Pac-12 Weekly Analysis: UCLA Wins Breast Cancer Awareness Meet

Linnea Mack-23245369369
UCLA's Linnea Mack. Photo Courtesy: Andy Ringgold/Aringo Photography

By Dan D’Addona.

The UCLA women’s swim team hosted its Breast Cancer Awareness meet to open its home season.

The meet not only raised awareness to a worthy cause, but helped inspire the Bruins to a first-place finish in the meet.

The Bruins don’t always get the big headlines in the Pac-12, but this was a big way to open the season.

The Bruins posted nine first-place finishes in their home-opening Breast Cancer Awareness meet on Saturday afternoon. Seven swimmers won, while senior Annika Lenz swept the 1- and 3-meter diving events.

Senior Katy Campbell cruised to a comfortable victory in the 1,000 freestyle (10:13.52). Linnea Mack won the 200 freestyle (1:49.43) and the 100 freestyle (50.07). Freshman Kenisha Liu won the 200 breaststroke (2:17.81).

Stanford 3rd at Pacific; Cal 5th

The Stanford men’s swim team used a host of NCAA provisional cuts to finish third at the Pacific Invitational with 578 points.

Denver won the men’s meet with 788, followed by Air Force (649.5). Pacific was fourth (459), followed by Cal (317) and Fresno Pacific (269.5).

The race of the meet was Stanford’s Abraham DeVine winning the 200-yard IM in 1:48.15, barely edging Cal’s Michael Thomas (1:48.33). Both were NCAA provisional qualifying times.

That race was what both swimmers needed — an early test and an extremely close race.

Cal women defeat Washington State

The Cal women beat Washington State 155-97 on Friday.

The Golden Bears claimed 13 of 14 events, led by triple-winner Celina Li, who won the 200-yard butterfly, 200-yard breaststroke and 400-yard individual medley. Li is going to be huge for the Golden Bears. With several Olympians on the Golden Bears, Li is someone who shouldn’t be overlooked. She is going to be the pivotal swimmer when we get to the NCAA championships.

Freshmen Abbey Weitzeil, Courtney Mykkanen and Chenoa Devine earned victories in their first meet in Berkeley. Weitzeil, a two-time medalist at the Rio Olympics, is the American-record holder in the 50 freestyle won the event in 22.26. She also anchored the opening 200 medley relay to victory and swam a leg of the winning 200 free relay.

USC tops Florida Gulf Coast, Cal St.-Bakersfield

The No. 12 USC swimming and diving teams, under a cloudless sky with 80-degree weather, turned in successful home-opening performance as the Trojan women defeated Florida Gulf Coast, 162-124, while the men downed CSU Bakersfield, 171-97.

The men’s squad improved to 3-0 overall while the women, who saw freshmen win a combined eight events, moved to 2-0.

Freshman Becca Mann, an open water national teamer, won her first home distance event by taking the 1,000-yard free in 10:01.20, more than eight seconds clear of Florida Gulf Coast’s Liz Ziegler (10:09.92). Mann is going to be a game-changer in the Pac-12 this year and this was a strong start.

Arizona State at Utah

The Arizona State men’s and women’s swimming opened the regular season beating Utah, the women winning 159.9-138.5 and the men winning 168-132.

Freshmen Kendall Dawson and Chloe Isleta recorded two wins apiece in their first collegiate competition, Dawson in the 500 and 100-yard free, and Isleta in the 100 and 200-yard back.

Arizona State also swept BYU on Saturday with the men winning 189-109 and the women winning 189-107.