2022 Pac-12 Women’s Championships: Day 4 Finals Live Recap

by Ben Dornan 28

February 26th, 2022 College, News, Pac-12, Previews & Recaps


Women’s 1650 Freestyle

  • NCAA Record: 15:03.31 – Kaite Ledecky, Stanford (2017)
  • Pac-12 Record: 15:03.31 – Kaite Ledecky, Stanford (2017)
  • Pac-12 Championships Record: 15:40.17 – Cierra Runge, Cal (2015)
  • 2021 Invite Time – 16:25.47
  • NCAA A Cut: 15:52.41
  • NCAA B Cut: 16:30.59

Top 3:

  1. Caroline Pennington (USC) – 15:48.69
  2. Aurora Roghair (Stanford) – 16:01.55
  3. Emma Nordin (ASU) – 16:11.20

Freshman Caroline Pennington from USC pulled off a victory in the 1650 freestyle, marking her first-ever Pac-12 title. Pennington saved her best for last at Pac-12s, having finished 32nd in the 200 freestyle and 6th overall in the 500 free.

This swim from Pennington is a new best time by just over 12 seconds, improving upon the 16:00.73 PB that she established at the UCLA vs USC meet in early February 2022. Pennington got under the NCAA A cut here of 15:52.41 and is now the 5th fastest woman in the NCAA this season.

A 15:48.69 is the fastest Pac-12 title-winning time since back in 2017 when Megan Byrnes won the event, as a Stanford freshman, with a 15:47.62. In 2021 Morgan Tankersley won the event with a 16:03.27, which is 14 seconds better than the 16:17.82 she delivered this year to take 5th place.

Pennington wasn’t the only freshman on the podium in the 1650 as Stanford first-year Aurora Roghair came in second with a 16:01.55, shaving exactly 9 seconds off her entry time of 16:10.55. Emma Nordin of ASU rounded out the podium with a 16:11.20, while her teammate Erica Laning finished in 4th place with a 16:11.32.

Women’s 200 Backstroke

  • NCAA Record: 1:47.24 – Beata Nelson, Wisconsin (2019)
  • Pac-12 Record: 1:47.30 – Kathleen Bakers, Cal (2018)
  • Pac-12 Championships Record: 1:48.27, Cal (2018)
  • 2021 Invite Time – 1:55.05
  • NCAA A Cut: 1:50.50
  • NCAA B Cut: 1:57.11

Top 3:

  1. Isabelle Stadden (Cal) – 1:49.51
  2. Taylor Ruck (Stanford) – 1:49.73
  3. Lucie Nordmann (Stanford) – 1:52.51

Taylor Ruck and Isabelle Stadden went head-to-head in the second event of the night, finishing just 0.22 seconds apart. Ruck was out quicker with a 53.42 opening split, while Stadden trailed with a 53.93. In the end, however, Stadden managed to overtake Ruck and closed with a 55.58 for a total time of 1:49.51.

Ruck came in second with a 1:49.73, having closed in a 56.31. This swim for Stadden replaces her former #3 ranked time of 1:50.02 and gives her the 2nd best time in the nation behind Stanford’s 1:48.91. Smith posted that time in November and opted not to race the event at Pac-12s.

Ruck’s 1:49.73 ties her with Alabama’s Rhyan White for #4 in the nation this season. Ruck’s best time in the event is the 1:47.59 that she delivered at the 2019 NCAAs, while Stadden established a new PB here, beating the 1:49.66 she swam at 2021 NCAAs.

Stanford had two on the podium here as Lucie Nordmann swam her way to bronze in the 200 back with her time of 1:52.51, beating out teammate and freshman Samantha Pearson who posted a 1:53.67. Alex Crisera made it a 2-3-4-5 for Stanford with a 1:53.81, while Aria Bernal touched in a 1:54.67 for 6th.

