Pac-12 Conference Men’s Champs, Day Three Prelims: Reece Whitley Cruises to Top Seed in 100 Breast

men's swimming
Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Pac-12 Conference Men’s Champs, Day Three Prelims: Reece Whitley Cruises to Top Seed in 100 Breaststroke

Day Three Prelims, Houston Texas

Trailing in the team standings during the first two days due to its weakness in diving, which has been completed, Cal should take over first place during the night session. The Bears have won all six events contested during the first two days of action and have a loaded lineup ready to go for the third day of prelims. Here is an event-by-event look at what transpired during the third day of qualifying.

Team Standings

  1. Stanford University               339   
  2. Univ of California, Berkeley      334
  3. University Of Arizona             271   
  4. Utah, University of               235
  5. Southern California, Universit    190

Ups, Downs

  • California 15, 7
  • Stanford 10, 9
  • Arizona 8, 9
  • Southern Cal 4, 8
  • Utah 3, 7

400 Individual Medley

Cal started to bring the pressure in the first event of the session as Hugo Gonzalez, the winner of the 200 medley the previous night, recorded an automatic NCAA qualifying time of 3:38.87. Ensuring a significant haul of points for the Bears was the fact that Sean Grieshop (3:43.77) and Chris Jhong (3:44.88) were third and fourth. Additionally, Tyler Kopp was seventh.

The second seed for the final went to Arizona’s David Schlicht in 3:43.64, which means Gonzalez is on top by five seconds going into the night. Stanford’s Alex Liang and Rick Mihm advanced in fifth and sixth.

 Event 10  Men 400 Yard IM
==================================================================
         NCAA: N 3:33.42  3/24/2017 Chase Kalisz, Georgia
       PAC-12: M 3:35.29  2018      Abrahm DeVine
 PAC-12 Champ: P 3:36.60  2020      Hugo Gonzalez, CAL
                 3:39.16  A Standard
                 3:51.46  B Standard
    Name           Year School               Seed    Prelims              
==================================================================
                      === Preliminaries ===                       
 
  1 Gonzalez, Hugo   JR CAL               3:36.60    3:38.87 A      
             23.54        50.04 (26.50)
        1:17.98 (27.94)     1:45.38 (27.40)
        2:15.48 (30.10)     2:46.15 (30.67)
        3:13.02 (26.87)     3:38.87 (25.85)
  2 Schlicht, David  SO ARIZ              3:40.93    3:43.64 B      
             23.37        50.09 (26.72)
        1:18.53 (28.44)     1:46.91 (28.38)
        2:18.45 (31.54)     2:50.41 (31.96)
        3:17.66 (27.25)     3:43.64 (25.98)
  3 Grieshop, Sean   SR CAL               3:42.69    3:43.77 B      
             23.69        50.46 (26.77)
        1:19.21 (28.75)     1:47.05 (27.84)
        2:18.89 (31.84)     2:51.17 (32.28)
        3:18.05 (26.88)     3:43.77 (25.72)
  4 Jhong, Chris     JR CAL               3:47.86    3:44.88 B      
             24.27        51.41 (27.14)
        1:19.78 (28.37)     1:48.03 (28.25)
        2:19.95 (31.92)     2:52.03 (32.08)
        3:18.20 (26.17)     3:44.88 (26.68)
  5 Liang, Alex      JR STAN              3:46.80    3:46.56 B      
             24.12        51.06 (26.94)
        1:19.79 (28.73)     1:47.81 (28.02)
        2:20.51 (32.70)     2:52.98 (32.47)
        3:20.25 (27.27)     3:46.56 (26.31)
  6 Mihm, Rick       FR STAN                   NT    3:46.82 B      
             24.35        51.51 (27.16)
        1:20.37 (28.86)     1:48.31 (27.94)
        2:20.20 (31.89)     2:52.78 (32.58)
        3:20.44 (27.66)     3:46.82 (26.38)
  7 Kopp, Tyler      FR CAL               3:49.26    3:47.25 B      
             24.20        51.19 (26.99)
        1:20.24 (29.05)     1:47.80 (27.56)
        2:21.24 (33.44)     2:54.26 (33.02)
        3:21.64 (27.38)     3:47.25 (25.61)
  8 Hand, Jake       FR ARIZ              3:53.23    3:48.37 B      
             24.68        52.65 (27.97)
        1:22.80 (30.15)     1:52.69 (29.89)
        2:23.76 (31.07)     2:54.53 (30.77)
        3:21.55 (27.02)     3:48.37 (26.82)

100 Butterfly

With USC sitting fifth in the Pac-12 team standings, Nikola Miljenic gave his program something to get excited about as he led the way in the 100 butterfly with a time of 45.59. That effort was slightly quicker than the 45.69 of Cal’s Ryan Hoffer, the favorite for the title and the winner of the 50 freestyle on Monday night.

