daily californian logo


Apply to The Daily Californian!

Bears place 11th at NCAA championships

article image



We're an independent student-run newspaper, and need your support to maintain our coverage.

MARCH 22, 2023

13 Bears entered the University of Tennessee swimming den this weekend for the NCAA Championships, finishing 11th overall. Initially, Cal was projected 12th for the meets and rose to the challenge only to lose grasp of the top 10 by a small margin. 

Competing in multiple individual events and all five relays, the Bears only finished within the top five in the 200 backstroke event and fourth in 800-yard freestyle relay. 

Even though some of the times weren’t what the Bears predicted for their events, fans and the team are happy about their progress from the beginning of the year. 

“Most of our events were at or close to our best times, and in the world of swimming that is the first marker of what are you able to accomplish in an event and what you are hoping to do,” said associate head coach David Marsh.  

Marsh began associate head coaching for the women at the beginning of the season, while now-head coach David Durden picked up the women’s team’s coaching later in the regular season. Marsh feels good about the full circle that is this season with the new staff and hopes to now have forward progress and an optimistic future for the program. 

Someone in the forefront of that optimistic future is junior Isabelle Stadden, who swam in events such as the 200 backstroke, 100 backstroke and 200 medley relay. Stadden placed third in the 200 backstroke and fourth in the 200 medley relay. 

Although successful in her given events, Stadden ran into some obstacles with one of her early races. 

“I had gotten disqualified in my 1 (200 IM prelim), which wasn’t ideal, and I was able to bounce back,” Stadden said. “I had one rough individual race and I needed my team and coach to rally me back in and realize it was just one bad race and it didn’t determine the whole meet.” 

Stadden proved it wasn’t representative of the whole meet by pushing through with the 200 back with a final time of 1:49:38. This time was less than a second shorter than her NCAA-qualifying time. 

Going forward after the NCAAs, the team is excited to move onto their next individual goals. This looks different for varying swimmers, but for seniors it means new schools, and for others it’s training for the International World Trials in Indianapolis in June. 

The swimmers will train for the respective countries that they represent and start training next week. 

When it comes to reflecting on the season in order to move on to summer training, the swimmers will be asked to do personal evaluations that reflect on their performances and the training that supported them to get there. 

The Bears do not have much time between now and when training will begin, but will be focusing on their education until spring break and then quickly transitioning to becoming comfortable in Olympic pools.

Contact Stefania Bitton at 


MARCH 23, 2023