STOCKTON, California, October 27. SCHEDULED for Friday and Saturday, the Pacific Tiger Invitational will feature three of the top programs in the nation in Stanford, Southern California and Cal-Berkeley. Although only October, the competition should give a feel for which squads are clicking during the early portion of the season. More, it’s a chance for unknown names to enjoy a breakout showing.
Hosted by the University of the Pacific, the event will also feature Denver, UC-Davis, Seattle University and UC-Santa Cruz. Cal kicked off its season last week with victories over nationally ranked Texas and Florida. The Golden Bears, however, are likely to be without the services of Michael Cavic (back spasms), one of the elite sprinters in the nation.
Despite the expected absence of Cavic, the weekend will feature several major names, including Southern California’s Larsen Jensen and Ous Mellouli. At last summer’s World Championships in Montreal, Jensen claimed silver medals in the 800 and 1,500 freestyles while Mellouli, representing Tunisia, won bronze medals in the 400 free and 400 individual medley.
Stanford will rely on the sprinting speed of Ben Wildman-Tobriner, a member of the United States World Champs squad who won the 50 free at last summer’s U.S. Nationals. As for Cal, Jonas Tilly is a standout in the sprints and should make for some quality battles with Wildman-Tobriner.