Bruins Finish Fourth at 2022 Pac-12 Championships
The UCLA swim and dive placed fourth at the 2022 Pac-12 Championships, finishing with a total team score of 898.0.
The result marks the third-consecutive top-four finish for the Bruins at the league meet, all under third-year head coach Jordan Wolfrum.
UCLA totaled 45 finalists over the four-day meet, including 11 who reached A Finals in their respective events.
The Bruins had a number of notable team and individual performances, including third-place finishes from Claire Grover (100 free) and Hannah Butler (1-meter diving) and a school-record performance in the 400 medley relay (3:32.53).
FINAL TEAM SCORES
1. Stanford, 1671.5
3. USC, 1373.5
4. UCLA, 898.0
5. Arizona, 750.5
6. Arizona State, 669.0
7. Utah, 608.0
8. Washington State, 372.0
DAY FOUR RECAP
UCLA wrapped up the four-day Pac-12 Championships by sending 14 swimmers to individual finals, including a pair of A Finals.
The evening finals session was started off with the 1650 free, which saw freshman Paige MacEachern (16:22.29) knock over 22 seconds from her best time to take ninth place overall. Stephanie Su also swam the mile, posting a season-best time of 16:50.07 to take 17th.
Senior Delaney Smith reached the B Final of the 200 back to pace the Bruins in that event, finishing 16th overall with a time of 1:57.35. Junior Katrina Sommer (1:57.27) notched a best time to finish runner-up in the C Final, and Abriana Howard (1:58.03) had a season-best time in the same race to finish 23rd overall.
UCLA's highest individual finish of the day came in the 100 free courtesy of Claire Grover (48.52), who posted a best time in that event to take sixth. It was the 10th career Pac-12 A Final for the senior. Sophia Kosturos posted a best time in the 100 free prelims (48.89) to earn a spot in the B Final, ultimately placing 12th. Rachel Rhee (49.46) swam in the C Final.
Sophomore Sam Baron reached the A Final in the 200 fly, placing eighth at 1:57.63. It was the fourth-career A Final for Baron, who's reached the championship heat in both butterfly events in each of her two trips to the league championships.
UCLA placed five swimmers in the 200 fly finals, its most for any single event at the meet. Crystal Murphy (2:01.50, 14th) and Gabby Dang (2:02.00, 15th) each made the B Final while Joanie Cash (season-best 2:03.89, 20th) and Lauryn Johnson (2:06.30) both swam in the C Final. Dang (2:01.69) went a best time during prelims.
The night finished with the 400 free relay, which saw UCLA finish sixth at 3:16.84. It was the Bruins' second-best time in that relay this season.
DAY THREE RECAP
UCLA had its strongest day yet at the 2022 Pac-12 Championships on Friday, as the Bruins set a school record in the 400 medley relay and had six swimmers make A Finals, led by a podium finish in the 100 breast for senior Claire Grover.
The record-setting performance came in the final event of the night, as the quartet of Sophia Kosturos, Eva Carlson, Gabby Dang, and Grover set a new school standard in the 400 medley relay at 3:32.53.
It was the second time this year that that exact group of four set a school record in that event, as they previously swam a 3:33.17 earlier this month in a dual meet against USC. Friday's time was good for fourth place.
The day started with a trio of Bruins making the consolation final in platform diving. Freshman Maya Salvitti ended up as the Bruins' top finisher, taking 13th place at 183.95. Freshman Zoe Jespersgaard placed right behind her at 180.85, followed by Hannah Butler in 15th (137.55).
The first swimming final of the night saw freshman Paige MacEachern post a best time in the 400 IM (4:10.62) to take fifth place overall. It was her first career A Final after posting a season-best time in prelims (4:11.48) to place runner-up in the early race.
Elsewhere in the 400 IM, seniors Ella Kirschke (4:14.54, 10th) and Delaney Smith (4:16.14) both set season-bests in the B Final. Junior Katrina Sommer had a best time (4:19.90) in the C Final to place 21st.
The 100 fly saw multiple Bruins reach the A Final (a first for UCLA at this year's league meet) with Dang (52.37, sixth) and sophomore Sam Baron (52.83, eighth) both scoring critical points for UCLA. It was the the second consecutive year that the duo qualified for the A Final in that event at Pac-12s. During prelims, senior Sophie Clarkowski set a best time at 54.79.
The 100 breast was a banner event for UCLA, with four swimmers reaching either the A or B Final (UCLA's most in a single event so far).
In the A Final, Grover (59.64, third) and Carlson (59.90, seventh) both broke the one-minute mark for the first time this year to lead the Bruins. It was Grover's third-career podium at Pac-12s, and Friday marked her season debut in the 100 breast to boot. Carlson posted best times in both prelims (1:00.17) and finals as part of a standout day.
