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


The first individual races of the 2020 women’s Pac-12 Championships take place this morning, as swimmers gear up for prelims of the 500 free, 200 IM, and 50 free. Cal senior Abbey Weitzeil, the reigning NCAA Champion and fastest woman in history, will swim one of her signature races today as she headlines the 50 free.

We’ll also see the reigning NCAA Champion in the 500 free, as Stanford’s Brooke Forde is the 2nd seed behind All-American teammate Katie Drabot. The 200 IM will feature defending champion Louise Hansson of USC, who owns the NCAA Record and the 2019 NCAA title in the 100 fly.


  • 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. Emma Nordin, ASU, 4:37.39
  2. Erica Laning, ASU, 4:37.90
  3. Cierra Runge, ASU, 4:38.36
  4. Robin Neumann, Cal, 4:39.28
  5. Brooke Forde, Stanford, 4:39.26
  6. Lauren Pitzer, Stanford, 4:39.43
  7. Erin Voss, Stanford, 4:39.51
  8. Morgan Tankersley, Stanford, 4:39.72

Arizona State’s Emma Nordin and Cierra Runge went 1-2 in heat 3. Nordin shaved a few tenths off her best in 4:37.39, while Runge followed in 4:38.36. Stanford’s Erin Voss touched 3rd in the heat with a 4:39.51, just ahead of Arizona’s Kirsten Jacobsen (4:39.76). Jacobsen wound up missing the A final by just 4 hundredths in 9th overall. She’ll be joined in the B final by teammates Hannah Cox (4:40.29) and Ayumi Macias (4:43.10).

The Cardinal and Sun Devils will get big points in this event. ASU’s Erica Laning dropped 2 seconds from her best in heat 4, posting a 4:37.90 ahead of Stanford’s reigning NCAA champ Brooke Forde (4:39.36). ASU now has the top 3 seeds for the final. Stanford’s Morgan Tankersley was 3rd in the heat with a 4:39.72 to qualify 8th.

Cal’s Robin Neumann won the final heat with a lifetime best 4:39.24. Stanford earned their 4th championship finalists out of that heat with Lauren Pitzer‘s 4:39.43. Pitzer was the 2019 runner-up in this event. Teammate Katie Drabot swam a 4:42.02 in that heat to qualify for the B final in 12th. The Cardinal will have 4 swimmers in the championship heat.

The Bears outperformed their projections in this race. Cal freshman Ayla Spitz made a big drop in the early heats. Spitz dominated her heat in 4:42.40, dropping 3.5 seconds. Fellow freshman Sarah Dimeco also clipped her best with a 4:44.16 in the circle-seeded heats. Both will swim in the B final, as will another freshma teammate, Rachel Klinker, who hit a lifetime best 4:43.24.

The Bears only had 2 scorers in this event last season, with Neumann in the C final and then-freshman Cassidy Bayer, who is currently taking a break from swimming, in the C final. Stanford has consistently scored a ton of points over the past few seasons. They made up half of the A final in 2019 as well.


  • 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. Louise Hansson, USC, 1:55.70
  2. Izzy Ivey, Cal, 1:56.65
  3. Keaton Blovad, Cal, 1:56.71
  4. Alicia Wilson, Cal, 1:57.37
  5. Nora Deleske, ASU, 1:57.80
  6. Tatum Wade, USC, 1:57.89
  7. Kenisha Liu, UCLA, 1:57.98
  8. Delaney Smith, UCLA, 1:58.31

Even without 2019 bronze medalist Sarah Darcel, who scratched the meet due to injury, Cal should be getting the most points here. Izzy Ivey, the 2019 runner-up, was there top performer in 1:56.65. Teammate Keaton Blovad was hundredths behind in 1:56.71. Alicia Wilson, a 2019 WUGs Champion, qualified 4th in 1:57.37.

Leading the way in prelims was reigning champion Louise Hansson of USC in 1:55.70. Tatum Wade, who won the 2019 B final, also made the championship heat at 6th in 1:57.89. UCLA also had multiple top-8 qualifiers. After swimming in the C final last season, Kenisha Liu put up a 1:57.98 for 7th. Teammate Delaney Smith put up a best time by a second for 8th in 1:58.31.

Arizona State’s Nora Deleske made a big drop, breaking 1:59 for the first time to qualify 5th in 1:57.80. She improved from the C final in 2019 to the A final this season.

Stanford has only 1 scorer in this event with Zoe Bartel in the B final. Allie Szekely, the 7th seed, is swimming in exhibition. Her 1:58.28 in prelims, however, would have put her in the A final. The Bears have 4 scorers. In addition to their 3 A finalists, Courtney Mykkanen (2:01.33) qualified 23rd.



  1. Abbey Weitzeil, Cal, 21.09
  2. Anya Goeders, Stanford, 22.01
  3. (TIE 3rd) Marta Ciesla, USC, 22.08
  4. (TIE 3rd) Eloise Riley, Cal, 22.08
  5. Claire Grover, UCLA, 22.13
  6. Maddie Murphy, Cal, 22.22
  7. Camryn Curry, ASU, 22.23
  8. Emma Wheal, Stanford, 22.26

Cal’s Abbey Weitzeil took down her own Meet Record here, dominating by nearly a second in 21.09. That was the 4th fastest performance in history. Weitzeil set the NCAA and American Record in December, becoming the first woman ever under 21 in 20.90. Freshman teammate Eloise Riley tied for 3rd this morning in 22.08, dropping nearly half a second. She matched USC’s Marta Ciesla, who took 4th last season.

