Chloe Larson Gives Washington State Women Their First Pac-12 Swimming Title

2021 PAC-12 WOMEN’S SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

Washington State senior Chloe Larson didn’t have the fastest 50 free of the day at the Pac-12 Championships on Thursday, but she did walk away with a piece of history.

Swimming a 22.18 in the 50 free, beating out an A-final loaded with ties, Larson took the Pac-12 Conference Championship in the 50 free. That becomes the Cougars’ first Pac-12 Championship in women’s swimming & diving in any event in history.

Larson’s victory came in spite of adding .02 seconds from her prelims time, where she was the #2 seed heading into the final.

Her prelims time of 22.16 would have been invited to every NCAA Championship meet in history so far. If that holds up, it would be just the team’s second NCAA Championship invitee of the last 11 seasons. The other was Mackenzie Duarte, who in 2019 raced both the 100 and 200 breaststroke at NCAAs.

Both of those swims have come since current head coach Matt Leach took over the program prior to the 2018-2019 season.

Her 22.16 in prelims also crushes the old school record of 22.45 that was set in 2009 by Rugile Mileisyte.

Larson’s best time coming out of high school was a 23.34 that she swam during her junior season of high school.

Best Time Progression:

  • High School – 23.52
  • Freshman – 23.34
  • Sophomore (first season of Leach) – 23.01
  • Junior – 22.64
  • Senior – 22.16

The fastest time of the finals session was a 22.12 done by Stanford sophomore Emma Wheal in the B-final. Cal’s Eloise Riley was the top prelims performer in 22.09, but was part of a three-way tie for 2nd in the final.

Washington State have been members of the Pac-12 since 1917 and were founding members of women’s swimming in the conference (which began in 1987). The school has never finished better than the bottom 3 at the Pac-12 Championships out of what was 9 teams for most of the program history, though is just 7 this season. While Washington State is likely to finish last at this year’s championships, the school is showing some signs of catching up in a deep Pac-12 Conference.

Their ceiling in the league will be limited by the lack of a diving program. While, at the moment, the Pac-12 is very much a two-team battle between Cal and Stanford, there is a lot of momentum in a lot of corners of the league, including Pullman.

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Bevo
6 months ago

Great story. Great improvement year to year.

Taa
6 months ago

As Amy Van Dyken said, her start wasnt that good. She probably could break 22 with a little more work.

mcj
6 months ago

Congrats Chloe! South Dakota sees you!

Former Big10
Reply to  mcj
6 months ago

Related to Ross?
Great to see swimmers from SD pull through. Other than the Gordon’s, Zach Johnson, and Emily Campbell… who else has made it “big” in the last decade?

Last edited 6 months ago by Former Big10
Tswim
Reply to  Former Big10
6 months ago

Tevyn Waddell is in the ISL.

Mnswim
Reply to  Tswim
6 months ago

Hannah Kastigar though not quite as “big”but was an Ncaa division 11 champion after transferring from Grand Canyon.

Last edited 6 months ago by Mnswim
Hswimmer
6 months ago

Wow

Marklewis
6 months ago

Awesome way to cap off her college swimming career with an individual PAC 12 conference title.

The first ever for her school too.

I hope she breaks 22 at the NCAA meet

Last edited 6 months ago by Marklewis

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Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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