2017 Pac-12 Swimming & Diving Champs (Women's) + M Dive
Last edited by UrsusArctosCalifornicus; 02-21-2017 at 07:40 PM.
No. 2 Cal women’s swim seeks another Pac-12 title
By Christopher Zheng | Staff
After Cal senior Farida Osman managed to hold off Stanford senior Lia Neal in the final dual meet of the season, one can only wonder if the race will foreshadow the 400-yard freestyle relay — the last event — of the Pac-12 Championship.
From Wednesday to Saturday, the Cal women’s swimming and diving team will compete against other conference foes at the Pac-12 Championship. The Bears are seeking their fourth title in the past nine years, which will continue to solidify their reputation as one of the premier collegiate swimming programs.
The quest for this year’s Pac-12 title will be fought among No. 1 Stanford, No. 2 Cal and No. 5 USC, while No. 17 Arizona will look to play spoiler in that fight. The Trojans — the reigning Pac-12 Champions — will try to avenge their in-season dual meet losses to the Cardinal and the Bears, both of whom will probably be more focused on the hunt for a NCAA title. For these teams, however, the biggest roadblock to a conference title will be the decision to rest and taper their stars who have already qualified for the NCAA Championship.
One of the more intriguing races of the championship will be the 100-yard freestyle. The event will feature the 100-meter freestyle Olympic champion Simone Manuel, Team USA’s other representative in that event, Abbey Weitzeil, and Swedish Olympian Louise Hansson — though she may drop the event. The top-six seeds could feasibly make the NCAA A-final in this event in March, which will make this race one of the most exciting ones over the next week. Although the entry list currently includes Stanford freshman Katie Ledecky, her event schedule may already be too full to include the 100-yard freestyle.
Ledecky will pace the 500- and 1,650-yard freestyle — events where she’s already the NCAA and American record holder. She’s also the second seed in the 200-yard freestyle and the 400-yard individual medley.
Ledecky is just one example of the Pac-12’s dominance in swimming as the conference has many of the nation’s top swimmers. Stanford, USC, Cal and Arizona will feature several swimmers capable of taking the conference title as well as the NCAA title in a month.
Cal is led by almost a dozen Bears with either Olympic or international experiences, such as the sophomore quartet of Kathleen Baker, Amy Bilquist, Phoebe Lamay and Katie McLaughlin.
The Pac-12 Championship won’t necessarily be won by the elite athletes. Instead, it may come down to how well the divers, sophomore Jenna Campbell and junior Maija Roses, as well as the freshmen can excel and score points in Cal’s weaker events such as diving, 100- and 200-yard breaststroke and the 200- and 500-yard freestyle events.
With the SEC and Big Ten Conference Championships already concluded, this event will be an excellent preview for the NCAA Championships. Cal head coach Teri McKeever will know exactly how to strategize the races and the championship season in order to maximize the team’s ability to win. Despite having one of the world’s greatest coaches, the Bears will need to perform at the peak of their ability in order to face a titan like Stanford.
Teams set for 2017 women's swimming and men's and women's diving Championships
2017 Pac-12 Women’s Swimming & Men’s and Women’s Diving Championships
Wednesday, Feb. 22- Saturday, Feb. 25
Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center
650 Southwest Campus Drive, Federal Way, WA 98003
TELEVISION AND LIVE STREAM COVERAGE:
The Pac-12 Women’s Swimming and Diving finals along with men’s diving finals will be broadcast live on Pac-12 Network, and all six regional networks, Saturday, Feb. 25 at 6:30 p.m. PT / 7:30 p.m. MT.
Coverage of the prelims and earlier finals will be streamed live on Pac-12.com and the Pac-12 Now app, Wednesday, February 22, Thursday, February 23, Friday, February 24 and will conclude on Saturday, February 25.
Links to live results will be available on Pac-12.com and results will also be posted on the Pac-12 website (www.pac-12.com).
CALIFORNIA: After a third place finish last season, the Golden Bears look to continue its Conference and NCAA legacy led by 2016 Olympic medalists Kathleen Baker and Abbey Weitzeil. As of Feb. 14, Cal ranks second nationally with 15 NCAA “A” qualifying swims and is the only school in the country with all five relays ranked among the top three. Amy Bilquist leads the country in the 100 back (50.85), while Baker ranks first in the 200 back (1:49.83) and junior Noemie Thomas tops the charts in the 100 fly (50.67). On the boards, sophomore diver Phoebe LaMay has broken school records on both the 1-meter and 3-meter boards this season. She scored 317.63 on 1-meter in Cal’s dual meet at Arizona State on Jan. 21 and 335.80 on 3-meter at the Texas Diving Invitational. She was also named the Pac-12 Diver of the Month for November.
