Cal Golden Bears Get Night Started With 1:14.3 to Win 200 Free Relay; Hoffer Splits 18.06

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Photo Courtesy: NCAA Media

The Cal Golden Bears threw down a 1:14.36 in the 200 freestyle relay to win the 2021 NCAA title in a nail-biting finish over the Florida Gators, who were charging hard on the anchor leg. The team of Bjorn Seeliger (18.72), Ryan Hoffer (18.06), Daniel Carr (18.51) and Nate Biondi (19.07) were under NCAA record pace that Auburn set 12 years ago of 1:14.08 that will stand for another year.

Florida nearly ran down Biondi on the anchor leg with the team of Adam Chaney (18.81), Will Davis (18.59), Kieran Smith (18.70) and Eric Friese (18.38) as the Gators are in a fight for third place as a team behind Cal and Texas. Florida’s Smith has a short recovery time before he gets in the final of the 500 free where he will chase after his own American record. It was nearly the closest winning margin for a team as Auburn still holds that distinction from winning by 0.07 over Cal in 2000.

“For (my dad Matt Biondi) and all of our Cal alumni, the day before this meet, they made sure to let us know their support and that they were going to be watching,” Biondi said. “My back foot was shaking quite a bit, but hats off to these guys. Daniel Carr is a frequent flyer of these podiums. Bjorn has impacted our team right from the get-go, and of course, Ryan Hoffer, that was such an incredible swim.”

Biondi is notably the first in his family to win an NCAA title in the 200 free relay due to this event being added to the lineup in 1989 after Matt Biondi finished his career.

We asked the question earlier this year if Auburn’s 2009 record was in danger of ever falling, and it was in danger for 150 yards as the Bears were ahead of pace by six tenths. Cal’s relay tonight is the fastest in textile but still not faster than Auburn’s 1:14.08.

More than a full decade has passed since the shiny suits were outlawed in the sport of swimming, and only one NCAA record still stands from 2009 –  the men’s 200 free relay.

The record-setting swim was done by Auburn’s quartet of Jakob Andkjaer (18.89), Gideon Louw (18.33), Kohlton Norys (18.67) and Matt Targett (18.19) of the legendary Auburn sprint program, who were coached by Hall of Fame coach Richard Quick and sprint guru Brett Hawke.

Alabama (1:15.62) and Georgia (1:15.70) placed third and fourth from the penultimate heat as the Tide’s team of Matt King (18.99), Sam Disette (18.91), Jonathan Berneburg (18.79) and Colton Stogner (18.93) had a big drop from SECs. Georgia’s team of Dillon Downing (18.97), Javier Acevedo (18.61), Jake Magahey (18.98) and Luca Urlando (19.14) finished in fourth place for the Bulldogs.

Texas A&M (1:15.79), Texas (1:15.82), Virginia (1:16.01) and NC State (1:16.24) also placed in the top eight to pick up All-American honors.

The quickest splits outside the top four came from Virginia’s August Lamb (18.61), Purdue’s Nikola Acin (18.64), Penn State’s Will Roberson (18.78) and Texas’ Alvin Jiang (18.78).

Cal has now won six NCAA titles in the 200 free relay as the 2021 team joins the teams from 2005, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2019 as champions in this event.

  • 2005 (Duje Draganja, Rolandas Gimbutis, Jonas Tilly, Milorad Cavic), 1:15.78
  • 2010 (Nathan Adrian, Graeme Moore, Joshua Daniels, Guy Barnea), 1:15.71
  • 2012 (Tyler Messerschmidt, Shayne Fleming, Fabio Gimondi, Seth Stubblefield), 1:16.58
  • 2014 (Tyler Messerschmidt, Ryan Murphy, Tony Cox, Seth Stubblefield), 1:15.27
  • 2019 (Pawel Sendyk, Ryan Hoffer, Michael Jensen, Andrew Seliskar), 1:14.46

In the years since the shiny suits were outlawed in late 2009, only four schools have been able to put together a relay under 1:15. Below are the fastest for each:

