The Women’s Swimming and Diving team are out at the conference championships this week. We’ll keep you posted here as we update you on all the latest.
Current Team Score Update (Through 15 events):
Washington State 355
Saturday Morning Updates
There is not much room for error, but I got to love what the Bears have done this morning to put themselves in a great position for tonight in the team championships.
Sarah Dimeco, who will swim the 1650y Free this afternoon, swam an exhibition 200y Fly this morning. She had a time that would have been the 5th best.
While Cal had a good finals session tonight, it may not be enough to take their first conference championship since 2015. In spite of that, there were several phenomenal performances worth recognizing:
Congratulations to senior Brianna Thai on her 5th-place finish on the platform diving event!
400-yard individual medley
Stanford piled on the points here with 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th place finishes, which gave Stanford a 119.5-point edge over the Bears. Junior Alicia Wilson finished in 2nd, just .12 seconds off her career-best. Sophomore Sarah Dimeco added in a 6th-place finish in an attempt to mitigate the points onslaught.
Just an event later, Cal hit back hard. Junior Isabel Ivey led the way with a time of 50.87 seconds, just 0.05 seconds off her personal-best. Sophomore Rachel Klinker set a new personal-best by .16 seconds with her time of 51.79 seconds, after improving on her previous best by .72 seconds in prelims this morning. Junior Elise Garcia, senior Ali Harrison, and senior Elizabeth Bailey finished in 9th, 14th, and 22nd place, respectively. Congratulations to all on their incredible performance!
Cal outscored Stanford by 30 points in their effort to bridge the 908-856.5 point advantage Stanford has. Senior Robin Neumann won her first career individual conference title after many 3rd-place finishes throughout her time as a Bear. Sophomore Ayla Spitz, who hit a new personal-best, sophomore Eloise Riley, and freshman Emily Gantriis helped to round out the A-final. Freshman Mara Allen added 13 points in her B-final finish. Congratulations to Neumann on her first individual title!
Junior Ema Rajic knocked down the school record twice today en route to her second-place finish with a time of 58.45 seconds. Senior Ali Harrison finished in sixth. A handful of C-final swims helped to mitigate Stanford’s 3 A-finalists. Congratulations to Rajic on her awesome achievement!
Cal continued to prove its legendary backstroke tradition. Junior Isabel Ivey and freshman Isabelle Stadden were stroke-for-stroke in an incredible race that came down to a difference of .04 seconds, with Ivey just barely out-touching Stadden. This was Ivey’s second win of the evening. Notably, freshman Tea Laughlin edged out her personal-best by 0.07 seconds to earn 4th-place. This brought Cal within 19.5 points of first-place Stanford. Congratulations to Ivey on the incredible double victory tonight!
200-yard medley relay
The quartet of Isabelle Stadden, Ema Rajic, Isabel Ivey, and Emily Gantriis won the final event of the evening with a time of 1:35.18, which gives Cal 4 relay wins in 4 relay events. With Ivey and Stadden swimming in the previous event, it’s uncertain exactly how fresh their legs were (note: this event is usually raced on the first night of the competition). Nevertheless, Cal will have to drop a considerable amount of time to chase down UVA, who set the NCAA record at 1:32.93 just last weekend, and NC State at the NCAA Championship in a couple weeks. This brings the score to 1091 for Stanford and 1074.5 for Cal.
Friday Prelim Updates
It’s time to do that Cal vs. Stanford comparison with regards to the number of finalists in the A-Finals (“Championship Finals”), B-Finals (“Consolation Finals”), and C-Finals (“Bonus Finals”) in each events today.
400 IM - Cal has 2/0/0 while Stanford has 4/0/0, a 45-55 point edge to Stanford.
Alicia Wilson (2nd seed) and Sarah Dimeco (5th seed) will race for the Pac-12 title.
100 Fly - Cal has 2/2/1 while Stanford has 1/2/0, a 30 point edge to Cal.
Isabel Ivey (2nd seed) and Rachel Klinker (3rd seed) will race for the Pac-12 title.
200 Free - Cal has 4/1/0 while Stanford has 2/2/0, a 35-45 point edge to Cal.
Robin Neumann (top seed), Ayla Spitz (3rd seed), Eloise Riley (6th seed), and Emily Gantriis (8th seed) will race for the Pac-12 title.
100 Breasts - Cal has 2/0/3 while Stanford has 3/0/0, maybe a 5-10 point edge to Stanford.
Ema Rajic (2nd seed) and Ali Harrison (6th seed) will race for the Pac-12 titles. I think the Cal depth may have swum this event because those were some free points in the C-Final.
100 Back - Cal has 3/0/2 while Stanford has 2/0/0, a 35+ point edge to Cal.
Isabelle Stadden and Isabel Ivey are the top 2 seeds. Tea Laughlin (8th seed) is the 3rd Cal A-Finalist.