Looks like 10 swimmers (Farida, Marina, Celina, Noemie, Amy, KB, McL, Abbey, Maddie, and Keaton) are safely in NCAAs. Hull and KV are likely in, but need to improve their times to be sure. Mau, CM, and Chenoa are long shots.
Current relay seeds (all top 3) are fine except for the 800 Free (6th).
A PAC title would be nice, but NCAAs are more important. Getting Hull and KV safely in and improving the 800 Free seed would be fine even if it means third behind LSJU and 'SC. Hope most of the key swimmers compete with minimal rest.
PAC-12 MEET STARTS CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON
2/21/2017 10:51 AM | By: Cal Athletics
Senior Farida Osman hopes to add to her Pac-12 title haul, which included wins in the 100 fly and 50 free last year (Al Sermeno/cal.isiphotos.com).
2017 WOMEN’S PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIPS FAN GUIDE
• Women’s 1-meter
• 200 medley relay
• Men’s 3-meter diving
• 800 free relay
• Men’s 1-meter
• 500 free
• 200 IM
• 50 free
• Women’s 3-meter diving
• 200 free relay
• 400 IM
• 100 fly
• 200 free
• 100 breast
• 100 back
• Men’s platform diving
• 400 medley relay
• 1650 free
• 200 back
• 100 free
• 200 breast
• 200 fly
• Women’s platform diving
• 400 free relay
Last season at the Pac-12 Championships, we saw the USC Trojans win their first ever conference championship title. They return this year with a highly talented group that now includes freshman standouts Louise Hannson, Becca Mann, and Tatum Wade. They’ll be hard pressed to defend their title, however, as Stanford and Cal are huge threats this season.
Stanford already had a team good enough to contend for championships titles, but with the addition of their freshman class, they’re ridiculously good. Headlining that class is star distance swimmer Katie Ledecky, who, to no one’s surprise, has been untouchable in the distance races so far. Also returning for the Cardinal is sprint ace Simone Manuel, who redshirted last season to focus on the Rio Olympics.
Cal has also brought in some big guns with American Record holder Abbey Weitzeil now on their roster. Weitzeil is not only their top prospect to outswim Manuel in the sprints, but she may also be the key to the Bears’ medley relay. In recent years, Cal has been lacking breaststroke depth, but Weitzeil has been putting up consistent 27s on the 200 medley relay at dual meets, and threw down a 1:00.83 in the 100 breast at the UGA Fall Invite.
Cal – Abbey Weitzeil (freshman freestyler), Farida Osman (senior fly/freestyler), Noemie Thomas (junior butterflier), Kathleen Baker (sophomore IM/backstroker), Amy Bilquist (sophomore free/backstroker), Katie McLaughlin (sophomore fly/freestyler) — Freshman Weitzeil will be chasing her own American Record in her first Pac-12 conference meet appearance.
200 FREE: There’s plenty of star power in the race aside from those 2 swimmers (Ledecky & Manuel), with the likes of Lia Neal (Stanford), Katie McLaughlin (Cal), Chelsea Chenault (USC), and Kirsten Vose (USC), and Hannah Cox (Arizona) all potentially swimming the event.
100/200 BACK: The backstroke races at last season’s Pac-12 meet were ridiculously fast, and we’ll likely see another big showdown this season. Both Cal’s Amy Bilquist (50.85) and Stanford’s defending champion Ally Howe (50.91) have already been sub-51 this season. The Cardinal’s Janet Hu (51.01) and Cal’s Kathleen Baker (51.25) have been just shy of that mark at 51-low, so we could see someone swimming in the 50-high range not even make the podium. The Cal duo of Baker and Bilquist currently hold the top 2 times in the 200 back this season, but Stanford’s Hu is not far behind. USC’s Hanni Leach looks to be the darkhorse for the podium in that race after putting up a quick 1:52-mid in their dual meet against UCLA.
