2022 Women’s Pac 12 Fan Guide: Stanford, Cal Set To Battle Again

2022 Pac 12 Women’s Championships

SCHEDULE

Wednesday

  • 200 medley relay
  • 800 free relay

Thursday

  • 500 free
  • 200 IM
  • 50 free
  • 200 free relay

Friday

  • 400 IM
  • 100 fly
  • 200 free
  • 100 breast
  • 100 back
  • 400 medley relay

Saturday

  • 1650 free
  • 200 back
  • 100 free
  • 200 breast
  • 200 fly
  • 400 free relay

Last year saw a changing of the guard in the Pac 12, with the Cal Golden Bears winning the team title for the first time since 2015. The Stanford Cardinal have dominated the conference in recent years but were hit hard with graduations and Olympic redshirts, but now return with a reloaded roster ready to challenge the Bears again for the crown.

The theme of the meet will be whether the Cal Bears can fend off a reloaded Stanford roster, which welcomes two-time Canadian Olympian Taylor Ruck back into the fold and features the nation’s best freshman class. In that freshman class is freshman Olympian duo Regan Smith and Torri Huske, who enter their first collegiate championship season. Smith currently leads the NCAA in both the 100 and 200 back, while she also is one the nation’s top swimmers in the 200 fly. Huske, one of the NCAA’s most versatile swimmers, will have her choice of events, as she leads the PAC 12 in the 50 free, 100 free, 200 free, 200 IM and 100 fly.

Leading the way for the defending champs is veteran Izzy Ivey, another versatile talent who could compete for the title in a number of events. Backstroke ace Isabelle Stadden will also look to defend her 200 back Pac 12 title for the Bears, while Israeli freshman Leah Polonsky will be an impact player in the breasts and IMs.

Swimmers to Watch

Arizona: Julia Heimstead (So- Fly), Aria Bernal (Jr- Back), Felicity Passon (Jr- Back/Fly)

Sophomore Julia Heimstead projects to challenge for an A final spot in both the butterfly races, while Aria Bernal projects to do the same in both backstrokes. Junior Felicity Passon joins Bernal in the backstrokes and should challenge for three B finals.

Arizona State: Emma Nordin (Sr- Distance free), Erica Laning (Sr- Free), Nora Deleske (Sr- Breast/IM), Jade Foelske (So- Fly/IM) 

The Sun Devils return to the conference meet after redshirting last year led by a strong senior class. Nordin is one of the top distance swimmers in the country and projects to contend for the title in the 200, 500 and 1650 free. Her senior classmate Erica Laning provides significant mid distance free depth behind her and should challenge for the A final in the 200 and 500. Deleske projects to be a three event scorer in the breasts and IM, while Foelske should challenge for an A final spot in the 200 fly.

Cal: Izzy Ivey (Sr- IM/Free/Back/Fly), Isabelle Stadden (So- Back/IM), Leah Polonsky (Fr- IM/Breast), Alicia Wilson (Sr- IM/Breast), Ayla Spitz (Jr- Free/Back), Ema Rajic (Sr- Breast)

Cal’s bid for a repeat will be led by senior Izzy Ivey, a very versatile swimmer who could challenge for event titles in several events. She sits 2nd behind Huske in the conference in the 200 IM, 200 free and 100 free and will play a massive role on Cal’s relays. Isabelle Stadden is one of the best backstrokers in the NCAA and the defending champion in the 200 back. Freshman Leah Polonsky projects to pair with senior Alicia Wilson to make A finals in the IMs and breaststrokes. Junior Ayla Spitz is a three-event A final threat in the 200/500 free and 200 back, while senior Ema Rajic has long been a breaststroke mainstay for the bears.

Stanford: Regan Smith (Fr- Fly/Back), Torri Huske (Fr- IM/Fly/Free), Brooke Forde (Sr- IM/Free/Breast), Taylor Ruck (Jr- Back/Free), Lillie Nordmann (Fr- Free/Fly), Emma Wheal (Jr- Sprint free/Fly), Daria Lenz (Sr- Diving), Lina Sculti (Dr- Diving)

Smith and Huske are two of the top swimmers in the NCAA and are the favorites to win all three of their individual events, while Forde also projects to win at least one of her individual races. If Taylor Ruck is in 2019 form, the Cardinal will not only be dangerous here but also could make noise in March. Lillie Nordmann will provide depth in the free and fly, while junior Emma Wheal will handle individual sprint duties for Stanford.

