2022 Pac-12 Women’s Championships: Day 2 Prelims Live Recap

by Ben Dornan 55

February 24th, 2022 News

2022 PAC 12 WOMEN’S SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

Follow along here for a live recap and analysis of the first round of 2022 Pac-12 women’s prelims. The events today will be the 500 freestyle, 200 IM, and 50 free.

In the 200 IM, Stanford freshman Torri Huske and Izzy Ivey are set to go head-to-head, but USC 5th year Calypso Sheridan, Cal’s Isabel Stadden, and last year’s Pac-12 champ Alicia Wilson will all be in the mix as well, among others.

Finally, the 50 freestyle will be a crowded field as last year’s conference champion Chloe Larson sits in the #3 position, while Kaitlyn Dobler holds the top seed of 22.09. Other names to watch out for include Claire Grover of UCLA, Anicka Delgado from USC, and Elise Garcia from Cal.

THURSDAY PRELIMS HEAT SHEET

Women’s 500 Freestyle

  • NCAA Record: 4:24.06 – Katie Ledecky, Stanford (2017)
  • Pac-12 Record: 4:24.06 – Katie Ledecky, Stanford (2017)
  • Pac-12 Championships Record: 4:25.15 – Katie Ledecky, Stanford (2017)
  • NCAA A Cut: 4:35.76
  • NCAA B Cut: 4:47.20

Top 8:

  1. Morgan Tankersley (Stanford) – 4:40.99
  2. Erica Laning (Arizona State) – 4:41.11
  3. Emma Nordin (Arizona State) – 4:41.16
  4. Caroline Pennington (USC) – 4:43.05
  5. Ayla Spitz (Cal) – 4:43.57
  6. Aurora Roghair (Stanford) – 4:43.62
  7. Fanni Fabian (Cal) – 4:43.77
  8. Mia Motekaitis (Cal) – 4:44.56

In the absence of reigning Pac-12 champion Brooke Forde, her teammate Morgan Tankersley took control of the 500 freestyle prelims with the top time in the field of 4:40.99. Tankersley was the 13th seed heading into this event and was entered with a 4:45.10, which was a full 10 seconds slower than her 4:35.99 PB in the event from 2020.

Last year Tankersley made it onto the podium this event at Pac-12s with a 4:37.11 to Forde’s winning time of 4:37.07 but was slower at NCAAs when she swam a 4:45.70 for 28th place overall.

In order to clinch Pac-12 gold tonight, she will need to fend off the Arizona State duo of Erica Laning and Emma Nordin who both put up 4:41s in the heats. Nordin holds a lifetime best of 4:33.74, which she threw down at this meet in 2020, while Laning has been as fast as a 4:37.90.

Three freshmen got themselves into the A final here in the form of Caroline Pennington of USC, Stanford’s Aurora Roghair, and Fanni Fabian. All of them broke their seed in that event and improved slightly upon their entry times of 4:44.01 (Pennington), 4:44.18 (Fabian), and 4:45.01 (Roghair).

Rounding out the top 8 women in the 500 freestyle will be Ayla Spitz and Mia Motekais from Cal. Spitz is last year’s Pac-12 bronze medalist and NCAA finalist in the event. Spitz swam a 4:43.57 but we’ll be on the lookout for a sub-4:40 swim from her in the final as she’s done in the past.

Women’s 200 IM

  • NCAA Record: 1:50.67 – Ella Eastin, Stanford (2018)
  • Pac-12 Record: 1:50.67 – Ella Eastin, Stanford (2018)
  • Pac-12 Championships Record: 1:52.26 – Katinka Hosszu, USC (2012)
  • NCAA A Cut: 1:53.66
  • NCAA B Cut: 1:59.94

Top 8:

  1. Calypso Sheridan (USC) – 1:55.64
  2. Torri Huske (Stanford) – 1:55.72
  3. Brooke Forde (Stanford) – 1:55.80
  4. Isabel Ivey (Cal) – 1:55.86
  5. Alicia Wilson (Cal) – 1:56.41
  6. Isabelle Stadden (Cal) – 1:56.85
  7. Isabell Odgers (USC) – 1:57.33
  8. Leah Polonsky (Cal) – 1:57.75

Swimming in the third-last heat of the prelims, Calypso Sheridan threw down a 1:55.72 200 IM to snag the top seed for USC heading into tonight’s final. Sheridan holds a best time in this event of 1:53.13, which she swam while racing for Northwestern at the 2020 Big Ten Championships.

Sheridan is going to face off against a dangerous Stanford duo of Torri Huske and Brooke Forde who swam a 1:55.72 and 1:55.80, respectively, placing them right behind Sheridan. Huske, a freshman, had already swum the 3rd-fastest time in the NCAA this year when she posted a 1:52.82 in November, indicating that she has the potential to be faster in the final.

Forde was notably absent from the 500 freestyle prelim despite having won the event at last year’s Pac-12s and placing 3rd overall at NCAAs. Forde elected to race the 200 IM instead on day 2 and got herself into a good position heading into the final. Forde swam her best time in this event many years ago at the 2018 Pac-12 Championships with a 1:54.98 so she will likely need to hit a PB in order to top the podium tonight, and maybe even to get into the top 3.

All 3 of last year’s Pac-12 medalists in the 200 IM returned this year to swim again and all 3 of them secured a spot in the final, going 5-6-7 during prelims.

Alica Willson and Isabel Stadden of Cal went 1-2 for the Golden Bears last year with a 1:53.65 and 1:55.80. This year they will be vying for a repeat podium finish, having finished 5th and 6th, respectively in the heats. Bronze medalist in 2021 Isabelle Odgers of USC will also race tonight’s final following her 7th place finish in the morning.

