2024 Women’s Pac-12 Championships: Day 2 Finals Live Recap


Cal is in great position to build on its early 14-point lead on Thursday night with seven swimmers in A-finals, two more than two-time defending champion Stanford and Arizona State.

The Cardinal are expected to outscore the Bears in the first two events of the night — the 500 free and 200 IM — but Cal is slated to dominate the 50 free toward the end of the session. With four swimmers in the top nine of the 50 free prelims this morning, the Bears should also be favorites in the 200 free relay at the end of the session.

There were high hopes that the Trojans might capture their second conference crown — and first since 2016 — but they are off to a slow start with four swimmers in A-finals, just one more than UCLA.

The last-ever Pac-12 Championships got off to a wild start on Wednesday night as two of the top teams in the conference — Stanford and USC — both suffered disqualifications that left them sitting at the bottom of the standings after the first session.


  1. Cal – 120
  2. Arizona State – 106
  3. Arizona – 104
  4. UCLA – 102
  5. Washington State – 96
  6. Utah – 92
  7. Stanford – 64
  8. USC – 56


  • NCAA record: 361.55, Cassidy Krug – 2007
  • Pac-12 record: 366.75, Victoria Ishimatsu – 2011
  • Meet record: 366.75, Victoria Ishimatsu – 2011

Top 8:

  1. Emilia Nilsson Garip (Utah) – 321.55
  2. Nike Agunbiade (USC) – 310.70
  3. Lauren Burch (Stanford) – 301.45
  4. Brooke Earley (Arizona) – 296.55
  5. Kathryn Grant (Utah) – 286.15
  6. Zoe Jespergaard (UCLA) – 284.85
  7. Savana Trueb (UCLA) – 284.45
  8. Emilie Moore (Stanford) – 267.75

Utah freshman Emilia Nilsson Garip earned the 1-meter diving win with 321.55 points, about 10 more than USC fifth-year Nike Agunbiade (310.70).

Nilsson Garip, a Swedish native, placed 10th in the event at the 2024 World Championships earlier this month in Doha, Qatar. Led by Nilsson Garip and 5th-place finisher Kathryn Grant (286.15), the Utes totaled 73 points in this event.

Stanford junior Lauren Burch (301.45) and Arizona junior Brooke Earley (296.55) rounded out the top four divers. UCLA also got a boost from a pair of A-finalists in junior Zoe Jespergaard (284.85) and fifth-year Savana Trueb (284.45), who were separated by less than half a point.


  • NCAA record: 4:24.06, Katie Ledecky – 2017
  • Pac-12 record: 4:24.06, Katie Ledecky – 2017
  • Meet record: 4:25.15, Katie Ledecky – 2017
  • NCAA ‘A’ cut: 4:37.89
  • 2023 NCAA invite time: 4:41.09

Top 8:

  1. Lindsay Looney (Arizona State) – 4:35.05
  2. Aurora Roghair (Stanford) – 4:36.32
  3. Mia Motekaitis (Cal) – 4:37.77
  4. Rachel Klinker (Cal) – 4:37.89
  5. Deniz Ertan (Arizona State) – 4:39.16
  6. Natalie Mannion (Stanford) – 4:41.41
  7. Claire Tuggle (USC) – 4:43.42
  8. Kathryn Hazle (Cal) – 4:47.16

Arizona State senior Lindsay Looney defended her title in the 500 free, knocking more than three seconds off her winning time from last year (4:38.29) with a huge lifetime best of 4:35.05. That time would have won the NCAA title last year by more than a second, but it only ranks 4th nationally this season behind Florida’s Emma Weyant (4:34.25), Georgia’s Rachel Stege (4:32.87), and Florida’s Bella Sims (4:32.53).

Stanford junior Aurora Roghair led through the first 400 yards (3:40.10 to Looney’s 3:40.42), but Looney ripped a clutch 27.06 split on the final 50 yards to clinch the victory over Roghair (28.36 final 50). Roghair took almost a second off her previous best (4:37.10 from November) with her runner-up finish in 4:36.32.

Cal fifth-year Mia Motekaitis led a 3-4-8 finish for the Bears in this event with a personal-best 4:37.77, dropping more than a second off her previous-best 4:39.33 from November. She reached the wall just about a tenth ahead of fellow Cal fifth-year Rachel Klinker (4:37.89), who dipped under 4:40 for the first time en route to 4th place. Klinker’s best time before today was a 4:40.30 from 2022. After blasting a personal-best 4:42.97 this morning, freshman Kathryn Hazle couldn’t replicate the effort with an 8th-place showing in 4:47.16, but she still earned a valuable 22 points for the Bears thanks to her big prelims performance.

USC sophomore Claire Tuggle qualified 4th this morning in 4:40.72, but the Virginia transfer added a couple seconds this evening on her way to 7th place behind Stanford sophomore Natalie Mannion (4:41.41) and Arizona State sophomore Deniz Ertan (4:39.16).

