USC's Nike Agunbiade Secures First Career Pac-12 Diving Title
Sophomore Nike Agunbiade earned her first Pac-12 title in the 3-meter springboard at the 2021 Pac-12 Diving Championships in Tucson, Ariz., while USC put four women in A finals in the Pac-12 Swimming Championships going on simultaneously in Houston during the second day of competition on Thursday (Feb. 25).
Agunbiade posted a 374.65 to win the event by almost 40 points and secure her first conference title. Joining her in the 3-meter finals was sophomore Savannah Stocker (302.35) who finished fifth and freshman Farrah Volpintesta (289.05) who was seventh.
"I continue to be surprised by the resiliency of our women's swimming and diving program. I really want to give props to our diving program tonight, they really stepped up and had a great evening on 3-meter. Congratulations to Nike and Coach Hongping Li on a fantastic performance out there," said Head Swimming Coach Jeremy Kipp.
At the 2021 Pac-12 Swimming championships, junior Isabelle Odgers took third in the 200y IM, touching in a PR 1:56.51, and improving from her fifth-place consolation final finish in 2020. Hallie Kinsey touched eighth in the same heat, posting a 2:00.22.
Freshman Kaitlyn Dobler also earned a spot on the podium after posting a 22.24 to finish in a three-way tie for second place in the 50y free. Fellow newcomer Anicka Delgado tied for fifth in the championship final, finishing in 22.28.
Seniors Jemma Schlicht (22.58) and Marta Ciesla (22.81) both raced in the consolation final of the 50y free, with Schlicht finishing third, and Ciesla sixth.
Troy's splash and dash quartet returned for the 200y free relay, where Dobler, Schlicht, Ciesla and Delgado posted an NCAA A cut 1:28.42 for a third-place finish to close the night's racing.
"We may be a small program with only 11 swimmers entered in the meet, but every woman is fighting hard and just embodying the fight on mentality," said Kipp. "I'm excited to see who decides to step up tomorrow morning for prelims. Each session seems like someone new is getting in the game, and I'm just really proud of the way our women are fighting."
Back in Arizona at the Pac-12 Men's Diving Championships, sophomore George Korovin led the men's diving duo with an eighth-place finish (287.55) on 1-meter. Tatsuya Machida finished prelims with 221.75 in 12th.
Looking ahead to Friday, USC enters the third day of competition with multiple swimmers primed to score. Freshman Kaitlyn Dobler currently holds the top spot in the 100y breast (57.71), Odgers sits in fifth in the 100y breast (1:00.48) and third in the 400y IM (4:11.16.) Hallie Kinsey (52.51),Schlicht (52.88) and Delgado all sit in the top-10 in the 100y fly.
The Pac-12 meet, which lasts through Saturday, continues Friday with the 400 Individual Medley, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back, and 200 medley relay in the pool, as well as platform diving and 3-meter (men's diving.) The diving competition will stream on pac-12.com/live and on the Pac-12 Now app beginning at 9:20 a.m PT, while the swim finals will air on the Pac-12 Network starting at 4:30 p.m. PT.
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