Women’s 100 Freestyle

  • NCAA Record: 45.56 – Simone Manuel, Stanford (2017)
  • Pac-12 Record: 45.56 – Simone Manuel, Stanford (2017)
  • Pac-12 Championships Record: 46.35 – Abbey Weitzeil, Cal (2019)
  • 2021 Invite Time – 48.77
  • NCAA A Cut: 47.18
  • NCAA B Cut: 49.51

Top 3:

  1. Torri Huske (Stanford) – 47.07
  2. Laticia-Leigh Transom (USC) – 47.34
  3. Isabel Ivey (Cal) – 47.53

Torri Huske became the second freshman of the night to win a Pac-12 title by swimming a 47.07 in the 100 freestyle. Huske shaved some time off her own PB in the event of 47.39 from earlier this season and nearly crack the 47-second barrier for the first time.

Huske’s time makes her the 4th-fastest swimmer in the NCAA this season behind the 3 women who have been a 46: Kate Douglass (46.81) and Gretchen Walsh (46.86) of Virginia, and Katharine Berkoff from NC State (46.89).

She replaces Maggie MacNeil in the third position, who swam a 47.10 at the 2022 Big 10 Championships, but has been as quick as a 46.02 before when she won gold at the 2021 NCAA Championships.

Huske was roughly a third of a second faster than Laticia-Leigh Transom of USC who hit the fall with a 47.34 to claim silver. Transom notably only raced 2 individual events at this meet, having swum exhibition in the 50 freestyle with a time that would have gotten her silver. She also raced to silver in the 200 freestyle with a 1:42.49.

Last year’s Pac-12 champion Izzy Ivey placed third in the event with a 47.53, just 0.01 seconds faster than what she but up to win gold last year. Stanford freshman Anna Shaw came in with a 48.24 for 4th place, while USC’s Hanna Henderson was 5th in a 48.44.

Women’s 200 Breaststroke

  • NCAA Record: 2:02.60 – Lilly King, Indiana (2018)
  • Pac-12 Record: 2:04.75 – Rebecca Soni, USC (2009)
  • Pac-12 Championships Record: 2:04.75 – Rebecca Soni, USC (2009)
  • 2021 Invite Time – 2:10.49
  • NCAA A Cut: 2:06.58
  • NCAA B Cut: 2:13.97

Top 3:

  1. Isabelle Odgers (USC) – 2:06.42
  2. Kaitlyn Dobler (USC) – 2:06.65
  3. Calypso Sheridan (USC) – 2:06.97

In the 4th Pac-12 final of her career at USC, Isabelle Odgers swam her way to the top of the podium in a 2:06.42 to narrowly defeat two of her teammates, Kaitlyn Dobler and Calypso Sheridan. Odgers swim is not only the fastest swim she’s put up at any conference meet, it’s also a new lifetime best and her first time under 2:07.

Her previous PB was a 2:07.61 from the Art Adamson Invitational in November 2021. Odgers swam to an 8th place finish at Pac-12s in 2019 (2:11.62), 4th in 2020 (2:09.00), and 5th in 2021 (2:09.28). At NCAAs in 2021, she finished 20th overall in the 200 breast with a 2:10.09. With this time improvement, she becomes the 9th fastest in the NCAA this season.

Kaitlyn Dobler was the second-fastest in the field with her 2:06.55, which is just 0.02 seconds off the 2:06.53 she used to win the Pac-12 title last year. Calypso Sheridan took bronze in a 2:06.97, nearing her 2020 PB of 2:06.85 from when she raced with Northwestern.

The Stanford duo of Allie Raab and Brooke Forde was left off the podium, denying them another podium finish in the event. Forde won this event in 2020, while Raab placed 3rd in 2021 and 2nd in 2020. USC’s Nicole Pavlopoulou came in 6th place with a swim of 2:09.12.

