PHOENIX, Arizona, March 5. THE California Golden Bears continue to lead at the men's Pac 12 championships in Federal Way, Washington, but only by 20 points over Stanford. Depth helped Cal hold on to the lead despite not winning any events last night. Southern Cal won the 500 free, 50 free and 200 free relay, while Stanford had big gains in the 200 IM and 1-meter diving. David Nolan of Stanford and Marcin Tarczynski renewed their NCAA battle in the 200 IM, with Nolan, the 2012 NCAA runner-up, winning the Pac 12 title with a 1:42.41, and reigning champion Tarczynski placing second with a 1:43.10. Vlad Morozov got under 19 seconds in the 50 free for the first time in prelims with an 18.92, then won the event in 18.86. You can read the full recap on our college channel at swimmingworld.com.
Three aquatic sports athletes were named as semifinalists for the prestigious AAU Sullivan Award, which honors the top amateur athlete, though the term "amateur" carries a little less weight these days. Missy Franklin is the only swimmer on the list after her five medals from the London Olympics. Maggie Steffens, the MVP of the Olympic women's water polo tournament, is also on the list. David Boudia represents diving after winning gold on the platform in London. The field of 15 semifinalists also includes Olympic champion gymnast Gabby Douglas and Alabama football player Barrett Jones. The public can vote now for their favorite semifinalist by going to aausullivan.org.
It's a big day for Franklin, as she's also set to make her cameo today on the ABC Family show "Pretty Little Liars." Here's a little sneak peek of the cameo, in which Franklin will play herself as she visits the town's popular coffee shop to meet Emily, one of the lead characters who is a swimmer on her high school team.
The University of Utah has announced that head coach Greg Winslow's contract will not be renewed after this season, putting the men's and women's teams in limbo as they complete the season. Winslow was put on paid leave last week after allegations surfaced that he was involved in sexual misconduct with an underage swimmer. The university is beginning a search for a new head coach, but in the meantime, first-year assistant James Winchester is the interim head coach. Winchester was head coach at the University of New Orleans for a season and also worked as an assistant at Drury University.