Pac-12 highlights conference championship field
Pac-12 Conference Championships
Third-ranked California took home the championship last year for the first time in more than thirty years, and the 2014 season has seen the Bears continue their domination. Cal finished the season undefeated in dual meets, posting an 8-0 record that extends the Bears’ win streak to 15 consecutive dual wins. The Bears enter the championships with key victories against USC and Arizona, both of which are ranked in the top 15 in the CSCAA poll. Cal returns standout swimmers Marcin Tarczynski, Josh Prenot and Seth Stubblefield, all of whom placed in the top three in their respective events at last year’s Pac-12 championships.
Tied for fourth in the CSCAA poll, Southern California enters the championships with a 4-2 overall dual record, including a close victory against Utah in the newly opened Uytengsu Aquatics Center. The Trojans’ lone losses came to Cal and Stanford this season, and each meet has seen both opponents score at least 100 points. Senior standouts Cristian Quintero, Dimitri Colupaev and Jack Wagner will have one last chance to defend their Pac-12 titles, as Quintero went home with two individual victories and all three were part of the winning 400 free relay team from last year’s conference championships.
No. 8 Stanford fell just short of a perfect regular season, with the only loss coming at the end of the year to rival California. The Cardinal looks for revenge against Cal, who beat Stanford by a mere 25 points last year to take home the conference championship and break Stanford's streak of 31 consecutive Pac-12 titles. Stanford returns key swimmers in juniors Drew Cosgarea and Dave Nolan, who both took home individual championships in last year’s competition. Nolan also won national titles in the 200 IM and 100 backstroke at the NCAA championships last year.
Big 12 Conference Championships
The Longhorns have won all 17 Big 12 championship meets and have claimed 34 consecutive conference championships under 36th-year head coach Eddie Reese. Texas won the 2013 Big 12 championship in Austin with 985 points. Freshman Jack Conger has already qualified for the NCAA championships in the 200 backstroke.
Sophomore Matt Ellis, an Austin native and Georgia transfer, holds the nation's third-fastest time in the 50 freestyle (19.37) and the ninth-fastest time in the 100 freestyle (43.07). The Longhorns’ 400 freestyle, 400 medley, 200 medley and 800 freestyle relay teams also have made the NCAA qualifying time. Texas divers won the team title at the USA Diving Winter National Championships. The top UT competitors I diving are sophomore Cory Bowersox and junior Will Chandler along with freshmen Mark Anderson and Michael Hixon.