Pac-12 Women Head To NCAA Championships
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - Swimmers and divers from eight Pac-12 teams are headed to the 2012 NCAA Championships this week at the James E. Martin Aquatics Center in Auburn, Ala. The meet runs from March 15-17. Four Pac-12 schools have combined for 12 NCAA titles, with CALIFORNIA most recently climbing the podium in 2009 and 2011.
STANFORD has claimed eight crowns overall while USC won in 1997 and ARIZONA captured the national title in 2008.
ESPN3 will carry a live broadcast of the finals sessions on Friday and Saturday. The remaining four sessions will be streamed live via AUHD on CBSSports.com.
Defending NCAA and Pac-12 champion Cal seeks its third title in four years. The group of 14 swimmers features many All-Americans from the 2011 title team including seniors Liv Jensen and Sara Isakovic, junior Caitlin Leverenz and sophomore Cindy Tran. Jensen has qualified in seven events. She won the 50 free at the 2010 NCAA Championships while Tran is the defending national champion in the 100 back. Leverenz is seeded first in the 200 breast and second in both IM races. For only the second time in program history and the first under head coach Teri McKeever, the Bears have qualified a diver. Sophomore Kahley Rowell placed third on the platform at the Zone E Championships.
Stanford sends nine swimmers and sophomore diver Stephanie Phipps. Phipps will make her second appearance at the NCAA Championships after earning All-America honors on the 3-meter as a freshman. Seniors Sam Woodward and Betsy Webb remain from the team that won the 2010 NCAA title in the 400 free relay. Woodward is a 15-time All-American. Sophomore Maya DiRado ranks in the top-five nationally in the 200 back and 200 and 400 IM. The Cardinal is also seeded first in the 200 and 400 free relays.
USC's group of 13 is led by senior Katinka Hosszu, who looks to defend her three NCAA titles in the 200 and 400 IM and 200 fly. Hosszu has 13 All-America honors in her career and was last year's NCAA Swimmer of the Meet. Junior distance specialist Haley Anderson is looking for her first NCAA title and enters the championships with the nation's top time in the 1,650 free, but will battle Georgia's Wendy Trott, who is looking to become the first four-time winner in the event. Senior diver Victoria Ishimatsu, a three-time All-American with seven Pac-12 titles, won the 1-meter at the Zone E Championships.
Arizona will take 10 swimmers and one diver to Auburn. Senior Alyssa Anderson is an 11-time All-American who enters the meet seeded fifth in the 500 free and sixth in both the 200 free and 200 fly. Sophomore sprinter Margo Geer ranks second in the 100 free and third in the 50 free. Geer was the runner-up in both events at the Pac-12 Championships. Sophomore diver Samantha Pickens earned her spot by winning the 3-meter and placing second on the 1-meter at the Zone E Championships.
Seven swimmers and senior diver Elina Eggers will represent ARIZONA STATE. Senior All-American Rebecca Ejdervik won her third consecutive Conference title in the 100 breast at last month's Pac-12 Championships. Sophomore Tristan Baxter is seeded ninth in the 1,650 free. Eggers, who was the runner-up on the platform at the 2011 NCAA Championships, won the event at last week's Zone E meet.
UCLA has a group of six swimmers headed to Auburn. Sophomore Kathryn Murphy, who broke school records in the 50 and 100 free this season, will swim the two events as well as the 200 free. Senior Yasi Jahanshahi earned honorable mention All-America recognition last year and will compete in the 100 and 200 fly.
UTAH sophomore Traycie Swartz will swim the 50 freestyle, 100 free and 100 fly. She holds school records in all three events.
OREGON STATE junior Rachel O'Brien heads to her second straight NCAA Championships. O'Brien will compete in the 100 and 200 fly.
For more information on the 2012 NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships, visit www.ncaa.com/championships/swimming-women/d1.
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