  1. 1:14.36, California (Seeliger, Hoffer, Carr, Biondi) 2021
  2. 1:14.39, Florida (Dressel, Switkowski, Martinez-Scarpe, Szaranek) 2018
  3. 1:14.50, NC State (Held, Ress, Molacek, Stewart) 2018
  4. 1:14.59, Texas (Ringgold, Conger, Jackson, Schooling) 2017
 Event 2  Men 200 Yard Freestyle Relay
==================================================================================
         NCAA: N 1:14.08  3/28/2009 Auburn
                          J Andkjaer, G Louw, K Norys, M Targett
         Meet: M 1:14.08  3/28/2009 Auburn
                          J Andkjaer, G Louw, K Norys, M Targett
     American: A 1:14.50  3/22/2018 NC State
                          R Held, J, Ress, J Molacek, C Stewart
   U. S. Open: O 1:14.08  3/28/2009 Auburn
                          J Andkjaer, G Louw, K Norys, M Targett
         Pool: P 1:15.34  2/22/2018 NC State
                          R Held, J Ress, J Molacek, C Stewart
    School                                 Seed     Finals Points 
==================================================================================
  1 California                          1:15.80    1:14.36P  40  
     1) Seeliger, Bjorn FR            2) r:0.17 Hoffer, Ryan SR       
     3) r:0.20 Carr, Daniel SR        4) r:0.11 Biondi, Nate SR       
     r:+0.63  9.03        18.72 (18.72)
           27.29 (8.57)       36.78 (18.06)
           45.45 (8.67)       55.29 (18.51)
         1:04.27 (8.98)     1:14.36 (19.07)
  2 Florida                             1:15.21    1:14.48P  34  
     1) Chaney, Adam FR               2) r:0.17 Davis, Will JR        
     3) r:0.28 Smith, Kieran JR       4) r:0.22 Friese, Eric SO       
     r:+0.61  9.09        18.81 (18.81)
           27.48 (8.67)       37.40 (18.59)
           46.35 (8.95)       56.10 (18.70)
         1:04.64 (8.54)     1:14.48 (18.38)
  3 Alabama                             1:16.32    1:15.62   32  
     1) King, Matt FR                 2) r:0.19 Disette, Sam SR       
     3) r:0.18 Berneburg, Jonathan JR 4) r:0.18 Stogner, Colton JR    
     r:+0.65  9.21        18.99 (18.99)
           27.93 (8.94)       37.90 (18.91)
           46.82 (8.92)       56.69 (18.79)
         1:05.57 (8.88)     1:15.62 (18.93)
  4 Georgia                             1:16.20    1:15.70   30  
     1) Downing, Dillon SO            2) r:0.24 Acevedo, Javi SR      
     3) r:0.16 Magahey, Jake FR       4) r:0.33 Urlando, Luca FR      
     r:+0.65  9.28        18.97 (18.97)
           27.76 (8.79)       37.58 (18.61)
           46.55 (8.97)       56.56 (18.98)
         1:05.74 (9.18)     1:15.70 (19.14)
  5 TAMU                                1:16.37    1:15.79   28  
     1) Casas, Shaine JR              2) r:0.17 Olson, Tanner SR      
     3) r:0.14 Bratanov, Koko JR      4) r:0.15 Theall, Mark SR       
     r:+0.59  9.16        19.02 (19.02)
           27.99 (8.97)       38.06 (19.04)
           47.02 (8.96)       57.00 (18.94)
         1:05.90 (8.90)     1:15.79 (18.79)
  6 Texas                               1:15.76    1:15.82   26  
     1) Krueger, Daniel JR            2) r:0.19 Jiang, Alvin SR       
     3) r:0.29 Sannem, Jake SR        4) r:0.24 Staka, Chris SR       
     r:+0.71  9.18        19.04 (19.04)
           27.74 (8.70)       37.82 (18.78)
           46.82 (9.00)       57.03 (19.21)
         1:05.88 (8.85)     1:15.82 (18.79)
  7 Virginia                            1:16.64    1:16.01   24  
     1) Brownstead, Matt FR           2) r:0.03 Lamb, August SO       
