2020 Women’s Pac-12 Championships: Day 2 Finals Live Recap

2020 PAC-12 WOMEN’S SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

The 2020 women’s Pac-12 Championships continues tonight with finals of the 500 free, 200 IM, 50 free, 1-meter diving, and 200 free relay. We’re in for a good show as Cal and Stanford battle for a lead. When projecting scores based on this morning’s prelims, the Bears were just 8.5 points ahead of the Cardinal. However, diving finals already took place, and the Cardinal gained a huge advantage.

After setting the Pac-12 Meet Record in prelims, Cal’s defending champion Abbey Weitzeil is chasing her own American and NCAA Record tonight. We could see the 2nd-ever swim under 21. USC’s Louise Hansson will also step up to defend her title as the top seed in the 200 IM. ASU has the top 3 seeds for the 500 free, led by Emma Nordin, who set a lifetime best in prelims. However, that event also features reigning NCAA Champion Brooke Forde of Stanford.

WOMEN’S 500 FREE

  • Pac-12 Record: Katie Ledecky (Stanford), 2017, 4:24.06
  • Meet Record: Katie Ledecky (Stanford), 2017, 4:25.15
  • NCAA Record: Katie Ledecky (Stanford), 2017, 4:24.06
  • 2019 NCAA Invited: 4:40.96
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 4:35.76
  • 2019 Champion: Ella Eastin (Stanford) – 4:32.89
  1. GOLD: Emma Nordin, ASU, 4:33.74
  2. SILVER: Morgan Tankersley, Stanford, 4:35.99
  3. BRONZE: Cierra Runge, ASU, 4:36.06

Arizona State’s Emma Nordin had a huge swim tonight. She dropped over 3 seconds from her lifetime best in prelims, racing to a 4:33.74 for the win. That knocked almost a second off the school record set by Cierra Runge in 2019. Teammate Runge gave them 2 on the podium with a 3:36.06 for bronze. Erica Laning was 7th for the Sun Devils in 4:40.44.

Stanford’s Morgan Tankersley dropped over a second from her best to take silver in 4:35.99. Teammate Brooke Forde, the reigning NCAA Champion, was 4th in 4:37.09. The Cardinal made up half the A final. Lauren Pitzer (4:37.19) was 5th and Erin Voss (4:39.81) was 6th. Cal’s Robin Neumann finished 8th there in 4:41.36.

Arizona All-American Kirsten Jacobsen won the B final by over a second in 4:37.91. Cal freshman Ayla Spitz made a big drop. She took 3.5 seconds off her best this morning, and lowered it again by over 3 seconds tonight. Spitz broke 4:40 for the first time in 4:39.24 as she out-touched Stanford’s Katie Drabot (4:39.33).

There were 3 Cal freshmen in that B heat, all swimming best times again. Rachel Klinker took 6th in the heat with a 4:42.73, just ahead of teammate Sarah Dimeco (4:43.22). Arizona also had 3 there. Ayumi Macias touched 5th in the heat with a 4:42.15. Hannah Cox was 8th in 4:43.95.

ASU’s Caitlyn Wilson and Lindsay Looney swam to a 1-2 finish in the C final. Wilson clipped her lifetime best to win the heat in 4:43.79. Looney, a freshman dropped 2.5 seconds. She made a move on the final 50 to nearly catch Wilson, narrowly behind in 4:43.88.

WOMEN’S 200 IM

  • Pac-12 Record: Ella Eastin (Stanford), 2018, 1:50.67
  • Meet Record: Katinka Hosszu (USC), 2012, 1:52.26
  • NCAA Record: Ella Eastin (Stanford), 2018, 1:50.67
  • 2019 NCAA Invited: 1:56.76
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:53.66
  • 2019 Champion: Louise Hansson (USC) – 1:52.50
  1. GOLD: Louise Hansson, USC, 1:54.09
  2. SILVER: Izzy Ivey, Cal, 1:54.67
  3. BRONZE: Alicia Wilson, Cal, 1:55.85

USC’s Louise Hansson and Cal’s Izzy Ivey battled closely through the 150, with Hansson touching just 3 hundredths ahead. Hansson pulled away on the freestyle leg, repeating as champion in 1:54.09. Cal’s Alicia Wilson held off teammate Keaton Blovad‘s charge on the free leg for bronze in 1:55.85. Blovad was just a couple of tenths shy of her best in 1:55.88.

USC’s Tatum Wade rounded out the top 5 in 1:56.19. UCLA’s Kenisha Liu followed in 1:57.37. Teammate Delaney Smith (1:58.44) and ASU’s Nora Deleske (1:59.13) were off their bests from prelims.

Stanford’s lone scorer in this event, Zoe Bartel, stepped it up to win the B final, holding off UCLA’s Ella Kirschke on the final leg. Bartel won the race in 1:58.44, while Kirschke dropped a lifetime besst 1:58.65 for 2nd. Arizona freshman Axana Merckx (1:58.84) was just a hundredth shy of a lifetime best in 3rd.

ASU is really on a roll here. Freshman Jade Foelske broke 2:00 for the first time to win the C final in 1:59.25. The top 4 swimmers all broke the barrier for the first time. Washington State’s Lauren Burckel was a close 2nd in 1:59.41. UCLA’s Amy Okada was 3rd in 1:59.55, and ASU’s Lizzy Spears followed in 1:59.97. After qualifying 18th this morning, USC’s Maggie Aroesty pulled out for an undisclosed medical reason.

