2018 Women’s Pac-12s Day 1 Recap: Cal Just .03 Shy of 200 MR NCAA Record

2018 PAC-12 WOMEN’S SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

The 2018 Pac-12 Women’s Championships are set to begin tonight in Federal Way, Washington. We’ll also see the men’s divers competing this week. Tonight, swimmers will line up to race in the 200 medley relay and 800 free relay. Divers will compete in the men’s 1-meter finals. Read on for live recaps from tonight’s session.

WOMEN’S 200 MEDLEY RELAY:

  1. GOLD: Cal, 1:34.13
  2. SILVER: Stanford, 1:34.72
  3. BRONZE: USC, 1:35.36

Cal came within 3 hundredths of the NCAA Record, with Kathleen Baker leading off in a 23.59 back split. Abbey Weitzeil took on the breast leg in 26.58, handing off to butterflier Noemie Thomas (22.74). Anchoring for the Bears was Amy Bilquist in 21.22. While some swimming fans have speculated about Baker’s times this season, this bodes well for the Bears. Baker’s 23.59 is just .02 shy of her fastest 50 back ever (a 23.57 from last season’s Pac-12s) and .03 faster than she was on the record-breaking relay at 2017 NCAAs.

Interestingly, the Bears now have another prospect for the breaststroke leg at NCAAs. Freshman Ali Harrison really stepped up with a 26.75 on the B relay, meaning they could use her on the breast leg and opt for 50 free American Record holder Weitzeil as the anchor at NCAAs.

Stanford wound up 2nd, highlighted by a 22.87 fly split from Janet Hu and Simone Manuel‘s 21.14 anchor. USC picked up bronze with a quick 22.38 fly split from Louise Hansson and freshman Marta Ciesla‘s 21.48 free split. Arizona (1:37.80) raced to 4th with a 21.61 anchor from sprint standout Katrina Konopka.

WOMEN’S 800 FREE RELAY:

  1. GOLD: Cal, 6:52.62
  2. SILVER: Stanford, 6:53.86
  3. BRONZE: USC, 6:56.85

USC’s Louise Hansson blasted a 1:41.81 leadoff split to give the Trojans the lead up front, but they fell behind Cal after the 3rd leg. The Bears came out on top again as Robin Neumann (1:43.38 leadoff), Kathleen Baker (1:43.29), Katie McLaughlin (1:43.29), and Amy Bilquist (1:42.66) combined for a victory. Stanford trailed USC by over 2.5 seconds heading into the anchor leg, but Katie Ledecky put up a 1:41.21 to pull Stanford ahead for the silver. The Cardinal opted not to use Simone Manuel here, instead having Katie Drabot (1:45.88) lead off, Ella Eastin (1:42.77) 2nd, and Brooke Forde (1:44.00) 3rd.

Arizona (7:02.11) and UCLA (7:04.64) battled for 4th, with Zona’s Kirsten Jacobsen (1:44.28 leadoff) and Cameron Mchugh (1:44.44) giving them a pair of 1:44s to take the edge over the Bruins. UCLA also had a pair of 1:44s from Kenisha Liu (1:44.71 leadoff) and Katie Grover (1:44.57).

TEAM SCORES THROUGH DAY 1:

  1. University of California- Berk    128   2. Stanford University               112
  3. University of Southern Calif      108   4. University of Arizona             104
  5. University of California - LA      98   5. Arizona State University           98
  7. Washington State University        92   8. Utah, University of                88
  9. Oregon State Uuniversity           42

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Cal Former
4 years ago

This meet is going to be great to watch. GO BEARSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yozhik
4 years ago

Not topic related.
Lindsey Vonn reminded me pretty much Missy Franklin in Rio Olympics. She should take lessons from Missy of “Grace in Defeat”. Missing gates is the best thing that could happen to her because she has already lost her advantage and would be out of podium anyway. How differently great athletes retire from the sport and give up on dreams and ambitions. And how tough such a transition could be.

Double Arm Freestyle
Reply to  Yozhik
4 years ago

Missy hasn’t retired yet

Ervin
Reply to  Double Arm Freestyle
4 years ago

Yeah but honestly her comeback to competition is a bit overdue…if she wants any chance at making the national team, she’d realistically need to show up at the next pro series meet, and start building from there….same goes for Lochte, otherwise after this summer, they’d have to wait till 2020 to qualify.

Yozhik
4 years ago

Are reaction times available? Or they are not measured/recorded in this pool?
Hansson’s and Ledecky’s splits look very similar and indicate a well planned and well executed strategy:
23.75 – 25.76 – 26.00 – 26.30
23.33 – 25.57 – 26.07 – 26.24
The individual race in 200 free will give us more information but as of now it can be said that Ledecky won’t be slower in three weeks in NCAA than she was a year ago,
and if Hansson isn’t fully tapered for Pac-12 then Mallory and Katie will get a good company in NCAA final.

swimmerj
Reply to  Yozhik
4 years ago

Likely that Hansson will swim 100 fly over 200 free at NCAAs

Yozhik
Reply to  swimmerj
4 years ago

Oh.., then good luck to her in fly races.

Ervin
4 years ago

Someone, videos please!

ALEXANDER POP-OFF
4 years ago

This will be interesting– last Pac-12s was better for Stanford than NC’s (Ally Howe American Record, etc). Wonder if Meehan is holding them off a bit more this year to peak when it counts?

coach
Reply to  ALEXANDER POP-OFF
4 years ago

your smart noticing ‘da plan’
our special ladies not gonna rest here

kal tapering like mad 4 conference
they know whose gonna win ncaas ez

u just wait 4 da Card show @ march
its sure gonna be ugly 4 all others!

ALEXANDER POP-OFF
Reply to  coach
4 years ago

Now you know better than to say that McKeever has these women tapered for conference. Please.

Double Arm Freestyle
Reply to  ALEXANDER POP-OFF
4 years ago

I agree. Last year Cal had a good Pac-12s and a fantastic NCAAs while Stanford had a really good Pac-12s but wasn’t as sharp at NCAAs, Stanford seems to be holding back from last year and Cal seems to be in the same shape so they’re both gonna light it up at NCAAs.

common sense
Reply to  Double Arm Freestyle
4 years ago

Of course they rested- all of them (maybe not KL). There are degrees of rest and sharpening so it is a bit ridiculous to talk about in oppositions like rest/no rest or taper/no taper. two cents . . .

Yozhik
Reply to  ALEXANDER POP-OFF
4 years ago

Everybody was slower on Stanford 800 relay than year ago:
Estin – by 0.4sec
Neal/Forde – by 0.7sec
But main contribution of making the relay result slower by 4.4 sec came from Ledeky (~ 1sec) and Drabot (~2sec)
Let’s call it coach Meehan’s holding to keep the hope for NCAA alive.

Tea rex
4 years ago

I just looked at the psyche sheets, and feel like it’s worth pointing out:
Katie Ledecky is seeded 1st in the mile with 15:03. Hannah Cox is seeded second with 16:04. The 8th seed is 16:14. Marinate on that.

swamfan
4 years ago

Congrats to Cal on a great first night! Bilquist has suffered through numerous injuries in the past few years. By the looks of her splits tonight she is finally healthy. Hope she stays that way!

ALEXANDER POP-OFF
Reply to  swamfan
4 years ago

Co-sign. I am rooting for her to have a breakout meet at NCAA’s– her Olympic Trials was excellent so she can perform under the highest pressure.

Jay Ryan
4 years ago

Nice leadoff the 800 FR by Hansson for USC 1:41.81

Yozhik
Reply to  Jay Ryan
4 years ago

It is probably the only result that worth to be noted about this relay.

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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