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Golden Medals: Several Cal swimmers up for Golden Goggle awards (VOTE FOR THEM!)

Cal Women’s Soccer remains undefeated in Pac-12 play. Cal Field Hockey hosts Stanford today.

Olympics: Swimming-Evening Session
Cal alumni Nathan Adrian and Anthony Ervin are two of several Golden Bears who are nominated for a Golden Goggle award in 2016.
Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Cal Swimming

From the dominant Rio 2016 Olympic games performances, basically every 2016 Golden Goggle award (USA Swimming’s annual award for the best in USA Swimming in the past year) has at least one Cal nominee.

You can vote online via the link HERE. The online vote will contribute an unknown percentage of the final vote.

Here are the Golden Bears up for awards:

Breakout Performer of the Year:


Competing at the Olympic Games for the first time, Josh Prenot claimed silver in Rio in the 200m breaststroke with a time of 2:07.53. He earned his spot on the Olympic roster with a win in the 200m breast at 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials, where he set an American record in the event in 2:07.17. Earlier in 2016, Prenot concluded his collegiate career at Cal with an NCAA title in the 400y individual medley and runner-up finishes in the 200y breast and 200y IM.

Prediction: Thanks in part for her calling out the Russian over their doping scandal, Lilly King is probably the front runner here.

Perseverance Award:


Having battled Crohn’s disease since she was a middle schooler, Kathleen Baker spoke publicly about her diagnosis for the first time in 2016 and also posted the fastest swims of her life in the 100m backstroke to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Team and ultimately reach the Olympic podium. After finishing second in the 100m back at Olympic Trials, the 19-year-old earned silver in the Olympic final in a lifetime best 58.75. She also led off the gold-medal-winning 4x100m medley relay in Rio and earlier in the year took second in the 200y individual medley at the NCAA Championships for Cal.


Sixteen years after winning gold in the 50m free in Sydney and with seven-year hiatus from the sport in between, 35-year-old Anthony Ervin was back on the U.S. Olympic roster for a third time in 2016. He was second in the 50m free at Olympic Trials to become the oldest American male swimmer to qualify for an individual Olympic event since 1904. Once in Rio, Ervin made history again by winning gold in the 50m freestyle in 21.40 by just one-hundredth of a second to become the oldest swimmer to win individual Olympic gold.


After giving birth to her first child, a son named Arlen, in March 2015, Dana Vollmer was back in the pool competing four months later and she quickly rounded into world-class form. She won the 100m fly at the 2015 AT&T Winter National Championships to prove she was a legitimate threat to become just the second American woman to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Swimming Team after giving birth. At Olympic Trials, Vollmer qualified for her third Olympic Team with a runner-up finish in the 100m fly and she went on to win bronze in the event in Rio. She added relay medals in the 4x100m medley relay (gold) and 4x100m freestyle relay (silver).

Prediction: This is the one award that is most likely to go to a Golden Bear (David Plummer is the lone non-Bear nominee). I think Anthony Ervin will win this one.

Coach of the Year:


Dave Durden, an assistant men’s coach for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team and men’s head coach at Cal, coached five members of the Team USA men’s roster in Rio – Nathan Adrian, Ryan Murphy, Jacob Pebley, Josh Prenot and Tom Shields. This group combined for nine medals, including four by Adrian and three from Murphy, who also set a world record in the 100m backstroke at the Games. Adrian, Murphy and Prenot were each individual medalists. On the collegiate front, Durden guided the Golden Bears to a runner-up finish at the men’s 2016 NCAA Championships. This was Durden’s first experience on an Olympic coaching staff.

Prediction: Durden needs a lot of voting help to overtake Bob Bowman, who gets credit for Michael Phelps’ amazing swan song year (if this is truly it).

Relay Performance of the Year

Nathan Adrian - Men’s 4x100 Freestyle Relay from 2016 Rio Olympic Games

The U.S. men’s 4x100m freestyle relay line-up of Caeleb Dressel, Michael Phelps, Ryan Held and Nathan Adrian won gold in 3:09.62, 0.61 seconds ahead of runner-up France. Dressel led off with a personal best 100m free time, before Phelps posted the team’s second-fastest split of 47.12 to give Team USA a lead it would not relinquish. Held kept the U.S. in front on the third leg, and Adrian split 46.97 – the fastest in the field – to secure the gold medal.

