crew were very well represented at the Under-23 World Rowing Championship back in July. A total of 9 Golden Bears (past and present and again future) were represented with many winning medals.

Here is the full list of Golden Bears, from CalBears.com:

There are a total of nine Golden Bears competing in the 2014 World Rowing Under 23 Championships. [Kendall] Chase, [Agatha] Nowinski will also join Lindsay Meltz in the W8+ for the United States, junior Jacinta Admunds, will row in the W8+ for Australia, incoming freshman Katarina Floyd will compete in the LW1x for the United States, and senior Ingvild Roenningen and sophomore Inger Kavlie will represent Norway in the W1x, and Kavlie W2x, respectively.


The trio of Agatha Nowinski (stroke), Kendall Chase (seven-seat), and Lindsay Meltz (coxswain) won gold for USA in the women's eight. Chase got a second gold for the four. Australian eight with Cal's Edmunds finished 4th. In the double sculls, Norway's pair with Cal's Inger Kavlie (bow-seat) got a silver. In pair, Cal's Nowinski (bow-seat) also captured a silver. Other Golden Bears finished the championships with wins or placements in the B and C finals.

Men's Crew

On the men's side, equally impressive number of Golden Bears also made it to Italy for the U-23 Championships. In the eights, Louis Snelson (five-seat) and Aaron Wright (six-seat) are a part of the Australian silver medal team. Cal's Spencer Hall (five-seat) is a part of the US team that finished with a bronze.

Other Cal results include (from CalBears.com):

Great Britain, with Cal’s Morgan Hellen (five-seat), won Friday’s repechage with a time of 5:36.14 to advance to Sunday’s A final. They placed sixth in Sunday’s race with a time of 5:37.07.

On Saturday, the United States men’s pair of Golden Bears Jordan Vanderstoep (stoke) and Cole Reiser (bow) finished fourth in semifinals with a time of 6:47.36. Sophomore Justin Murphy served as the stroke for the United States Men’s Four that placed sixth in Saturday’s A final with a time of 6:00.42.

GO BEARS!