Weitzeil Goes Lifetime Best 4:47.4 500 Free, Splits 23.2 FL in Cal Win Over WSU


  • October 24, 2019
  • Berkeley, CA
  • SCY
  • Full results
    • Cal 172, Washington State 84
    • Cal began exhibitioning some swimmers at event #8 100 free.

Sprinter Abbey Weitzeil showed off her oft-overlooked versatility today in Berkeley as the Cal Golden Bears took down the visiting Washington State Cougars.

Weitzeil’s first swim came in the 200 medley relay, where she swam fly on Cal’s A relay (1:41.21) and split a very quick 23.26. Next, she went 1:02.20 in the 100 breast, touching right behind teammate Ema Rajic (1:02.19). The sophomore Rajic would also go on to win the 200 breast (2:13.80), split 28.48 breast on the A medley relay, and split 51.47 on Cal’s A 400 free relay.

In her second individual event, the 500 free, Weitzeil won the event by seven seconds to hit a time of 4:47.49. It was a lifetime best by almost two seconds, beating her old best of 4:49.33 in 2012. It was also only her third time swimming the event since 2012. Freshman Ayla Spitz was 4:54.54 to take second there. Spitz had earlier won the 200 free, clocking a 1:49.07 on a 27.73 final 50 to hold off sophomore Alicia Wilson (1:49.77).

Cal freshman Rachel Klinker swept the butterfly events, going 55.07 to out-touch Cal junior Sophie Krivokapic-Zhou (55.23) in the 100 and then winning the 200 in 1:59.17. Krivokapic-Zhou took the 100 back win at 54.63, while sophomore Isabel Ivey posted a 1:58.35 to win the 200 back by over two seconds.

Just like in the Stanford meet, Ryan Falk was a stand-out for Washington State. Her big swim came in the 1000 free, where she was locked in a very tight race with Cal junior Robin Neumann and Cal freshman Ashlyn Fiorilli. Neumann had a comfortable lead, but at the 150 mark, Falk began splitting 29’s, while Neumann was 31-31-30 and Fiorilli was 30-30-30 the final 150. With Neumann and Fiorilli at 30’s on the final 50, Falk unearthed a 28.2 final 50, blowing past Fiorilli and nearly catching Neumann.

When all was said and done, Neumann held on for the win at 10:11.19 ahead of Falk (10:11.69), while Fiorilli was 10:13.79 to take third. Falk also would take third in the 500 free (4:58.02).

Neumann would come all the way down to the sprints, going 23.67 for third in the 50 free behind Cal senior Maddie Murphy (23.39) and Cal freshman Eloise Riley (23.44). She then won the 100 free after the break, going 50.74 to touch ahead of Riley (50.84).

To close the meet, Weitzeil clocked a 48.94 anchor leg on Cal’s winning 400 free relay (3:24.31).

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sooooo slooooooooo yawwwwn gonna be anotha bloodbath in march 🙂
go check out da superior times from Coach Meehans team yesterday


Genuinely curious— is there a reason she didn’t redshirt the Olympic year?

tea rex

Not sure if she’s eligible – I think Weitzeil redshirted the 2015-16 season (delayed her freshman year).


Who let you on this site? And checking the results, Cal was faster in the 200 medley relay, 200 free, 100 breast, 200 breast, 500 free and Abbey’s splits were a step above anything the Stanford women put down… so I don’t see your point.


It’s a prank


You say this every year and every year fail to acknowledge that Stanford does much better in duel meets but Cal outperforms then at the end of the season. Yes, Stanford has had more depth but this time last year all throughout the season Cal was ranked 6th and then shocked everyone by almost taking Stanford down. Not saying any one team is better but if you’re going to say one team is “so slow” you might want to think about how their seasons pan out year after year before doing so.

The Grand Inquisitor

Whether dual meet times are slow or fast is not an interesting question to me either. But it is funny the stories people tell themselves to feel ok about coming up short. I’d argue that the only thing that “shocked” about the Bears in the last 4 years (and especially last year) is that they failed to win a team title with McLaughlin, Baker, Bilquist, and Weitzel – their so called “Dream Team.” How does a squad with those names on the roster ever achieve a ranking as low as 6th anyway?


Some teams don’t perform as well in season as others. Whether it be because some teams train through meets and others don’t or whatever it is, some teams (and athletes as individuals for that matter) are just better during championship season. If we’re asking how a team like Cal got that “low” of a ranking, we should also be asking how a team like Texas was ranked 1st and then got 6th. Teams are different. Plain and simple.


I don’t understand this unstoppable desire to swim non sprint events. She even swam 200LCM at Trials knowing that she had absolutely no chances to get selected and that it affects her sprinting races.


Don’t let the door hit you on the way out

Miss M

Really? When a top 8 finish will get a relay spot and almost guaranteed medal?


Top 6

Ol' Longhorn

Mr. Dressel swam the 400 scy IM last year.

Stan Crump

Not at the trials.

Ol' Longhorn

You’re beginning to sound like Bobo when he railed against Dressel swimming sprint breast in college or how Simone was wasting her time in the “bathtub” when she should be training like C1 (we saw, continue to see, how that worked out).


How many Olympics have you participated in? How many athletes have you coached at the Olympics? This was a dual meet against a team not at the Cal level and to keep it interesting, the coach decided to mix up events.


To keep it interesting Cal killed Franklin’s swimming career.


