This year in Pac-12 women's swimming and diving
SAN FRANCISCO – It was yet another remarkable year for Pac-12 women’s swimming and diving as three teams finished in the top 10 at the 2017 NCAA Championships and six total in the top-30. Fresh off a Pac-12 Championship, STANFORD claimed its ninth NCAA Championship in record fashion and its first since 1998. CALIFORNIA followed closely behind, finishing second. Pac-12 teams topped the podium in 16 out of the possible 21 events at the 2017 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships that included five American Records, two new NCAA Records and five pool records being broken by Pac-12 student-athletes over the four day competition.
Lead by 2016 Olympians Katie Ledecky and Simone Manuel, the Cardinal claimed its first NCAA Championship since 1998. The Cardinal has won more national titles than any program (eight NCAA, one AIAW) and has finished in the top three at the NCAA meet in each of the last three years, including runner-up in 2014 and 2016. In her first NCAA Championship, Ledecky earned three individual titles and two relay titles. The multiple Olympic gold medalist broke the American Record in the 500 free (4:24.06) and tied for first with a new pool record in the 200 free (1:40.36). Simone Manuel went two-for-two in record-breaking swims in both the 50 and 100 free, stopping the clock in a new American Record time of a 45.56 in the 100 and a new NCAA record of a 21.17 in the 50. Sophomore Ella Eastin defended her 400 IM title breaking Ledecky’s American Record standard of 3:57.57, and a new pool record of a 1:51.35 in the 200 fly. The Cardinal relay team of Manuel, Ledecky, Eastin and Lia Neal captured an American Record in the 800 free relay on night one and closed out the met with another American Record in the 400 free relay on the final night, touching with a 3:07.61.
The Golden Bears took home six NCAA titles to finish second with 366 points. California has finished among the top three teams in the country each of the last eight years - the longest current streak in the nation. 2016 Olympic silver medalist Kathleen Baker went three-for-three taking the 200 IM, the 100 back and the 200 back NCAA individual titles. Teammate and 2016 Olympian Farida Osman claimed the 100 fly title in a new pool record of a 50.05. The 200 free relay squad of Abbey Weitzeil, Maddie Murphy, Amy Bilquist and Osman saw the NCAA record fall in the 200 free relay with a 1:25.59 and Osman later reunited with Baker, Weitzeil and Noemie Thomas in the 200 medley relay in another NCAA Championship record breaking swim of a 1:34.10.
Pac-12 women’s swimming has claimed a total of 15 out of a possible 35 NCAA team titles and has posted at least a top two finish at the NCAA Championships for the last 10 years.
Stanford captured its 20th overall women’s swimming and diving Conference title in record fashion at the 2017 Pac-12 Women’s swimming and men’s and women’s diving championships, placing first in 15 out of the 21 events totaling 1,587.5 points. Five American records and six Pac-12 championship records were broken over four days of competition. California took second, USC was third, Arizona was fourth, UCLA was fifth, Arizona State was sixth, Utah was seventh, Washington State was eighth, and Oregon State was ninth.
The Pac-12 named the recipients of the 2017 Women’s Swimming and Diving awards, as voted on by the league coaches and announced by the Conference office. Stanford’s Simone Manuel was named the Swimmer of the Year, while teammate Katie Ledecky was voted Freshman/Newcomer of the Year and their coach Greg Meehan was named the Swimming Coach of the Year. UCLA’s Maria Polyakova took home Diver of the Year honors while Stanford’s Haley Farnsworth was voted Freshman/Newcomer of the Year and UCLA head coach Tom Stebbins was selected as the Diving Coach of the Year.