- 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
The final day of the 2014 Pac 12 Championships begin with a lead from the resilient Cal women, who overcame a DQ early at this meet to sit 53.5 points up on Stanford at the completion of Friday’s swims. With a lot of depth in a lot of races on Saturday, this is Cal’s title to lose, but don’t miss the intrigue of the day’s races either.
In the 200 back, a Missy-Franklin-less 200 back, Liz Pelton and Bonnie Brandon will battle. Missy will save her last individual swim for the 100 free final, where she’s going to have to outdo the defending NCAA Champion Margo Geer of Arizona, who was very near a lifetime best in prelims, and USC’s Kasey Carlson.
Following those races will be the 200 breast, the 200 fly, platform diving, and the 400 free relay, with the session getting underway in the 1650 free.
To see day 4’s prelims results click here.
To see where team scores sit after three days, see our day 3 recap here.
A fresh face was crowded the champion tonight as Samantha Harrison of Oregon State won the 1650 freestyle tonight. This entire meet has been dominated by Stanford, Cal and USC for individual event wins. Harrison had a big drop, finishing under 16:00 to snag an A standard with a final time of 15:55.57.
Harrison crushed her own team record for OSU, as it was from last year with a time of 16:17.78.
Arizona’s freshman Tjasa Oder also had a fantastic swim. She came into the event with a NT, meaning she swam in the earlier heats in the afternoon. She finished second overall, sneaking under the 16:00 barrier at 15:59.88.
UCLA’s distance swimmers had a good showing as well. Katy Campbell and Lauren Baker were in the top eight, finishing third and fifth, with times of 16:05.95 and 16:14.67. Campbell is just off Baker’s team record from last season of 16:04.18.
Between the two was Sami Zuch, a senior from Utah. She finished at sixth in a time of 16:22.02. Her entry time of 16:19.30 should be on the bubble of making it in next month.
Stanford’s Allison Brown, 16:31.87, and Cal’s Catherine Breed, 16:33.14, rounded out the top eight finishers in the event.
The defending PAC-12 and NCAA Champion had a bit of a race initially in her event tonight, but Liz Pelton used a strong back half to win in 1:52.18. Pelton is the NCAA & American Record holder in the event with a time of 1:47.84. Pelton went 1:48.39 last year at the PAC-12 Championships.
Challenging Pelton was Arizona’s Bonnie Brandon. Brandon had a slight lead at the 100 mark, turning at 54.96 to Pelton’s 55.23. Brandon just fell short to Pelton when she finished in 1:52.50 for second.
The Cal Bears also went third through sixth with Melanie Klaren leading the bunch. Klaren was third at 1:53.85, and Sophia Batchelor was sixth, with times of 1:53.85 and 1:54.91. Hoi Shun Au and Kelly Naze finished between them.
UCLA’s Madison White was seventh and Stanford’s lone A finalist was Annemarie Thayer for eighth.
Kendyl Stewart, USC, won the B final in 1:54.93. That was over a two second drop from her time this morning.
It was quite a battle for the top three in this event tonight. You have Missy Franklin and Lia Neal, Olympic medalists in this event from relays, and then the 2013 NCAA Champion, Margo Geer, also in the mix.
Franklin got her hand on the wall first, winning in 47.17. Her time was just .02 better than the previous PAC-12 Meet Record from Dana Vollmer.
Franklin and Geer were both under :23 at the turn, but Lia Neal used her 200 freestyle back end speed to out split Geer for second place. Neal’s final time was 47.53.
Geer was third in 47.63. Arizona has been through a lot this season, and there is still plenty of time between now and NCAAs for Geer to have a great senior season.
Kasey Carlson, USC, also was under :48 for fourth, 47.92, just ahead of Stanford’s Maddy Schaefer 48.17.
Cal also had Rachael Acker and Kaylin Bing in for sixth and seventh. Utah, continuing to have a great meet, had Traycie Swartz finish eighth.
