Stanford grabs lead after day two at Pac-12 championships
FEDERAL WAY, WASH. – Day two at the 2014 Pac-12 Women’s Swimming and Men’s and Women’s Diving Championships at the Weyerhaeuser King Country Aquatic Center brought a full slate of swimming and diving as student-athletes competed to earn the right to stand atop of the awards podium to hoist the first-place trophy. On the day, three swimmers and two divers earned individual titles while the top-three finishers of the night-capping 200 freestyle relay helped its squad move a little closer to winning the Pac-12 team Championship.
After the morning session preliminaries in the 500-yard freestyle, 200-yard individual medley and 50-yard freestyle determined the night’s finals participants, the men’s and women’s diving championships got underway. In the women’s one-meter dive, eight of 30 entires dove their way to the finals. Entering the finals STANFORD senior Stephanie Phipps was second by almost 20 points to USC diving standout Haley Ishimatsu, but turned in a near flawless performance in the final round to earn her first Pac-12 women’s diving individual title with a score of 332.25. ARIZONA freshman earned a second-place finish (322.75) in her Pac-12 Championship debut while Ishimatsu finished in third (320.70).
As the evening rolled around it was time for the finals in the 500-free, 200-IM and 50-free. Two consolation rounds were followed by eight swimmers competing in the each main event. Racing in her first individual Pac-12 Championship event, CALIFORNIA freshman Missy Franklin swan 500-yards in a time of 4:35.73, breaking a Conference meet record set by USC’s Haley Anderson in 2012 (4:36.52) to earn her first-career individual Pac-12 title. Arizona’s Bonnie Brandon posted a 4:38.45 to pick up second-place, while USC freshman Chelsea Chenault took third with a 4:39.30.
The 200-IM and 50-free finals produced the closest finishes of the 2014 Championships thus far, with less than a quarter of second separating first and second place in both events. In the 200-IM, Cardinal senior Maya DiRado collected her fourth-career Pac-12 individual title after recording a 1:54.67, touching the wall 22-hundredths of a second in front of Cal freshman Celina Li (1:54.89). Li’s teammate, sophomore Elizabeth Pelton, wasn’t far behind with a time of 1:55.65 as the Bears took second and third. The 50-free final featured the reigning Pac-12 and NCAA champion in Arizona senior Margo Greer came up just short of repeating as USC senior Kasey Carlson beat out Greer by 16-hundredths of a second with a time of 21.74 to earn her second-career Pac-12 title—the other coming last year in the 100-backstroke. Greer came in at 21.90 to grab a second-place finish and Stanford junior Maddy Shaefer picked up the third-place finish with a time of 22.10.
Before the 200-yard freestyle relay could end day two, the men’s three-meter diving finals provided the biggest surprise of the night as ARIZONA STATE junior and Canadian Olympian Riley McCormick shocked 2013 Pac-12 winner and Olympic medalist Kristian Ipsen of Stanford as he beat out Ipsen’s 437.05 with a 439.70 of his own to win a third-career Pac-12 diving title. McCormick’s other two titles came on the platform in 2010 & 2011. Ipsen, the current Pac-12 record-holder in the three-meter (469.20), will have another chance to defend an individual title in the one-meter on Friday. Arizona senior Raphael Qunitero scored a 419.00 to earn the third-place finish.
Day two ended with the 200-free relay—an important event as the teams chase the Conference team championship. Arizona, USC and Stanford went 1-2-3, posting a 1:27.76, 1:28.03, and 1:28.07, respectively. At the end of day two, the Cardinal took a solid lead as its total increased to 507 heading into the third day of competition on Friday. USC passed up the Bears today, ending the day in second with 448 points, followed by Calfiornia at 400.5. UCLA (328.5) and Arizona (320.5) rounded out the top-five, while Utah (264), Oregon State (158), Washington State (155) and Arizona State (150.5) completed the field.
Preliminaries and finals for the 400-yard individual medley, 100-yard butterfly, 200-yard freestyle, 100-yard breaststroke and 100-yard backstroke are set for Friday in addition to the prelims and semifinals for the women’s three-meter dive and the men’s one-meter dive. Action begins at 11 a.m. PT.