Cal Swimming Sweeps Arizona State as Bryce Mefford Returns; Isabel Ivey Shines

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The second-ranked Cal men’s swimming & diving team used another strong day to take down No. 6 Arizona State, 176-117, in a Pac-12 dual meet victory on senior day Saturday at Spieker Aquatics Complex.

Prior to the meet, Cal recognized nine senior student-athletes who competed at Spieker Aquatics Complex for the final time in their collegiate careers. The group included fifth-year seniors, Daniel Carr, Sean Grieshop, Trenton Julian, Bryce Mefford, seniors Hugo González, Kyle Millis, Chris Jhong and Reece Whitley and graduate student Will Roberts.

It was the 18th-straight dual meet win for Cal, dating back to Oct. 3, 2018. The Bears won 11 of 15 events against the Sun Devils and ASU was awarded an automatic 30 points for Cal not competing in the diving competition.

One of the best races of the day took place in the final event. Cal and ASU were neck-and-neck through the first three legs of the 200-yard freestyle relay with Björn Seeliger, Carr and Jack Alexy giving the Bears a slight advantage. Destin Lasco was the anchor and held off ASU down the stretch after the final turn for a win in 1:18.34.

Gabriel Jett continued his dominant weekend after he picked up three wins on Friday against Arizona. Jett opened in the 200 free and trailed before the final turn, but he swam past ASU’s Grant House in the final 25 yards to take the victory in 1:34.13. He closed the weekend with a dominant win in the 500 free, coasting to the wall in 4:19.51.

Wrapping up the freestyle races, Cal took a sweep in the 1,000 behind Grieshop (9:06.64), Roberts (9:06.92) and Jack Meehan (9:07.16). Seeliger coasted to a time of 19.43 and a win in the 50.

Tokyo Olympian Bryce Mefford made his season debut for the Bears and didn’t disappoint as he swam an NCAA B cut time of 1:44.04 in his first action in the 200 backstroke. In the 100 back, Cal swept the podium with Carr touching the wall in 46.42 and Mefford (47.44) and González (47.64) close behind. Julian won the 100 butterfly in 47.27 and the 200 fly in 1:42.72. Whitley took the title in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 52.87.

WOMEN’S MEET

Cal senior Isabel Ivey and freshman Leah Polonsky won two events apiece to lead seventh-ranked Golden Bears to a 162-93 dual-meet victory over Arizona State Saturday afternoon at Spieker Aquatics Complex. The Golden Bears claimed wins in 13 of 14 events and took at least the top two places in 10 different races.

Ivey earned her victories in the 200 free (1:46.30) and 100 fly (53.74) to make her 5-for-5 in individual races over the weekend. On Friday, she claimed first place in the 100 back, 50 free and 200 individual medley in Cal’s win against Arizona.

More college newsCal’s Polonsky captured the 100 breast in 1:02.10, then came back for a nearly six-second win the 400 IM with a time of 4:14.53.

In perhaps the most exciting finish of the day, Ema Rajic overcame a more than full-second deficit on her final lap to edge ASU’s Emma Gehlert by 0.12 seconds, reaching the wall in 2:16.53 in the 200 breaststroke. Rachel Klinker also won a close finish in the 200 fly and took first in 1:58.95. Cal’s Lizzy Cook came up for second in 1:59.03, which was just ahead of the time of 1:59.12 by Jade Foelske of ASU.

Other Cal Bears to earn first-place honors were Isabelle Stadden in the 100 back (53.16), Elise Garcia in the 50 free (22.88), Ella Mazurek in the 100 free (50.27), Alicia Wilson in the 200 back (1:59.66) and Ayla Spitz in the 500 free (4:50.93). In addition, Cal swept both relays – the 200 medley relay and the 200 free relay.

Arizona freshman Léon Marchand racked up a couple of victories for a second consecutive day, winning the 200 breast (1:54.35) and 400 IM (3:43.10). Marchand, who already has the program record for the 400 IM, captured the third-best time in his win on Saturday. He’s now won multiple events in each of the Sun Devils’ four meets this season.

Carter Swift added a win in the men’s 100 free, touching the wall at 43.32. Erica Laning delivered the lone win for the women’s squad in the 1000 free at 9:57.63, the first time the Knoxville native has won that event in her Sun Devil career.