     3) r:0.24 Cole, Will FR          4) r:0.10 Grender, Justin JR    
     r:+0.63  9.04        19.08 (19.08)
           27.73 (8.65)       37.69 (18.61)
           46.69 (9.00)       56.83 (19.14)
         1:05.74 (8.91)     1:16.01 (19.18)
  8 NC State                            1:16.33    1:16.24   22  
     1) Henderson, Noah SO            2) r:0.25 Tapp, Hunter SO       
     3) r:0.12 Izzo, Giovanni JR      4) r:0.08 Stokowski, Kacper SO  
     r:+0.62  9.08        19.28 (19.28)
           28.24 (8.96)       38.50 (19.22)
           47.07 (8.57)       57.29 (18.79)
         1:05.96 (8.67)     1:16.24 (18.95)
  9 Indiana                             1:16.24    1:16.60   18  
     1) Frankel, Tomer FR             2) r:0.21 Franzman, Jack JR     
     3) r:0.29 Mathias, Van JR        4) r:0.26 Hamblin, Brandon JR   
     r:+0.60  9.59        19.68 (19.68)
           28.52 (8.84)       38.47 (18.79)
           47.29 (8.82)       57.37 (18.90)
         1:06.27 (8.90)     1:16.60 (19.23)
 10 Purdue                              1:16.50    1:16.62   14  
     1) Sherman, Nick JR              2) r:0.18 Acin, Nikola JR       
     3) r:0.19 Hrosik, Ryan JR        4) r:0.18 Lawrence, Ryan SR     
     r:+0.66  9.52        19.60 (19.60)
           28.34 (8.74)       38.24 (18.64)
           47.23 (8.99)       57.57 (19.33)
         1:06.40 (8.83)     1:16.62 (19.05)
 11 Louisville                          1:15.99    1:16.64   12  
     1) Sameh, Haridi SO              2) r:0.29 Deliyiannis, Mialis SR
     3) r:0.27 Cummings, Tanner JR    4) r:0.27 Eastman, Michael JR   
     r:+0.63  9.27        19.34 (19.34)
           28.33 (8.99)       38.32 (18.98)
           47.32 (9.00)       57.48 (19.16)
         1:06.48 (9.00)     1:16.64 (19.16)
 12 VT                                  1:16.56    1:16.72   10  
     1) Ramadan, Youssef FR           2) r:0.09 Hallock, Thomas SR    
     3) r:0.23 Herbert, David SR      4) r:0.37 Manoff, Blake JR      
     r:+0.59  9.29        18.95 (18.95)
           27.68 (8.73)       37.82 (18.87)
           46.85 (9.03)       57.15 (19.33)
         1:06.45 (9.30)     1:16.72 (19.57)
 13 Penn St                             1:17.07    1:16.88    8  
     1) Castano, Gabe SR              2) r:0.22 Roberson, Will SR     
     3) r:0.22 Houck, Jake FR         4) r:0.10 Sutton, Zane SO       
     r:+0.63  9.33        19.78 (19.78)
           28.50 (8.72)       38.56 (18.78)
           47.36 (8.80)       57.52 (18.96)
         1:06.46 (8.94)     1:16.88 (19.36)
 14 Michigan                            1:16.60    1:16.89    6  
     1) Borges, Gus SR                2) r:0.25 Wright, River SO      
     3) r:0.13 LeBuke, James FR       4) r:0.01 Peel, Cam SO          
     r:+0.67  9.25        19.11 (19.11)
           28.20 (9.09)       38.35 (19.24)
           47.21 (8.86)       57.53 (19.18)
         1:06.37 (8.84)     1:16.89 (19.36)
 15 Florida St                          1:16.82    1:17.07    4  
     1) Varjasi, Peter SO             2) r:0.23 Ksiazek, Kuba JR      
     3) r:0.10 Herbet, Mason FR       4) r:0.19 McCusker, Max JR      
     r:+0.67  9.35        19.23 (19.23)
           28.33 (9.10)       38.50 (19.27)
           47.53 (9.03)       57.73 (19.23)
         1:06.84 (9.11)     1:17.07 (19.34)
 16 Arizona                             1:17.86    1:17.18    2  
     1) Ercegovic, Marin JR           2) r:0.15 Reid, Noah SR         
     3) r:0.15 Combs, Tai JR          4) r:0.02 Maric, Ogi SO         
