Dec. 5, 2012
BERKELEY - Elizabeth Pelton has begun racking up the accolades at California, as on Wednesday the Golden Bear freshman earned the Pac-12 Swimmer of the Month award for the month of November and CollegeSwimming.com's Counsilman Hunsaker Swimmer of the Week honor.
Two days prior, the Towson, Md., product earned the California Muscle Milk Student-Athlete of the Week for her performances in the recent Georgia Fall Invitational.
Pelton earned the CollegeSwimming.com award in large part for breaking her own American record in the 200-yard backstroke and breaking Natalie Coughlin's school record with an automatic NCAA qualifying time of 1:48.90 to win the final at the Georgia Fall Invitational.
She won a total of three events in the Athens, Ga., meet, including the 200-yard individual medley and 400-yard medley relay, which she swam on Nov. 30. In the IM, she clocked the fastest time in the nation and an automatic NCAA qualifying time of 1:53.39. Pelton also anchored Cal's winning medley relay that posted an automatic NCAA qualifying time of 3:29.86, the fastest time in the nation.
The Pac-12 lauded Pelton for body of work in November. The freshman led the defending NCAA and Pac-12 champion Golden Bears to a 2-0 dual-meet record and a team title in the Arena Invitational last month. Pelton also led second-ranked Cal to a strong start at the Georgia Fall Invitational with her Nov. 30 swims.
In the Nov. 15-17 Arena Invitational in Long Beach, Calif., Pelton won the 200-yard backstroke (1:54.43, NCAA B qualifying time), took second in the 200 IM (1:57.11, NCAA B), placed fourth in the 100 back (54.12, NCAA B), swam on the winning 400-freestyle relay (3:18.91, NCAA B), anchored the first-place 400-medley relay (3:37.64) and took second with Cal's 800-free relay (7:12.59, NCAA B).
Against No. 23 Wisconsin on Nov. 3 in Berkeley, Pelton won the 100 back, 100 free and 500 free. In the home opener against No. 7 Texas on Nov. 2 at Spieker Aquatics Complex, Pelton won the 400 IM, 200 free and 200 back and anchored the victorious 400-medley relay. In that 200 back - Pelton's first at Spieker - the freshman set the pool record with an NCAA B qualifying time of 1:54.55.
This is Pelton's first career Pac-12 monthly award and the 10th for the Bears, the most in the conference.
The Cal divers next compete in the Bruin Diving Invitational from Jan. 11-13, 2013, at UCLA, and the Bears next swim on Jan. 25 in Tucson, Ariz., in a Pac-12 dual meet against No. 13 Arizona.