Pac-12 Conference Men’s Champs, Day Four Prelims: Cal Scores Six Up in 200 Back

bryce-mefford-
Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Pac-12 Conference Men’s Champs, Day Four Prelims: Cal’s Reece Whitley Looks Sharp in 200 Breast

Day Four Prelims, Houston Texas

Cal’s coronation is underway with the fourth day of prelims at the Pac-12 Conference Men’s Championships. The Bears have won all but one event through the first three days of action and have put together performances that suggest they will tussle with Texas later this month for the NCAA title. Below is an event-by-event look at what unfolded on Wednesday morning.

Team Standings (Through Day Three)

  1. Univ of California, Berkeley      640   
  2. Stanford University               551
  3. University Of Arizona             466   
  4. Utah, University of               347
  5. Southern California, Universit    304

Ups, Downs

  1. California, 14, 3
  2. Stanford 10, 5
  3. Arizona 6, 10
  4. USC 2, 8
  5. Utah 0, 6

200 Backstroke

Cal put together a superb first event, as the Bears advanced six athletes into the final and had three swimmers dip under the 1:40 barrier in the 200 backstroke. Coming off a win in the 100 backstroke, freshman Destin Lasco led the way with a time of 1:39.03 and was followed by Hugo Gonzalez and his 1:39.73 effort. The other Cal swimmer to go sub-1:40 was Bryce Mefford in 1:39.85.

Daniel Carr (1:40.11) and Colby Mefford (1:40.87) were fourth and fifth and Sebastian Somerset was seventh in 1:41.38. Stanford grabbed the other two spots in the final as Johannes Calloni was sixth and Shane Blinkman was eighth.

 Event 17  Men 200 Yard Backstroke
==================================================================
         NCAA: N 1:35.73  3/26/2016 Ryan Murphy, CAL
       PAC-12: M 1:35.73  2016      Ryan Murphy, CAL
 PAC-12 Champ: P 1:37.87  2020      Daniel Carr, CAL
                 1:39.16  A Standard
                 1:45.04  B Standard
    Name           Year School               Seed    Prelims              
==================================================================
                      === Preliminaries ===                       
 
  1 Lasco, Destin    FR CAL               1:39.60    1:39.03 A      
             23.79        48.96 (25.17)
        1:14.30 (25.34)     1:39.03 (24.73)
  2 Gonzalez, Hugo   JR CAL               1:39.66    1:39.73 B      
             23.75        49.25 (25.50)
        1:15.07 (25.82)     1:39.73 (24.66)
  3 Mefford, Bryce   SR CAL               1:40.45    1:39.85 B      
             24.22        49.31 (25.09)
        1:14.34 (25.03)     1:39.85 (25.51)
  4 Carr, Daniel     SR CAL               1:40.28    1:40.11 B      
             23.24        48.47 (25.23)
        1:14.09 (25.62)     1:40.11 (26.02)
  5 Mefford, Colby   SO CAL               1:42.22    1:40.87 B      
             23.87        49.32 (25.45)
        1:14.98 (25.66)     1:40.87 (25.89)
  6 Calloni, Johann  JR STAN              1:41.82    1:41.34 B      
             24.40        50.04 (25.64)
        1:15.53 (25.49)     1:41.34 (25.81)
  7 Somerset, Sebas  SO CAL               1:46.76    1:41.38 B      
             24.02        49.33 (25.31)
        1:15.26 (25.93)     1:41.38 (26.12)
  8 Blinkman, Shane  FR STAN              1:43.12    1:41.76 B      
             24.55        50.52 (25.97)
        1:16.38 (25.86)     1:41.76 (25.38)

100 Freestyle

In search of his third individual title of the meet, Cal’s Ryan Hoffer earned the top seed in the 100 freestyle, thanks to a mark of 41.95. Already the winner of the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly, Hoffer was the only sub-42 performer. His freshman teammate, Bjorn Seeliger, who was the runnerup in the 50 free, qualified fifth in 43.02.

Arizona’s Marin Ercegovic claimed the second seed in 42.55 and Stanford’s Luke Maurer, who is enjoying an excellent freshman campaign, advanced in the third position in 42.71. Southern California’s Nikola Miljenic posted a time of 42.74 to take the fourth seed.

 Event 18  Men 100 Yard Freestyle
==================================================================
         NCAA: N 39.90  3/24/2018 Caeleb Dressel, Florida
       PAC-12: M 40.76  2013      Vladmir Morozov, USC
 PAC-12 Champ: P 41.38  2013      Vladmir Morozov, USC
                 41.71  A Standard
                 43.80  B Standard
    Name           Year School               Seed    Prelims              
==================================================================
                      === Preliminaries ===                       
 
  1 Hoffer, Ryan     SR CAL                 42.12      41.95 B      
              9.56        20.15 (10.59)
          30.99 (10.84)       41.95 (10.96)
  2 Ercegovic, Mari  JR ARIZ                43.98      42.55 B      
              9.70        20.34 (10.64)
          31.41 (11.07)       42.55 (11.14)
  3 Maurer, Luke     FR STAN                42.95      42.71 B      
              9.99        20.83 (10.84)
          31.87 (11.04)       42.71 (10.84)
  4 Miljenic, Nikol  SR USC                 43.05      42.74 B      
              9.64        20.39 (10.75)
          31.70 (11.31)       42.74 (11.04)
  5 Seeliger, Bjorn  FR CAL                 43.15      43.02 B      
              9.57        20.33 (10.76)
          31.66 (11.33)       43.02 (11.36)
  6 Reid, Noah       SR ARIZ                43.96      43.09 B      
              9.85        20.63 (10.78)
          31.74 (11.11)       43.09 (11.35)
  6 Affeld, Jonny    FR STAN                43.05      43.09 B      
              9.78        20.50 (10.72)
          31.65 (11.15)       43.09 (11.44)
  8 Gonzalez, Mason  SO STAN                43.76      43.12 B      
              9.89        20.77 (10.88)
          31.92 (11.15)       43.12 (11.20)

