The Pac-12 Conference – which has six-time Olympic medalist Katie Ledecky on its side – scored 155 points Saturday to lead Team USA by 11 points after the first day of the 2017 USA Swimming College Challenge in Los Angeles.
The second-ever exhibition continues at 11 a.m. PT on Sunday in the Uytengsu Aquatics Center on the Southern Cal campus. With 613 points up for grabs throughout the competition, the first team to score 306.5 points will be named the winner. The meet features 29 members of the USA Swimming national team facing Pac-12 all-stars.
Ledecky, a sophomore at Stanford and a four-time gold medalist at the Olympic Games Rio 2016, won the women’s 500-meter freestyle for the Pac-12, finishing in 4:28.75. She also helped the Pac-12 win the women’s 800 freestyle relay.
Zane Grothe won the men’s 500 for Team USA with a time of 4:13.63.
Team USA started the meet with a win in the women’s 400-yard medley relay, with Regan Smith, Molly Hannis, Hellen Moffitt and two-time Olympian Lia Neal finishing in 3:28.37. Team USA also won the men’s 400 medley relay, with 2016 Olympic teammates Ryan Murphy, Cody Miller, Tom Shields and Jack Conger touching in 3:06.26.
Louise Hansson of USC and Sweden gave the Pac-12 a win in the women’s 100 butterfly, finishing in 51.28, and Shields gave Team USA the win in the men’s 100 fly with a time of 45.16.
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Kathleen Baker edged Smith for a Pac-12 win in the women’s 200 backstroke, winning in 1:50.62, and Patrick Mulcare made it a sweep in the event, winning in 1:40.44.
Maggie Aroesty won the women’s 200 breaststroke for the Pac-12 with a time of 2:06.88, but Team USA swept the men’s 200 breaststroke with Olympic silver medalist Josh Prenot winning in 1:53.42 to give the national team a 99-87 lead.
Hansson got her second win of the night for the Pac-12 with a victory in the women’s 100 freestyle. Shields won the men’s 100 freestyle to bring Team USA’s lead to 118-106.
Ella Eastin won the women’s 400 IM in 4:00.02 and the Pac-12 inched up to within three points of Team USA at 123-120.
The Pac-12’s Andrew Seliskar won the men's 400 IM in 3:43.11 to tie the score, 131-131.
Led by McLaughlin, Baker, Eastin and Ledecky, the Pac-12 won the women’s 800 free relay with a time of 6:57.98.
Finally, Stanford’s Grant Shoults helped the Pac-12 to a victory in the men’s 400 IM, finishing in 6:24.97.
Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.