Ryan Murphy and Nathan Adrian - Men’s 4x100 Medley Relay from 2016 Rio Olympic Games

Ryan Murphy jump-started the run toward gold with a world-record backstroke split of 51.85 to lead the United States to the win and an Olympic record of 3:27.95 in the 4x100m medley relay. Up against breaststroke world record-holder Adam Peaty of Great Britain, Cody Miller held his own before Michael Phelps regained the lead for Team USA on the butterfly leg. Nathan Adrian swam the freestyle anchor to close out another victory for the Americans in the final pool event of the 2016 Olympic Games. The U.S. men have never lost this event in Olympic Games competition.

Prediction: I would vote for the Men’s 4x100 Medley Relay but I can see the Women’s 4x200 Free Relay winning just because of the Katie Ledecky factor.

Male Race of the Year:

ANTHONY ERVIN - 50 Free from 2016 Rio Olympic Games

Anthony Ervin used a strong start off the blocks and his signature closing speed to win gold in the 50m freestyle in Rio, 16 years after doing the same at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. He touched in 21.40 and held off France’s Florent Manaudou by one-hundredth of a second and countryman Nathan Adrian by nine-hundredths of a second down the stretch to become the oldest swimmer – age 35 – to win individual Olympic gold.

Ryan Murphy - 100 Back from 2016 Rio Olympic Games

Ryan Murphy brought home the first of his three gold medals in Rio with a then-Olympic-record swim of 51.97 in the 100m backstroke to give Team USA its sixth straight Olympic title in the event. He turned fourth at the 50-meter mark, but grabbed the lead off the wall and held on over the final 50 to take gold 0.34 seconds ahead of runner-up Xu Jiayu of China and bronze medalist teammate David Plummer. Murphy later broke the world record in the event with a split of 51.85 leading off the gold-medal-winning men’s 4x100m medley relay.

Prediction: Phelp’s 200 Fly and 200 IM races might split votes. Opening the door for either Cal alum Ervin or Cal senior Murphy.

Male Athlete of the Year:


A three-time Olympian, Nathan Adrian won a career-best four medals at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games. Individually, he took bronze in the 50m freestyle in 21.49 and bronze in the 100m freestyle in 47.85 and was separated from gold in both events by a combined 0.36 seconds. On the relay front, he anchored Team USA to gold in the 4x100m medley relay and 4x100m freestyle relay. Adrian won the 50m free and 100m free at 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials to earn his third trip to the Olympic Games.


Sixteen years after winning his first Olympic gold medal in 2000, 35-year-old Anthony Ervin did it again in Rio, taking the 50m freestyle victory in 21.40 by one-hundredth of a second to become the oldest swimmer to win individual Olympic gold. He added a gold medal as a part of the victorious 4x100m freestyle relay. Ervin was second in the 50m free and fourth in the 100m free at U.S. Olympic Trials to qualify for his third Olympic Team. Ervin has now won two Olympic gold medals in the 50m freestyle by a combined .01 (he tied with Gary Hall Jr. in 2000).


A three-time gold medalist at the 2016 Olympic Games, Ryan Murphy was one of only three American swimmers with multiple individual gold medals in Rio, as he swept the men’s 100m and 200m backstroke titles to give Team USA six straight gold medals in both events. He won the 100m back in a then-Olympic-record 51.97 and took the 200m back victory in 1:53.62. For good measure, Murphy set a world record in the 100m back with a split of 51.85 leading off the gold-medal-winning men’s 4x100m medley relay. He won the 100m back and 200m back titles at 2016 Olympic Trials.

Prediction: The non-Golden Bear nominee is a guy named Michael Phelps. I have heard that he is pretty good at swimming and is basically a lock for this award.

The winners will be announced in a ceremony from New York City’s Marriott Marquis on Monday, November 21st (Can I get an invite?).

The fall schedule for Cal swimming begins this weekend with dual meets. Cal Women are up in Corvallis to race one another and Oregon State. Cal Men are hosting Pacific in Berkeley today.

