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Isabelle Stadden Repeats As Pac-12 200 Back Champ

Feb 26, 2022

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. – Sophomore Isabelle Stadden earned her second consecutive 200-yard backstroke title at the Pac-12 Championships, coming through with a lifetime-time best 1:49.51 to lead Cal on the final night of the conference meet.
 
The Golden Bears, who captured the team crown last year, finished second in the standings this year with 1,400.5 points. Stanford placed first with 1,671.5 points, with USC third (1,373.5) and UCLA fourth (898).
 
In the 200 back, Stadden and Stanford's Taylor Ruck were locked in a battle from the start, with Ruck holding onto a slight lead for the majority of the race. But on the final turn, Stadden surged ahead and got to the wall first, a mere 0.22 ahead of Ruck. Her winning time ranks as No. 2 in the country this year and moves her up to No. 4 in school history.
 
"I really wanted it and I knew if I just kept going with my underwaters and came up strong, I could race to the finish," Stadden said in her post-race TV interview. "I'm excited to see what I can do at NCAAs."
 
In addition to Stadden, Ayla Spitz captured the B final (ninth overall) in a season-best 1:53.38, with Annika McEnroe in 10th in a personal-best 1:54.05.
 
Isabel Ivey swam a season-best 47.53 to claim third place in the 100 free, giving her a trio of top-3 finishes at the Pac-12 meet. Earlier, she won the 200 free and took second in the 200 individual medley. The Bears had eight swimmers score in the 100 free, with Emma Davidson also making the A final, where she placed eighth. Others to add to Cal's point total were Elise Garcia (13th), Emily Gantriis (14th), Eloise Riley (15th), Ella Mazurek (16th), Robin Neumann (20th) and McKenna Stone (24th).
 
Rachel Klinker earned a podium finish by taking second place in the 200 butterfly in a season-best 1:53.30. Lizzy Cook also made the A final and came in seventh in 1:55.64.
 
Competing in her third A final at the championships, Leah Polonsky posted a career-best 2:09.93 to finish seventh in the 200 breaststroke, while Ema Rajic captured the B final in 2:11.98.
 
The Bears placed two swimmers in the top eight of the 1650 free, with Fanni Fabian taking seventh in a season-best 16:19.56 and Sarah DiMeco right behind in eighth in 16:21.45.
 
Cal closed out the meet with a third-place finish in the 400 free relay as Davidson, Ivey, Garcia and Stadden came through in 3:12.41, which was only 0.05 seconds off the team's season best.
 
The Bears return to action for the NCAA Championships, which will be held March 16-19 in Atlanta.
 
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