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Photo by Chuck Arelei


March 2, 2024

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. - The No. 7 California women's swimming & diving team won the first event of the 2024 Pac-12 Championships and never looked back, finishing off the meet with a flourish Saturday night to capture the sixth conference championship in program history.

The Golden Bears won their latest Pac-12 title and first since 2021 in convincing fashion, totaling 1,397.5 points to easily outpoint runner-up USC, which finished with 1,291 points. Stanford, which won each of the past two conference crowns, placed third with 1,283 points.

Cal led after every night of the four-day meet, and won two of the four individual events Saturday evening to eliminate any remote potential of a comeback by its pursuers. Senior Isabelle Stadden won her third career Pac-12 championship in the 200-yard backstroke while graduate student Rachel Klinker took her second conference title in the 200 butterfly and her first since 2021.

Stadden also won the 100 backstroke for the first time in her career Friday night after three straight runner-up finishes while junior Mia Kragh also claimed her first conference championship in the 100 fly. The Bears also kicked off the meet Wednesday by setting the meet record in a victory in the 200 medley relay.

"I have a lot of energy right now because our team is very motivated," Stadden told the Pac-12 Networks. "I just did it for the team."

Unlike Stadden, who notched a wire-to-wire win in the 200 back and figures to be a national contender in both backstroke events at the 2024 NCAA Championships later this month at the University of Georgia, Klinker initially fell behind 2023 champion Lindsay Looney of Arizona State before overtaking her about halfway through the race. Klinker recently placed fourth in the event at the 2024 World Aquatics Championships and should also be in the mix to win a national championship in the event. Her time Saturday night was the fourth-fastest in the country this season and second-fastest all-time at Cal.

"Words can't express how much this means to me," Klinker told the Pac-12 Networks. "I knew when I stepped on the blocks that no matter what I was going to do it for my teammates. They were right there on the blocks with me. I felt it in my heart."

The 2024 NCAA Championships are slated for March 20-23. Selections will be announced Wednesday.


1,759 Views | 4 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by DiabloWags
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Roll on you Bears!
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Dave Durden did a masterful coaching job and employed a successful strategy in the conference meet to pick up seemingly every point possible through A,B & C races. Bears won the championship as a team. Several Cal swimmers made their initial point contributions in B or C races. It really brought a sense of unity throughout this team. GREAT JOB! GO BEARS!
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it's great to see that Cal swim survived the mckeever situation

Durden must be doing an amazing job
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What an incredible TEAM WIN!
Coach Durden must be a very proud man!
"Cults don't end well. They really don't."
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