Ishimatsu (Platform), Kropp (200 Breast) Win Titles To Close Pac-12s|
Feb. 28, 2015
Senior Haley Ishimatsu became the first Pac-12 woman to win the platform three straight years while senior Andrea Kropp won her first career conference title with a win in the 200y breast as USC closed the final night of the 2015 Pac-12 Women's Swimming and Diving Championships with fireworks on Saturday (Feb. 28) in Federal Way, Wash.
USC finished third with 1109 points while California claimed the team title with 1629.5 with Stanford second (1401). Arizona was fourth (954.5) and was followed by UCLA (951.5), Utah (652), Arizona State (610), Washington State (369.5) and Oregon State (286).
Ishimatsu, competing in her ninth Pac-12 final in as many tries, won her third straight platform crown with a dominating performance, taking first with 368.75. She improved throughout her five-dive set and capped it with an 86.40 on her final dive, which featured six 9.0s and an 8.5.
In addition to being the first Pac-12 woman to win the event three years in a row, she's just the second to win it three times in a career.
"Haley had one of her best performances in her collegiate career and was over 130 points better than her preliminary effort," said USC Head Diving Coach Hongping Li. "It was a wonderful moment to see Haley repeat her Pac-12 title."
After the meet, Ishimatsu, a 2014 Pac-12 All-Academic first teamer and a CoSIDA 2014 Capital One Academic All-District 8 at-large pick, earned an equally impressive honor and was named the 2015 Pac-12 Women's Swimming and Diving Scholar Athlete of the Year.
"I'm so thankful for competing so well at Pac-12s the past three years," Ishimatsu said. "I'm sad to be leaving college but I'm excited to be moving on to new things. I'm very honored to be the three-time Pac-12 platform champion. I'm also honored to be the Pac-12 Scholar Athlete of the Year. I'm excited for the NCAA zones next week and NCAA Championships."
Kropp made her third straight appearance in the Pac-12 200y breast final tonight and made her final conference race count, winning in 2:08.51, 0.85 ahead of Stanford senior Katie Olsen (2:09.36).
Kropp, who led over the final 150 yards, is USC's first 200y breaststroke title winner since Rebecca Soni won the last of her three crowns in 2009. It is Troy's sixth overall. Sophomore Blair Carnes finished 13th in the `B' final (2:13.40).
"It was so amazing to be able to win my first Pac-12 title in my last race with the entire team," Kropp said. "Having all of them behind me gave me the motivation that I needed to swim fast when it got tough. Winning and getting such a good time gives me confidence and only makes me even more excited for the upcoming NCAAs."
Freshman Hannah Weiss, after finishing fourth in the 100y back final, nabbed the last spot in the 200y back A final in prelims and claimed eighth in the evening race in 1:56.18. Junior Kendyl Stewart, the 100y fly champ from Friday, just missed the A final and won the B final in 1:55.28. Junior Joanna Stenkvist was 11th overall (1:56.85).
Junior Kasia Wilk and sophomore Evan Swenson both reached their first Pac-12 100y free A final, taking fifth (48.26) and eighth (49.27), respectively. Wilk's time was a PR while Swenson went a PR 48.45 in prelims.
USC closed the meet with a third-place finish in the 400y free with a season-best and NCAA `A' cut 3:14.24 thanks to Wilk, Swenson, Stewart and sophomore Chelsea Chenault.
Said USC Head Coach Dave Salo: "In a rebuilding year, our women did a fantastic job closing down another Pac-12 Championship by finishing third. Our three individual titles were awesome, along with outstanding relay performances.
"I am very proud of the women staying the course on our season plan. The last couple of weeks included a great win over UCLA and a solid team performance this weekend in every event, which has set us up for a strong NCAA Championships. This group has laid the ground work for big team efforts in the next couple of years with the outstanding recruiting class we have coming in next year."