All-American Maddie Murphy was 6th for the Bears in 22.22. They again largely outperformed their seeds, as Weitzeil was the only swimmer seeded in the top 8 ahead of the meet.

UCLA’s Claire Grover, the 2019 bronze medalist, returns to the final. She qualified 5th in 22.13. Arizona State’s Camryn Curry dropped 2 tenths to qualify 7th in 22.23.

Stanford’s Anya Goeders was the 2nd fastest of the heats in 22.01, just 3 hundredths shy of a best. Cardinal freshman Emma Wheal dropped a few tenths to qualify 8th in 22.26.

Stanford could have as many as 8 scorers in this event, with 5 women potentially qualifying for the B final. Grace Zhao has a swimoff with Cal freshman Emma Davidson for the 24th spot, as both finished in 23.01. Davidson was within hundredths of her best from 2018. Zhao has been as fast as a 22.75 in 2014.


Zhao went on to win the swimoff, though times are not yet available. That gives the Cardinal 5 swimmers in the C final.


Below is the outcome if we scored swimmers based on their prelims placements and added them to last night’s scores. Again, this is without considering diving or relays. Diving prelims are not yet completed.

  1. Cal 355
  2. Stanford 343
  3. Arizona State 289.5
  4. USC 259
  5. UCLA 242.5
  6. Arizona 212
  7. Washington State 113.5
  8. Utah 102


  1. (TIE 1st) Cal 120
  2. (TIE 1st) USC 120
  3. Stanford 108
  4. ASU 104
  5. (TIE 5th) UCLA 98
  6. (TIE 5th) Arizona 98
  7. (TIE 7th) Washington State 90
  8. (TIE 7th) Utah 90

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2 years ago

I think winning PAC 12 isn’t a big of a deal for those top teams as winning sec or acc or big tens. Just an observation over the years

Reply to  Superfan
2 years ago

Yeah-definitely different priorities. I heard they were really bummed last year to get 4th behind Kentucky. I wouldn’t be surprised if they completely tapered Erika Brown for SECs and then went to NCAA’s as an afterthought. Realistically (full taper or not) they’re not top 5 but definitely top 20. #[email protected]+#[email protected]’s might look better than last year’s results of [email protected] and [email protected]’s

Thinking Cap
2 years ago

Hot takes from this morning/for tonight
1) Brooke Forde is winning the 500 free but miscounts (even with a counter) and flips at 500 allowing Runge to swoop in and win
2) Abbey Weitzel slips off the start, in a sudden rage she becomes faster than ever going 20.86
3) Dave Salo appears on deck bringing USC back to glory

Reply to  Lauren Neidigh
2 years ago

We’ll be bring it up in Masters swimming when she is 85-89 age group. Just to rib her

2 years ago

For the 50 FR, I believe you mean that Stanford has 5 swimmings in the C final (not the B final) tonight.

2 years ago

Major drop for Eloise Riley from 22.5 to 22.08, she’ll make a great addition to the 200 free relay tonight. Hope her 100 sees the same improvement.

2 years ago

Lots of teams bringing it this morning. Stanford I can’t figure out what they are doing. PAC12 needs more sub 22 sprinters..maybe tonight

2 years ago

UCLA getting 2 up in the 2IM while Stanford gets 0 is not what I expected to see this morning to be honest

2 years ago

Wondering what the taper strategy is for these conference champs for swimmers targeting Olympic trials.

Reply to  Lauren Neidigh
2 years ago

Good point. Thinking of Anna Hopkins for instance– UK trials are very early. Canadian Trials too! So I wonder about her management of NC’s then Trials.

2 years ago

This has been in my mind too. Hopkin wasn’t super fast at UK Champs in 2019 (similar times to GP meets in the US) then dropped a tonne at Worlds. Wonder if prep will be altered…

Woke Stasi
2 years ago

I was curious how much taper — if even a slight one —Stanford 2019 World Champs team members Forde and Drabot will have at NCAAs in three weeks. Their big 2020 meet is Olympic Trials in Omaha in four months. Both could have opted for a Oly red shirt year, but decided to represent the Cardinal this year.

2 years ago

very fast 500 prelim. 4:39.76 did not make it to the A final

PK Doesn't Like His Long Name
Reply to  Random123
2 years ago

Yep. I assume no taper for Drabot since she already has A cuts.

Reply to  Random123
2 years ago

Followed by very slow 200 IM and 50 free.

Hint of Lime
Reply to  Greg
2 years ago

Was the 50 free slow? If you compare to prelims at ACCs, for example, top 8 needed 22.29 (vs 22.26 here). You could argue a little less depth (fewer swimmers under 22 here), but … Abbey leading by nearly a second will be pretty exciting for her race tonight.

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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