2019 Pac-12 Women’s Championships: Day 2 Finals Live Recap

2019 PAC-12 WOMEN’S SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

We’re on to day 2 finals at the Pac-12 Championships, with swimmers racing for titles in the 500 free, 200 IM, 50 free, and 200 free relay. Olympian Cierra Runge of ASU will challenge for the 500 title, but she’ll be up against Stanford’s Ella Eastin and Lauren Pitzer, as well as Arizona’s Kirsten Jacobsen. Since she’s swimming the 500 tonight, the 200 IM will be without American Record holder Eastin. USC’s Louise Hansson, the 100 fly NCAA champion, leads the way there. Cal American Record holder Abbey Weitzeil topped the 50 free prelims with her fastest collegiate time ever and her best time since her record-setting performance in 2016.

WOMEN’S 500 FREESTYLE

  1. GOLD: Ella Eastin, Stanford, 4:32.89
  2. SILVER: Lauren Pitzer, Stanford, 4:34.30
  3. BRONZE: Cierra Runge, ASU, 4:35.13

Stanford’s Ella Eastin swam to #10 all-time tonight to win this race in 4:32.89. That was a lifetime best by over a second and her first time below 4:34. Eastin really took off after the first 200 yards. She took it out in 1:49.19, but her closing 200 was faster than that in 1:48.34. After clipping her best this morning, teammate Lauren Pitzer knocked 2 seconds off her best for silver in 4:34.30, pulling ahead of ASU’s Cierra Runge (4:35.13) after the 200.

Runge is the 4th fastest performer in history after going a 4:31.90 at the 2015 Pac-12 Championships when she was a freshman at Cal. This is her fastest time since her NCAA performance that same year (4:33.82) and the 4th fastest swim of her career.

Stanford freshman Morgan Tankersley popped a best time in 4:37.00 for 4th place. ASU’s Emma Nordin dropped a chunk of time to break 4:40 for the first time this morning. She shaved another 2 seconds off that, finishing 5th in 4:37.68.

WOMEN’S 200 IM

  • Pac-12 record: 1:50.67, Ella Eastin, 2018
  • Championship record: 1:52.26, Katinka Hosszu, 2012
  • NCAA ‘A’ cut: 1:54.31
  1. GOLD: Louise Hansson, USC, 1:52.50
  2. SILVER: Isabel Ivey, Cal, 1:54.31
  3. BRONZE: Sarah Darcel, Cal, 1:54.91

USC’s Louise Hansson is now tied with Olympic champ Maya DiRado as the 9th fastest performer ever in this race. Hansson was out quick with a 23.96 fly split, but Cal freshman Isabel Ivey started to close the gap on the back leg. Hansson pulled over a second ahead after breaststroke before sealing the deal on freestyle. Her 1:52.50 was a best time by over a second. Ivey held on to her 2nd position in 1:54.31, dropping almost 1.5 seconds.

The battle for bronze between Cal’s Sarah Darcel and Stanford’s Brooke Forde was a close one at the finish. Darcel was over a second ahead at the halfway point, while Forde made a push on the breast leg. Forde came close to running her down on the anchor split, but Darcel got her hand to the wall a couple of tenths ahead in 1:54.91 to Forde’s 1:55.11. Cal’s Keaton Blovad clipped her best for 5th in 1:55.62.

USC’s Tatum Wade had the 6th fastest time of the night as she won the B final, breaking 1:56 for the first time in 1:55.63.

WOMEN’S 50 FREESTYLE

  1. GOLD: Abbey Weitzeil, Cal, 21.16
  2. SILVER: Amy Bilquist, Cal, 21.64
  3. BRONZE: Claire Grover, UCLA, 21.98

American Record holder Abbey Weitzeil put the Bears on top with a new Pac-12 Record, breaking the former mark set by Olympic champion Simone Manuel. Her blistering 21.16 was just a few hundredths shy of the 21.12 she swam in 2016 to break that American Record. It was also the 3rd fastest performance in history. Weitzeil seems to be having a breakthrough season and is finally back to peak form. This sets up a good race between her and Tennessee’s Erika Brown, who broke the NCAA Record at SECs last week in 21.15.

