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Olympics: Another good day for Cal swimmers

Cal senior-to-be Caitlin Leverenz won a bronze medal in the 200-meter individual medley at the London Games on Tuesday. Leverenz, who earlier placed sixth in the 400 IM, clocked a time of 2:08.95 in the shorter race.

Former Cal swimmer Nathan Adrian won his first-round and semifinal heats in the 100 free, advancing to Wednesday’s final. His time of 47.63 in the semifinals was the second-fastest of the day.

Adrian will try to become the first Cal alum to win a gold medal in the 100 free since Matt Biondi in 1988.

Rowing: Cal grad Julie Nichols and her teammate Kristin Hedstrom won their repechage heat in the lightweight double sculls, advancing to the Thurdsay’s semifinals.

 

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Football: Silas Redd leaves Penn St. for USC; Khairi Fortt decision close on possible Cal move

Running back Silas Redd transferred from Penn State to USC on Tuesday, and his childhood buddy, linebacker Khairi Fortt, seemingly is close to making a decision about his future.

Fortt, able to transfer and be eligible immediately because of sanctions against the Nittany Lions, visited Cal last weekend. The junior spoke with the Stamford (Conn.) Advocate, his hometown newspaper, and said he is happy for Redd.

“I know Silas made the best decision for his future life and I have to do the best for myself,” Fortt said. “I’m sort of in the same situation. I am going to sit down with my family and go over all the options.”

Cal’s players report to campus on Friday, with practice scheduled to begin Saturday.

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Football: Coleman on Hendricks watch list

Junior Deandre Coleman was named to the preseason watch list for the 2012 Ted Hendricks Award, given annually to the nation’s top defensive end.

Earlier, Coleman was named to the preseason first-team All-Pac-12 pick by to USA Today, a second-team selection by Lindy’s and a third-team choice by Athlon.

He is also a candidate for the Rotary Lombardi Award given annually to the nation’s top lineman on either side of the ball.

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Football: Bears reinstate OLB Cecil Whiteside

Cal has resinstated sophomore outside linebacker Cecil Whiteside, who was kicked off the team on May 24 for unspecified rules violations.

Coach Jeff Tedford made no mention of the move during his opening remarks at Monday’s Bay Area college football media day in San Francisco. But he later gave the news to a reporter from CBSSports.com.

“I think that he understands what he needs to do to be a good teammate and comply with everything we do as a team,” Tedford told CBSSports.com.

His resinstatement should be a lift for the Cal defense. Whiteside, who had 17 tackles last season including three sacks, will compete for significant playing time or perhaps a starting job.

A 6-foot-2, 232-pounder from Newport Beach, Whiteside was rated a four-star recruit out of high school by ESPN, Rivals, Scout and Tom Lemming. Rivals and Scout both ranked him as the No. 4 linebacker in his class.

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Football: Penn State’s Fortt may be Cal-bound

Penn State junior linebacker Khairi Fortt, who visited Cal over the weekend, apparently isn’t likely to transfer to home-state UConn.

That could move him one step closer to Berkeley.

Guy Fortt, the father of the Penn State linebacker, told the Stamford (Conn.) Advocate that Khairi has ruled out transferring to UConn.

“He just doesn’t want to be home,” Guy Fortt said. “He just doesn’t want to do it. He probably doesn’t want to be around me and my wife.”

Fortt’s father also told the paper that his son has not ruled out remaining at Penn State and very much likes the new coaching staff that has taken over in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child-abuse scandal that led to the ouster of the legendary late coach Joe Paterno.

Guy Fortt said he expects his son to make a decision by mid-week. Baylor also is believed to still be in the running.

At Bay Area college football media day Monday, Cal coach Jeff Tedford addressed a question about the situation the only way he is allowed to do so — in very broad terms.

“We go to camp on Friday,” Tedford said, “so we should know by then if there’s any late additions to our football team.”

If Fortt decides to transfer anywhere, he would be eligible to play immediately. The NCAA, while leveling sanctions on Penn State, said players would be free to transfer without having to satisfy the usual requirement of sitting out one season.

