2020 Women’s Pac-12 Championships: Day 4 Prelims Live Recap

2020 PAC-12 WOMEN’S SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

The final prelims session of the 2020 women’s Pac-12 Championships take place on Saturday morning, with swimmers set to compete in the 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, and 200 fly. The mile will be swum as timed finals in the afternoon, with the fastest 8 seeds swimming at the beginning of finals.

Though she was a declared false start in the 200 free yesterday after injuring her arm on the finish of the 50 free, Cal’s reigning champion Abbey Weitzeil is still entered to defend her 100 free title today. USC’s Laticia Transom, the 200 free champion, is also one of the swimmers to watch in that event.

Stanford’s Allie Raab will look to sweep the breaststroke events after taking the 100 breast title last night. Teammate Zoe Bartel, however, is the top seed there. The Cardinal should score big in the 200 back with 4 of the top 8 seeds. Erin Voss leads the way into prelims as the top seed.

USC’s Louise Hansson, who became the first woman in history to win 4-straight Pac-12 titles in the 100 fly, will battle for her 3rd title of the meet as she defends her 200 fly gold from last season.

WOMEN’S 200 BACK

  • Pac-12 Record: Kathleen Baker (Cal), 2018, 1:47.30
  • Meet Record: Kathleen Baker (Cal), 2018, 1:48.27
  • NCAA Record: Beata Nelson (Wisconsin), 2019, 1:47.24
  • 2019 NCAA Invited: 1:54.01
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:50.50
  • 2019 Champion: Ella Eastin (Stanford), 1:48.53

TOP 8 QUALIFIERS

  1. Lucie Nordmann, Stanford, 1:51.77
  2. Erin Voss, Stanford, 1:52.34
  3. Allie Szekely, Stanford, 1:53.69
  4. Keaton Blovad, Cal, 1:54.13
  5. Audrey Reimer, Utah, 1:54.14
  6. Alex Crisera, Stanford, 1:54.30
  7. Courtney Mykkanen, Cal, 1:54.35
  8. Axana Merckx, Arizona, 1:55.01

Stanford was dominant with the top 3 seeds and 4 in the top 8. Lucie Nordmann led the way in 1:51.77. She and teammates Erin Voss (1:52.34) and Allie Szekely (1:53.69) were the only swimmers under 1:54. This is Szekely’s first swim of the morning. She’ll also be swimming the 200 fly. Stanford freshman Alex Crisera was 6th in 1:54.30.

Cal’s Keaton Blovad, the 100 back silver medalist, qualified 4th in 1:54.13. Teammate Courtney Mykkanen clipped her best with a 1:54.35 to qualify 6th. Izzy Ivey swam this event in exhibition for the Bears, posting a lifetime best 1:54.10. Freshman teammate Ayla Spitz just missed the final, dropping a second in 1:55.38 for 9th. Alicia Wilson (1:55.75) will join Spitz her in the B final.

Utah’s Audrey Reimer qualified for both backstroke finals at this meet. She took over half a second off her best to qualify 5th in 1:54.14. Arizona freshman Axana Merckx made her first championship final with a 1:55.01 for 8th. Teammate Aria Bernal, the 100 back bronze medalist, put up a 1:55.97 for 12th.

UCLA freshman Sophia Kosturos was tenths away from making the final in 1:55.45. That was a best time by nearly 2 seconds.

WOMEN’S 100 FREE

  • Pac-12 Record: Simone Manuel (Stanford), 2017, 45.56
  • Meet Record: Abbey Weitzeil (Cal), 2019, 46.35
  • NCAA Record: Simone Manuel (Stanford), 2017, 45.56
  • 2019 NCAA Invited: 48.56
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 47.18
  • 2019 Champion: Abbey Weitzeil (Cal), 46.35

TOP 8 QUALIFIERS

  1. Marta Ciesla, USC, 48.23
  2. Laticia Transom, USC, 48.30
  3. Amalie Fackenthal, Stanford, 48.37
  4. Robin Neumann, Cal, 48.51
  5. Kenisha Liu, UCLA, 48.66
  6. Tatum Wade, USC, 48.84
  7. (T-7) Anya Goeders, Stanford, 48.93
  8. (T-7) Eloise Riley, Cal, 48.93

Defending champion Abbey Weitzeil of Cal was again a declared false start. Weitzeil declared a false start in the 200 free yesterday. She was seen wearing a sling on deck last night after hyperextending her arm on the finish of Thursday’s 50 free. The Bears will have Robin Neumann (48.51) in the final, as well as freshman Eloise Riley, who dropped nearly a second in 48.93 to tie for 7th. Cal sprinter Maddie Murphy will swim in the C final, as she swam a 49.47 to place 20th.

USC performed well here to get 3 in the final. Marta Ciesla (48.23) and Laticia Transom (48.30), the 200 free champion, took the top 2 seeds. Tatum Wade was just a couple of tenths shy of her best to take 6th in 48.84. Jemma Schlicht narrowly missed the top 8 with a 49.06 for 9th.

Stanford’s Amalie Fackenthal (48.37) was 3rd. Teammate Anya Goeders (48.93) tied Riley for 7th. Cardinal freshman Emma Wheal dropped a lifetime best 49.11 to qualify 11th. Teammates Lauren Pitzer (49.12) and Lauren Green (49.23) were closely behind, with Green posting a lifetime best. That was a breakthrough for Green, as she hadn’t hit a best time in the event since 2017.