200 Breaststroke

Cal’s Reece Whitley has already visited the sub-1:50 realm in the 200 breaststroke, and it appears a return to that territory could take place in the final. Whitley managed the fastest time of prelims, thanks to a swim of 1:50.87, and will be joined by Cal teammates Forrest Frazier and Jacques Laeuffer in the final.

Stanford’s Daniel Roy touched the wall in 1:52.11 to pick up the second seed and Arizona’s David Schlicht is the third seed for the evening session.

 Event 19  Men 200 Yard Breaststroke
==================================================================
         NCAA: N 1:47.91  3/25/2017 Will Licon, Texas
       PAC-12: M 1:48.66  2014      Kevin Cordes, ARIZ
 PAC-12 Champ: P 1:49.80  2019      Andrew Seliskar, CAL
                 1:52.61  A Standard
                 1:58.43  B Standard
    Name           Year School               Seed    Prelims              
==================================================================
                      === Preliminaries ===                       
 
  1 Whitley, Reece   JR CAL               1:48.53    1:50.87 A      
             25.23        53.45 (28.22)
        1:21.90 (28.45)     1:50.87 (28.97)
  2 Roy, Daniel      SO STAN              1:51.64    1:52.11 A      
             26.11        54.18 (28.07)
        1:22.76 (28.58)     1:52.11 (29.35)
  3 Schlicht, David  SO ARIZ              1:56.28    1:54.25 B      
             26.03        54.99 (28.96)
        1:24.35 (29.36)     1:54.25 (29.90)
  4 Frazier, Forres  FR CAL               1:59.73    1:54.63 B      
             25.59        54.56 (28.97)
        1:23.87 (29.31)     1:54.63 (30.76)
  5 Laeuffer, Jacqu  SO CAL               1:56.22    1:54.95 B      
             26.13        54.82 (28.69)
        1:24.36 (29.54)     1:54.95 (30.59)
  6 Cook, Jonathan   SO STAN              1:56.26    1:55.07 B      
             26.53        55.53 (29.00)
        1:25.09 (29.56)     1:55.07 (29.98)
  7 Iida, Sam        SR ARIZ              1:56.74    1:55.09 B      
             25.73        54.52 (28.79)
        1:24.04 (29.52)     1:55.09 (31.05)
  8 Dang, Ethan      FR STAN              1:55.57    1:56.77 B      
             26.15        55.15 (29.00)
        1:25.18 (30.03)     1:56.77 (31.59)

200 Butterfly

Cal’s Trenton Julian had no trouble qualifying fastest for the final of the 200 butterfly, as his prelim swim of 1:41.16 was comfortably ahead of the 1:41.94 of Southern Cal’s Alexei Sancov. On Tuesday night, Sancov and Julian battled for the Pac-12 title in the 200 freestyle, with Sancov claiming a narrow victory. They are now poised to duel again.

Arizona’s Brooks Fail is the third seed after a 1:42.40 in prelims while Cal freshman Dare Rose is fourth following an outing of 1:43.26. Stanford’s Alex Liang and Preston Forst sit fifth and sixth.

 Event 20  Men 200 Yard Butterfly
==================================================================
         NCAA: N 1:37.35  3/25/2017 Jack Conger, Texas
       PAC-12: M 1:38.83  2017      Zheng Quah, CAL
 PAC-12 Champ: P 1:39.15  2020      Zheng Quah, CAL
                 1:40.76  A Standard
                 1:46.69  B Standard
    Name           Year School               Seed    Prelims              
==================================================================
                      === Preliminaries ===                       
 
  1 Julian, Trenton  SR CAL               1:39.93    1:41.16 B      
             23.09        48.38 (25.29)
        1:14.11 (25.73)     1:41.16 (27.05)
  2 Sancov, Alexei   JR USC               1:44.68    1:41.94 B      
             22.91        48.93 (26.02)
        1:14.79 (25.86)     1:41.94 (27.15)
  3 Fail, Brooks     SR ARIZ              1:43.35    1:42.40 B      
             23.36        49.45 (26.09)
        1:15.73 (26.28)     1:42.40 (26.67)
  4 Rose, Dare       FR CAL               1:43.34    1:43.26 B      
             23.31        49.59 (26.28)
        1:15.98 (26.39)     1:43.26 (27.28)
  5 Liang, Alex      JR STAN              1:42.65    1:43.28 B      
             23.29        49.30 (26.01)
        1:16.11 (26.81)     1:43.28 (27.17)
  6 Forst, Preston   FR STAN              1:42.83    1:43.37 B      
             23.59        49.54 (25.95)
        1:15.81 (26.27)     1:43.37 (27.56)
  7 Taner, Brooks    SO ARIZ              1:46.52    1:43.55 B      
             22.81        49.02 (26.21)
        1:15.99 (26.97)     1:43.55 (27.56)
  8 Hatch, Jarod     SR CAL               1:46.46    1:43.66 B      
             23.69        50.30 (26.61)
        1:16.82 (26.52)     1:43.66 (26.84)

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