After winning the 100 breaststroke yesterday, Katie Olsen of Stanford doubled up in the event wins, taking the longer discipline tonight. She won in 2:08.39, big drop from her seed time and preliminary time. Olsen has had a very solid season; look for her next month in March with more rest under her belt.
It was a battle of the Stina’s for second and third place. USC’s Stina Gardell had a bit of a lead after the first 100, splitting 1:01.5. But Stina Colleou ran her down, especially with a 32.6 third 50 split, to beat her to the wall for second place honors.
Colleou’s final time was 2:09.07. Gardell finished at 2:09.26. Colleou’s second place finish was Utah first ever top 3 finish at the conference championships in program history. Utah really has a had a historic first season under new Head Coach Joe Dykstra
Arizona’s Emma Schoettmer was also under 2:10, finishing fourth in 2:09.91. Her teammate Sara Bordendame was sixth.
Cal’s best finisher was Marina Garcia in fifth. Andrea Kropp was seventh for USC, and Utah rounded out the top eight again with Nicole Ligeza.
Maya DiRado has had a very impressive final PAC-12 Championships. She finished out the meet with her third individual win of the weekend here in the 200 butterfly. She won the event in a time of 1:53.60.
DiRado used to swim the 200 backstroke on this day, but since the Worlds in 2013, DiRado has emerged into a fantastic 200 butterfly swimmer.
Noelle Tarazona had a great swim for the Bruins, finishing second in 1:54.80. Rachel Boostma of Cal had a strong back 100 to lock herself into the third spot at 1:55.37.
Ashley Evans for Arizona was fourth, just slightly off Boostma’s pace the whole race, at 1:55.93.
Stanford’s Mackenzie Stein, Jasmine Tosky and Chelsea Chenault of USC were all at 1:56’s for fifth through sixth place. Stein and Chenault improved on their seed times, but Tosky is a bit off her 1:53 for the Trojan’s mid season meet.
Sophia Batchelor was eighth for the Cal Golden Bears.
USC’s Haley Ishimatsu claimed her second platform diving title in a row in the PAC-12, after winning her first last season. She set a new PAC-12 meet record with her score of 340.20, over the previous mark of 322.65. Ishimatsu looks poised to win a back-to-back NCAA crown in this event.
Cal’s Kahley Rowell was second and Utah’s Kersten Merry rounded out the top three for the event.
400 Freestyle Relay
In the final race of the night, Cal had the final touch over Arizona at the wall. The two teams used two different strategies as Cal kept their big gun for the anchor leg, while Arizona decided to use theirs at the second spot.
Kaylin Bing split 48.70 to have the beginning lead for the Bears over Bonnie Brandon. But Margo Geer’s 46.56 split gave the Wildcats over a second lead over Rachael Acker at the half way mark. After Caroline Piehl and Alana Pazevic both split 48.2’s, Arizona had a 1.3 second lead into the final 100 yards.
Gracie Finnegan split 48.1, but couldn’t hold off a 46.4 split from Franklin. Cal won in 3:11.49, as Arizona was second at 3:11.90.
Stanford was third at 3:12.55. Lia Neal anchored the Cardinal in 46.64, while the rest of her relay split 48’s. USC was fourth at 3:14.46, as Kasey Carlson split a 47.8 on the third leg.
It was Cal’s meet to lose, and the Bears came through with the 2014 PAC-12 title. The title returns back after a hiatus in 2013 to Stanford. They came away with an almost 200 point lead over Stanford, even with a relay win DQ.
USC made up some ground on Stanford, as the Cardinal finished about forty points ahead of the Trojans for second and third place. UCLA held on and bested Arizona for fourth place by only three points.
Utah in their first season with Coach Dykstra finished sixth.
1. University of California, Berk 1552.5
2. Stanford University 1364
3. University of Southern Calif 1327
4. University of CA – Los Angeles 936.5
5. Arizona, University of 933.5
6. Utah, University of 758
7. Arizona State University 461.5
8. Washington State University 346
9. Oregon State University 309