Cal Women’s Soccer (10-2-1, 3-0-1 in Pac-12)

Cal 1, Washington State 0

Golden Bears completed the Washington state sweep by beating Washington State by an 1-0 result last Sunday. Keeper Emily Boyd picked up her 8th clean sheet of the season (best in the Pac).

Cal 1, UCLA 1

Redshirt senior Ifeoma Onumonu gave the visiting No.14 Bears an early lead on the host No.10 UCLA Bruins.

With just 51 seconds to go, UCLA was able to pounce on a rebound and equalize, spoiling what would have been Cal keeper Emily Boyd’s 9th clean sheet.

With top ranked Stanford (playing with two key players thanks to their USWNT callup) losing to No.7 USC earlier on Thursday, the Pac-12 race is left ajar. Despite a draw being a great result, the Cal side is probably feeling a bit letdown by not getting the full 3 points. Nevertheless, Cal is undefeated through 4 tough Pac-12 matches and very much alive for the conference title.

Bears get another chance to pull off a big road win when they play at No.7 USC on Sunday morning (11 AM PT). This match should also have deep Pac-12 championship ramification.

Cal Men’s Soccer (4-3-2, 0-1-1)

Cal 0, Stanford 1

Host Stanford broke through early in the 2nd half to score the lone goal of this match. Cal senior Christian Thierjung carelessly picked up his 2nd yellow card late in this one to be both disqualified for this match and also the following one.

Cal 2, Oregon State 2

Oregon State struck first in this one but redshirt junior Jose Carrera-Garcia scored two quick goals to put the Bears ahead. Unfortunately, the host Beavers found an equalizer with 14 minutes to go and that was the final margin.

Golden Bears will stay in the Pacific Northwest for a Sunday match at No.14 Washington Huskies at 5 pm PT. Bears will then return to Berkeley and host UCLA on Thursday afternoon (4 pm PT on the Pac-12 Networks) and then San Diego State next weekend.

Cal Field Hockey (3-6, 1-0 in American East)

Cal 5, UC Davis 1

Bears won their first home match of the season last Sunday when they defeated UC Davis in the conference opener.

Bears scored two goals in the first 8 minutes and never looked back. Janaye Sakkas scored her team leading 5th goal in the 4th minute. 4 other Golden Bears followed with goals in this one.

BIG STICK is Tonight!*

Bears host rival Stanford this afternoon at Underhill Field at 6 pm PT. Unfortunately, this match is not televised.

*I am not sure that “Big Stick” is the proper name for the Cal-Stanford field hockey rival match.

Cal Men’s Water Polo (14-1)

Bouncing back from the first loss of the season in the Mountain Pacific Invitational final against No.1 UCLA, No.2 Golden Bears have little issue against UC Santa Barbara (13-9 win), San Jose State (16-9 win), and Long Beach State (17-7 win).

Sophomore Johnny Hooper now leads the team with 42 goals on the year. Freshmen Jordan Hoover and Safak Simsek are tied with 16 goals each for 2nd place on the team. 5th year senior Farrel South (who I interviewed during the Princeton Invitational) is 4th with 13 goals.

Bears will have a couple of weeks off before hosting No.1 UCLA on October 22nd at a TBD time. That match of No.2. vs. No.1 will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.

Cal Volleyball (6-8, 0-4 in Pac-12)

That first Pac-12 win remains elusive for the Golden Bears. After losing in 4 sets to No.7 Washington on Thursday, Bears lost in straight sets to No.17 Washington State. Bears had to play without senior middle blocker Jenelle Jordan.

Showing that she has recovered from her injury that cost her all of 2015, redshirt sophomore Ashten Smith-Gooden had another great weekend to lead the team.

Back in Haas this weekend, Bears host Utah tonight at 8 PM PT and then Colorado on Sunday afternoon at 3 PM PT. Both matches will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks. The Utes are the first team outside of the Top-25 while the Buffs are ranked No.19 in the country.

By the way, the Bears will be hosting a “Be the Match” match against Arizona State on Friday, October 14th to encourage people to become Organ Donors.

On the great news front, Savannah Rennie is apparently feeling well enough to be near game action after getting a new liver back in May.