USC claims its first Pac-12 swimming and diving title
FEDERAL WAY, WASH. — USC claimed its first ever Conference title on final day of the Pac-12 Women’s Swimming and Men’s and Women’s Diving Championships at the Weyerhaeuser King Country Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash. The four-day meet featured fast swimming and exquisite diving with American and Conference records, historic program finishes, all capped with the Trojan victory with 1481 team points.
Despite only taking two individual titles and one relay title, the Women of Troy relied on depth in their win. USC strung together impressive preliminary performances to set themselves up for point-scoring success in the championship finals. The Trojan team consisted of 21 swimmers and six divers, and all scored individually to contribute to the Trojan program’s first Pac-12 team title. USC claimed its first relay victory since 2010 on the first night of competition, taking the 800 freestyle relay in 6:55.17.
Individually, Chelsea Chenault of USC took the 500 freestyle in 4:38.13 for the Trojans’ fourth title in the event in seven years. In the 1650 freestyle, freshman Elizabeth Stinson took home the Conference crown in 15:59.13.
In second place, STANFORD totaled 1344 points. The Cardinal claimed two American records in two of their three relay victories during the Pac-12 Championships and took Conference relay titles in the process. The Cardinal claimed the win in the 400 medley relay on Friday in 3:26.25 with Ally Howe, Sarah Haase, Janet Hu and Lia Neal. The same quartet won the 200 medley in 1:34.15, setting American records in both races. Despite USC having the title in lock by the final relay of the meet, Stanford won the 400 freestyle relay with Hu, Howe, Eastin and Neal in 3:11.44.
The Cardinal totaled eight individual titles in the meet paced by freshman Ella Eastin’s three. The rookie claimed the 400 individual medley title in 3:59.30, becoming the first collegiate swimmer to go under four minutes in the event this year. Eastin also captured the Pac-12 title in the 200 individual medley in 1:52.77 as well as the 200 butterfly in 1:52.01.
CALIFORNIA’s Farida Osman is the new owner of three Pac-12 Championship records and took home two individual titles. The member of the Egyptian National Team defended her throne in the 50 freestyle, stopping the clock in 21.32 for the meet record. She additionally took the meet record in the 100 butterfly in 50.53. She swam on Cal’s meet-record 200 freestyle relay along with Kristen Vredeveld, Rachel Bootsma and Amy Bilquist in 1:26.77.
Pac-12 divers put on a show of their own during the Championships. On the women’s side in the springboard events, Maria Polyakova of UCLA took the 1-meter crown with a score of 324.80. The Bruins had six scorers in the event, collecting 118.5 points on Wednesday. In the 3-meter, the Stanford duo of Gracia Leydon-Mahoney (379.55) and Alex Clay (362.95) went 1-2 on the 3-meter. Leydon-Mahoney took her second title of the championships, taking platform as well with a score of 341.40.
Men’s diving featured close individual competition at the Championships. Collin Pollard of USC (427.7) edged out Theodore Miclau of Stanford (420.2) by slim margins on tower. Pollard’s fellow Trojan Dashiell Enos took the 3-meter title in 419.35. Bradley Christensen of Stanford took home the 1-meter crown with a total of 405.6, slightly outscoring Pollard (402.15).
At the conclusion of the meet, the annual awards of Pac-12 Swimmer and Men’s and Women’s Divers of the Meet were awarded to three student-athletes. Ella Eastin of Stanford was awarded the Women’s Swimmer of the Meet, while her teammate Gracia Leydon-Mahoney was named Women’s Diver of the Meet. Collin Pollard of USC was honored as Men’s Diver of the Meet. Rachael Acker of California was awarded Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
NCAA Championships will be held March 17-19 at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center.
Final Team Scores
|Washington State, 477|
|Arizona State, 472.5|
|Oregon State, 291|