Washington State freshman Mira Szimcsak registered a noteworthy swim in the B-final, dropping more than three seconds off her best time with an 11th-place finish in 4:43.35. In the process, she erased a 17-year-old school record set by Erin McCleave back in 2007.

200 IM – FINAL

  • NCAA record: 1:48.37, Kate Douglass – 2022
  • Pac-12 record: 1:50.67, Ella Eastin – 2018
  • Meet record: 1:52.26, Katinka Hosszu, 2012
  • NCAA ‘A’ cut: 1:53.66
  • 2023 NCAA invite time: 1:56.90

Top 8:

  1. Caroline Bricker (Stanford) – 1:53.31
  2. Leah Polonsky (Cal) – 1:53.58
  3. Ieva Maluka (Arizona State) – 1:54.43
  4. Lucy Bell (Stanford) – 1:55.80
  5. Minna Abraham (USC) – 1:55.82
  6. Paige MacEachern (UCLA) – 1:56.29
  7. Rosie Murphy (UCLA) – 1:56.41
  8. Charli Brown (Arizona State) – 1:57.49

After tallying a lifetime best to lead the 200 IM prelims this morning (1:55.14), Stanford freshman Caroline Bricker dug even deeper for a personal-best 1:53.31, outdueling Cal junior Leah Polonsky for the Pac-12 title. Bricker has dropped almost four seconds with the Cardinal so far as a freshman as her best time before this season was just 1:57.29.

Arizona State sophomore Ieva Maluka also lowered her lifetime best with a 3rd-place finish in 1:54.43. She dropped more than a second off her previous-best 1:55.46 from November. She was joined in the A-final by another Sun Devil, fellow sophomore Charli Brown, who placed 8th in 1:57.49.

The battle for 4th place was extremely tight as Stanford sophomore Lucy Bell (1:55.80) eked past USC freshman Minna Abraham (1:55.82) by just a couple hundredths of a second. Bell was within a second of her personal-best 1:54.89 from NCAAs last year while Abraham was just .04 seconds off her best time from November.

UCLA’s duo of junior Paige MacEachern (1:56.29) and sophomore Rosie Murphy (1:56.41) were slightly off their best times from this morning (1:55.97 and 1:55.93, respectively), but the Bruin pair still combined for 47 points in the A-final tonight.


  • NCAA record: 20.57, Gretchen Walsh – 2024
  • Pac-12 record: 20.90, Abbey Weitzeil – 2019
  • Meet record: 21.03, Abbey Weitzeil – 2020
  • NCAA ‘A’ cut: 21.63
  • 2023 NCAA invite time: 22.15

Top 8:

  1. Anicka Delgado (USC) – 21.95
  2. Stephanie Akakabota (Cal) – 22.02
  3. Amy Tang (Stanford) – 22.15
  4. Caroline Famous (USC) – 22.17
  5. Isabelle Stadden (Cal) – 22.29
  6. Erin Milligan (Arizona State) – 22.30
  7. Eloise Riley (Cal) – 22.32
  8. Maya Wilson (UCLA) – 22.66

Anicka Delgado triumphed in the 50 free with a time of 21.95, less than a tenth ahead of Cal junior Stephanie Akakabota (22.02). Delgado, who placed 5th in this event last year (22.30), became the 24th woman under 22 seconds this season. She has been as fast as 21.89 back in 2022.

Akakabota took almost a tenth off her previous-best 22.11 from last month after barely sneaking into the A-final this morning with a prelims time of 22.39. She has dropped almost half a second in the event this season off her 22.48 from last February.

Stanford junior Amy Tang barely out-touched USC senior Caroline Famous (22.17) with a 3rd-place finish in 22.15. Cal senior Isabelle Stadden (22.29), Arizona State junior Erin Milligan (22.30), and Cal fifth-year Eloise Riley (22.32) were separated by just a few hundredths in the battle for 5th place. Riley was the top qualifier this morning in 22.09.

Cal junior McKenna Stone put up an impressive 22.16 in the B-final, which would have placed 4th in the A-final. She shaved almost a tenth of a second off her previous-best 22.23 from last January.


  • NCAA record: 1:23.63, Virginia – 2024
  • Pac-12 record: 1:24.55, Cal – 2019
  • Meet record: 1:25.87, Cal – 2018
  • NCAA ‘A’ cut: 1:28.43
  • 2023 NCAA invite time: 1:29.20

Top 8:

  1. USC – 1:27.10
  2. Cal – 1:27.75
  3. Stanford – 1:28.05
  4. UCLA – 1:29.43
  5. Arizona State – 1:29.58
  6. Utah – 1:31.19
  7. Washington State – 1:32.79
  8. Arizona – DQ

USC bounced back in a big way with a 200 medley relay victory in 1:27.10 over Cal (1:27.75), the apparent favorite after placing four swimmers in the top 9 of the 50 free during prelims this morning and finals tonight.

