Former Cal Swimmer Anna Kalandadze Details McKeever Abuse That Led To Transfer

Former Cal Swimmer Anna Kalandadze Details McKeever Abuse That Led To Transfer

Anna Kalandadze, one of the swimmers who openly spoke out about the alleged verbal abuse of Cal coach Teri McKeever in Tuesday’s bombshell article from The OC Register, delved deeper into her experience at Berkeley Wednesday night on social media.

Kalandadze, a distance freestyler who joined the Bears in the fall of 2019, detailed her experiences with McKeever in a Twitter thread that explained the environment the athletes were subjected to and what ultimately led to her quitting the team.

For clarity, we’ve compiled Kalandadze’s series of Tweets below. Read the thread directly on Twitter here.

#TeriMckeever As one of the swimmers who experienced this abuse firsthand and came forward in the article, I can say that Teri’s favorite word was ‘accountability’, she preached it to us every day, yet there is absolutely no accountability about what was done to us from Teri/Cal.

When I was recruited, Teri and the team seemed like a close-knit family full of love and support. That is one of the main reasons I chose Cal. Found out it was the exact opposite my first day of practice.

I was called a piece of sh*t at almost every practice. I was told I was too heavy to be swimming and publicly asked what my eating habits were multiple times. I was screamed at and berated by Teri in front of the entire team only to be kicked out of practice.

When I tried to call Teri to resolve whatever issues she had, she would reply that she doesn’t want to see or speak to me so I didn’t even know why I was being targeted. The last words she said to me before I quit: “you sh*t on me, you sh*t on the team, you sh*t on your family, and your mom would be ashamed of you”.

After qualifying for NCAAs at mid season in 2019, as a freshman, I was told that I did not work hard enough and did not deserve it in front of other teams and coaches. This is only the surface of my experience. I quit one week before PAC-12 because I couldn’t expose myself to Teri’s abuse any longer. Not only did I go through this but I watched my closest friend Dani be treated even worse than I was and I think the fact that we were friends made her abuse us more. It took me almost 2 years to recover from the ptsd I had after Cal and it is because of my new coach at Penn.

I am outraged for all of Teri’s victims before/after me and I can’t believe she’s being supported and allowed to be present in the swim community. This behavior is unacceptable from a role model for young athletes.

As she notes in her thread, Kalandadze swam a time of 16:12.01 in the 1650 freestyle at the 2019 Minnesota Invite, well under what it ultimately took to earn an invite to the 2020 NCAA Championships.

However, she swam in a Cal cap for the last time in a dual meet against Stanford the following February and entered the NCAA transfer portal shortly before the Pac-12 Championships in March.

In May of 2020, she announced her transfer to the University of Pennsylvania, and this past season, had a trio of top-four finishes at the Ivy League Championships before competing at her first NCAAs.

In the original article from The OC Register, Kalandadze is quoted regarding McKeever’s behavior during practice: “Teri swore at me at least three times a week. I had a ‘(expletive) attitude.’ I was a ‘piece of (expletive).’”

“Teri was the only reason I left,” Kalandadze added in the article. “She was awful to me.”

Since the original article was published, which included 19 swimmers, six parents and one former member of the Cal men’s team speaking out about McKeever, Cal Athletics issued a statement, swimmers walked out of Wednesday morning practice in which McKeever was present, and then the coach was placed on administrative leave later on Wednesday.

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