Sports

PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIPS: Stanford women win third team title in last four seasons

The 2013 Pac-12 Women
The 2013 Pac-12 Women's Swimming and Men's and Women's Diving Championships ran through Sunday inside the King County Aquatic Center. Stanford won the team title for the third time in four seasons.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Courtesy Pac-12.com

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. – Bolstered by a series of strong finishes in swimming events on the final day of competition, Stanford captured the 2013 Pac-12 Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships on Saturday at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way. It is the Cardinal’s third team title in the last four years.

USC sophomore Haley Ishimatsu was named the Women’s Diver of the Meet, while Stanford sophomore Kristian Ipsen was tabbed the Men’s Diver of the Meet. Cal freshman Elizabeth Pelton took home Swimmer of the Meet honors, and teammate Caitlin Leverenz was named the Women’s Swimming and Diving Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

Cal won four individual events in the final evening of competition and USC notched key victories in the 1,650 freestyle and on women’s platform, but the Cardinal picked up valuable points in the 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle and 400 freestyle relay to secure the win. Stanford finished with 1,439.5 points, while USC (1,418.5) came in second and Cal (1,333.5) took third.

Arizona (1,128.5) finished fourth, followed by UCLA (998.5), Arizona State (786.5), Utah (347), Oregon State (297) and Washington State (189).

USC senior Haley Anderson opened the evening with her fourth consecutive 1,650 freestyle championship, clocking a time of 15:58.59. Anderson, who set the meet record in the event last year (15:41.52), became the first woman in Pac-12 history to win the 1,650 freestyle four years in a row. Arizona State junior Tristin Baxter finished second (16:02.86) and UCLA junior Lauren Baker (16:08.01) took third.

Cal’s Pelton established a new Pac-12 and American record in the 200 backstroke, finishing in 1:48.39. The previous league record was set by fellow Bear and 12-time Olympian Natalie Coughlin in 2002. Pelton, who claimed her second Pac-12 individual title, won the 200 individual medley on Friday. Stanford junior Maya DiRado, a two-time Pac-12 champion in the event, placed second in 1:51.65, while Cal junior Cindy Tran took third (1:53.42).

Arizona junior Margo Geer claimed her fifth individual championship of the week in the 100 freestyle, finishing in 47.59. Geer placed finished second in the event in 2012 with a time if 47.78.  A pair of Stanford swimmers, sophomore Maddy Schaefer (47.85) and senior Andi Murez (47.86), finished second and third, respectively. All three turned in automatic NCAA qualifying times.

Cal senior Caitlin Leverenz captured her third straight 200 breaststroke title with an automatic NCAA qualifying time of 2:07.25. She is the defending NCAA champion in the event. USC junior Stina Gardell took second in 2:08.22 and ASU junior Alex Popa came in third in 2:08.31. Leverenz closed her Conference career with five individual wins.

Cal freshman Rachel Bootsma won the 200 butterfly with a time of 1:54.97. UCLA sophomore Noelle Tarazona placed second in 1:55.45, and USC freshman Jasmine Tosky finished third in 1:55.49. Bootsma claimed her first Conference crown on Friday, taking the 100 backstroke in 50.64 to set a new meet record.

USC’s Ishimatsu won the women’s platform championship in her first Pac-12 Championships. The 2008 Olympian scored 310.35 in the final to finish ahead of UCLA sophomore Emma Ivory-Ganja (273.90) and Cal junior Kahley Rowell (262.05). Ishimatsu placed second on the 1-meter, while Ivory-Ganja earned a third-place finish on the 3-meter.

California won the meet’s final event, the 400 freestyle relay, in 3:12.37. Pelton, freshman Rachael Acker, sophomore Kaylin Bing and Bootsma won the event for the Bears. Arizona finished second in 3:12.42, and Stanford celebrated its team title after finishing third in 3:12.63. All three turned in automatic NCAA qualifying times.

Earlier in the afternoon, Rafael Quintero became the first Arizona freshman in more than a decade to win the platform title. Current Arizona diving coach Omar Ojeda, who won the event in 2001, was the last Wildcat freshman to accomplish the feat. Quintero captured the platform title with 399.90 points, edging Ipsen (398.40) and ASU senior Harrison Jones (392.00), who finished second and third, respectively.

Women’s Final Team Standings

1. Stanford 1439.5

2. USC 1418.5

3. Cal 1333.5

4. Arizona 1128.5

5. UCLA 998.5

6. Arizona State 786.5

7. Utah 347

8. Oregon State 297

9. Washington State 189

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