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

2020 PAC-12 WOMEN’S SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

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.

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

TOP 8 QUALIFIERS

  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.

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

TOP 8 QUALIFIERS

  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.

WOMEN’S 50 FREE

TOP 8 QUALIFIERS

  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.

SWIMOFF RESULTS

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

SCORED PRELIMS

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

CURRENT TEAM STANDINGS

  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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Random123

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

PK Doesn't Like His Long Name

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

Greg

Followed by very slow 200 IM and 50 free.

Hint of Lime

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.

ALEXANDER POP-OFF

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

Woke Stasi

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.

Landrew

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

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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