Former USC swimmer Amanda Smith is taking the lead on our Pac-12 women’s championship coverage this week.
The Women’s PAC-12 Championships kicked off tonight in Federal Way, Washington at the Aquatic Center of King County. Only two events took place tonight, and the top four teams are only separated by a few points – Stanford Cardinal 118, Arizona Wildcats 116, USC Trojans 110, and Cal Bears 108.
200 medley relay final
The night started off with the 200 yard medley relay. No records were set in the race, and the top four teams were only separated by a small margin of four-tenths of a second. Arizona came away with the victory, finishing in 1:36.22. The Wildcats, Trojans (1:36.41), Cardinal (1:36.54), and Cal Bears (1:36.62) all came away with NCAA A Standards. USC and Cal were both off their times from mid-season, so it seems as if they may be playing with some different relay orders still.
Cal, at NCAA’s, will need to get a better leg out of their backstroker. Cindy Tran led off here in 24.44, but to win this race next month it will take them probably below a 24.
USC Freshman Kendyl Stewart split an impressive 22.72 butterfly leg on the field. Four women were in the 27-s in the breaststroke, notably one from the Stanford exhibitioned B-relay from Sarah Haase in 27.13, topping her teammate on the A relay. USC’s Kasey Carlson narrowly had her at 27.10. Cal’s Caitlin Leverenz was a 26.88 on her breaststroke for the fastest split of the night and give her team the lead at that point. Arizona’s Margo Geer is hitting her stride, though, and coming through on the anchor leg as she does, with a 21.29 finish. USC and Stanford anchor legs both dipped under the 22 mark as well, while Cal’s Rachael Acker was a 22.2 on their back-end, which dropped them from first-to-fourth.
Women’s 800 free relay
After the break, the meet moved onto the 800 yard freestyle relays. Stanford and Cal both went under the 7-minute barrier, with the Cardinal finishing in 6:57.12 over Cal in 6:58.95. Stanford’s Felicia Lee showed off her freestyle skill with a 1:44.96 leg off leg. Maya Dirado followed her teammate with a 1:43.66 split. Freshman Julia Anderson had a great split of 1:45.34 to distance the Cardinal from the field. Andi Murez closed well in a 1:43.16 on the anchor leg. Great relay by the Cardinal, and if they can keep this momentum into the next month, this should be a top 4 relay at NCAA.
Other great splits from the race came from Cal’s Elizabeth Pelton, 1:43.16 and UCLA’s Junior Ting Quah 1:44.98 lead off leg. USC’s Haley Anderson showed she has some speed, being an Open Water 10K Olympic Silver Medalist with a 1:44 split from the Trojan’s relay.
Good first night from the girls from the PAC-12. Should be a great race for the team title! Tomorrow’s events include the 500 yard freestyle, 200 yard IM, 50 yard freestyle, 1m diving, and 200 yard freestyle relay.
Standings after 1 day
There wasn’t a ton of separation after 1 day of the meet, as there never is. Arizona looks sharper than they normally do at Pac-12′s on day 1, and the Stanford women especially were impressive.
1. Stanford University 118
2. University of Arizona 116
3. University of Southern Califor 110
4. University of CA – Berkeley 108
5. Arizona State University 100
6. University of CA – Los Angeles 96
7. Oregon State 90
8. The University of Utah 46