In the B Final of the 100 breast, Ana Jih-Schiff (1:01.50) placed 12th and Bailey Herbert (1:02.27) placed 14th. Jih-Schiff posted a best time in prelims at 1:01.46.
In the final individual event of the night, Sophia Kosturos placed eighth in the 100 back with a time of 53.27. Kosturos went a personal-best 52.52 in prelims to book a spot in her first-career A Final.
Junior Brooke Schaffer was UCLA's top racer in the 200 free, placing 25th in the prelims at 1:48.67 and just missing out on a finalist spot.
The 2022 Pac-12 Championships conclude on Saturday. Scheduled events include the 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly, 1650 free, and 400 free relay.
DAY TWO RECAP
UCLA had a pair of A Finalists and a solid performance in the 200 free relay on day two of the 2022 Pac-12 Championships.
Junior Hannah Butler got the Bruins off to a solid start on Thursday after reaching an A Final for the second consecutive day with a fifth-place finish in the 3-meter diving prelims.
She went on to place seventh in the 8-diver final with a score of 277.65. UCLA freshman Zoe Jespersgaard won the 3M consolation final with a mark of 301.95, the fifth time this year she broke the 300-point barrier in that event. Maya Salvitti also qualified for the consolation final, ultimately placing 16th overall (she had a season-best score of 258.40 in prelims).
Back in Federal Way, freshman Paige MacEachern led the Bruins in the 500 free with back-to-back best times. First, she posted a time of 4:46.44 in prelims to qualify for the B Final, and then she knocked a couple more seconds off her time at 4:44.10 in finals to take 12th place overall. She ended up shaving about 2.5 seconds off her previous best time over the course of the day.
A pair of Bruins posted best times in the 200 IM, including Sam Baron who had the fastest time among all UCLA swimmers (1:58.21) to finish 12th overall. Ella Kirschke (season-best 1:58.51) and Delaney Smith (1:58.85) also qualified for the B final, finishing in succession behind Baron. During prelims, junior Katrina Sommer recorded a new best time at 2:00.52 to secure a spot in the C Final.
In the final individual event of the night, senior Claire Grover placed fourth in both the prelims and finals (she had a season-best time of 22.10 in finals) to lead the Bruins. It was her eighth career A Final at Pac-12s. Juniors Sophia Kosturos (22.57, 16th) and Rachel Rhee (22.59, 18th) both made the B Final in that event, with Kosturos posting a best time (22.47) during prelims.
The night closed out with the 200 free relay, which saw the Bruins place fourth with a time of 1:28.94. UCLA's top quartet – Grover, Kosturos, Dang, and Maddie Wright – finished less than a tenth-second behind the program record (1:28.88).
The 2022 Pac-12 Championships continue on Friday. Scheduled events include platform diving, 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back, and 400 medley relay.
DAY ONE RECAP
The UCLA swim team had a strong start to the 2022 Pac-12 Championships on Wednesday, as junior Hannah Butler notched a podium finish on the diving side and both of UCLA's relays had notable performances on the swimming side.
Butler posted a score of 299.55 in the 1-meter diving finals in the afternoon to take third place, her first-career podium finish at Pac-12s. The Rochester, N.Y. native was fourth after the first half of the finals session, but pulled off a score of 58.50 on her final attempt – the highest score of any diver that round – to secure the top-three finish.
She placed seventh in prelims with a score of 261.45 to clinch a spot in the eight-diver final. Elsewhere in 1-meter diving, freshman Maya Salvitti finished sixth in the consolation final and 14th overall, and freshman Zoe Jespersgaard placed 20th overall.
That Bruin trio regrouped to give UCLA a second-place finish in the inaugural Diving Team Event. The event – which saw each team put forward three divers who performed two dives each on 1M, 3M, and platform while utilizing all six groups (front, back, reverse, inward, twist, armstand) – was performed for the first time ever at Pac-12s, and was not scored.
At the evening swim session in Federal Way, the Bruins placed top-four in the 200 medley relay and followed that up with a season-best time in the 800 free relay.
UCLA's top relay squad in the medley featured Sophia Kosturos, Eva Carlson, Gabby Dang, and Claire Grover and completed the race in 1:37.02. That time was just over a quarter-second behind the Bruins' school-record pace of 1:36.72, set earlier this season against USC.
UCLA followed that up with a 7:13.77 performance in the 800 free relay, with Ella Kirschke, Delaney Smith, Rachel Rhee, and Brooke Schaffer shaving over two seconds off UCLA's previous season-best time in that event (7:15.87). That time was good for sixth place.
The 2022 Pac-12 Championships continue on Thursday with the 500 free, 200 IM, 50 free, 200 free relay, and 3M diving. Swimming prelims begin at 10:30 a.m. with finals at 6:00 p.m. Diving prelims open at 11:55 a.m. with the consolation final beginning at 1:25 p.m. and the championship commencing at 3:05 p.m.