California breaks records on day one of women's swimming championships
FEDERAL WAY, WASH. - California opened the Pac-12 2015 Women’s Swimming and Men’s and Women’s Diving Championship with a pair of record breaking relay performances. In the night’s opening event the Golden Bears set a Conference Championship record in the 200 medley relay, and followed up with an American-record breaking performance in the 800 freestyle relay. Stanford placed as the runner up in the both races.
California, the reigning Pac-12 Champions, started its title defense off fast, picking up a win in the 200 medley relay to kick off the event. Golden Bear swimmers Rachel Boostma, Marina Garcia, Noemie Thomas and Farida Osman combined for a time of 1:35.25, a Pac-12 Championships’ record. The previous record was also set by the Golden Bears in 2011. Stanford was close behind, finishing just five hundredths of a second back at 1:35.30. UCLA grabbed the third spot to earn some hardware, recording a time of 1:37.17.
In the night’s second event—the 800 freestyle relay— the Bears followed with another win, besting the next fastest team, Stanford, by 10 seconds, en route to an American record. Cal’s winning relay team of Cierra Runge, Elizabeth Pelton, Caroline Piehl and Missy Franklin earned a time of 6:50.18 to smash the Pac-12 meet record of 6:53.57 (also set by a Bears’ relay squad in 2014) and the previous NCAA record of 6:52.64. The Cardinal squad posted a time of 7:00.84 to finish in second place while the Arizona took third with a time of 7:03.64.
Heading into day two, California sits at the top with 128 points, followed by Stanford (112), Arizona (104), USC (100), Utah (96), Washington State (92), Oregon State (88), UCLA (54), Arizona State (52)
Action continues tomorrow as preliminaries and finals for the 500 free, 200 individual medley and 50 free will take place in the morning and evening session, respectively. The men’s and women’s diving portion of the event will also kick off tomorrow morning and afternoon with the women’s three meter preliminaries and the men’s one meter preliminaries and finals. Capping the late session on the first full day of competition will be the women’s three meter diving finals followed by the 200 freestyle relay.