2017 Women’s Pac-12 Championships Day 4 Finals: Stanford Wraps Up Conference Title

Photo Courtesy: Chuckarelei / Pac-12

The Stanford Cardinal won the women’s Pac-12 championship Saturday night, finishing with 1587.5 points to out-pace second-place Cal by 195 points. The conference title marked the second in five seasons for Stanford head coach Greg Meehan.

The Cardinal were led by Katie Ledecky, who set or contributed to four American records during the weekend and was named Pac-12 swimmer of the meet, and by Simone Manuel, who swept the 50, 100 and 200 free, all the top times in the country this season.

Cal took second with 1392.5 points, and USC was third with 1250.5. Arizona finished fourth with 1087.5, and UCLA rounded out the top five with 1002. UCLA was led by diver Maria Polyakova, who was awarded Pac-12 diver of the meet honors.

The sixth through ninth place teams were ASU (709.5), Utah (484), Washington State (334) and Oregon State (237).

Read below for full coverage of the final night of competition.

1650 free

A Stanford freshman finished first in the mile—it just wasn’t the one most people would expect. With Katie Ledecky watching from the sidelines having already swum the maximum three individual events, Megan Byrnes pulled away from the field in the top heat of the 1650 and touched in 15:47.87, the fifth-fastest time in the country.

Byrnes swam in a tight pack with USC’s Becca Mann and Arizona’s Tjasa Oder for the first third of the race but ended up pulling away and swimming on her own. Meanwhile, Stanford’s Leah Stevens fought her way back into the race, passing Mann and then Oder with 100 yards to go, and she finished second in 15:57.87. Oder settled for third in 15:59.47.

Mann finished fourth in 16:08.10, just four one-hundredths ahead of the 16:08.16 that Cal’s Chenoa Devine put up in the afternoon heats. USC’s Allie Wooden finished sixth in 16:11.28, while Stanford’s Katie Drabot (swimming exhibition) was seventh in 16:14.99. ASU’s Kendall Dawson rounded out the top eight with her time of 16:15.09.

Event 15  Women 1650 Yard Freestyle
=========================================================================
    Name                 Year School               Seed     Finals Points 
=========================================================================
  1 Byrnes, Megan          FR STAN-PC          16:05.50   15:47.62   32  
       27.18    29.28    28.72    28.97
       29.10    29.04    28.99    28.95
       29.05    29.00    28.90    28.91
       28.73    28.79    28.73    28.82
       28.81    28.77    28.46    28.69
       28.51    28.59    28.67    28.56
       28.79    28.79    28.96    28.67
       28.72    28.94    28.72    55.81         
  2 Stevens, Leah          SO STAN-PC          16:09.69   15:57.87   28  
       26.83    29.28    29.22    29.29
       29.39    29.43    29.27    29.34
       29.55    29.47    29.02    29.24
       29.16    29.02    28.88    29.26
       29.19    29.36    29.23    29.35
       28.99    28.85    28.97    28.89
       28.86    28.72    29.01    29.10
       29.22    29.01    28.41    28.28    28.78
  3 Oder, Tjasa            JR ARIZ-AZ          16:02.20   15:59.47   27  
       27.33    28.82    29.19    29.09
       29.20    28.93    28.93    29.18
       28.94    28.97    29.03    28.83
       29.13    28.93    29.19    29.07
       29.18    28.86    29.11    28.96
       29.16    28.98    29.42    29.14
       29.24    29.35    29.15    29.37
       29.69    29.45    29.64    29.49    28.52

200 back

Cal’s Kathleen Baker led wire-to-wire, establishing a big margin at the halfway point and holding off a charging Janet Hu on the last 50. Baker touched in 1:48.33, while Hu finished second in 1:49.36. The times are the top two in the NCAA this season, surpassing Alexia Zevnik’s 1:49.61.

Baker’s swim was just off Elizabeth Pelton’s American and U.S. Open record of 1:47.84, and the time ranks as the third-fastest performance in history (also trailing Missy Franklin’s 1:47.91). Like Baker, both Pelton and Franklin swam those times while representing the Bears. Hu, representing Stanford, now ranks sixth on the all-time list, behind Pelton, Franklin, Baker, Gemma Spofforth and Courtney Bartholomew.

Stanford’s Ally Howe, who broke the American record in the 100 back Friday night, finished third in 1:51.16, just edging out Cal’s Amy Bilquist. Bilquist, the defending conference champion in the event, settled for fourth in 1:51.22.

Stanford’s Allie Szekely (1:51.76) and Erin Voss (1:53.25) finished fifth and sixth, respectively, and they were followed by UCLA’s Madison White (1:53.75) and Cal’s Keaton Blovad (1:54.03).

