Pac-12 Swim & Dive racks up medals at FINA World Championships
SAN FRANCISCO – The FINA World Championships, held in Gwangju, South Korea, from July 12-28, saw current and former Pac-12 swimmers and divers produce elite performances across competitions. Several league teams were represented by countries across the globe, coming away with the winning hardware to show for it.
Former STANFORD star Simone Manuel took the world by storm in Gwangju, becoming the first woman to win seven medals in a single World Championships with four golds and three silvers to her credit. The 13-time Pac-12 Champion previously tallied six medals in 2017 in Budapest, a record she shared with fellow Conference standouts Missy Franklin (CALIFORNIA) and Katie Ledecky (Stanford), among others. Manuel won the 50m (24.05) and 100m (52.04 – American Record) freestyle races to become the first American woman to sweep the events at Worlds.
2019 Pac-12 Women’s Swimmer of the Year Abbey Weitzeil (Cal) teamed up with Manuel, Mallory Comerford, and Kelsi Dahlia to post a time of 3:31.02 in the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay, good for an American record and a silver medal. Ledecky added to her extensive individual medal collection with gold in the 800m (8:13.58) freestyle and silver in the 400m (3:59.97) free.
Cal alumnus Nathan Adrian led the Golden Bears’ male contingent at Worlds, as the four-time Olympic champion anchored the American 4x100m freestyle relay to gold in a time of 3:09.06. Three-time Pac-12 Men’s Swimmer of the Year Ryan Murphy secured three silvers for Team USA, while the most recent Pac-12 Men’s Swimmer of the Year, Cal’s Andrew Seliskar, swam the opening leg for the 4x200m free team that took bronze with a time of 7:01.98.
USC grad Katinka Hosszu took home the only two gold medals for her native Hungary, winning the 200m and 400m medley races. The three-time Olympic gold medalist posted times of 2:07.53 and 4:30.39, respectively, in the events. Fellow Trojan alumna Haley Anderson helped lead the United States’ long-distance charge, taking silver in the women’s 10km open water race (1:54.48.10). The Granite Bay, Calif. native also clocked a 7:15 opening leg for the Mixed 5km team that secured a bronze medal.
ARIZONA junior Delaney Schnell, the 2018 Pac-12 Women’s Freshman Diver of the Year, earned her first Worlds medal with a bronze in the 10m platform, posting a score of 364.2. Two-time Pac-12 Women’s Diver of the Year Maria Polyakova finished fourth in 3m synchronized, as the UCLA alum fell just short of a podium spot for Russia with her partner, Kristina Ilinykh.
The Pac-12 was further represented internationally by Cal grad Farida Osman (Egypt) and Stanford sophomore Taylor Ruck (Canada). Osman secured Egypt’s only medal with a bronze in the women’s 50m butterfly, while Ruck contributed to a pair of Canadian third-place finishes in the 4x100m and 4x200m freestyle relays.
The U.S. women’s water polo team also took home its third-straight FINA World Championships title with an 11-6 victory over Spain. All but one of the players on the 2019 gold medal team hailed from Pac-12 institutions, while head coach Adam Krikorian was a national-championship-winning player and coach at UCLA. Team USA was led by three goals from Stanford grad Kiley Neushul in the gold medal match.