Women’s 200 Butterfly

  • NCAA Record: 1:49.51 – Ella Eastin, Stanford (2018)
  • Pac-12 Record: 1:49.51 – Ella Eastin, Stanford (2018)
  • Pac-12 Championships Record: 1:49.51 – Ella Eastin, Stanford (2018)
  • 2021 Invite Time – 1:59.23
  • NCAA A Cut: 1:53.20
  • NCAA B Cut: 1:59.23
  1. Regan Smith (Stanford) – 1:50.99
  2. Rachel Klinker (Cal) – 1:53.30
  3. Lillie Nordmann (Stanford) – 1:53.92

Regan Smith wrapped her individual performances up at 2022 Pac-12s with a gold medal swim in the 200 butterfly, hitting a 1:50.99 to win gold by more than 2 seconds. This swim for Smith makes her the 6th-fastest woman within the NCAA in history but is actually not a PB for her. Smith hit a near-American record last year with a 1:49.78, trailing Ella Eastin’s 1:49.51.

Eastin, who also raced at Stanford holds the American, NCAA, Pac-12, and Pac-12 meet record at a 1:41.51. Smith’s time here would have been fast enough to win the NCAA title last year, which went to Michigan’s Olivia Carter (1:51.33).

Smith replaces Kentucky’s Riley Gaines as the fastest woman in the NCAA this season, besting the 1:51.51 that Gaines put up at the 2022 SEC Championships.

Reigning Pac-12 champion Rachel Klinker of Cal got onto the podium here with a 1:53.30, slightly off the 1:52.82 she used to win gold in 2021, and the 1:53.81 she swam for bronze in 2020. Klinker swam a 1:53.19 to win the B final at NCAAs in 2021, which would have gotten her 4th in the A final.

Lillie Nordmann rounded out the podium with a 1:53.92, allowing her to collect her first individual Pac-12 medal. Earlier in the meet, she placed 10th in the 500 freestyle and 6th in the 200 free. 4th and 5th place went to Lindsay Looney and Jade Foelske of ASU in a 1:54.26 and 1:54.50, respectively.

Women’s 400 Freestyle Relay

  • NCAA Record: 3:06.96 – Cal (2019)
  • Pac-12 Record: 3:06.96 – Cal (2019)
  • Pac-12 Championships Record: 3:07.41 – Cal (2019)
  • NCAA A Cut: 3:14.50
  • NCAA B Cut: 3:16.35

Top 3:

  1. Stanford – 3:09.06
  2. USC – 3:11.82
  3. Cal – 3:12.41

The Stanford women secured the team title with one final win in the 400 freestyle relay, hitting a 3:09.06. Taylor Ruck started for Stanford with a 47.13, slightly trailing her PB in the individual 100 free of 46.76. Ruck didn’t race the event at this meet but that time would have given her a silver medal if she had.

Anna Shaw and Regan Smith followed with splits of 47.80 and 47.41, respectively, while 100 freestyle champion Torri Huske anchored in a 46.72.

The time from Stanford makes them the 2nd-fastest team in the country this season behind Virginia (3:08.22), replacing Michigan (3:09.84). Stanford also got well under the NCAA A cut here of 3:14.50.

The other podium finishers were also under the A cut as USC came in with a 3:11.82 and Cal a 3:12.41. Arizona State narrowly out-touched UCLA with a 3:16.60 to UCLA’s 3:16.84.

Final Team Scores

  1. Stanford – 1,671.50 points
  2. Cal – 1,400.50 points
  3. USC – 1,373.50 points
  4. UCLA – 898 points
  5. University of Arizona – 750.50 points
  6. ASU – 669 points
  7. Utah – 608 points
  8. Washington State –  372 points

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2 years ago

That 400 FR at NCs is shaping up to be a tightly contested meet-in-the-middle race since Stanford is much more favored in the 800 FR and UVA is more highly favored in the 200 FR. The 400 FR could come down to the touch, even though UVA’s time is currently 8 tenths faster than Stanford. Not to mention, it will be the final event with a possibility of the team title on the line…so, yeah, that will be a fun race to watch!