Event 16  Women 200 Yard Backstroke
=========================================================================
    Name                 Year School            Prelims     Finals Points 
=========================================================================
                            === A - Final ===                            
 
  1 Baker, Kathleen        SO CAL-PC            1:50.11    1:48.33   32  
       25.24    27.21    27.68    28.20
  2 Hu, Janet              JR STAN-PC           1:51.55    1:49.36   28  
       26.18    27.70    27.45    28.03
  3 Howe, Ally             JR STAN-PC           1:52.17    1:51.16   27  
       26.00    28.14    28.80    28.22
  4 Bilquist, Amy          SO CAL-PC            1:53.35    1:51.22   26  
       26.20    28.07    28.65    28.30
  5 Szekely, Allie         FR STAN-PC           1:52.15    1:51.76   25  
       26.29    27.75    28.44    29.28
  6 Voss, Erin             FR STAN-PC           1:53.29    1:53.25   24  
       27.01    28.45    29.09    28.70
  7 White, Madison         SR UCLA-CA           1:53.39    1:53.75   23  
       27.08    28.40    29.10    29.17
  8 Blovad, Keaton         FR CAL-PC            1:54.00    1:54.03   22  
       26.77    28.17    29.12    29.97

Women’s 100 free

Stanford’s Simone Manuel won her third Pac-12 title of the meet in the women’s 100 free, pulling away from the field early on and coming into the wall in 46.36. While short of her American and NCAA record of 46.09, the time easily surpasses Mallory Comerford’s 46.75 as the top mark in the country this season and is the third-fastest performance in history.

The Cardinal finished 1-2 for the second time in three events as Lia Neal came in second at 46.97. the fourth-fastest time in the country this season. Finishing in a tie for third were Cal’s Farida Osman and USC’s Louise Hansson. Both touched in 47.36.

UCLA’s Linnea Mack finished fifth in 47.78, just ahead of USC’s Anika Apostalon (47.80). Rounding out the A-final were Cal’s Kristen Vredeveld (48.14) and USC’s Stanzi Moseley (48.22).

Notably, Cal’s Abbey Weitzeil did not swim the event. Weitzeil ranks second all-time and was an Olympic finalist in the 100-meter free but hasn’t been feeling well since swimming in the 200 free final Friday night.

Event 17  Women 100 Yard Freestyle
=========================================================================
    Name                 Year School            Prelims     Finals Points 
=========================================================================
                            === A - Final ===                            
 
  1 Manuel, Simone         SO STAN-PC             47.30      46.36   32  
       10.67    11.67    11.99    12.03
  2 Neal, Lia              SR STAN-PC             47.37      46.97   28  
       10.94    11.91    12.14    11.98
  3 Hansson, Louise        FR USC-CA              47.34      47.36   26.5
       10.99    11.77    12.36    12.24
  3 Osman, Farida          SR CAL-PC              48.01      47.36   26.5
       10.84    11.98    12.31    12.23
  5 Mack, Linnea           SR UCLA-CA             47.77      47.78   25  
       10.90    11.90    12.60    12.38
  6 Apostalon, Anika       SR USC-CA              47.82      47.80   24  
       10.68    11.92    12.47    12.73
  7 Vredeveld, Kristen     SR CAL-PC              48.49      48.14   23  
       10.89    12.03    12.63    12.59
  8 Moseley, Stanzi        FR USC-CA              48.29      48.22   22  
       11.02    12.05    12.48    12.67

200 breast

USC’s Riley Scott won the first Pac-12 championship of her career as she held off Arizona State’s Silja Kansakoski down the stretch. Scott touched in 2:06.20, while Kansakoski, who won the 100 breast Friday, settled for second in 2:06.41. Scott’s time ties her with Emily Escobedo for third in the country this season, while Kansakoski improves to fifth.

USC’s Kirsten Vose, who actually had the lead at the halfway point, faded down the stretch and ended up third in 2:07.65.

Cal’s Marina Garcia finished fourth in 2:08.42, and Stanford’s Kim Williams snuck under the 2:10-barrier as she touched fifth in 2:09.95. Rounding out the championship final were Utah’s Genevieve Robertson (2:10.33), UCLA’s Emma Schanz (2:10.35) and Utah’s Stina Colleou (2:!0.74.

Event 18  Women 200 Yard Breaststroke
=========================================================================
    Name                 Year School            Prelims     Finals Points 
=========================================================================
                            === A - Final ===                            
 
  1 Scott, Riley           SO USC-CA            2:08.73    2:06.20   32  
       28.30    32.47    32.55    32.88
  2 Kansakoski, Silja      FR ASU-AZ            2:07.85    2:06.41   28  
       28.89    32.95    32.20    32.37
  3 Vose, Kirsten          SO USC-CA            2:09.22    2:07.65   27  
       28.78    31.91    32.85    34.11
  4 Garcia Urzainqui, Mar  SR CAL-PC            2:09.91    2:08.42   26  
       29.11    32.33    33.10    33.88
  5 Williams, Kim          SO STAN-PC           2:09.85    2:09.95   25  
       29.66    33.03    32.96    34.30
  6 Robertson, Genevieve   SO UTAH-UT           2:10.78    2:10.33   24  
       29.42    32.77    33.47    34.67
  7 Schanz, Emma           SO UCLA-CA           2:09.93    2:10.35   23  
       30.07    33.00    33.37    33.91
  8 Colleou, Stina         SR UTAH-UT           2:10.87    2:10.74   22  
       29.97    32.64    33.39    34.74

200 fly

Stanford’s Ella Eastin was in a tight battle with USC’s Madison Wright and Cal’s Katie McLaughlin for the first half of the race, but she exploded on the third 50 and won by almost a full second. Eastin touched in 1:51.85, by far the fastest time in the country this season. Eastin beat out the 1:52.62 she swam at the Ohio State Invite in November and was just eight tenths off her best time of 1:51.04, set on the way to a runner-up finish at last year’s NCAA championships.

