2014 Women’s Pac-12 Championships: Cal loads up on A finalists on final morning

  3 Jared Anderson | March 01st, 2014 | College, Featured, News, Pac-12, Previews & Recaps

Though they’ve had some ups and downs this week, California looks to be in great shape heading into the final night of racing at women’s Pac-12s. They lead Stanford by just over 50 points and had a great morning, putting 11 swimmers into the A finals tonight – that’s the same amount as Stanford’s and USC’s A-finalists combined, and should put Cal firmly in the driver’s seat for the conference title.

This morning’s events were the 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast and 200 fly, and tonight’s meet will add the 1650, platform diving and the 400 free relay to that list as the 2014 Pac-12 women’s champs are crowned.

Pac-12 Women

  • Dates: Wednesday, February 26th – Saturday, March 1st; Prelims 11AM/Finals 6PM
  • Location: Federal Way, WA  (Central Time Zone)
  • Defending Champion: Stanford (results)
  • Live Results: Available.
  • Live Video (If available): 
  • Championship Central

 

200 Back

The backstrokes are stellar events for Cal, and it appears they’ll continue to milk points from the stroke with this 200 back field. The Golden Bears put 5 swimmers up and 1 down, led by top seed and American record-holder Elizabeth Pelton. Pelton’s 1:52.38 is relatively pedestrian by her lofty standards, and she could clearly go faster tonight if she’s pushed by second seed Bonnie Brandon of Arizona, although Brandon is a good second-and-a-half back at the moment.

After those two, Cal went on a run with Melanie Klaren, Hoi Shun Au, Kelly Naze, and Sophia Batchelor sweeping the next five spots. Klaren was 1:54.89 and the rest were all 1:55s.

UCLA freshman Madison White snuck into 7th with a 1:56.14. Outside of the high-profile battle for the conference championship between Cal, Stanford, and to a lesser extend USC, there’s another team battle worth watching tonight, and that’s between this rising UCLA squad and Arizona for fourth. The teams are separated by just 5 points with one more day to swim.

100 Free

Each of the top 3 teams put a swimmer under 48 seconds to set up a 3-way showdown for the Pac-12 title tonight. Defending NCAA champ Margo Geer has to be the favorite, and she’s the top seed in a very-tough 47.37. Cal freshman Missy Franklin went 47.90 for second-place, and it’s hard to count out the multi-time world champion in any race she swims. USC’s Kasey Carlson, who upset Geer for the 50 free title Thursday night, is 47.99 for the third seed and should also be a factor tonight.

More big names in the rest of the field: Cal’s Rachael Acker is fourth in 48.07, Stanford’s Lia Neal fifth with a 48.37 and her teammate Maddy Schaefer sixth in 48.52. One one-hundredth back is Kaylin Bing for Cal, and Utah’s Traycie Swartz hung onto the last finals spot with a 48.84.

200 Breast

Four different women went 2:10s this morning to lock up very tight standings at the top of the 200 breast. USC’s Stina Gardell leads the pack at 2:10.38, but Arizona sophomore Emma Schoettmer is just behind in 2:10.41. Stanford is in on the action with Katie Olsen‘s 2:10.46, and Utah’s freshman Stina Colleou is the fourth major contender with a 2:10.67.

USC’s Andrea Kropp is 2:11.40, and she’s the fifth seed. Cal freshman Marina Garcia jumped into the A final at 2:12.31. Utah got two swimmers into the finals – senior Nicole Ligeza went 2:12.60 to take seventh. Arizona freshman Sara Borendame snuck into the final championship heat spot, beating out Arizona State’s Tory Houston by .02 for 8th place.

200 Fly

UCLA will grab its first top seed of the morning with Noelle Tarazona’s 1:55.69 200 fly. She sits just ahead of USC freshman Chelsea Chenault, who should also be a big factor tonight.

Arizona’s Ashley Evans is the third seed, with big names Maya DiRado of Stanford, Rachel Bootsma of Cal and Jasmine Tosky of USC trailing her. All four of those women were 1:56 this morning.

Stanford’s Mackenzie Stein and Sophia Batchelor of Cal will complete the A final field for tonight with Golden Bear freshman Celina Li just on the outside looking in.

Ups/Downs

 Cal              11up/5down
 Stanford         6up/4down
 USC              5up/6down
 UCLA             2up/6down
 Arizona          5up/4down
 Utah             3up/2down
 Arizona State    3down
 Washington State 1down
 Oregon State     1down

Comments

  1. SWIMPHILE says:
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    Wait, don’t C finals also score for Pac-12′s?

    Would today’s C qualifiers have much of an impact on determining the final positions of their respective colleges?

  2. bobo gigi says:
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    It should be a great 100 free final. In long course Missy Franklin would be well ahead with Lia Neal in second, Margo Geer in third and Kasey Carlson well behind. But we are in yards. I think it will be a very close race between Missy and Margo Geer.
    Liz Pelton has been quiet this week so far. It’s clear she keeps the best for NCAA’s. A little 1.50 would be very good.
    Can Marina Garcia rebound and at least swim under 2.10 in the 200 breast?
    The 200 fly looks open but I’d pick Maya DiRado for the win.

  3. liquidassets says:
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    Hi Bobo, I agree with DiRado, and Bootsy possibly squeaking by for 2nd. The 100′s a tossup as you said, I’m going with Franklin given her edge over Geer on the relay, though with 2 500′s and 2 200′s under her belt, she’s not as fresh as Geer, who could easily take it too. Carlson should be very close behind, given her drop in the 50.

    2Breast could be a clusterf#@! of the top 4 seeds clustered around 2:08.0; its may be a strategic race, and if nobody else breaks out then I wouldn’t be surprised if Olsen kept up her steady improvement the last few months and rode it to the top of the podium. I wanted to root for Kropp who’s been 2:07 this season, but she’s been a bit off this meet, fading in finals so far.

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About Jared Anderson

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Jared Anderson just can’t stay away from the pool. A competitive career sixteen years and running wasn’t enough for this native Minnesotan, who continues to get his daily chlorine fix. A lifelong lover of writing, Jared now combines the two passions as Senior Reporter for SwimSwam.com, covering swimming at every level. Read More »