SAN LUIS OBISPO, California, September 20. RYAN Murphy’s collegiate competition debut today at the Cal Poly Invitational started the new Golden Bear on the right foot, as the Swimming World Magazine Co-Male High School Swimmer of the Year won the King of the Pool crown over defending champion and teammate Marcin Tarczynski.
The King of the Pool event featured races in 100 yards of butterfly, backstroke breaststroke and freestyle, as well as the 100 individual medley. The swimmer with the fastest cumulative time wins the title. All five events were swum in a matter of about 90 minutes, and the race for the title featured three Golden Bears in one of the closest finishes in the four-year history of the event.
Tarczynski, the 2012 NCAA champion in the 200 IM, was unable to win any of the five events, with Murphy taking the 100 back and 100 IM. Murphy’s overall time of 4:13.11 was enough to defeat sophomore Josh Prenot, whose final time was 4:14.72. Tarczynski settled for third this year with a time of 4:15.71.
Seth Stubblefield got the ball rolling in the first event, the 100 fly, winning with a 48.38 over Tarczynski’s 48.90. Prenot, an NCAA finalist in both IM events, was third in the 100 fly today with a 49.49. Murphy got off to a slow start, placing sixth in the fly with a 50.23.
Murphy, the national high school record holder in the 100 backstroke with a 45.34, took the 100 back handily with a 47.43 to lead the race by .87 over Tarczynski, who was third in the 100 back with a 49.63. Backstroke ace Jacob Pebley was second with a 49.61.
Prenot made up some ground in the 100 breast with a 56.03 to win and gain a lead of nine tenths over Tarczynski, who was third-fastest in the 100 breast with a 58.55. (Cal Poly’s Jimmy Deiparine was second with 57.26.) Murphy’s backstroke swim kept him in the hunt, as his 59.65 in the 100 breast was eighth-fastest in the event.
Tyler Messerschmidt, who sat out last semester to get his grades in order, returned to race for the Golden Bears today and won the 100 free with a 44.52. Up to that point, Messerschmidt hadn’t put up any times to put him into serious consideration for King of the Pool, but the time in the 100 free signals a great comeback for the sophomore. In the race for the King of the Pool, Murphy regained the lead with his 45.66, which was third-fastest behind Messerschmidt and Stubblefield. Tarczynski’s 46.44 put him .55 behind Murphy going into the 100 IM. Prenot’s 100 free time of 47.65 put him .27 behind Tarczynski.
In order to defend his King of the Pool title, Tarczynski needed to swim .56 faster than Murphy in the 100 IM. Murphy was not to be contained, and he blasted a 50.14 to not only win the 100 IM but snatch the King of the Pool title. Prenot leapfrogged over Tarczynski with a 50.93 IM swim, while Tarczynski fell back with a 52.19.
Messerschmidt’s quick 100 free, and a respectable 51.90 in the 100 IM, vaulted him into fourth place in the overall standings with a combined time of 4:19.67. Freshman Long Gutierrez was fifth with a combined time of 4:20.53.
A recap of the women’s event, aptly named Queen of the Pool, will be posted when results become available.