USC: Kaitlyn Dobler (So- Br/Sprint free), Calypso Sheridan (Sr- IM/Breast), Isabelle Odgers (Sr- Breast), Laticia-Leigh Transom (Sr- Free)

The USC Trojans have been one of the more interesting storylines this college season, with head coach Jeremy Kipp being placed on administrative leave in October and the school remaining quiet on his future. Regardless, associate head coach Lea Maurer has stepped in and led the Trojans to a strong season. Dobler is one of the top breaststrokers in the NCAA and also carries a strong 50 free, while Calypso Sheridan should challenge for 3 A finals in the IMs and 200 breast. Isabelle Odgers also projects to A final in both IMs and the 200 breast, while Latricia-Leigh Transom projects to A final in the 50, 100 and 200 free.

UCLA: Sam Baron (So- Fly/IM), Bailey Herbert (So- Breast/IM), Gabby Dang (Jr- Free/Fly)

Sophomore Sam Baron projects to challenge for the A final in both the 200 IM and 100 fly, while her classmate Herbert should challenge for an A final spot in both breaststrokes. Junior Gabby Dang comes in with A final potential in the 100 fly and should provide some sprint free depth for the Bruins.

Utah: Emma Lawless (Sr- Fly/Back), Charity Pittard (Jr- Breast/IM)

Utah’s top two projected scorers are senior Emma Lawless and junior Charity Pittard. Lawless projects to have a pair of B final appearances in both backstrokes, while Pittard projects to challenge for B final appearances in both breaststrokes and the 400 IM.

Washington State: Chloe Larson (Sr- Sprints), Taylor McCoy (Sr- IM/Back), Mackenzie Duarte (Sr-Breast) 

The Cougars are led by a senior-heavy roster, and star sprinter Chloe Larson made history last year by winning the 50 free, the first-ever Pac 12 title for Washington State. She returns to defend her title and also projects to make a run at the A final of the 100 free as well. Classmate Taylor McCoy projects to A final in the 400 IM and should challenge for a B final appearance in the 200 IM and 200 back, while Mackenzie Duarte should challenge for a B final spot in both breaststrokes.

Showdown Races

200 IM: Stanford superstar freshman Torri Huske comes in with the top time in the conference and 2nd fastest time in the nation this year with her 1:52.82 from November, and she will likely go head to head with Cal’s Izzy Ivey, who holds the nation’s third-fastest time in 1:53.90. There is a chance that Huske, who is one of the most versatile swimmers in the NCAA, decides to tackle the 50 free instead, though we’re rooting for a showdown in the 200 IM.

500 free: The 500 free should be a showdown between Arizona State’s Emma Nordin, who holds the nation’s 2nd fastest 500 free this year with a 4:34.87, and Stanford senior Brooke Forde, who holds the third-fastest time in the NCAA. Nordin won the title in 2019 before ASU redshirted their entire roster last season. Forde, who won the 2019 NCAA title in the 500 and won a silver medal in Tokyo this summer as a member of the USA’s 4×200 free relay, is the defending champion having won last year’s title in Houston.

200 free: The 200 free should feature both Ivey and Nordin, as well as a slew of other title contenders. Ivey, Nordin and Transom have all been in the 1:43s this season and should make for a tight race at the top. Also lurking with the fourth-fastest time in the conference this season is Stanford Olympian Taylor Ruck, who returns after two years off preparing for Tokyo. Ruck, whose lifetime best sits at 1:40.37 from the 2019 NCAAs, figures to be the favorite if she’s in top form.

