Stanford (8-0, 7-0 in Pac-12) defeated the California Golden Bears (9-1, 6-1 in Pac-12) 186-110 in this one from Saturday, but the Bears won some key individual races, including Abbey Weitzeil over Simone Manual in the 50 yard freestyle and the 200 Free relay, setting Stanford pool record in the process. Unfortunately, those are the two lone Cal wins out of the 16 events.
Nevertheless, the important time of the season is finally approaching. The Pac-12 championships will take place from Federal Way, WA on February 21st-24th. The NCAA championship, really the only meet of the year that matters, will take place from Columbus, OH on March 14th-17th.
No.4 California Golden Bears (9-0, 6-0 in Pac-12) at No.1 Stanford Cardinal (7-0, 6-0 in Pac-12)
Where: Avery Aquatic Center (Stanford, CA)
When: Noon PT, February 10th, 2018
Ticket Prices: FREE, but donations are accepted for the Children’s Hospital
Plenty of Olympian star powers will be found at the Avery Aquatic Center pool on Saturday when the two Bay Area rival meet for the regular season finale for both squads. The Cal Calympians led by gold medalists junior Kathleen Baker and sophomore Abbey Weitzeil as well as senior Noemie Thomas and freshman Robin Neumann will take on Stanford’s Katie Ledecky and Simone Manual and their stable of current and future Olympians.
Senior Noemie Thomas is looking to end her Cal career on a high note, after winning the national title in her freshman year. Thomas has already qualified for the NCAA in the 100 Fly.
Golden Bears have the top time in the country in both the 200 Free and 400 Free relays. Abbey Weizeil in 50 Free and Kathleen Baker in 100 Back and 200 IM are also the top times in college this year. In addition, the Bears have 15 other swims that are currently the top 16 in the country (which are the swims needed to score points at the NCAA). They are Weitzeil (100 free, 2nd; 200 free, 12th), junior Amy Bilquist (50 free, 8th; 100 free, 13th; 100 back, 9th; 200 back, 2nd), Baker (200 back, 3rd - an event that Baker won last year), Thomas (100 fly, 3rd; 200 fly, 6th), junior Katie McLaughlin (100 fly, 8th; 200 fly, 14th) and freshman Sarah Darcel (400 IM, 10th). Cal’s 800 free relay is fourth, with the 200 medley relay second and the 400 medley relay fourth. Other Cal Bears who may make it to this list includes freshman Ali Harrison in breaststroke, Chenoa Devine in distance swimming, Valerie Hull in 200 Free, and Maddie Murphy in sprints.
Despite being the heavy favorite to repeat at the NCAA, Stanford has yet to peak on the season. Nevertheless, they added a talented freshman class - led by Brooke Forde to the NCAA championship winning squads. Perhaps more impressively, Stanford managed to retain both Simone Manual (now a senior) and Katie Ledecky from turning professional.
Stanford has won 22 straight duals with their last loss coming from against the Bears in 2014. No matter how the results do not really matter, this should be a fun meet.
Pac-12 championships will take place from Federal Way, WA on February 21st-24th. The NCAA championship will take place from Columbus, OH on March 14th-17th.