     r:+0.73  9.43        19.38 (19.38)
           28.63 (9.25)       38.96 (19.58)
           48.04 (9.08)       58.01 (19.05)
         1:06.87 (8.86)     1:17.18 (19.17)
 17 Ohio St                             1:16.57    1:17.42  
     1) Armstrong, Hunter SO          2) r:0.23 Andreis, Sem JR       
     3) r:0.27 McDermott, Colin SR    4) r:0.14 Fleagle, Justin FR    
     r:+0.65  9.12        19.04 (19.04)
           27.87 (8.83)       37.99 (18.95)
           47.14 (9.15)       57.90 (19.91)
         1:06.93 (9.03)     1:17.42 (19.52)
 18 Missouri                            1:17.19    1:17.88  
     1) Hammer, Kevin SO              2) r:0.09 Leach, Kyle JR        
     3) r:0.16 Patton, Ben SO         4) r:0.13 Dahlgren, Jack JR     
     r:+0.62  9.52        20.26 (20.26)
           29.31 (9.05)       39.33 (19.07)
           48.40 (9.07)       58.58 (19.25)
         1:07.84 (9.26)     1:17.88 (19.30)
 19 Tennessee                           1:17.52    1:17.90  
     1) Chambers, Micah FR            2) r:0.12 Scanlon, Scott SO     
     3) r:0.08 Briggs, Nolan JR       4) r:0.17 Bailey, Seth JR       
     r:+0.60  9.53        20.00 (20.00)
           29.03 (9.03)       39.15 (19.15)
           48.24 (9.09)       58.33 (19.18)
         1:07.66 (9.33)     1:17.90 (19.57)
 20 GT                                  1:17.70    1:17.95  
     1) Ferraro, Christian SR         2) r:0.24 Barone, Kyle JR       
     3) r:0.07 Unlu, Baturalp FR      4) r:0.24 Daniel, Austin SR     
     r:+0.62  9.56        19.69 (19.69)
           28.76 (9.07)       39.00 (19.31)
           48.17 (9.17)       58.40 (19.40)
         1:07.71 (9.31)     1:17.95 (19.55)
 21 UNC                                 1:17.86    1:18.31  
     1) Messenger, Jack SR            2) r:0.27 Sungalia, Tomas JR    
     3) r:0.21 Poelke, Boyd FR        4) r:0.20 Coan, Eli SR          
     r:+0.67  9.52        19.70 (19.70)
           28.93 (9.23)       39.20 (19.50)
           48.40 (9.20)       58.87 (19.67)
         1:07.96 (9.09)     1:18.31 (19.44)
 -- USC                                 1:17.37         DQ  
      Early take-off swimmer #3
     1) Miljenic, Nikola SR           2) r:0.17 Sancov, Alexei JR     
     3) r:-0.04 Cruz Zuniga, Billy JR 4) r:0.17 Saunders, Max SO      
     r:+0.62  9.45        19.65 (19.65)
           28.59 (8.94)       38.99 (19.34)
           47.82 (8.83)       58.05 (19.06)
         1:07.07 (9.02)          DQ (19.31)
Men - Team Rankings - Through Event 2                       
 
  1. California                         74  
  2. Texas                              66
  3. Florida                            64  
  4. Texas A&M                          60
  5. Georgia                            56 
  6. NC State                           50
  7. Indiana                            36 
  8. Louisville                         34
  9. Alabama                            32 
  9. Virginia                           32
 11. Virginia Tech                      24 
 11. Stanford                           24
 13. Michigan                           18 
 14. Purdue                             14
 15. Arizona                            12 
 16. Penn St                             8
 17. Ohio St                             6 
 18. Missouri                            4
 18. Florida St                          4 
 20. Notre Dame                          2

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