Swimulator Results

  1. Cal, 1374.0
  2. Stanford, 1190.0
  3. USC, 1165.5
  4. UCLA, 837.0
  5. Arizona State, 693.0
  6. Arizona, 616.5
  7. Utah, 465.5
  8. WSU, 427.5

While the Swimulator has Cal nearly 200 points ahead of Stanford, this meet should be much closer than that. Stanford has the star power at the top and recently won their annual dual meet, but Cal currently projects to have better scoring power from the bottom half of their roster based on performances thus far this season. Stanford took a huge blow at the conference level with the midseason retirement of Zoe Bartel, who was likely a multiple-event ‘A’ finalist at this meet. Stanford has one huge advantage over the Bears, however: diving. Seniors Daria Lenz and Carolina Sculti are both several-time All Americans for the Cardinal and the rest of the Stanford diving corps may end up making the difference.

SwimSwam Picks

  1. Stanford
  2. Cal
  3. USC
  4. UCLA
  5. Arizona State
  6. Arizona
  7. Utah
  8. Washington State

In This Story

22
Leave a Reply

Subscribe
Notify of
22 Comments
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Team Regan
5 months ago

Mia Kragh of Cal should be one to watch. 52/1:55 in fly. CA State Champion in 100 Fly, and #16 recruit.

Mimi
5 months ago

Any idea on where Greta Fanta is? (16:26 1650)… Seems like she hasn’t swam this season. Hope she is okay!

Ali
5 months ago

Is this meet on MeetMobile? I can’t find it. Or maybe it’s not listed till it begins?

wow
5 months ago

Streaming information?

A Little Help...
Reply to  wow
5 months ago

From what I can see the Pac-12 network does not carry the meet live (at least not on the east coast anyway). It’s set for 12 midnight. Am I missing Something?

A little help…?
Reply to  wow
5 months ago

From what I can see…pac-12 networks are not carrying the meet live at least not on the east coast). Anyone know if that’s right or how to watch out east?

LadyCats
5 months ago

If Zona women can build off a great ASU meet and go even faster, gonna surprise some people

Give me a roar
5 months ago

Washington St is the real dark horse here

mds
5 months ago

Curious how the SWIMULATOR came up with UCLA over ASU by 144. In their dual meet this fall, ASU dominated UCLA 173-121, even including a 32-0 diving margin for UCLA as ASU had no participants. Swimming score was 173-89. Claire Grover, who is probably the Bruins best swimmer based in their results against USC – :22.13 :48.62 sprints — was not at the ASU meet, but still? SWIMULATOR? It will be interesting to follow.

Admin
Reply to  mds
5 months ago

Swimulator data is based on scoring season bests. There’s no voodoo or magic or projection to it – it’s the equivalent of scoring psych sheets (except it’s scoring ‘what the psych sheets should be,’ since conferences never actually put out real psych sheets).

Dual meets, as you know, are not often great approximations for conference results.

GDTBATH
Reply to  Braden Keith
5 months ago

ACC Womens Swimulator projections. Swimulator completely whiffed on Carolina and Duke. Some of this is because it doesn’t take into account diving points and both teams scored a lot of diving points. But even the swimswam projections after diving didn’t have Carolina and Duke as high as 4 and 5. But ACC is pretty easy to predict with UVA, State, and Louisville at the top. A middle pack of Carolina, Duke, ND, VT, and FSU in the middle. And then the bottom of Tech, Miami, Pitt and BC.

  1. Virginia – 1243 – Actual: 1 (1418.5)
  2. NC State – 1219 – Actual: 2 (1347)
  3. Louisville – 1133 – Actual: 3 (1136.5)
  4. Notre Dame – 586 – Actual: 6 (651)
  5. Virginia
… Read more »

Admin
Reply to  GDTBATH
5 months ago

Again, Swimulator isn’t trying to “get anything right.”

It is simply scoring based on where the best times are right now.

UCLA Fan
Reply to  mds
5 months ago

I was surprised with UCLA’s swimulator placing too, but pleasantly surprised. 💙💛. That would have to be one of those “every point matters” kind of performances. I feel like at the dual meet, there were a lot of close finishes that didn’t go the Bruins way.

Hoping the women from ALL the teams have a great meet, and I’m so grateful fans get to go and cheer. 🎉🎉🎉

mds
5 months ago

Maybe add Lindsay Looney in ASU’s “To Watch” list. She was 4th at US Olympic Trials in 200 Fly, behind only Reagan Smith among current collegians, and from that final, ahead of defending NCAA 200 Fly winner Olivia Carter and 2021 SEC 2Fly winner Dakota Luther.