Blueseventy Swim of the Week: Versatile Weitzeil Takes Over For Baker


Disclaimer: Blueseventy Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The blueSeventy Swim is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.

The 2018-2019 NCAA season will be about replacing departed stars, especially so on the women’s side. With a number of huge names graduating or turning pro early (Katie Ledecky, Simone Manuel, Kathleen Baker), even the best rosters in the nation will have serious openings for a new name to step up.

For Cal, which loses do-everything star Baker, the heir-apparent is already making herself, well, apparent.

Abbey Weitzeil is probably best known as an Olympic sprinter, but the Cal junior won four of five events across three strokes and the IM discipline to earn the ‘Queen of the Pool’ title at Cal Poly’s yearly “King & Queen of the Pool” dual meet with Cal. The meet features 100s of fly, back, breast, free and IM, with the most versatile swimmer earning the meet title based on strong performances through all five events.

What was expected was Weitzeil’s 100 free win. Coming near the end of the meet, the event was a blowout in favor of Weitzeil, whose 49.38 was nearly two seconds faster than the field. The swim came after a 56.47 win in the 100 back and a 1:03.35 win in the 100 breast, with the freestyler Weitzeil (who swam breaststroke on Cal’s 200 medley relay last year) beating the team’s top breaststroke options.

Weitzeil was also 58.15 in the 100 fly, though that earned her just 10th, and she led off a mixed 4×50 medley relay in 24.24 (presumably swimming backstroke) plus led off the winning mixed 4×50 free relay in 22.26.

With those six swims behind her, Weitzeil finished the day with a 56.87 win in the 100 IM, winning by half a second.

If Cal is to challenge Stanford (and hold off a bevy of teams in the fight for a top-2 finish), they’ll need to replace Baker’s historic production. A great season from Weitzeil could do just that and more, especially if her versatility can continue to cover Cal’s breaststroke weakness on relays.



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About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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