2015 PAC 12 Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships
- When: Wednesday, February 25th to Saturday, February 28th
- Where: Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center, Federal Way, WA (Pacific Time Zone)
- Defending Champion: California Golden Bears
- Live Results: here
- Live Video: Will post when available
- Championship Central: here
Despite sweeping all four events last night, Cal does not have an insurmountable lead, yet, over Stanford. Look for the 200 free and 100 back to be hotly contested this morning.
Cal took the top two spots this morning, led by junior Kelly Naze and sophomore Celina Li. Naze dropped over a second off her seed time to finish in 4:09.50, while Li was more than four seconds slower than her time from the Georgia Invitational back in December. Stanford picked up third and fourth seeds, with Tara Halsted touching in 4:12.11 and Allison Brown dropping over ten seconds from her seed time to finish in 4:14.33.
The last four spots in the A-final were each taken by four different schools. USC’s Margaret D’Innocenzo took fifth in 4:14.46, UCLA’s Arlyn Upshaw took sixth in 4:15.13, Arizona’s Shanyn Hultin finished seventh in 4:15.89, and Cal got another A-finalists with Alicia Grima‘s 4:16.75.
Half of the spots in tonight’s A-final will be representing Cal, with the top seed going to Farida Osman. Her 51.53 this morning was a 0.39 drop over her seed time and moves her to sixth in the nation this year. But she’s likely to face a stiff battle with second-seed Kendryl Stewart of USC. Stewart’s 51.57 was actually a little slower than her time seed time, which came from the USC vs. UCLA duel meet, so she figures to be faster this evening. The third seed went to another Cal swimmer, Rachel Bootsma, who touched in 51.90. Not too far behind her were three freshmen: Stanford’s Janet Hu (52.08) and Cal swimmers Noemie Thomas (52.15) and Jasmine Mau (52.26). Your other A-finalists for this evening will be another Stanford freshman, Lindsey Engel (52.63) and USC junior Lucy Worrall (53.04).
It’s hard to continue to impress with swims when you are already the American record holder in an event, but Missy Franklin impressed a lot of people Wednesday night when anchored Cal’s 4×200 free relay in 1:40.68 to help her team demolish the American record in that event. As of this morning, half of the top sixteen times in the NCAA this year were done Pac 12 swimmers, so given all that you had to expect that it was going to be a fast preliminary session this morning.
Sure enough, there are unsubstantiated reports of smoke rising from the water of the Kings County Aquatic Center during the heats of the 200 freestyle this morning (okay, so not really, but you get the picture). For dramatic effect, we are going to count down from the eighth fastest swim to the first from this morning. If you wanted to make the A-final this evening, you had to swim 1:44.74, a time that would have garnered you twelfth in prelims at the NCAA championships last year. That time belonged to Cal’s Caroline Piehl. In seventh was Stanford’s Lia Neal (1:44.43), who was just a tick behind Cal’s Elizabeth Pelton (1:44.40). Fellow Cal swimmer Camille Cheng finished fifth in 1:44.19. Yet another Golden Bear, newly-minted NCAA record holder in the 500 free, Cierra Runge, picked up the fourth seed in 1:43.71. Just ahead of her was USC’s Chelsea Chenault (1:43.68). Finally Simone Manuel and Missy Franklin are poised to battle it out tonight as the top two seeds. Manuel touched first in heat seven with a time of 1:43.17, and Franklin, swimming in the final heat, finished in 1:43.08.
Arizona’s Bonnie Brandon, who had the fifth fastest time in the country heading into this morning, finished ninth in 1:45.50, and will be the top seed in the B-final.
Just in case you have lost count at this point, Cal swimmers will be taking up 12 of 24 spots in the A-finals of the first three events this evening.
How quickly things change. Highlighting what is arguably the Golden Bears’ only weakness, no Cal swimmer made the A-final of the 100 breast. Instead, Stanford’s Sarah Haase picked up the top seed with a 59.27. She’s followed by UCLA’s Allison Wine (59.46) and Stanford’s Heidi Poppe (59.75). Arizona’s Emma Schoettmer took the fourth seed in 1:00.04, while Stanford’s Katie Olsen (1:00.20) and USC’s Andrea Kroop (1:00.31) will go into tonight as the fifth and sixth seeds. Utah got its first A-finalist of the day as Stina Colleou took seventh in 1:00.95, and ASU also got its first A-finalist, thanks to a 1:00.97. Arizona picked up three more spots in the B-final, led by Sara Borendame (1:01.24). Cal’s Marina Garcia finished tenth with a time of 1:01.44.
Back to Cal dominance. Rachel Bootsma swam the fastest time of the morning with a 51.54. Second was Stanford’s Ally Howe, with a 52.00. Melanie Klaren, another Golden Bear, took third with a 52.36, followed by USC’s Hannah Weiss with a 52.70. A pair of UCLA swimmers finished with very close times, Linnea Mack (53.02) just finishing ahead of Madison White (53.07). The last two swimmers to get into the A-final were Cal’s Jasmine Mau (53.26) and ASU’s Ingibjorg Jonsdottir (53.63).
Cal’s Missy Franklin and Elizabeth Pelton swam this event as exhibition swims, Franklin finished with a time of 51.75 and Pelton in a 52.46. Both times would have made the A-final if they were done for points.