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


Day 2 Prelims Heat Sheets

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

Meanwhile, Cal broke its own six-year-old meet record in the 200 medley relay and earned a runner-up finish behind Stanford in the 800 freestyle relay to build a 14-point lead over Arizona State heading into Thursday’s action.

Today’s slate features prelims of the 500 free, 200 IM, and 50 free this morning. There will also be 1-meter diving contested this afternoon along with the 200 free relay later tonight.

There weren’t many tough doubles decision to be made with only three individual events scheduled for Thursday, but USC freshman Minna Abraham did (unsurprisingly) choose the 200 IM (where she’s the No. 5 seed at 1:55.78) over the 500 free (where she’s the No. 9 seed at 4:41.74).

Team Scores After Day 1

  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

500 Freestyle – Prelims

  • 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) – 4:38.85
  2. Aurora Roghair (Stanford) – 4:39.61
  3. Deniz Ertan (Arizona State) – 4:39.96
  4. Claire Tuggle (USC) – 4:40.72
  5. Mia Motekaitis (Cal) – 4:41.73
  6. Rachel Klinker (Cal) – 4:41.95
  7. Natalie Mannion (Stanford) – 4:42.57
  8. Kathryn Hazle (Cal) – 4:42.97

Arizona State senior Lindsay Looney posted a season-best 4:38.85 to lead the 500 free prelims by almost a second ahead of top-seeded Stanford junior Aurora Roghair (4:39.61). Looney was just about half a second off her personal-best 4:38.29 that she swam to win the Pac-12 title in this event last year. Roghair has been as fast as 4:37.10 at the Texas Invitational in November.

Looney’s teammate, Arizona State sophomore Deniz Ertan, dipped under 4:40 for the first time this season to qualify 3rd in 4:39.96. The Georgia Tech transfer from Turkey won the ACC title in this event last year in a lifetime best of 4:38.04.

USC sophomore Claire Tuggle will be the lone Trojan in the A-final tonight after qualifying 4th in 4:40.72. Her teammate, sophomore Justina Kozan, came into this event as the No. 2 seed (4:38.47) but placed 10th in prelims with a time of 4:44.43.

Cal placed a trio of swimmers in the A-final: fifth-year Mia Motekaitis (4:41.73), fifth-year Rachel Klinker (4:41.95), and freshman Kathryn Hazle (4:42.97). Hazle knocked almost two seconds off her previous-best 4:44.88 from a couple weeks ago. Before this month, her best 500 free time stood at 4:45.09 from 2022.

Stanford sophomore Natalie Mannion punched her ticket to tonight’s A-final along with Roghair, clocking a time of 4:42.57 that was a few seconds off her season best (4:39.18).

200 IM – Prelims

  • 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) – 1:55.14
  2. Leah Polonsky (Cal) – 1:55.23
  3. Ieva Maluka (Arizona State) – 1:55.53
  4. Lucy Bell (Stanford) – 1:55.82
  5. Rosie Murphy (UCLA) – 1:55.93
  6. Paige MacEachern (UCLA) – 1:55.97
  7. Minna Abraham (USC) – 1:56.48
  8. Charli Brown (Arizona State) – 1:57.72

Stanford freshman Caroline Bricker came out swinging with a personal-best 1:55.14 in prelims, shaving a few tenths off her previous-best 1:55.48 from a couple weeks ago.

Top-seeded Cal junior Leah Polonsky was close behind Bricker with a season-best 1:55.23. The Israeli native has been as fast as 1:54.02 during her 200 IM victory at last year’s Pac-12 Championships.

Arizona State sophomore Ieva Maluka qualified 3rd in 1:55.53, just off her personal-best 1:55.46 that was tied with Polonsky for the top time in the conference before today. The Latvian sophomore dropped almost two seconds off her lifetime best at November’s NC State Invitational.

Stanford sophomore Lucy Bell made it two Cardinal in the A-final tonight along with Bricker, qualifying 5th in 1:55.82. Her season best is 1:55.67 and her lifetime best is 1:54.89 from NCAAs last year, where she placed 12th in prelims before falling to 15th in the final.

UCLA had a strong showing as sophomore Rosie Murphy (1:55.93) and Paige MacEachern (1:55.97) also went sub-1:56 to make the A-final comfortably. Both Bruins dropped more than a second off their best times as Murphy’s previous best was 1:57.45 from earlier this month and MacEachern’s previous best was 1:57.20 from November.

50 Freestyle – Prelims

  • 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. Eloise Riley (Cal) – 22.09
  2. Anicka Delgado (USC) – 22.17
  3. Caroline Famous (USC) – 22.24
  4. Amy Tang (Stanford) – 22.28
  5. Erin Milligan (Arizona State) – 22.31
  6. Isabelle Stadden (Cal) – 22.33
  7. Maya Wilson (UCLA) – 22.37
  8. Stephanie Akakabota (Cal) – 22.39

Cal fifth-year Eloise Riley dropped a tenth off her season best to lead the 50 free prelims with a time of 22.09 — just a hundredth of a second shy of her lifetime best from 2020.

