Pelton Bounces Back for Top Seed in 200 Backstroke on Final Day of Pac 12’s (Up/Downs Included)

Former USC swimmer Amanda Smith is leading our coverage of this weekend’s Pac 12 Championships.


200 Backstroke

Cal’s Elizabeth Pelton had a rough day battling a stomach virus yesterday, but bounced back well and is our top seed tonight. She’s got about two seconds on the field at 1:51.24, and about .5 off the meet record.

Cal is certainly a powerhouse in the backstrokes, and along with Pelton, Hoi Shun Au is third, 1:53.71, Melanie Klaren is fourth, 1:54.51, and Cindy Tran is sixth, 1:54.74.

Stanford’s IM champion from last night, Maya Dirado, is second at 1:53.30, and her teammate Felicia Lee is fifth. Lee was a butterflier growing up, but this transition to backstroke has certainly been a great fit for her.

USC was able to get one swimmer in the top eight with freshman Henriette Stenkvist in 7th. Kendyl Stewart was a bit off her entry time this morning and will be swimming in the B final tonight.

Arizona’s Bonnie Brandon had a rough swim this morning, but was able to sneak into the eighth spot for tonight. Hopefully she can race Pelton & Dirado from the outside.

100 Freestyle

By no surprise Margo Geer is our top seed in the 100 free. She dipped right under 48 seconds with a 47.99. Arizona also has a second swimmer with senior Megan Lafferty in 7th.

Stanford and Cal both have two swimmers each in the final. Stanford is 2-3 with sprinting duo of Maddy Schaefer, 48.19, and Andi Murez, 48.23. Cal’s Rachel Acker really has been swimming well at her first PAC-12s is 4th, and teammate Kaylin Bing had another big time drop to lock in 5th.

USC has only finalist with Kasey Carlson in 6th. Her seed time is a bit faster than what she went this morning, so that could be a valuable points if she can get in the top three, especially with Kasia Wilk missing the final placing 9th this morning. UCLA’s Ting Quah has been great all meet finished out the top eight.

This event could really shake things up tonight. Geer seems to be the best, but below her any swimmer could move up or down.

200 Breaststroke

ASU could have their first individual swimming title of the meet with junior Alex Popa. She had a HUGE time drop of over 7 seconds and is first in 2:09.45. Can’t wait to see if she drops more tonight and hits that A standard for the Sundevils.

When you have one of the best 200 breaststrokers in the history of swimming hail from your program, Rebecca Soni, it only makes sense that USC will be dominant in this event. Princeton transfer Andrea Kropp is second, also under 2:10 with 2:09.62. Teammates Stina Gardell and Jessie Schmitt join her in the top eight at 4th and 7th.

Arizona builds on their 100 breaststroke success with two in the top eight in the longer distance. Emma Schoettmer and Chesey Salli are 5th and 6th.

Stanford finishes with one lone A finalist in Katie Olsen at 8th.

Even though Caitlin Leverenz is seeded 3rd, she is the defending PAC-12 champion and NCAA champion in this event. She got under 2:10 this morning, at 2:09.97. She’s been out touched in two events at this meet, and I think she’ll be out for some revenge tonight.

200 Butterfly

100 backstroke champion from last night Rachel Boostma sits atop of the field in 1:56.35.

This event has always been strong for UCLA, with three girls in the final tonight. Sophomore Noelle Tarazona is second, 1:56.51, junior Anna Senko is fourth, 1:57.78, and Stephanie Christofferson is 7th, 1:58.38.

Stanford only has one swimmer in this final, with Andie Taylor 3rd.

ASU’s Caroline Kuczynski is 6th. Her teammate Lori Kremer, who finished 9th, had a big time drop of nearly 3 seconds, finishing at 1:58.78.

USC has two with Jasmine Tosky, 5th, and Yumi So, 8th. Seems as if Tosky is still battling an illness she’s had all meet. Also interesting to see USC IM’er Meghan Hawthorne in this event. She is 10th, and is being a great team player swimming this event versus the breaststroke, where the Trojans are already very deep.

1650 Freestyle

This event will go on this afternoon. The top eight will swim at finals tonight. Seeded in the top eight are: Oregon State’s Samantha Harrison, Stanford’s Allison Brown, USC’s Andrea Basaraba, UCLA’s Megan Rankin, Stanford’s Andie Taylor, UCLA’s Lauren Baker, Arizona State’s Tristin Baxter, and USC’s PAC-12 Meet Record holder and 3-time defending 1650 free champion Haley Anderson.

Looking Ahead

Platform diving will also conclude today. Based on prelims, USC has 2 in the A final compared to Stanford’s one. Both have 6 divers total in the event. This could be a huge determinant in the team race.

The 400 free relay also is tonight. USC is only down eight points after last night, and based on numbers it could come down to the relay.

Breakdown – Including platform prelims, but no miles (Editor’s note: we’re going Dave Salo style for this one – Big, Little, and “Little Little” for the C Final.)

Big(A) Little (B) Little Little (C)
Cal 10 3 4
USC 9 6 7
Stanford 7 8 9
Arizona 6 8 4*
UCLA 5 9 3
Arizona State 2 4 4
Utah 1 2 0
Washington State 0 0 4
Oregon State 0 0 3*

*Pending swimoff results

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mb swimming
8 years ago

When I score out prelims (including diving, but excluding the mile), I have USC 46 points behind Stanford. USC is going to swim lights out tonight and really move up (or have Stanford have an off night and fall back) to make up that 46 points. Unlikely to happen, but we shall see.

My prediction….barring a DQ in the free relay, Stanford wins somewhat comfortably…by 35+ points.

Stanford has just cleaned up in diving. They would be 3rd in a swimming only competition. Cal would be winning in swimming only with USC second.

8 years ago

Way to go, Liz!!!!! Let’s crush that meet record!

8 years ago

Despite their (eventual) 3rd place team finish due to a lack of diving, Cal should be pleased with the number of top 8 finalists that came out of this meet. Before the 1650 – I count (25) top 8 swims for Cal at this meet; (22) for USC and (20) for Stanford. Last year, I believe Cal had (19) top 8 swims, however, due to their relay results, divers and “Little, Little/Little” swims those contributors gave them the W over Stanford. This year, the loss of Liv Jensen is clearly felt in all the relays, however, I’m still staying optimistic about NCAA’s….it’ll be interesting if Cal’s ‘big guns’ can get them ahead of USC and Georgia in a few weeks.… Read more »

8 years ago

MB – goes to show it helps to have a decent diving program.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of 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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