Stanford watched Ethan Hu touch the wall in 45.75 for third, with Arizona’s Noah Reid also dipping under the 46-second mark with a swim of 45.90. Stanford’s Jonny Affeld was 46.21 for fifth.

 Event 11  Men 100 Yard Butterfly
==================================================================
         NCAA: N 42.80  3/23/2018 Caeleb Dressel, Florida
       PAC-12: M 44.18  2009      Austin Staab, STAN
 PAC-12 Champ: P 44.66  2011      Austin Staab, STAN
                 45.05  A Standard
                 47.43  B Standard
    Name           Year School               Seed    Prelims              
==================================================================
                      === Preliminaries ===                       
 
  1 Miljenic, Nikol  SR USC                 46.66      45.59 B      
              9.51        21.30 (11.79)
          33.28 (11.98)       45.59 (12.31)
  2 Hoffer, Ryan     SR CAL                 46.43      45.69 B      
              9.54        21.26 (11.72)
          33.15 (11.89)       45.69 (12.54)
  3 Hu, Ethan        FR STAN                45.47      45.75 B      
             10.08        21.42 (11.34)
          33.50 (12.08)       45.75 (12.25)
  4 Reid, Noah       SR ARIZ                46.40      45.90 B      
              9.82        21.43 (11.61)
          33.43 (12.00)       45.90 (12.47)
  5 Affeld, Jonny    FR STAN                46.62      46.21 B      
              9.84        21.48 (11.64)
          33.55 (12.07)       46.21 (12.66)
  6 Hatch, Jarod     SR CAL                 47.67      46.58 B      
             10.04        21.78 (11.74)
          34.02 (12.24)       46.58 (12.56)
  7 Waterman, Ben    JR UTAH                47.06      46.60 B      
              9.78        21.61 (11.83)
          33.91 (12.30)       46.60 (12.69)
  8 Taner, Brooks    SO ARIZ                48.03      47.20 B      
             10.08        21.86 (11.78)
          34.32 (12.46)       47.20 (12.88)

200 Freestyle

For the second time in three days, Southern Cal’s Alexei Sancov produced a strong performance in the 200 freestyle, this time his 1:32.97 effort landing the junior the top seed for the evening’s individual final in the event. On the opening night of the meet, Sancov posted a personal best of 1:32.69 while leading off the Trojans’ 800 freestyle relay. Sancov will be pressed in the final by Cal’s Trenton Julian, the conference champ in the 500 free who went 1:32.98 in the prelims. Julian split 1:31-mid in the 800 freestyle relay.

Stanford’s Preston Forst, a freshman, was 1:33.23 for the No. 3 slot in the final and Cal’s Destin Lasco followed in 1:34.01. Lasco led off Cal’s victorious 800 free relay on Night One. The field for the final of the 200 free figures to be one of the strongest of the meet.

 Event 12  Men 200 Yard Freestyle
==================================================================
         NCAA: N 1:29.15  3/27/2019 Dean Farris, Harvard
       PAC-12: M 1:30.14  2019      Andrew Seliskar, CAL
 PAC-12 Champ: P 1:31.07  2019      Andrew Seliskar, CAL
                 1:32.05  A Standard
                 1:36.32  B Standard
    Name           Year School               Seed    Prelims              
==================================================================
                      === Preliminaries ===                       
 
  1 Sancov, Alexei   JR USC               1:33.79    1:32.97 B      
             21.65        45.28 (23.63)
        1:08.87 (23.59)     1:32.97 (24.10)
  2 Julian, Trenton  SR CAL               1:33.53    1:32.98 B      
             22.24        45.84 (23.60)
        1:09.53 (23.69)     1:32.98 (23.45)
  3 Forst, Preston   FR STAN              1:35.02    1:33.23 B      
             22.32        45.77 (23.45)
        1:09.46 (23.69)     1:33.23 (23.77)
  4 Lasco, Destin    FR CAL               1:33.99    1:34.01 B      
             21.68        45.45 (23.77)
        1:09.34 (23.89)     1:34.01 (24.67)
  5 Namir, Daniel    JR ARIZ              1:36.04    1:34.18 B      
             22.01        45.79 (23.78)
        1:09.90 (24.11)     1:34.18 (24.28)
  6 Shoults, Grant   SR STAN              1:34.84    1:34.26 B      
             22.08        45.71 (23.63)
        1:09.74 (24.03)     1:34.26 (24.52)
  7 Maurer, Luke     FR STAN              1:33.99    1:34.28 B      
             22.15        46.36 (24.21)
        1:10.24 (23.88)     1:34.28 (24.04)
  8 Yeadon, Zach     SR CAL               1:34.39    1:34.46 B      
             21.89        45.58 (23.69)
        1:09.99 (24.41)     1:34.46 (24.47)

100 Breaststroke

The heavy favorite to claim the gold medal, Cal’s Reece Whitley took care of business in the 100 breaststroke with the only sub-52 showing of the prelims. Whitley covered the distance in 51.87, and there should be plenty left from the junior based on the 50-point split he managed in the 400 medley relay.