Wright ended up finishing second in 1:52.67, moving to No. 3 in the country behind Eastin and Sarah Gibson, and McLaughlin finished third in 1:53.29. McLaughlin’s time ranks sixth nationally.

Cal also picked up fourth place points as Noemie Thomas touched in 1:54.50, and Stanford’s Lindsey Engel was fifth in 1:%5.16. Also finishing among the top eight were UCLA’s Katie Grover (1:56.02), USC’s Catherine Sanchez (1:57.97) and USC’s Tatum Wade (1:58.05).

Event 19  Women 200 Yard Butterfly
=========================================================================
    Name                 Year School            Prelims     Finals Points 
=========================================================================
                            === A - Final ===                            
 
  1 Eastin, Ella           SO STAN-PC           1:53.30    1:51.85   32  
       25.42    28.69    28.67    29.07
  2 Wright, Madison        SO USC-CA            1:53.26    1:52.67   28  
       25.56    28.59    29.00    29.52
  3 McLaughlin, Katie      SO CAL-PC            1:53.80    1:53.29   27  
       25.36    28.42    29.34    30.17
  4 Thomas, Noemie         JR CAL-PC            1:54.35    1:54.50   26  
       25.52    29.21    29.80    29.97
  5 Engel, Lindsey         JR STAN-PC           1:55.93    1:55.16   25  
       25.58    28.93    29.51    31.14
  6 Grover, Katie          JR UCLA-CA           1:56.49    1:56.02   24  
       26.02    29.34    29.71    30.95
  7 Sanchez, Catherine     FR USC-CA            1:56.60    1:57.97   23  
       25.84    29.22    30.91    32.00
  8 Wade, Tatum            FR USC-CA            1:57.57    1:58.05   22  
       26.09    29.97    30.68    31.31

Platform diving

ASU’s Mara Aiacoboae finished first on the platform with a score of 292.80, well ahead of runner-up Karolyn Loftus of Arizona, who scored, 262.70 to edge out UCLA’s Maria Polyakova (259.70). Polyakova was later named Pac-12 diver of the meet.

Also competing in the final were USC’s Madison Witt (259.40), Arizona’s Sally Hackett (241.75), Cal’s Phoebe Lamay (241.60), UCLA’s Eloise Belanger (237.80) and USC’s Carly Souza (212.15).

1 292.80 Mara Aiacoboae (ASU) 6.23 58.56
2 262.70 Karolyn Loftus (ARIZ) 6.00 52.54
3 259.70 Maria Polyakova (UCLA) 6.60 51.94
4 259.40 Madison Witt (USC) 6.27 51.88
5 241.75 Sally Hackett (ARIZ) 6.17 48.35
6 241.60 Phoebe Lamay (CAL) 6.73 48.32
7 237.80 Eloise Belanger (UCLA) 5.53 47.56
8 212.15 Carly Souza (USC) 4.90 42.43

400 free relay

Stanford wrapped up a dominant week at the women’s Pac-12 championships with an American record-setting performance in the women’s 400 free relay.

The team of Simone Manuel (46.47), Katie Ledecky (48.10), Janet Hu (47.49) and Lia Neal (46.45) came in at 3:08.51 to clip three one-hundredths of the American and NCAA record set by Neal, Hu, Lindsey Engel and Manuel at the 2015 NCAA championships.

Stanford was actually challenged by USC for much of the race, but Trojans anchor Anika Apostalon could not keep up with Neal in the two-time Olympian’s final race at the Pac-12 championships. USC’s Louise Hansson (47.03), Kirsten Vose (47.84), Stanzi Moseley (47.79) and Apostalon finished second in 3:09.57.

Cal’s foursome of Kristen Vredeveld (48.38), Amy Bilquist (47.13), Kathleen Baker (47.55) and Farida Osman (47.09) grabbed third in 3:10.15.

UCLA finished fourth in 3:15.89, followed by Arizona (3:16.17), ASU (3:16.61), Utah (3:21.10), Washington State (3:21.28) and Oregon State (3:23.99).

Full meet results

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Author: David Rieder

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David Rieder is a staff writer for Swimming World. He has contributed to the magazine and website since 2009, and he has covered the NCAA Championships, U.S. Nationals, Olympic Trials as well as the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and the 2017 World Championships in Budapest. He is a native of Charleston, S.C., and a 2016 graduate of Duke University.

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