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Golden Medals: Bears vs. Bears in upcoming USA College Swimming Challenge

Members of the USA National Team (including many former Bears) will take on the current Pac-12 stars (including many current Bears) in a dual meet from USC on October 21-22.

2017 Phillips 66 National Championships & World Championship Trials - Day 2
Junior Kathleen Baker is one of many Golden Bears that will partake on both sides of the upcoming USA College Swimming Challenge next weekend.
Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Outside of Cal Women’s Soccer winning two matches on the road, it was not a particularly great week for Cal Athletics. That’s why we will start this week’s post with some swimming news.

Cal Swimming

Both Cal men’s and women’s swimming and diving are perennial NCAA championship contenders. Although the goal is to peak in March at the NC’s, fall trainings are important as well. The fall seasons for Cal swimming recent began with dual meets that are expected to be dominated by the Golden Bears.

What is more interesting instead, on the Cal schedule, is the upcoming USA College Challenge that will pit members of the current USA National Swimming team (featuring many Cal alum) vs. current stars of the Pac-12. Last year, they did a similar challenge between the national team and the B1G with the national team winning by a small margin. The Pac-12 Networks will have the live coverage on October 21st and 22nd of what should be a very fun meet. The 2017 USA College Challenge will be hosted by USC.

Of course, plenty of Golden Bears will be on both sides of the action. On the women’s side, 5 current Bears will represent the Pac-12 all-stars. Juniors Kathleen Baker and Katie McLaughlin, sophomore Abbey Weitzeil and Maddie Murphy, and freshman Robin Neumann will be a part of the Pac-12 squad. Baker, Weitzeil, and freshman Neumann (for her native Netherlands) all participated in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Somewhat surprisingly, no Cal alum will be on the national team side for the women with Natalie Coughlin seemingly retired, Missy Franklin still recovering from injuries, and Dana Vollmer just swimming again after taking another maternity break. The Pac-12 squad will be the heavily favored on the women’s side with Stanford’s duo of Katie Ledecky and Simone Manuel being at the top of their game (I don’t know why they have not turned pro yet) in addition to Cal’s Kathleen Baker.

On the men’s side, Bears will be on both sides of the action. Recent graduates and Calympians: Ryan Murphy, Josh Prenot, and Tom Shields (all Rio 2016 Olympians) will represent that national team. Countering them will be seniors Connor Hoppe, Matthew Josa, and Justin Lynch, junior Andrew Seliskar, sophomores Michael Jensen and Zheng Wen Quah (Singapore Olympian), and freshman Sean Grieshop. Cal head coach Dave Durden will lead the Pac-12 men. It will be just like a regular training day from Spiekers, except with Pac-12 Networks cameras and someone keeping scores.

We shall have an open thread for the two day meet next weekend.

Cal Men’s Golf wins their 1st tournament of the season

Regular reader knows that I am very hopeful that Cal Men’s Golf can win program’s 2nd NCAA title either this or next year. The team finally showed it potential by dominating the MacKenzie tournament with junior KK Limbasut taking the individual title.

Bears made a threat at the school record by combining for a -41 after three rounds, 17 strokes better than 2nd place. Limbhasut finished at -15 to lead the team, just one shot better than teammate Sebastian Crampton.

1. California (267-272-272 – 811, -41)

2. Santa Clara (274-274-280 – 828, -24)

3. Arizona State (269-281-282 – 832, -20)

4. San Diego State (273-273-287 – 833, -19)

T5. Nevada (271-280-284 – 835, -17)

T5. Pepperdine (282-275-278 – 835, -17)

1. KK Limbhasut (64-65-69 – 198, -15)

T2. Sebastian Crampton (66-69-64 – 199, -14)

9. Collin Morikawa (69-67-68 – 204, -9)

T25. Ben Doyle (68-72-71 – 211, -2)

^T41. Finigan Tilly (70-73-72 – 215, +2)

T53. Kaiwen Liu (75-71-72 – 218, +5)

^T53. Robin Wang (73-76-69 – 218, +5)

^T77. William Aldred (78-76-69 – 223, +10)

^T83. Ryan Helgans (77-76-74 – 227, +14)

^86. Clayton Madey (76-73-80 – 229, +16)

^played as individual

There should be more performances like this for the Golden Bears in the 2017-18 school year.


Cal Women’s Soccer (10-2-1, 3-1-1 in Pac-12) wins at Colorado and Utah

After the letdown that was going 0-1-1 against unranked Arizona State and Arizona at home, Bears bounced back with a pair of road wins. After beating Colorado 1-0 on the road, the Bears completed the perfect mountain trip by beating Utah 2-0.

Collecting two more clean sheets, senior goalkeeper Emily Boyd was named Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Week.

Bears will play just one match this weekend (hosting Washington State on Saturday) before hosting Oregon State on next Thursday. After the Oregon schools next weekend, the Bears will close out Pac-12 play by going through the gauntlet of playing the 3 top-5 ranked Pac-12 rival in the other California schools, all on the road.

Cal Men’s Soccer (8-3, 3-1 in Pac-12) beats Oregon State 2-0 despite air quality concerns

I am personally surprised that a Cal athletics event took place on Thursday afternoon when many activities around the Bay Area were cancelled.

Behind the brilliant goaltending of Drake Callendar, especially on that kick save in the replay above, the Golden Bears prevailed after last weekend’s 3-0 home loss to rival Stanford. Bears are now 3-1 in Pac-12 play and will next host Washington on Sunday to make the midpoint of conference play.

Cal Field Hockey (7-5, 2-0 in American East) drops two tough matches from Ohio

Snapping a 6 match winning streak, Golden Bears were edged 2-1 by Penn State before falling 3-2 in OT to host Ohio State last weekend from a trip to Columbus. These were the first road/neutral site losses of the year for the Bears.

Bears will visit Pacific today at 3pm PT before hosting Stanford in the Big Stick on Sunday at 1pm PT. The Sunday match will be on the Pac-12 Networks.

Cal Volleyball (11-6, 2-4 in Pac-12) visits LA schools after being swept in Oregon

Against a winnable opponent in Oregon State, Cal Bears were uncharacteristically swept in 3 sets. Bears did not fare much better against a ranked (16th in the country) Oregon Ducks squad.

Things do not get any easier this weekend with a trip down to LA to take on the ranked USC and UCLA squads. Hopefully, the Bears can win a set or two (or three) this weekend.