Hometown Victory For Isabelle Stadden
MINNEAPOLIS – Cal sophomore Isabelle Stadden, swimming just a few miles from her home in Blaine, Minnesota, captured the 200-yard backstroke on the final night of the Minnesota Invitational Saturday. Stadden, the reigning Pac-12 champion in the event, posted the nation's No. 3 time this season on her way to the title.
Through three-quarters of the race, Stadden trailed Phoebe Bacon of Wisconsin by a fraction of a second. But the Golden Bear sophomore turned on the jets and went past Bacon in the last 50 yards, getting to the final wall in 1:50.02 to Bacon's 1:50.48. Ayla Spitz joined Stadden in the A final and placed third in 1:53.87.
The four-day, non-scoring meet featured swimmers from seven schools, including four among the top 20 - No. 5 Cal, No. 2 Texas, No. 4 Michigan and No. 17 Wisconsin.
In the 100 free, Isabel Ivey came close to her third individual event win of the meet. She and Maggie MacNeil of Michigan engaged in a battle throughout the race, but MacNeil held on for the victory. Ivey finished in second, and her time of 47.57 puts her at No. 4 in the country this season. Three other Bears were also in the A final, with Elise Garcia taking fourth in personal-best 48.59, Emily Gantriis seventh in 49.26 and Emma Davidson eighth in 49.49. Davidson swam a PR 48.96 in morning qualifying.
Alicia Wilson and Lea Polonsky both posted all-time Cal top 10 swims in the 200 breast. In the A final, Wilson shaved more than two seconds off her lifetime-best and placed third in 2:09.82. Polonsky, meanwhile, debuted at No. 9 after winning the B final in 2:11.30. In addition, Ema Rajic took fourth in 2:11.19 and Annika McEnroe was fifth in 2:12.57.
The final session started with the 1650 free, and all three Bears in the event placed among the top 15. Sarah DiMeco led the way in sixth with a time of 16:16.47, while Fanni Fabian was 10th in 16:34.96 and Ashlyn Fiorilli was 15th in 16:42.02.
In the 200 fly, Rachel Klinker swam 1:54.01 for fifth place, while Lizzy Cook went a lifetime-best 1:55.83 for seventh.
Cal closed out the meet by hitting the NCAA A cut in the 400 free relay. The foursome of Emily Gantriis, Isabel Ivey, Elise Garcia and Ella Mazurek touched the wall in 3:12.36, which was good for second place. The result gave the Bears A qualifying times in all five relays.
Cal returns to action on Saturday, Dec. 18 when the Bears host UC San Diego for a 9 a.m. dual meet at Spieker Aquatics Complex.