Pac-12 Weekly Preview: Cal-Stanford, USC-UCLA Rivalries Cap Regular Season

Photo Courtesy: Dan D'Addona

The final week of the Pac-12 women’s regular season is here with a couple of fantastic rivalries to close out the competition.

Two of the best rivalries in all of sports, especially in swimming, will get off the blocks this week, giving the Pac-12 season a high note to end on.

On Friday, No. 10 USC faces No. 27 UCLA in a women’s rivalry dual meet. On Saturday, the spotlight shifts to the No. 4 Cal vs. No. 1 Stanford women’s rivalry. The rankings.

The Pac-12 has been building all season for this finale. In the last week of women’s competition, Stanford and Cal each faced USC and UCLA on the same weekend.

There were some great races by al four schools and should be plenty more where that came from.

In Stanford’s meet against USC, Katie Ledecky won the 1000 freestyle in 9:15.96, 30 seconds ahead of runner-up Brooke Forde. Ledecky also won the 200 freestyle (1:43.24) finishing ahead of USC’s Louise Hansson (1:46.21). Ledecky also won the 500 freestyle (4:36.61).

Janet Hu (52.24) and Ally Howe (52.60) went 1-2 in the 100 backstroke. Ella Eastin won the 200 butterfly (1:54.59) and 200 IM (1:56.26). Erin Voss (1:54.21) and Howe (1:54.56) went 1-2 in the 200 back. Hu won the 100 butterfly (52.81). Simone Manuel (48.13) held off Hansson (49.40) in the 100 free.

USC’s Marta Ciesla won the 50 freestyle (22.55) finishing ahead of Manuel (22.82).

There were some great races between Cal and UCLA as well.

Thirteen different Bears earned a first-place finish in individual events, with junior Amy Bilquist prevailing twice – in the 100- and 200-yard freestyle. Cal also won both the 200 medley relay and 200 free relay.

Kathleen Baker, Abbey Weitzeil, Maddie Murphy and Bilquist touched first in the opening 200 medley relay in 1:39.85. Chenoa Devine then won the 1000 free in 9:58.33 before Bilquist took first in the 200 free in 1:47.06. In the 100 back, Baker (53.62) led a 1-2-3 Cal finish, as teammates Keaton Blovad (54.93) and Sophie Krivokapic-Zhou (55.55) touched in succession.

Ali Harrison earned a victory in the 100 breaststroke in 1:03.14, along with Noemie Thomas in the 200 butterfly (1:57.88), Weitzeil in the 50 free (22.85) and Phoebe LaMay on the 3-meter springboard (305.93) to complete the first half of the meet.

Bilquist won the 100 free in 49.34 and UCLA’s Emma Schanz in the 200 breast (2:15.16).

Look for some great races between four great teams again this weekend. Both meets could come down to the wire.

On Saturday, Washington State swims against Utah to close out the regular season.