After Stanford’s impressive showing at the Pac-12 Championships, they earned both the swimmer and diver of the month honors in the Pac-12 for the month of February. Ella Eastin won swimmer of the month, while Gracia Leydon-Mahoney won diver of the month.
Eastin had a terrific month, which is a good sign for her heading into her first NCAA Championships. The Stanford freshman began the month winning three individual events in a dual against rival Cal, leading the Cardinal women to victory. She won the 200 fly, 200 IM and 500 free in what was ultimately a rout of Cal. That gave Stanford a perfect record for the dual meet season. At the Pac-12 Championships later in the month, Eastin won three individual titles along with being part of a gold medal winning relay team. In her first event, she became the youngest women to ever break four minutes in the 400 IM, finishing in 3:59.30. That swim was also a new 17-18 national age group record and the 7th fastest performance of all-time. She is first in the country this year and will be the favorite heading into NCAAs. Her other two wins came in the 200 IM (1:52.77) and the 200 fly (1:52.01). She is also first in the country in the 200 IM and is 2nd in the 200 fly. In the final race of the meet, Eastin and her Cardinal teammates touched first in the 400 free relay. Marlies Ross (ASU), Farida Osman (CAL), Linnea Mack (UCLA), and Chelsea Chenault (USC) were also nominated.
Like Eastin, Leydon-Mahoney had a strong showing against Cal which gave her confidence heading into Pac-12s. She won both the 1-meter and 3-meter events against Cal, providing critical points to the Cardinal. At Pac-12s she won the 3-meter event with a score of 379.55, and then won the platform with a score of 341.40. Her platform score was 30-points ahead of the 2nd place finisher. She also placed 4th on the 1-meter. Mara Aiacoboae (ASU), Maria Polyakova (UCLA), and Madi Witt (USC) were also nominated.
Despite Eastin and Leydon-Mahoney’s performances, Stanford wasn’t able to claim the Pac-12 title, finishing 2nd to the upstart USC Trojans. Despite not winning, the team had a great showing and will be a real serious threat come NCAAs.