As the swimmers turned and headed for home in the last leg of the 4×100 freestyle relay, the final event of the day, UCLA and California were locked in an extremely close battle that had the small crowd at the Spieker Aquatics Center louder than ever.

Everyone’s focus shifted from the pool to the scoreboard as the two swimmers slammed into the wall. The result flashed on the screen: Cal’s Erica Dagg had touched ahead of UCLA junior Lauren Hall by just .17 seconds.

Cal, the defending national champion, took 13 of the 16 events and won by a final margin of 41 points.

Yet on the UCLA side of the pool, there was no groaning, no sense of disappointment, and no hanging of heads.

“That last relay was the coolest race,” swim coach Cyndi Gallagher said with excitement. “They swam with confidence, our team did. We left on a good note.”

UCLA (5-3, 2-3 Pac-10) dropped both dual meets to its Pac-10 foes from the north, losing to No. 4 Stanford (8-0, 4-0) 169-126 on Friday, and No. 5 Cal (5-1, 3-1) 167-128. Though the margins of victory were large both days, Gallagher was proud of the way her team handled the tough competition and pleased with the times they posted.