Isabel Ivey Captures Pac-12 200 Free Title
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. – Using a big kick to take the lead over the final 25 yards, Cal senior Isabel Ivey captured the conference title in the 200 freestyle Friday night at the Pac-12 Championships. The win marked the fifth individual crown of her career, while her time of 1:42.29 was a lifetime best that moved her up to No. 5 in school history and No. 3 in the country this season.
With one day to go at the meet, Cal stands in third place with 946.5 points in the team race. Stanford leads with 1,221.5 points, with USC second (993.5) and UCLA fourth (657).
Ivey trailed USC's Laticia Transom, who won the 200 free event in 2020, for all but the final lap. At the final turn, she turned on the jets and raced home for 0.20-second victory. Last year, Ivey won the 100 free, 100 back and 100 fly on her way to earning Pac-12 Swimmer of the Year honors. She also claimed the 100 back crown in 2020.
"I definitely wanted to go easy as long as I could, then really try to kick in my legs towards the end and really work my underwaters," Ivey told the Pac-12 Network after the race. "I'm very happy to break 1:43 by a decent amount, so that was a great way to start off the night for me."
The Bears began the session with a strong performance in the 400 individual medley. Freshman Leah Polonsky led the way by taking second place in 4:03.90, a personal best that puts her No. 3 all-time at Cal and eighth in the country this season. Alicia Wilson came through in fourth (4:09.27) and Annika McEnroe was sixth (4:12.51) to round out the Cal swimmers in the A final.
The 200 free provided a huge boost for the Bears in addition to Ivey's victory. Cal had nine swimmers competing in the finals and they combined for 149 points to add to the team total. Mia Motekaitis posted her own PR with a 1:44.48, which was good for fourth place, while Ayla Spitz had a season-best 1:45.11 for seventh and Robin Neumann was eighth in 1:46.81. In the B final, Emma Davidson also had a career best in 1:45.90.
In the 100 butterfly, Rachel Klinker placed fifth in 52.32, with Mia Kragh picking up the win in the B final in a lifetime-best 52.10. Ema Rajic went under a minute in the 100 breast to finish eighth in 59.92, with Alicia Henry ninth (1:00.52) and Maddie Ward 10th (1:00.73). In the 100 back, Isabelle Stadden earned her second consecutive runner-up finish in the 100 back, touching the wall in 51.08, after also placing second last year.
In the last event of the night, the quartet of Stadden, Rajic, Kragh and Ivey took third in the 400 medley relay with a season-best time of 3:29.68.
The Pac-12 Championships conclude on Saturday, with prelims starting at 10:30 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m. The final session will be streamed live on Pac-12.com and on the Pac-12 Now app.
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