Platform diving and 200 Medley Relay will also be decided tonight.
200-yard freestyle relay
Golden Bears won their 3rd relay of the meet to close Day 2. Eloise Riley, Emily Gantriis, Elise Garcia, and Isabel Ivey got the job done with a time of 1:26.84 ahead of Stanford and USC.
The 50-yard freestyle is always a crazy short race. This one was no different. Cal sophomore Eloise Riley finished in a 3-way tie for 2nd place with a time of 22.24 behind a surprising winner in Washington State’s Chloe Larson. Elise Garcia took 8th. Cal freshman Emily Gantriis who had a poor morning rebounded to win the C-Final with a time of 22.23; yes, that time would have placed her 2nd if she had made the A-Final.
Unfortunately, between Ivey not swimming this event, Gantriis having a bad prelim swim, and Garcia not having the best final swim, the Golden Bears fell about 55+ points short of the psych sheet scoring. For Gantriis and Garcia, this valuable learning experience may hopefully help them at the NCAA championships.
200-yard individual medley
Golden Bears went 1-2 as Junior Alicia Wilson won her first Pac-12 title with freshman Isabelle Stadden 2nd. The UK Olympic hopeful Wilson had the 4th best time in the country with her time of 1:53.65. Ema Rajic finished 2nd in the B-Final. The C-Final also saw two Bears finished 1-2 with Tea Laughlin and Natalie Tuck touching the wall ahead of the field.
This was Cal’s 3rd win at this meet.
Cal sophomore Ayla Spitz kept pace with the favorite Brooke Forde for the first 2 third of the race before falling behind the Stanford duo of Forde and Tankersley. Spitz did shave nearly 2.5 seconds off her prelim time to finish 3rd. Robin Neumann, Sarah Dimeco, and Rachel Klinker finished 4th, 6th, and 7th, respectively. Freshman Mara Allen won the C-Final.
Brianna Thai made another Pac-12 diving A-Final in the morning and took 4th place in the afternoon. The two younger Cal divers do score points for their 18th and 20th place finish, but there were also just 20 divers competing.
Thursday Prelim Updates
With the Thursday prelims over, here are the Cal Bears who will be racing for the conference titles tonight (their seed in parenthesis):
500-yard freestyle: Robin Neumann (2), Ayla Spitz (3), Rachel Klinker (5), Sarah Dimeco (6) - The top 8 are an even 4-4 split of Cal Bears and Stanford Cardinal with their Brooke Forde being the favorite.
200-yard individual medley: Alicia Wilson grabbed the top seed with Isabelle Stadden 3rd. Ema Rajic and her NCAA B time just got edged for the 8th and last spot of the A-Final.
50-yard free: Eloise Riley and Elise Garcia earned the top two seeds. Shockingly, freshman Emily Gantriis who had the top time on the psych sheet, finished 17th to only make the C-Final.
Isabel Ivey scratched both the 200y IM (she finished 3rd last year) and 50y Free swims for tonight. Instead, she will do the 100y Fly and 100y Back double tomorrow and only swim in the 200-yard freestyle relay tonight. She did do a 50y Free exhibition swim this morning where she clocked a 22.08 time that would have earned her the top seed. Her choice of swims at the Pac-12 championships should have no effect on Cal’s great odds to win the team title. What she will swim at the NCAA championships may decide that team race, expected to be a tight one between Cal and Virginia.
800-yard freestyle relay
Cal kicked off the first night of competition with the 800-yard freestyle relay victory, beating Stanford by nearly 3 seconds. Their time of 6:55.99 should slot in behind Virginia as the 2nd-best time in the country. They’ll need to make up 1.68 seconds at the NCAA Championship in a few weeks, ideally without substituting star junior Isabel Ivey so that she can stay on the other 4 relays where her sprint prowess will be more impactful. Congratulations on the victory to the quartet of senior Robin Neumann, sophomore Ayla Spitz, sophomore Rachel Klinker, and junior Alicia Wilson!
400-yard medley relay
With the second relay event of the night, the Cal squad of freshman Isabelle Stadden, junior Ema Rajic, junior Isabel Ivey, and freshman Emily Gantriis earned the second title for the Bears of the evening with their time of 3:26.70. Stadden kicked things off on the backstroke leg with a new personal best by 0.37 seconds. Rajic, Ivey, and Gantriis each followed Stadden with the field’s best split for their respective strokes. Their time is good for 2nd in the country behind Virginia’s 3:26.25 last weekend. Congratulations to the quartet on their victory!
Shoutout to senior Brianna Thai for taking 3rd-place and freshman Kayla Haigh on 14th-place, earning Cal a very valuable 40 points in the conference championship. Keep up the great work!