 

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Olympics: Coughlin won’t campaign for relay spot

Natalie Coughlin, appearing on the Today show in London on Monday morning, said she still could wind up swimming for a record 13th Olympic medal in Saturday’s 400 medley relay, but isn’t campaigning for it.

“I could . . . there’s a lot of factors that play into that,” she told host Matt Lauer. “We have a lot of options for the medley relay. I’m not trying to force myself onto the relay.”

Currently, Coughlin is not scheduled to compete in the medley relay. The decision will be made by U.S. coach Teri McKeever — who also is the coach at Cal and Coughlin’s personal coach — and her staff.

But it was McKeever and the U.S. assistants who made the difficult decision not to use Coughlin in the free relay final, despite the fact she swam well in the prelims.

Coughlin, the 29-year-old East Bay resident and Cal grad, has won 12 Olympics medals, tying Jenny Thompson and Dara Torres for most by an American woman. She collected No. 12 — a bronze in the 400 freestyle relay — without appearing in the final or on the medal stand.

“This is the first time I haven’t been on the medal podium myself. It’s a little strange,” she said.

Coughlin, who suggested last week she is open to returning to compete at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, stopped short of saying that’s a done deal.

“My thoughts change on a daily basis,” she said. “I’m going to continue to train and be fit. If I’m healthy enough to go for it, why not? My thoughts go back and forth on that.”

For now, she said, she is just going to enjoy London.

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Olympics: Bears happy for Vollmer

Twitter was filled with congrats messages for new gold medalist and world-recordholder Dana Vollmer:

Jeff Tedford@CoachTedford

Dana Vollmer- awesome!!! First woman under 56 sec. And gold medal! Cal family very proud of you !!! Go Bears!!!

Sandy Barbour@gobearsAD

Tears rolling down my face watching @DanaVollmer rec her gold medal & sing the entire National Anthem! Enjoy it Dana, u earned it! #PureGold

Teresa Gould@TKGould

Anyone else spot the Cal bag @danavollmer carried to the starting blocks on way to her WR? So proud of her! Thx for the Golden Bear love!

Alysia Montaño@Alysia800

Congrats @danavollmer!!! World Record! #GoBears @CalAthletics #London2012 #inspiration

Alex Morgan@alexmorgan13

Wow just went speechless after watching @danavollmer break the WR in the 100 butterfly! #amazingolympicmoments #anothergoldforUSA

And from the woman of the hour . . .

Dana Vollmer@danavollmer

I’m still shaking with excitement! Just now back in my room trying to fall asleep- what an amazing night! I couldn’t be happier! #fb

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Olympics: A busy day for the Bears

A wrapup of what Cal athletes did Sunday at the London Olympics:

– The headliner was swimmer Dana Vollmer, who set a world record in the 100-meter butterfly while winning the gold medal.

– Nathan Adrian, who also will swim the 100 free, swam a strong opening leg on the 4×100 free relay that took home a silver medal, finishing behind France.

– Cal grad Lauren Boyle of New Zealand placed eighth in the final of the 400 free (4:06.25).

– Dominik Meichtry, representing Switzerland, finished eighth in the semifinals of the 200 free (1:48.25) and did not qualify for the final.

– Freshman-to-be Rachel Bootsma finished sixth in the semifinals of the 100 back (1:00.04) and did not advance to the final.

– Cal product Erin Cafaro helped the top-rated women’s eight boat win its first-round race in the Olympic regatta. The Americans crossed the finish line in 6:14.98 — nearly six seconds ahead of runnerup Australia. Cafaro and her teammates will have to beat a strong Canada team in Thursday final to repeat as gold medalists.

– Cal grad Julie Nichols and rowing teammate Kristi Hedstrom finished third in their opening race of the women’s lightweight double sculls and will race again Tuesday for a bid in the Thursday semifinals.

– Finally, former Cal basketball player Max Zhang scored two points in six minutes off the bench in China’s loss to Spain.