Bears Capture 2 More Pac-12 Titles
HOUSTON – Top-ranked California brought home two more conference titles - one by Alicia Wilson in the 200-yard individual medley and the other in the 200 free relay – as the Golden Bears continued with their strong performances at the Pac-12 Women's Swimming & Diving Championships Thursday.
Cal captured both the 800 free relay and the 400 medley relay Wednesday, giving the Bears four wins in six swimming races through the first two days of the meet. The championships continue at the University of Houston pool through Saturday.
In the 200 IM, Wilson led from the start on her way to secure her first Pac-12 individual title, becoming the fourth Golden Bear in the past nine years to win the event and the first since Kathleen Baker in 2018. Isabelle Stadden came through for second place in a personal-best 1:55.80 to claim silver.
"It feels great. I watched all the Cal people before me win so many titles, and I've always wanted to get on that, so I can't be more grateful than to have done it today," Wilson said to the Pac-12 Network. "This morning, I took it out a bit hard, so tonight with a bit more energy, I just wanted to control the front end of it more to get a bit of energy for that breaststroke and just really work that freestyle."
The Bears closed out the night with the 200 free relay, earning their fourth consecutive win in the event and sixth in the last seven years. Eloise Riley led off, followed by Emily Gantriis and Elise Garcia, with Isabel Ivey closing out the race with a 21.14 split. Cal finished the race in 1:26.84, which moves the Bears up to third fastest in the country this season.
"We just want to get our hand to the wall," Ivey said. "We didn't focus on the time, just the race, and we wanted to win it for the Bears."
Ayla Spitz led four Bears in the A final of the 500 free, finishing third in a lifetime-best 4:38.05. She was closely followed by Robin Neumann, who took fourth in 4:39.96. In addition, Sarah DiMeco placed sixth in a PR 4:41.91, with Rachel Klinker seventh in 4:42.99.
In the 50 free, Riley tied for second with UCLA's Claire Grover in 22.24, while Garcia tied for seventh in 22.32 after swimming a lifetime-best 22.11 in the morning prelims.
At the Pac-12 diving meet in Tucson, Arizona, Briana Thai posted a fourth-place finish on the 3-meter springboard, which came on the heels of a third-place result during Wednesday's 1-meter competition. Thai, who was seeded seventh after prelims, averaged 8.5s on a reverse 2 1/2 somersault tuck on her fourth dive to shoot her up the standings.
The Pac-12 meet resumes Friday with seven events – platform diving, 400 IM, 100 butterfly, 200 free, 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke and the 200 medley relay. The diving competition will stream on pac-12.com/live and on the Pac-12 Now app beginning at 12 noon PT, while the swim finals will air on the Pac-12 Network starting at 4:30 p.m. PT.