Reply to  CavaDore
2 years ago

I agree! If UVA had a 4th high 46/low 47 I’d say they’d have it locked up. Having 3 46’s and 1 48 will make it much closer!

Reply to  CavaDore
2 years ago

Yeah I don’t think they will close the gap unless either Reagan or Ruck throw down some ridiculous split out of nowhere.

Reply to  Taa
2 years ago

Maybe the more threatening team to UVA in the 400 FR is Alabama. They’ve got 4 solid sprinters.

Reply to  Taa
2 years ago

Expect every single Stanford swimmer to go faster. Uva will go basically the same times.

2 years ago

Does anyone know of a reason not to do complete underwater pullouts during the 200 BR? One of the middle lanes was doing this and it definitely hindered their race. Shoulder issues, perhaps?

Unknown Swammer
Reply to  Oatmeal
2 years ago

I feel like a couple of people have experimented with this (maybe some ladies on the Tennessee team a couple years back?) – the thought being that while the full pull clearly creates speed, that is more than offset by the drag/reduction in bring the arms all the way back up.

2 years ago

taylor ruck looks like she’s back in her groove and will have a great NCs when rested. torri looks super tired, probably not rested at all. regan looks like she’s swimming strong, and i’m excited to see if she can hit a good taper.

Reply to  Andy
2 years ago

Not rested at all but going a bunch of best times. Sure.

Reply to  oxyswim
2 years ago

Why not. She kept going best times all last year. She might still be in that mode.

Mr. Pancake
Reply to  Andy
2 years ago


Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Andy
2 years ago

Nobody on the home team is ever tapered.

Samuel Huntington
Reply to  Andy
2 years ago

If Torri goes 49.4 “not rested at all”, what should we expect when she does rest – a 47? Or is she never fully rested and tapered? lol

Reply to  Samuel Huntington
2 years ago

I thought in both her 100 free and fly she didn’t finish like a rested swimmer would. I don’t think she will drop much maybe .3 or .4 in each. Same can said for the VA swimmers so I don’t know that she is going to move up. The wildcard is really Mcneil who we don’t really know what she is going to do.

Reply to  Andy
2 years ago

I can’t wait till NCs when we all know everyone is rested so the swim swam comment section isn’t full of the requisite bickering about how much people speculate each team is tapered. These arguments are as reliable as the North Star ⭐️ 😂

2 years ago

Impressive 2 breast for USC. It’s as if coach Maurer spend a summer studying distance breast and delivered her research to this team

2 years ago

Comments section more quiet than usual after Stanford won high points.

2 years ago

Stanford is the Pac 12 Champion for 5 of the last 6 years. Order has been restored in the Universe.

Reply to  dave
2 years ago


Last edited 2 years ago by Katie87
Former Big10
2 years ago

100 free will be a good race at NCAA’s. Hoping we’ll get a 45 from someone, maybe 2/3. Should have 6-8 comfortably at 46. No clear favorite, in quite a few events, which makes this year fun.

Reply to  Former Big10
2 years ago

Think Maggie is a slight favorite, but certainly not like the Simone years where there were awesome other sprinters going up against an all time great.

2 years ago

The difference in REACTION time determined the winer in the 200 back. .72 vs .96 = .24, and Stadden won by .22!

Reply to  dave
2 years ago

Don’t let Rowdy find out!

Reply to  dave
2 years ago

Related – Huske has an incredible start – 0.49 RT

2 years ago

Yeah it was really evident in the 100 fly she starts quite a bit ahead of Regan

2 years ago

add in the fact that she is double jointed upper and lower body, and I’d say we have an unknown species from some top secret laboratory. 😉

Former Big10
Reply to  dave
2 years ago

Someone, yesterday, was saying it’s because she’s so tall… but there are a lot of tall men and women swimming backstroke, I think, with pretty dang good rt’s.

Reply to  dave
2 years ago

No. In the 100, her rts were .93 and .9. She just has a slow backstroke reaction time.