50/100 FREE: The sprint freestyles will give us a first look at Cal’s Abbey Weitzeil, the 50 free American Record holder, against Stanford’s Simone Manuel, the 100 free American Record holder, in an NCAA championship format. Of course we can’t count out Cal’s Farida Osman, who was lightning fast at the 2016 conference meet. USC’s Anika Apostalon, Arizona’s Katrina Konopka, UCLA’s Linnea Mack, and Stanford’s Lia Neal are also among the podium threats in the sprints.
USC is bringing in a talent-heavy team to defend their Pac-12 title, but Stanford looks almost unbeatable at this point. We could see the Trojans give the Bears a run for their money, however, if it came down to a close battle between those 2 teams. Most of Arizona’s top performers from last season are returning, and they’ll likely hold on to their 4th place standing from last season ahead of UCLA. The Sun Devils have been looking good under Bob Bowman, and look like they’re in good position to improve from their 8th place finish last season.
6. Arizona State
7. Washington State
9. Oregon State
Last edited by UrsusArctosCalifornicus; 02-21-2017 at 02:07 PM.
Reason: 2014 champs photo
Here are the stats for how many Bears had qualified for NCAAs in recent years (hope I have the figures mostly right lol):
Originally Posted by BearDevil
Year | Swimmers | Divers | TOTAL
2014 | 16 | 1 | 17
2015 | 16 | 1 | 17
2016 | 12 | 2 | 14
Top 3 teams @ Pac-12s & NCAA champs the past 3 years:
Year | Pac-12 Rank - Points
2014 | #1 Cal - 1552.5 | #2 LSJU - 1364 | #3 USC - 1327
2015 | #1 Cal - 1629.0 | #2 LSJU - 1400 | #3 USC - 1108
2016 | #1 USC - 1481.0 | #2 LSJU - 1344 | #3 Cal - 1306
Year | NCAA Rank - Points
2014 | #1 UGA - 528 | #2 LSJU - 402.5 | #3 Cal - 386
2015 | #1 Cal - 513 | #2 UGA - 452.0 | #3 LSJU - 363
2016 | #1 UGA - 414 | #2 LSJU - 395.0 | #3 Cal - 358
Will be interesting to see which line ups Teri uses for the relays tonight. Not a ton of time (men's diving) between the 200 Medley and the 800 Free.
All of the other major conference meets are done, so only other PAC teams can improve their national seeds. Bears are currently seeded third nationally ('Zona, NC State) in the 200 Medley and sixth (Michigan, LSJU, UVa, Texas, and A&M) in the 800 Free.
Best line ups are Amy, Abbey, Noemie, and Farida in the 200 Medley and McL, KB, Amy, and Abbey in the 800.
Probably can pass up A&M and UT in the 800 Free with minimal risk 'Zona & 'SC move up. May make sense to replace Amy with Keaton and Abbey with Marina in the 200 Medley to keep them fresher for the 800. KV's on the bubble in the 200 Free, so let her lead off the B 800 Free Relay.
Slight chance LSJU could pass up a watered down Cal 200 Medley, but 'SC probably can't.
Still have a post-meet time trial possibility, but most likely won't need/use it for relays.
Last edited by BearDevil; 02-22-2017 at 08:30 AM.
Yeah BD, def agree on your best lineups for the 2 relays tonight
Originally Posted by BearDevil
Could be tough on Abbey taking on both in terms of being at her fastest, whilst focussing on 2 entirely different strokes with little rest in between. I do have confidence that Amy will be able to tackle the double based on her history. OTOH the challenge would be a good learning experience for Weitzeil's first collegiate conference championship, where the results aren't quite as critical as NCAAs - at least to a legit title contender such as the Bears...the furdette juggernaut notwithstanding lol. Don't forget that the 800 free relay will be the only contested swimming event the first evening at Nationals (200 medley relay scheduled for Day 3, Fri) , so this won't be a potential issue in March.
Improving Cal's 800 free relay seed time for NCAAs is important though. Feel that our 200 Medley relay is already a top contender for the national champs title in the Amy-Abbey-Noemie-Farida configuration, so not as worried about the need for slotting in the optimal lineup for tonight. So in that case your suggestion for putting Keaton on back and Marina on breast in the medley relay would make sense, in order for the Dream Team to be fully fresh for the 800 relay. Also good call on KV leading off the B squad in the longer relay.