USC seniors Anicka Delgado (22.17) and Caroline Famous (22.24) took the next two qualifying spots in the heats, both just slightly off their season bests of 22.03 and 22.16, respectively. However, top-seeded Trojan Vasilissa Buinaia failed to make the A-final as the Russian graduate transfer added more than half a second to her season-best 21.95 with a 13th-place finish in 22.58.

The entire A-final was separated by just three-tenths of a second this morning. Stanford junior Amy Tang (22.28) eked past Arizona State junior Erin Milligan (22.31) for the 4th qualifying spot. Cal senior Isabelle Stadden (22.33) and junior Stephanie Akakabota (22.39) joined top qualifier Riley in the A-final, with Akakabota beating senior teammate Emily Gantriis by just .01 seconds for the final spot.

The most impressive A-final qualifier was No. 7 seed Maya Wilson. The UCLA senior had never been under 23 seconds before, but she crushed her best time by .65 seconds to earn a surprising berth in the top 8. Wilson’s best time before today was a 23.02 from November, ranking just 44th among Pac-12 swimmers this season.

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1 month ago

So based off my calculations Arizona has a whopping 4 swims tonight? Of which they are all in the “c” final (2 in IM, 2 in 50)? So zero “a” finalists and “b” finalists? Wow. That’s beyond bad. Borderline pathetic. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Reply to  Buckeyeboy
1 month ago

It’s better than they did on this day last year

1 month ago

Stanford is doing a lot better this season. I wonder what changed, not in a rude way, but like did it take the loss of Curzan and Smith for Greg to really start something with his girls?

Reply to  Eli
1 month ago

Or maybe something to do with Stanford getting a new assistant coach this season.

I miss the ISL (Go dawgs)
Reply to  Eli
1 month ago

i’ve thought this too. i think all the criticism of Meehan and them leaving finally made him snap into reality and change some things. a little criticism is good sometimes.

Reply to  Eli
1 month ago

People like to pretend Meehan isn’t a great coach, but he clearly is and he had a bad year last year. What sets apart the great coaches is the lessons they take from a bad year and the adjustments they make.

Reply to  oxyswim
1 month ago

I think this season could still go either way. They definitely don’t have much sprint talent and based off today’s events they don’t have much points potential in March just Roghair maybe Afinal and the two Imers B-finals. I doubt their fully rested so I reserve the right to update my comment.

Reply to  Taa
1 month ago

Speaking of Roghair, her improvement this year has been amazing.

1 month ago

SwinSwam — You have a “Live Video – Pac-12 Network” heading

I have to Pac-12 Networks channels on my Television feed. It gives swimming at 4:a.m over the next couple of days.

When I clicked on you “Live Video – Pac-12 Network” item I got a “403 Permission Denied. You don’t havd permission to access this page.”

How did you get your “Live Video” link and do you have any suggestions for getting past a 403 message?

1 month ago

Great 500s for Cal!!!!!! Go Bears

Samuel Huntington
1 month ago

Sluggish 500 with 19 of the 24 finalists adding to seed time.

Reply to  Samuel Huntington
1 month ago

It’s prelims..

Samuel Huntington
Reply to  Yikes
1 month ago


1 month ago

gotta show the pac12 some love right now. Also, dear lord that 500 free final looks stacked!

1 month ago

How’s USC always screw up taper at conference every year? yet the coaches seem not even carer or even fix the problem. How to blow top tier recruitment cycle every year if the result always the same at conference?

Reply to  And
1 month ago

To be fair, Tuggle did go a fast 500 prelims…

Reply to  Eli
1 month ago

Still only prelims of the first day of individual events, lot more variables than just bad resting this early. But if this stays through tomorrow evening, you have an all timer type of point!!! Just might be punching a little early.

I miss the ISL (Go dawgs)
Reply to  And
1 month ago

we don’t know if they’re fully tapered, maybe this will pay off at NCAAs. who knows what they did. but maybe this will age poorly, but a poor showing at conference could be a good sacrifice if it leads to an amazing showing at NCs.

Reply to  I miss the ISL (Go dawgs)
1 month ago

why not fully taper if you only has 7 girls so far solid to qualify for NCAA. What about the rest of the girl that trying to make the squad to go to NCAA. Perhaps 7 girls does not need taper but the rest does need good taper.

I miss the ISL (Go dawgs)
Reply to  And
1 month ago

maybe their stars who have already made NCAAs (like the 7 you mentioned) aren’t tapered, but the ones who are on the cusp are. I haven’t looked at the results so I can’t confirm if they’re doing well or not, but its a possibility.

I miss the ISL (Go dawgs)
Reply to  And
1 month ago

I take it back. Just looked at live results and every. single. one. of USC’s swims were adds this morning, except for one. Yikes.

Reply to  And
1 month ago

that’s that infamous lea taper

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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