Teammate Amy Bilquist knocked a tenth off her lifetime best to take silver in 21.64. The only other swimmer to break 22 tonight was UCLA freshman Claire Grover, marking her first ever swim under 22. Grover has taken half a second off her time today. Rounding out the top 5 were USC’s Marta Ciesla (22.01) and Cal’s Maddie Murphy (22.08).

 WOMEN’S 1-METER DIVING:

  1. GOLD: Maria Polyakova, UCLA, 335.70
  2. SILVER: Delaney Schnell, Arizona, 326.00
  3. BRONZE: Carolina Schulti, Stanford, 313.10

Stanford got big points from this final. Carolina Schulti landed on the podium with a bronze behind UCLA champion Maria Polyakova and Arizona’s Delaney Schnell. The Cardinal also scored with Darla Lenz in 5th and Haley Farnsworth in 7th.

WOMEN’S 200 FREESTYLE RELAY

  • Pac-12 record: Stanford, 1:25.43
  • Championship record: Cal, 1:25.87
  • NCAA ‘A’ cut: 1:28.61
  1. GOLD: Cal, 1:26.00
  2. SILVER: Stanford, 1:27.42
  3. BRONZE: UCLA, 1:28.88

Cal continued their unbeaten relay streak as they blew the field away in this one. Abbey Weitzeil got them started in 21.47, followed by Maddie Murphy (21.61), Katie McLaughlin (21.62), and Amy Bilquist (21.30). The Bears were nearly a second and a half ahead of the field and just a tenth short of their Championship Record from last season. Stanford wound up 2nd, with freshman Taylor Ruck posting their fastest split with a 21.59 on the 2nd leg.

USC was originally 3rd, but was DQ’ed from the race after an early start by their anchor.

Team Scores After Day 2

Arizona State is once again climbing the ladder at the Pac-12 Championships from their projected 5th-place finish. USC and Arizona are still within striking distance, and Cal has too much talent to be caught by the Sun Devils, but the battle for 3rd place will be very interesting over the next 2 days. Arizona State jumped USC late in Thursday’s session thanks to a USC DQ in the 200 free relay.

Stanford, even without swimming most of their swimmers in all 3 of their best events, are running away with their 3rd-straight title. That’s the luxury of having swimmers who are capable of conference titles in 4+ races.

1. Stanford – 583.5
2. California – 455.5
3. Arizona State- 349
4. USC – 323
5. Arizona – 320
6. UCLA – 291
7. Utah – 143
8. Washington State – 135
9. Oregon State – 90

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paloozas

WHAT ella eastin went 4:32 that’s insane !!! also lauren pitzer going 4:34, stanford might just 1-2 this event AGAIN, this time w/o ledecky. incredible. morgan tankersley went a pb in the 500 after two years or so. say what you will about stanford, but their 500 free and 400 IM groups are intimidatingly good.

Ervin

This event has gotten crazy fast…the amount of girls that can go under 440 is insane….but its wide open at the top without Ledecky/Smith

paloozas

i agree that it’s quite wide open, but considering other conference winners in this event (sec – courtney harnish, 4:37), (acc – comerford, 4:36), (big 10 – rose bi, 4:35), i think they have the best chance, if they hit their taper correctly. plus, comerford is swimming the 50, and rose bi has underperformed the past two ncaa’s (my pickems suffered greatly). 4:34 was second last year, with drabot, and in 2017, 4:36 was third behind ledecky & smith

Hannah

Comerford actually went a 4:34 at ACCs but said she’s swimming the 50 instead so that conference won’t send anyone competitive. Harnish won SECs with a 4:35 and Georgia usually doesn’t taper all the way for SECs I’d tgey don’t have to so she could be a factor. Also Kirsten Jacobsen was 4:35.0 last year and Cierra Runge was 4:35 tonight and has a pb of 4:31. I think this is going to be a great race.

Bob

Eastin too op needs a nerf

Hbear

Whoa! Second place for Ivey in her first individual swim. Nice!

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona and the University of Florida. While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She is now coaching for Loggerhead Aquatics in her hometown …

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