March 5, 2013
BERKELEY - For the second time this season, Elizabeth Pelton claimed the California Muscle Milk Student-Athlete of the Week honor after a record-breaking performance in the 200-yard backstroke - along with the rest of her sterling performances at the Pac-12 Championships that included the Pac-12 Swimmer of the Meet award. The freshman from Towson, Md., broke her own American record with an automatic NCAA qualifying time of 1:48.39 in the 200 backstroke to win that title and help the second-ranked Golden Bears take third place at the conference meet.
Pelton also broke her own school record, the Pac-12 record and the Pac-12 meet record with that time. The previous time she earned the Muscle Milk accolade - in early December - she had also just set the American and school record in the 200 back with a time of 1:48.90. Her 1:48.39 time was just five hundredths of a second behind the NCAA record.
Additionally, Pelton won the 200-yard individual medley at Pac-12s, edging second-place senior teammate Caitlin Leverenz - the defending NCAA champ in the 200 IM, the 2012 Pac-12 Swimmer of the Meet and the 2012 Olympic bronze medalist in the 200-meter IM - 1:54.29-1:54.31. To cap the meet, the first-year Bear led off Cal's winning 400-free relay, posting an automatic NCAA qualifying time of 48.00 in her opening 100-free as Cal went on to clock an automatic NCAA qualifying time of 3:12.37.
In the 200 freestyle, Pelton placed 12th with an NCAA B time of 1:47.23. She took part in two other relays for the Bears - the second-place 800-free relay (6:58.95, NCAA A) and third-place 200-free relay (1:28.79, NCAA A).
Pelton and the Cal team next compete at the NCAA Championships, slated for March 21-23 in Indianapolis.