Sitting between this year’s top 3 seeds heading into the final and last year’s medalists is Cal senior Isabel Ivey who put up a 1:55.86 (just 0.06 behind Forde). Ivey, like Huske, has already been faster this season with her 1:53.90 from the Minnesota Invite in December.

Cal’s Leah Polonsky made it 4/8 for her school in the A final with a 1:57.75 morning swim.

Women’s 50 Freestyle

  • NCAA Record: 20.90 – Abbey Weitzeil, Cal (2019)
  • Pac-12 Record: 20.90 – Abbey Weitzeil, Cal (2019)
  • Pac-12 Championships Record: 21.03 – Abbey Weitzeil, Cal (2020)
  • NCAA A Cut: 21.66
  • NCAA B Cut: 22.76

Top 8:

  1. Taylor Rucks (Stanford) – 22.10
  2. Anya Goeders (Stanford) – 22.16
  3. Anicka Delgado (USC) – 22.19
  4. Claire Grover (UCLA) / Amy Tang (Stanford) – 22.24
  5. Hanna Henderson (USC) – 22.28
  6. Emily Gantris (Cal) – 22.29
  7. Anna Shaw (Stanford) – 22.30

Stanford junior Taylor Ruck got Stanford its second top seed of the session by delivering a 22.10 to win heat 8 and out-touch teammate Anya Goeders who was swimming in the same heat. The duo of Ruck and Goeders will be in lanes 4 & 5 in the final and both shaved roughly half a second off their entry times.

Rucks was entered as 8th seed with a 22.38 but holds a PB in the event of 21.70 from a few years ago at the 2019 NCAA Championships. Ruck already has one 2022 Pac-12 title to her name, having swum on the victorious 800 freestyle relay on night one of the meet.

Ruck will need to crack a near-best time during the final in order to get herself into the top 10 nationwide this season. Kylee Alons and Amy Fuller are currently ranked 9th in the NCAA this season with a 21.71.

Right behind Goeders, Anicka Delgado of USC posted a 22.19 to get herself into the #3 position here. Delgado swam in the A final as a freshman last year at Pac-12s, delivering a 22.28 for 5th overall.

Last year there was a three-way tie for silver in the 50 free at Pac-12s when Claire Grover, Eloise Riley, and Kaitlyn Dobler all swam a 22.24 to Chloe Larson’s gold medal-winning 22.18. Grover is back in the A final this year, having tied Amy Tang for 4th in the heats with a 22.24, but the three other top 4 finishers from last year’s meet missed the top 8.

2021 Pac-12 champion Chloe Larson swam a 22.48 for 14th this year, while Kaitlyn Dobler was 10th in a 22.40 and Eloise Riley swam a 22.50 to place 15th. Hanna Henderson of USC, Emily Grantis of Cal, and Anna Shaw from Stanford snagged the 6th – 8th place spots and will advance into the final.

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chris
11 months ago

it’s quite incredible how much faster virginia women are than others top programs. more than a second in the 50 free!

Meathead
11 months ago

Sheridan…. What an emotional swim. Touching out two Olympians…. What a great spark for USC. While Maurer could have done a better job training her sons (more time in gym, a day a week focused on relays) she is crushing it with this program. Great to see

Congrats CS!

Martha Smith
11 months ago

I talked to a friend of mine who’s on the men’s team for Stanford, and he told me that they were in extremely hard training for a long time and are doing a cycle and now have began their taper. He told me that top tier swimmers like Regan Smith, Torri Huske, Taylor Ruck, Brooke Forde, Kira Crage, Emma Wheal, etc are all gearing up for a fast championship season. With all that aside, I think the Stanford Women are doing great!

snarky
11 months ago

Kind of a yawn fest this am in Federal Way.

SCCOACH
11 months ago

Remind me to skip the comment section whenever Stanford is involved. Yeesh, what a cesspool

Swimfan
Reply to  SCCOACH
11 months ago

Seriously. People blaming Stanford for US Olympic downfall. No one bats 1000. Alex Walsh was like .3 faster in 200 IM than she was in high school. If she was wearing a Stanford cap people would be saying she’s done.

Meathead
Reply to  Swimfan
11 months ago

Phelps batted 1.000

Swammer2009
11 months ago

Freshman Stanford swimmers stepping up in the 50.

Wow
Reply to  Swammer2009
11 months ago

No personal bests, hopefully they can swim PB on finals. Much better than mid season though. Stanford needs 21.XX flat start swimmers to be competitive in the sprint free relays though

Taa
Reply to  Swammer2009
11 months ago

Only freshmen in the A or B final. It must have been a long season for them waiting all this time to finally pop a time close to their best. The cutline looks to be about 22.15 so lets see if the pac12 can bring some heat finally.

Niki Smanal
11 months ago

Isabel Gormley will win the 400 IM!

Wow
Reply to  Niki Smanal
11 months ago

LOL

Maria
11 months ago

Just gonna call it now. Cal is gonna win PAC-12s. UVA will win NCAA’s. The Stanford women will not be extremely fast at their conference meet (Examples: Isabel Gormley 4:56+, Lillie Nordmann 4:47+ in 500, Emma Wheal 22.4, etc). They will be all in for NC’s, but there is really no realistic way that they can get past UVA come march. Douglass will win 50 FR, 200 Breast, and will be top three in 100 FL. Alex Walsh will win 200 FL, 200/400 IM, Emma Weyant will be 3rd in 400 IM, 5th in 500 Free, 6th in 1650, and Gretchen Walsh will be top 3 probably in her 3 events as well. Torri will win the 100 FR at… Read more »

wow
Reply to  Maria
11 months ago

Sorry boo, but Torri ain’t going 45.8. She’s been 47.3 as her fastest. As much as I have been barking about the Stanford performances, I think people could agree that 45.8 this year isn’t too realistic.