Hungarian freshman Minna Abraham anchored the Trojans’ relay with a 21.50 split — the fastest in the field — to seal the win after getting disqualified in last night’s 800 free relay. USC senior Caroline Famous posted the second-fastest split in the field at 21.52. They were joined by 50 free champion Anicka Delgado (22.37 leadoff) and senior breaststroke specialist Kaitlyn Dobler (21.71).

Cal’s quartet of fifth-year Eloise Riley (22.40), junior Stephanie Akakabota (21.79), junior McKenna Stone (21.68), and senior Isabelle Stadden (21.88) reached the wall exactly three tenths ahead of Stanford (1:28.05) for 2nd place. Sophomore Gigi Johnson (22.21), junior Amy Tang (21.61), junior Anna Shaw (21.97), and sophomore Kayla Wilson (22.26) helped the Cardinal sneak under the NCAA ‘A’ cut of 1:28.43 for the first time this season.

UCLA (1:29.43) and Arizona State (1:29.58) also combined for sub-1:30 showings, separated by less than two tenths of a second. Senior Maya Wilson had the fastest split for the Bruins at 22.20 and sophomore Ieva Maluka clocked the quickest split for the Sun Devils at 22.05. The only other sub-22 split in the field came courtesy of Arizona junior Alyssa Schwengel (21.89), whose Wildcat relay was disqualified.

Scores After Day 2

  1. Cal – 479
  2. USC – 401
  3. Stanford – 398
  4. Arizona State – 357
  5. UCLA – 349
  6. Utah – 245
  7. Washington State – 166
  8. Arizona – 163

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I miss the ISL (go dawgs)
1 month ago

Good to see a bounce back from USC in the 50 and the relay, after a very less than ideal start to the meet

1 month ago

Why would anyone put the 4×50 free relay immediately after the 50 free on the schedule?

Reply to  NoFastTwitch
1 month ago

Helps you pick your relay team.

Jimmy DeSnuts
1 month ago

crazy that Gretchen Walsh would have won this 50 free by .5 with the front half of her 100.

heck, she would have made the A final with the opening 50 of her 200.

yea NCAAs is gonna be an absolute show for GW, the only reason for the other girls to even show up is to make Walsh look faster. None of these pac12 swimmers are even worthy of looking in Gretchen’s direction.

Justin Pollard
Reply to  Jimmy DeSnuts
1 month ago

Once Leon Marchand lapped Hugo Gonzalez. People said he was finished. NCAAs comes around and Hugo shows up with 3 top 3 finishes, best NCAA meet he ever had, and he gave Leon a run for his money in the same race he’d been lapped in. Don’t count these girls out before the races are finished in March.

Reply to  Justin Pollard
1 month ago

not sure that Gonzalez being beat by ~0.75 seconds per 50 is the best example for this. Although with how Gretchen is, any of the Pac 12 swimmers (or any swimmer really except for a couple ACC ones) swimming within 0.75/50 of Gretchen in any event would be an absolutely amazing swim

Last edited 1 month ago by jeff
Reply to  jeff
1 month ago

In the race Justin was referencing, Marchand was 3:31.84 and Gonzalez was 3:57.92, a 26.08 second differential. There are 8 50s in a 400 IM, the differential per 50 was 26.08/8, or 3.26 seconds per 50.

Justin is noting that with additional work Hugo was able to reduce that differential to 6.4 seconds or 6.4/8 = 0.8 seconds per 50 yard leg of the race. Even though Leon went another 2.7 faster at NCAA, Hugo cut more from the margin. An not only did he get 3 top 3s at NCAA, he is now the DOHA LCM 200 back world champion.

It is interesting to note that Hugo was actually the fastest Cal swimmer in that field, led 1-2-3-4… Read more »

Reply to  Jimmy DeSnuts
1 month ago

Very bad take. Yikes!

Bad Man
Reply to  snailSpace
1 month ago

I mean… the sprinting at this meet is definitely not the highlight. USC’s time is only 10th in the nation. 21.95 probably wont get a second swim this year at NCAAs. You really think they’re going to challenge Walsh?

Aragon Son of Arathorne
Reply to  Jimmy DeSnuts
1 month ago

but when the biggest meet of her life comes in June, will she as dominant? Thats what is truly important this year, not ncaa’s.

1 month ago

Arizona… ouch.

Reply to  Swammer
1 month ago

I wonder how much longer the administration will allow this to continue. I know swimming isn’t football or basketball but they’ve fallen quite a bit.

Reply to  ArtVanDeLegh10
1 month ago

Think the Utah coach swam there and is doing great things.

Reply to  ArtVanDeLegh10
1 month ago

This should be the last college conference meet for Busch Lite..

Former Big10
Reply to  Swammer
1 month ago

Hasn’t this been the story for like… a decade?

go bears
1 month ago

great swim by motekaitis! if you look at her roster and the years she’s competed collegiately she would be a sixth year

1 month ago

WSU having a 4:43 500 freestyler is absolutely insane. AND shes a freshman….

1 month ago

Great swim from Bricker wow

1 month ago

What the h*** is going on with USC

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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