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Teri McKeever earned coach of the year honor as Cal Women’s Swim finished 2nd at NCAA championships with 4 titles

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Overdue recap of the NCAA women’s swimming and diving championships where the Bears won 3 relays and Abbey Weitzeil won 50y Free.

Golden Bears had yet another top 3 finish in the country
Cal Athletics

Like the Cal men, Cal women’s swimming and diving had a team lead going into the final day of competition. Unfortunately, the Golden Bears just didn’t have enough on the final day to hold off Stanford Cardinal to prevent their three-peat.

Nonetheless, the Cal Bears exceeded even their own expectations to really put up a fight. Bears won 4 NCAA titles - 3 relays and 1 individual event for junior Calympian Abbey Weitzeil. Cal head coach Teri McKeever was named the national coach of the year.

Cal seniors Amy Bilquist and Katie McLaughlin got to end their great collegiate careers by setting new school records (McLaughlin bested a couple of records held by Cal legend Natalie Coughlin) and winning relays. They were certainly pleased with this meet.

Cal Titles at the 2019 NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships:

  • 200 Free Relay (Maddie Murphy, Katie McLaughlin, Amy Bilquist, Abbey Weitzeil) - 1:24.55 American Record
  • 400 Medley Relay (Amy Bilquist, Ema Rajic, Katie McLaughlin, Abbey Weitzeil) - 3:25.24
  • 50 Free - Abbey Weitzeil - 21.02 American Record
  • 400 Free Relay (Isabel Ivey, Katie McLaughlin, Amy Bilquist, Abbey Weitzeil) - 3:06.96

Bears also came close in a few other events - Bilquist was the runner-up in the 100 Back with a personal record swim. Freshman Isabel Ivey was 4th in the same 100 Back final. Weitzeil was 4th in the 100 Free. McLaughlin finished 3rd in the 100 Fly while Ivey placed 6th.

Golden Bears as a team also got contributions from the rest of the NCAA contingent - Maddie Murphy, Keaton Blovad, and another freshman Cassidy Bayer contributed some B-Final swims. There were even a couple of points scored by Cal senior diver Phoebe LaMay in the 1-meter diving.

Bears exceeded their expectation by roughly 100 points or so in the final team standings.

Final Team Standings:

1. Stanford 456.5

2. California 419

3. Michigan 314

4. Louisville 235

5. Texas 190.5


After the meet, Teri McKeever and Abbey Weitzeil were named the Pac-12 Coaches and Swimmer of the Year.


The future is always bright for a powerhouse program like Cal, even if Stanford has just showed that they can reload with little trouble post-Katie Ledecky. Assuming that Abbey Weitzeil does NOT turn pro this offseason, Golden Bears may be able to bridge that gap between themselves and Stanford even more next year (which could be a weird season given the looming Olympics). Bears’ Isabel Ivey should get even better and I would not be shocked by a big step forward from Dutch Olympian Robin Neumann or Keaton Blovad in their junior seasons.

Cal program will miss Katie McLaughlin and Amy Bilquist, however, two of that fantastic recruiting class along side Kathleen Baker (turned pro last year) and Abbey Weitzeil (deferred one year so she became the next class) that came in after Missy Franklin turned pro as planned. I have high hope that McLaughlin and Bilquist could join Baker and Weitzeil as future Calympians.

I will let Cal senior Amy Bilquist, one of the Cal hero this last weekend, to conclude this season recap.

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Damn, did we have a good time this week. ~here comes the sappy post~ Thank you to a program that challenged me every day to become a better version of myself. Thank you to each and every one of my teammates throughout these four years for showing me what strength, beauty, and teamwork is really all about. Thank you to my coaches Teri and Sarah for expecting greatness and creating a culture where we can chase our dreams without being fearful of failure. Thank you Ann for helping me keep doing the sport I love. You’re so much more than a trainer. From bandaids, to broken bones, and everything in between you put things in a positive light and give us hope, and that’s such a special gift. Thank you to all the parents, family, friends and alumni who made Cal’s cheering section so electric. Thank you to my class, I couldn’t have gone through it with another group of women. Katie and Jenna... your support and love everyday has been more than I could ever ask for. You two are my best friends and two of the most beautiful people on this earth and I am so lucky to have gone through this journey with you both. To Phoebe... as freshman year roomies we never would’ve guessed we’d be here, but look at us now! We did it!! I love you so so much. Thank you to my parents and my family. It meant the world to me that you all came. Brian and Berit, you are the best siblings a girl could ask for. So so fun, loving and supportive. Mom and Dad, I get to do what I love because of you both and I could never say thank you enough for that. I love you both so so much. My time competing as a Golden Bear may be over, but I’m forever a Golden Bear. Cal, I love you. Thank you for giving me the best four years. And to this team, I couldn’t ask for anything more to cap off my last meet of my Cal career. Every single woman on this team is more amazing than I could ever put into words, and you all made this year magical, but most importantly you all made it so fun. Behind every Golden Bear are all who came before them and all who will follow, and to me, that’s the best group I could ever imagine. Forever and always... ROLL ON YOU BEARS.

A post shared by Amy Bilquist (@amybilquist) on

Damn, did we have a good time this week. ~here comes the sappy post~

Thank you to a program that challenged me every day to become a better version of myself. Thank you to each and every one of my teammates throughout these four years for showing me what strength, beauty, and teamwork is really all about. Thank you to my coaches Teri and Sarah for expecting greatness and creating a culture where we can chase our dreams without being fearful of failure. Thank you Ann for helping me keep doing the sport I love. You’re so much more than a trainer. From bandaids, to broken bones, and everything in between you put things in a positive light and give us hope, and that’s such a special gift. Thank you to all the parents, family, friends and alumni who made Cal’s cheering section so electric. Thank you to my class, I couldn’t have gone through it with another group of women. Katie and Jenna... your support and love everyday has been more than I could ever ask for. You two are my best friends and two of the most beautiful people on this earth and I am so lucky to have gone through this journey with you both. To Phoebe... as freshman year roomies we never would’ve guessed we’d be here, but look at us now! We did it!! I love you so so much. Thank you to my parents and my family. It meant the world to me that you all came. Brian and Berit, you are the best siblings a girl could ask for. So so fun, loving and supportive. Mom and Dad, I get to do what I love because of you both and I could never say thank you enough for that. I love you both so so much.

My time competing as a Golden Bear may be over, but I’m forever a Golden Bear. Cal, I love you. Thank you for giving me the best four years. And to this team, I couldn’t ask for anything more to cap off my last meet of my Cal career. Every single woman on this team is more amazing than I could ever put into words, and you all made this year magical, but most importantly you all made it so fun. Behind every Golden Bear are all who came before them and all who will follow, and to me, that’s the best group I could ever imagine. Forever and always... ROLL ON YOU BEARS.

ROLL ON YOU BEARS!