Not as many as you have. That’s for sure 😀


She swam the 200 at the last trials and immediately proceeded to win the 50/100 freestyles at the same meet. So, I’d say it worked out ok for her.


That is exactly what I cannot understand. I understand when Sjostrom focused on Gold medal at 200FR in Rio missed easy gold medals in 100 and 50. That is understood by anybody. How it works in Weitzeil’s case I don’t understand.


The 200 was before her main events. It’s not uncommon to swim an “off” event to get the jitters out, get used to the ready room routine, etc.

PK Doesn't Like His Long Name

This non-American way of thinking in regards to primary events always drives me insane for a multitude of reasons. The two simplest are first, if you never try other events, you never can accurately tell what you’re good at. Jack Conger would still be trying to go best times in the 200 back and not winning his NCAA title in the 200 fly. Andrew Seliskar would be swimming the 400 IM every year and would have no idea his best LCM event is the 200 free. Ian Crocker would still be doing the 200 free he was the best at at 14 and not making multiple Olympic teams in the 100 fly. Etc etc. Secondly, she’s the favorite in the… Read more »


Not to mention, 200y free is an ideal race to train for the 100m

Wait What?

How many times can I up vote that ⬆️⬆️⬆️ And the 200m swimmers should all be swimming 500y.


Tell it to Sjostrom. Or how many times have you seen Cate Campbell racing 200? Only in out of competition season. And those are the finest sprinters.
Sure there are always some exceptions from the common rule. Is it Weitzeil’s case?
I remember pre-Olympic year when Weitzeil was considered practically by anybody the #1 American sprinter. And I remember seeing her practically unconscious on the deck after 200SCY. There was a steep decline in her performance after that. Then she swam 200 in yards or meters practically at any opportunity at any meet. Was it a shock therapy? Who knows her story better than me, please explain.


Tell that to Simone Manuel who beat both of them training the 200 free


Training and racing meaning planning to achieve some particular goals at this event are two completely different things. Simone did target 200 yards in college. That’s true. But she never raced 200 LCM in important meets. This season world championships is the only exception. Never thought of Manual swimming 1:56.0. It’s a very good news for American 800 relay, but of course is far away to compete seriously individually. This case is completely different from Weitzeil’s one. She is not just training she is racing it setting personal bests (look at the title of the article). Can you set personal best without specifically targeting it? To do so you have to go through the special training sets that I’m sure… Read more »

PK Doesn't Like His Long Name

For Simone: “But she never raced 200 LCM in important meets. This season world championships is the only exception.”

Either your memory is bad or you don’t consider the following important meets:
2012 US Olympic Trials: 202.50, 50th
2013 US Nationals: 200.27, 14th
2014 US Nationals: 158.79, 7th
2016 US Olympic Trials: 157.84, 7th
2017 US Nationals: 157.11, 5th
2018 US Nationals: 157.01, 5th
2019 World Championships: 156.09

So basically a pure sprinter swims the 200 at every selection meet, gets faster every single year, and works her way into being an important piece of the 800 free relay for the US.

For Weitzel: “Can you set personal best (in the 500 free) without specifically targeting it?”

Answer: Yes.


I appreciate your arguments with numbers. Yes, Simone Manuel is quite capable in 180m SC. She is gifted this way and proved it. And yes she may target 6 gold medals in Tokyo and wants to get some proficiency in 200 LCM to make the 800 relay. But what does it have to do with Weitzeil. She is a pure sprinter. Her personal best at 200 LCM is 1:59.30 Our thirteen years old prodigies swim faster. But yet she races 200 more than any other pure sprinters. People here think that that is what will help her to be under 53 sec in 100 (53.28 pb) and under 24sec in 50 (24.28 pb) And I don’t understand how it will… Read more »




Another example–Katie Drabot in the 200 fly. She went from a 2:25 to a 2:10 in 2018.

PK Doesn't Like His Long Name

This might be the best example of them all. I was a little sad that I couldn’t come up with a quick female example off the top of my head, but if you said in September 2017 that Katie Drabot would be a medal winner at 2019 worlds in an individual event, the 200 fly would have been like my 10th guess for an event.

tea rex

Beata Nelson projected as a flyer out of high school. Turns out she’s pretty good at backstroke too.

Spotted Zebra

Another fairly practical reason why Weitzeil may have swam the 200m freestyle at the 2016 Olympic trials was to have an “ice-breaker” event; that is, for young swimmers at high pressure meets, swimming a (lower stakes) opening event before their primary event(s) may help them ease into the meet and reduce nervousness.

Kirk Nelson

Perhaps McKeever thought it would be a good idea for Weitzeil to swim a couple off events at an easy win meet for Cal? Personally I like seeing swimmers branch out a little bit.


Omg a Cal sprinter swam a 500 against Washington State, her Olympic year is finished. C’mon Yozhik. Maybe post about a male swimmer, you seem fixated on the girls


Women swimming is much more exciting than the men’s one during last decade. So many super bright names, so many breakthrough achievements, so many dramas etc.
So many that such unbelievable result of 31 years old Pellegrini swimming 1:54.2 went practically unnoticed. And in my opinion it is of same magnitude as golden personal best of 36 years old Anthony Ervin – the only achievement on men’s swimming side that can be marked a long live historical event.
Only two high-tech suits records left that women hasn’t broken yet.

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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