Stanford’s Daniel Roy came through as the second seed, off a time of 52.39, and Cal’s Forrest Frazier went 52.46 for the only other sub-53 performance.

 Event 13  Men 100 Yard Breaststroke
==================================================================
         NCAA: N 49.69  3/23/2018 Ian Finnerty, Indiana
       PAC-12: M 50.04  2014      Kevin Cordes, ARIZ
 PAC-12 Champ: P 50.78  2019      Carsten Vissering, USC
                 51.67  A Standard
                 54.27  B Standard
    Name           Year School               Seed    Prelims              
==================================================================
                      === Preliminaries ===                       
 
  1 Whitley, Reece   JR CAL                 51.54      51.87 B      
             11.04        24.51 (13.47)
          38.10 (13.59)       51.87 (13.77)
  2 Roy, Daniel      SO STAN                52.75      52.39 B      
             11.55        24.85 (13.30)
          38.54 (13.69)       52.39 (13.85)
  3 Frazier, Forres  FR CAL                 53.57      52.46 B      
             11.25        24.72 (13.47)
          38.46 (13.74)       52.46 (14.00)
  4 Iida, Sam        SR ARIZ                54.80      53.02 B      
             11.34        25.09 (13.75)
          38.85 (13.76)       53.02 (14.17)
  5 Britton, Andrew  JR UTAH                55.07      53.29 B      
             11.14        24.34 (13.20)
          38.43 (14.09)       53.29 (14.86)
  6 Koenigsperger,   SR USC                 54.44      53.33 B      
             11.31        24.76 (13.45)
          38.87 (14.11)       53.33 (14.46)
  7 Wells, Ty        JR ARIZ                55.88      53.72 B      
             11.34        25.18 (13.84)
          39.21 (14.03)       53.72 (14.51)
  7 Cook, Jonathan   SO STAN                53.84      53.72 B      
             11.42        25.27 (13.85)
          39.25 (13.98)       53.72 (14.47)

100 Backstroke

Cal rolled to the top-three slots in the 100 backstroke, with Daniel Carr leading the way with a time of 45.48. Destin Lasco, who earlier qualified for the final of the 200 freestyle, qualified second in 45.74 and Bryce Mefford went 46.37 for the third position. If the Bears can maintain their seeds in the final, they would earn 53 points from the trio.

Utah’s Andrei Ungur was fourth in 46.37 and Stanford’s Shane Blinkman advanced as the fifth seed in 46.64.

 Event 14  Men 100 Yard Backstroke
==================================================================
         NCAA: N 43.49  3/25/2016 Ryan Murphy, CAL
       PAC-12: M 43.49  2016      Ryan Murphy, CAL
 PAC-12 Champ: P 44.14  2020      Zachary Poti, ASU
                 44.95  A Standard
                 47.77  B Standard
    Name           Year School               Seed    Prelims              
==================================================================
                      === Preliminaries ===                       
 
  1 Carr, Daniel     SR CAL                 45.61      45.48 B      
             10.69        22.03 (11.34)
          33.85 (11.82)       45.48 (11.63)
  2 Lasco, Destin    FR CAL                 45.21      45.74 B      
             11.07        22.69 (11.62)
          34.36 (11.67)       45.74 (11.38)
  3 Mefford, Bryce   SR CAL                 45.63      46.32 B      
             10.93        22.34 (11.41)
          34.28 (11.94)       46.32 (12.04)
  4 Ungur, Andrei    JR UTAH                48.01      46.37 B      
             10.97        22.77 (11.80)
          34.54 (11.77)       46.37 (11.83)
  5 Blinkman, Shane  FR STAN                47.71      46.64 B      
             10.83        22.32 (11.49)
          34.35 (12.03)       46.64 (12.29)
  6 Maric, Ogi       SO ARIZ                46.71      46.71 B      
             10.86        22.46 (11.60)
          34.49 (12.03)       46.71 (12.22)
  7 Kirby, Jack      SO USC                 47.68      47.16 B      
             11.15        22.99 (11.84)
          35.08 (12.09)       47.16 (12.08)
  8 Somerset, Sebas  SO CAL                 47.68      47.31 B      
             10.95        22.51 (11.56)
          34.92 (12.41)       47.31 (12.39)