WOMEN’S 200 BREAST

  • Pac-12 Record: Rebecca Soni (USC), 2009, 2:04.75
  • Meet Record: Rebecca Soni (USC), 2009, 2:04.75
  • NCAA Record: Lilly King (Indiana), 2018, 2:02.60
  • 2019 NCAA Invited: 2:09.77
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 2:06.84
  • 2019 Champion: Grace Zhao (Stanford), 2:07.07

TOP 8 QUALIFIERS

  1. Allie Raab, Stanford, 2:08.05
  2. Brooke Forde, Stanford, 2:08.86
  3. Zoe Bartel, Stanford, 2:09.40
  4. Isa Odgers, USC, 2:09.79
  5. Grace Zhao, Stanford, 2:10.85
  6. Maggie Aroesty, USC, 2:11.41
  7. Nicole Pavlopoulou, USC, 2:11.58
  8. Silja Kansakoski, ASU, 2:12.01

Stanford’s Allie Raab, the 100 breast champion, led the heats in 2:08.05. The Cardinal will have 4 in the final. Brooke Forde, the 400 IM champion, was 2nd in 2:08.86. Zoe Bartel, the 100 breast bronze medalist, was 3rd in 2:09.40. Grace Zhao, Stanford’s defending champion, qualified 5th in 2:10.85.

The only non-Stanford swimmer under 2:10 this morning was USC’s Isa Odgers. Teammate Maggie Aroesty, who had to take a medical scratch out of the 200 IM on day 2, made her first final of the meet in 2:11.41 for 6th. Trojan freshman Nicole Pavlopoulou also made her first final in 7th with a 2:11.58.

ASU’s Silja Kansakoski (2:12.01), a 2-time 100 breast champion who took silver last night, edged out Cal’s Ema Rajic (2:12.03) for the last spot in the final. Teammate Nora Deleske will swim in the B final for the Sun Devils after putting up a 2:12.59 for 12th. She was narrowly behind Washington State’s Mackenzie Duarte, who finished 10th in 2:12.34.

WOMEN’S 200 FLY

  • Pac-12 Record: Ella Eastin (Stanford), 2018, 1:49.51
  • Meet Record: Ella Eastin (Stanford), 2018, 1:49.51
  • NCAA Record: Ella Eastin (Stanford), 2018, 1:49.51
  • 2019 NCAA Invited: 1:56.18
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:53.20
  • 2019 Champion: Louise Hansson (USC), 1:50.68

TOP 8 QUALIFIERS

  1. Katie Drabot, Stanford, 1:53.87
  2. Rachel Klinker, Cal, 1:54.07
  3. Louise Hansson, USC, 1:54.21
  4. Lindsay Looney, ASU, 1:55.74
  5. Amy Okada, UCLA, 1:56.82
  6. Allie Szekely, Stanford, 1:56.94
  7. Ruby Martin, ASU, 1:57.41
  8. TIE **Jade Foelske, ASU 1:57.57** – Swimoff Winner
  9. TIE **Catherine Sanchez, USC, 1:57.57**

Stanford’s Katie Drabot, the 2019 runner-up, led the heats in 1:53.87. In her 2nd race of the day, the Cardinal’s Allie Szekely qualified 6th in 1:56.94. Stanford’s Hannah Kukurugya, the 8th seed, declared a false start.

USC’s Louise Hansson, the defending champion, is the 3rd seed for the final. She swam her season best by 5 seconds in 1:54.21. Teammate Catherine Sanchez will swim off with ASU freshman Jade Foelske as they tied for 8th in 1:57.57. ASU freshman Lindsay Looney, who broke the school record in their dual meet with Arizona this season, is the 4th seed in 1:55.74. Teammate Ruby Martin was 7th in 1:57.41, so they could have as many as 3 swimmers in the championship final pending the results of the swimoff.

UCLA’s Amy Okada was just a few tenths shy of a best to qualify 5th in 1:56.82. There will also be a swimoff for 16th place between teammate Lia Foster and Arizona’s Vicky Navarro as they tied in 2:00.89.

Freshman Rachel Klinker was the only Cal swimmer to make the final. Her 1:54.07 for 2nd was a best by a second. Fellow Cal freshman Ashlyn Fiorilli put up a 1:58.42 to qualify 10th. Sarah Dimeco swam a 1:58.63, but she raced as an exhibition swimmer.

SWIMOFF RESULTS

ASU’s Jade Foelske topped USC’s Catherine Sanchez by just a hundredth as they nearly tied again, 1:56.65 to 1:56.66. Sanchez led going into the final 50, but Foelske brought it home to out-touch Sanchez at the finish. Arizona’s Vicky Navarro won the swimoff for 16th in 2:00.20 to UCLA’s Lia Foster‘s 2:01.10

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Wild Bill

It’s best Abby gets rest for the NCAAs.

Bearly Breathing

This meet has felt rather blah from a spectator’s perspective. I suppose with OTs coming up for many, injuries, taper strategies, no real race for the top team, the rise of the mid season invite, the mere conference championship meet becomes a little less important for the teams and swimmers. It feels less important to me too, someone’s who isn’t there but is interested in the sport. Doubtless some swimmers are having the swims of their lives this meet and my congratulations to those who are.

Taa

I think its due to trials being in a couple months. Not really much in the way of big break out swims. Noridn’s 500 was good and some of the freshman have been performing well but everyone else pretty much sticking to the script.

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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