An already impressive haul of local recruits for Cal's 2012 football class got bigger over the weekend, as Bishop O'Dowd High linebacker Hardy Nickerson Jr. gave his oral commitment to the Bears.
At 6-feet, 220 pounds, Nickerson picked Cal over Nebraska, Colorado and Washington State. His father, Hardy, starred for the Bears in the mid-1980s before a standout 16-year NFL career.
"He really let me make my own decision," Nickerson Jr. said. "I really appreciated that."
Both Nickersons will play key roles this season for Bishop O'Dowd, as Hardy Sr. returns for his second year as head coach and Hardy Jr. will anchor the Dragons defense at linebacker.
Nickerson joins San Ramon Valley quarterback Zach Kline and De La Salle linebacker Michael Barton as Cal commits for 2012.
The U.S. women's 4x100 freestyle relay team, three-quarters of which are former Cal swimmers, came up short in the final of the world championships in Shanghai, China.
Former Bears Natalie Coughlin, Jessica Hardy and Dana Vollmer teamed up with 16-year-old rookie Missy Franklin to claim the silver medal. The Netherlands defended their title in 3 minutes, 33.96 seconds, and the American team finished in 3:34.47.
Vollmer was overtaken on the next-to-last lap by the Dutch's Femke Heemskerk.
"I never like diving in and coming second," said Vollmer, who earlier set an American record of 56.47 as the
Cal junior Caitlin Leverenz qualified for the final of the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:11.15.
Alexander Dale Oen of Norway was fastest in the 100 breaststroke semifinals, maintaining his focus after the twin tragedies in his country that killed at least 93 people.
"Life is more than swimming," said Dale Oen, who grew teary-eyed when asked after morning heats about Friday's bombing in Oslo and shootings on a nearby island. "What's happening back home really puts things in perspective."
In the first event of prelims Monday (China time), Coughlin qualified fastest in the 100 backstroke. The two-time Olympic champion who won the 2007 world title touched in 59.73 seconds.
Cal standout Valerie Arioto homered as Team USA hammered Great Britain 10-0 to advance to the World Cup of Softball championship game.
Australia's Will Power held off a hard-charging Helio Castroneves to win the Edmonton Indy and narrow the gap on points leader Dario Franchitti. Power has 350 points in the championship standings, cutting his deficit to Franchitti from 55 to 38 points with seven races remaining.
Mardy Fish beat John Isner in the final for the second straight year at the Atlanta Tennis Championships, earning a 3-6, 7-6 (6), 6-2 victory Sunday.
Bay Area News Group staff writer Ben Enos contributed to this report.