Horns are the other major non Pac-12 NCAA contenders who have yet to race their conference champs, in fact Big 12s will be starting this evening. Don't expect the Texas women (or men for that matter) will be rested much if at all since they will be facing very little opposition in their championship meet, so their times could be deceptively slow relative to the other conferences.
btw, presume KB = Kathleen Baker, not Keaton Blovad?
Thanks for the correction. Very prophetic: 'Whornettes added time (~6 seconds) in the 800 Free. Improved from their 200 Medley seed from 26th to 6th.
Originally Posted by UrsusArctosCalifornicus
UT men improved from 19th to 9th in the 200 Medley (Cal-4th) and from 3rd to 2nd in the 800 Free (Cal-4th).
Yup don't reckon either of the Horns squads will really show their hand at Big 12s. Coach Carol Capitani (a swim alum)'s women have looked really good at their dual meets this season with a bunch of heavyhitters putting up some pretty impressive times - but there's a lingering question mark hanging over them from their recent history of having not come up to expectations come March...guess we'll find out in a month's time. SEC champs A&M could pose a bigger threat at NCAAs as they have a tradition of scoring strongly in spite of not having all that much star power relative to the other powerhouses, though it should be noted that their 2017 recruiting haul was rather impressive.
Back to Pac-12s...wouldn't underestimate the Trojanettes or Wild Cats either, considering that the scoring extends down to the 24th spot here. Both teams have reeled in big recruiting classes the past couple of seasons which can't hurt, as depth will make as much difference as top-end firepower in the scoring. Having a bunch of team members who can qualify for mid & down finals slots from prelims (#9 - #24) would be a key factor to doing well at conference champs, even if these times may not be NCAA-scoring or even qualify for an NCAA invite. Both Cal & LSJU are hit by depth issues in certain events once one goes past the handful of big time top talents... However, winning individuals (32 pts) and relays (64 pts) in A finals can def be a scoring boost, due to the 4 & 8 point differential respectively between coming in 1st & in 2nd.
Zona currently owns the nation's fastest 200 Medley relay time from their mid-season invite that neither NC State, Georgia, A&M or Tennessee could surpass from their conference champs. But Bears are quite capable of doing one better if the dream lineup is employed tonight, even if our swim studs may not be all that rested. OTOH, furdettes should easily destroy the rest of the field by more than a few seconds in the 800 free relay, at least on paper. As always, nothing can be taken for granted though, as 'SC can field a squad who's capable of much swifter times in this relay than their current 14th spot national standing would suggest. Same with Bears who with the Dream Team could slug out a showing not to be ashamed of, even against the formidable likes of Ledecky/Manuel/Neal/Eastin or Drabot.
Well, look forward to tonight's session starting soon! Would appreciate everyone's comments & feedback as I don't have access to the Pac-12 live stream from where I am presently, and don't believe there are live results online or on Meet Mobile...
Nice, cheers for all the info, OBear!
Live stats still hasn't been updated with the relay results, but from twitter:
@stanfordwswim JUST barely out touches @CalWSwim by .10th of a second for the #Pac12swim 200 Medley Relay Championship Title!!!
Cal takes second in 200 medley relay (1:34.42) - 2nd-fastest time in Cal history.
STAN Splits: Howe 23.63 Williams 27.25 Hu 22.66 Manuel 20.76 #Pac12swim
CAL Splits: Bilquist 23.81 Weitzeil 27.00 Thomas 22.52 Osman 21.09
USC School record in the 200 medley relay! Leach-Scott-Hansson-Apostalon go 1:35.18, third place back 0.84 of first. #FightOn
btw looks like Thleen had a really killer leadoff on back for the Bears' B relay team that had split an impressive 1:35.99 which is faster than the UCLA/ASU/Utah/WSU/OSU 'A' squads - even if it won't count towards the competition scoring... her 23.57 swifter than Amy's (still fast) 23.81! Maddie also had a wicked 22.90 fly split on the B squad!
Last edited by UrsusArctosCalifornicus; 02-22-2017 at 05:53 PM.
Cal 2nd in the 200MR
Second fastest in school history Amy, Abbey, Noemie, and Farida 1.34.42. Saw it tweeted out. I assume Furds won.
Why did we have Bilquist lead off in the MR? Why not Baker?
Originally Posted by OBear073akaSMFan
Think it may have been mostly cos Amy has been consistently faster than Thleen this season in the 100 distance, both in the individual event & relay...
Originally Posted by Microbear85