WOMEN’S 50 FREE

  1. GOLD: Abbey Weitzeil, Cal, 21.03
  2. SILVER: Marta Ciesla, USC, 21.86
  3. BRONZE: Anya Goeders, Stanford, 21.91

Cal’s Abbey Weitzeil took down her own Pac-12 Record again. Weitzeil put up a dominant 21.03, tying the 3rd fastest swim in history. Tennessee’s Erika Brown also swam a 21.03 at last week’s SEC Championships. Weitzeil now owns 7 of the 10 fastest performances ever. Notably, she’s not entered on the heat sheet for Cal’s 200 free relay.

USC’s Marta Ciesla was just a hundredth shy of her lifetime best with a 21.86 for silver, out-touching Stanford’s Anya Goeders, who clipped her best in 21.91 for bronze. Cal All-American Maddie Murphy was just off the podium in 22.14, a nail ahead of UCLA’s Claire Grover (22.18) and ASU’s Camryn Curry (22.25).

Cal freshman Eloise Riley (22.33) and Stanford freshman Emma Wheal (22.42) were off their bests from prelims as they rounded out the top 8.

Arizona’s Alayna Connor clipped her best again to win the B final in 22.36. Teammate Kayla Filipek (22.44) took 3rd in the heat behind Stanford’s Amalie Fackenthal (22.38). Stanford freshman Alexandra Crisera won the C final in 22.74 ahead of teammates Ashley Volpenhein (22.79) and Lauren Green (22.80).

WOMEN’S 1-METER DIVING

  • Pac-12 Record: Victoria Ishimatsu (USC), 2011, 366.75
  • Meet Record: Victoria Ishimatsu (USC), 2011, 366.75
  • 2019 Champion: Maria Polyakova (UCLA) – 335.70
  1. GOLD: Ruby Neave, UCLA, 329.30
  2. SILVER: Mia Paulsen, Stanford, 325.65
  3. BRONZE: Carolina Sculti, Stanford, 324.85

This event is huge for Stanford, as they had 2 medalists in Mia Paulsen and Carolina Sculti. They also had Daria Lenz take 5th place. Diving is going to be a big advantage at this meet as they battle Cal for the title.

UCLA gets a boost here as Ruby Neave took the title and teammate Hannah Butler took 8th, keeping the Bruins on top despite 2019 champion Maria Polyakova graduating after last season. USC also had 2 finalists with Morenike Agunbiade (4th) and Naomi Gowlett (7th). Arizona’s Gracie Sleeman was 7th.

You can view diving results here.

WOMEN’S 200 FREE RELAY

  • Pac-12 Record: Cal (2019) – 1:24.55
  • Meet Record: Cal (2018) – 1:25.87
  • NCAA Record: Cal (2019) – 1:24.55
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:28.43
  • 2019 Champion: Cal – 1:26.00
  1. GOLD: Cal, 1:27.22
  2. SILVER: Stanford, 1:28.32
  3. BRONZE: USC, 1:28.44

Even without Weitzeil, Cal dominated this race. Freshman Eloise Riley led off in 22.27. Keaton Blovad (22.05), Maddie Murphy (21.47), and Izzy Ivey (21.43) followed for a 1:27.22 victory. Stanford (1:28.32) just out-touched USC (1:28.44) for silver. Freshman Emma Wheal anchored for the Cardinal in 21.89. Tatum Wade had the Trojans’ fastest split as she anchored in 21.89.

Arizona’s Alayna Connor split a 21.83 as the Wildcats finished 4th in 1:29.16. UCLA (1:30.44) rounded out the top 5 with a 22.50 leadoff from Claire Grover.

UCLA’s B relay (1:30.52) won the first heat, though none of the relays in that heat can score as only the A final relays are counted. Amy Okada put up a 22.17 split there on the 2nd leg. Cal’s fastest B relay split was a 22.49 from anchor Elise Garcia. Stanford’s Lauren Green split a 22.36 on the 2nd leg of their B relay.

TEAM SCORES THROUGH DAY 2

  1. Stanford 504
  2. Cal 437
  3. USC 397
  4. UCLA 364
  5. ASU 338
  6. Arizona 291
  7. Utah 192
  8. Washington State 161

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N P

4:33 for Nordin!

SwimmerTX

Cal freshmen are here for business.

Swim

Why did Abbey act like that with interview? End of her interview really rubbed me the wrong way

Hint of Lime

Yeah, she definitely didn’t look excited, so she probably thought she hit a better time. But she didn’t seem mad at her competitors or the interviewer, more so disappointed, IMO.

ALEXANDER POP-OFF

What did she do? For those of us not seeing.

Hint of Lime

Interviewer asked her about this meet as her last Pac-12s (might have also asked her about the race in general), and Abbey said that she had a weird race and wanted to clean up details before NCAAs. Didn’t look happy, but nothing more than that IIRC.

ALEXANDER POP-OFF

Oh! Abbey isn’t a swimmer that can hide her emotion per se. and truth be told I appreciate that about her. Excited for her— that tells you what we need to know about the level of her training and goals.

SwimMom

I didn’t see the interview because I’m at the meet, but she was rubbing her bicep before it. She could be in a bit of physical discomfort.

ALEXANDER POP-OFF

Lord after last year, NO! Not this year. I hope not.

Random123

could be right, she was not on the relay

tnp101

Yes, I felt the same way. But given how competitive she was, she was probably expecting a sub 21 for her last 50 race and didn’t get that. So she was disappointed and it showed.

The Pac 12 network interviewer was pretty bad interviewer also. Terrible questions and transitional questions. Microphone wasn’t off too.

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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