Pac-12 Men’s Championships, Day One Finals: Cal Sweeps Relays to Open Title Defense

reece-whitley Cal
Photo Courtesy: Connor Trimble

Pac-12 Men’s Championships, Day One Finals: Cal Sweeps Relays to Open Title Defense

Day One Finals, Houston Texas

The bigger focus comes next month at the NCAA Championships, but California will spend the next four days at the Pac-12 Conference Championships getting into postseason mode. The Bears are heavily favored to capture a fourth consecutive Pac-12 title before an anticipated tussle with Texas in Greensboro, North Carolina for the national crown.

With the complete diving results included, the team standings hardly mimic what will be seen as the meet progresses. To understand that fact, all one has to do is look at Cal sitting fifth of five teams, despite winning both relays on Sunday evening. Here is a look at how the first two events – both relays – unfolded on the first night of the Pac-12 Champs.

Team Standings

  1. Utah                   189   
  2. Stanford               173
  3. Arizona                152   
  4. Southern California    124
  5. California, Berkeley   102

800 Freestyle Relay

Cal didn’t waste any time collecting its first victory of the meet as Trenton Julian delivered a 1:31.52 split on the third leg to propel the Bears to a winning mark of 6:11.98. This relay was once a weaker point for Cal, but coach Dave Durden’s team has changed that situation and this year’s squad has the firepower to make some real noise at the NCAA Champs.

Destin Lasco, one of a number of big-time newcomers to the collegiate scene, got Cal off to an excellent start as he split 1:33.28 on the front of the relay, leading to Daniel Carr going 1:34.22. After Julian turned in his superb performance, Zach Yeadon closed out the relay in 1:32.96.

That team is now ranked third nationally behind Texas and Texas A&M with 24 days until NCAAs in Greensboro.

Stanford was impressive in securing second place, as the foursome of Luke Maurer, Preston Forst, Mason Gonzalez and Grant Shoults combined for a time of 6:12.83. Forst had the best split, a 1:31.68, while freshman Maurer matched Lasco on the opening leg with a 1:33.28. Third place went to Arizona in 6:16.30.

Southern Cal’s Alexei Sancov had the quickest leadoff leg, with the junior going 1:32.69 for the fourth-place Trojans.

 Event 4  Men 800 Yard Freestyle Relay
==================================================================================
         NCAA: N 6:05.08  3/27/2019 Texas
                          D. Kibler, A. Katz, J. Newkiek, T. Haas
       PAC-12: M 6:07.31  2019      California
                          Seliskar, Mefford, Julian, Thomas
 PAC-12 Champ: P 6:10.94  2019      California
                          Quah,  Seliskar, Julian,  Thomas
                 6:17.18  A Standard
                 6:21.85  B Standard
    School                           Seed     Finals       Points 
==================================================================================
  1 CAL  'A'                      6:11.47    6:11.98 A       40  
     1) Lasco, Destin FR              2) r:0.24 Carr, Daniel SR       
     3) r:0.36 Julian, Trenton SR     4) r:0.34 Yeadon, Zach SR       
             21.99        45.50 (45.50)
      1:09.42 (1:09.42)   1:33.28 (1:33.28)
        1:54.37 (21.09)     2:18.14 (44.86)
      2:42.56 (1:09.28)   3:07.50 (1:34.22)
        3:28.30 (20.80)     3:51.82 (44.32)
      4:15.44 (1:07.94)   4:39.02 (1:31.52)
        5:00.25 (21.23)     5:23.81 (44.79)
      5:47.88 (1:08.86)   6:11.98 (1:32.96)
  2 STAN  'A'                     6:15.79    6:12.83 A       34  
     1) Maurer, Luke FR               2) r:0.23 Forst, Preston FR     
     3) r:0.36 Gonzalez, Mason SO     4) r:0.38 Shoults, Grant SR     
             21.37        45.04 (45.04)
      1:09.25 (1:09.25)   1:33.28 (1:33.28)
        1:54.77 (21.49)     2:18.15 (44.87)
      2:41.56 (1:08.28)   3:04.96 (1:31.68)
        3:26.40 (21.44)     3:50.28 (45.32)
      4:14.70 (1:09.74)   4:39.08 (1:34.12)
        5:01.01 (21.93)     5:25.09 (46.01)
      5:48.99 (1:09.91)   6:12.83 (1:33.75)
  3 ARIZ  'A'                     6:14.80    6:16.30 A       32  
     1) Namir, Daniel JR              2) r:0.14 Fail, Brooks SR       
     3) r:0.20 Ingram, Hunter SO      4) r:0.19 Stump, Isaac SR       
             21.73        45.27 (45.27)
      1:09.15 (1:09.15)   1:33.40 (1:33.40)
        1:54.78 (21.38)     2:18.42 (45.02)
      2:42.47 (1:09.07)   3:07.06 (1:33.66)
        3:28.30 (21.24)     3:51.58 (44.52)
      4:15.80 (1:08.74)   4:40.88 (1:33.82)
        5:02.41 (21.53)     5:26.58 (45.70)
      5:51.30 (1:10.42)   6:16.30 (1:35.42)
  4 USC  'A'                      6:21.40    6:17.04 A       30  
     1) Sancov, Alexei JR             2) r:0.21 Margarino, Dominic SO 
     3) r:0.43 Saunders, Max SO       4) r:0.25 Homans, Harry SO      
             21.28        44.57 (44.57)
      1:08.45 (1:08.45)   1:32.69 (1:32.69)
        1:53.99 (21.30)     2:18.13 (45.44)
      2:42.74 (1:10.05)   3:07.40 (1:34.71)
        3:29.12 (21.72)     3:53.24 (45.84)
      4:17.61 (1:10.21)   4:42.07 (1:34.67)
        5:04.04 (21.97)     5:28.30 (46.23)
      5:52.66 (1:10.59)   6:17.04 (1:34.97)
  5 UTAH  'A'                     6:26.49    6:32.71         28  
     1) Giandinoto, Cole JR           2) r:+0.43 Kovacic, Marko FR    
     3) Becker, Dylan FR              4) r:0.40 Carlson, Noah SO      
             22.50        47.01 (47.01)
      1:11.65 (1:11.65)   1:37.01 (1:37.01)
        1:59.61 (22.60)     2:24.43 (47.42)
      2:49.87 (1:12.86)   3:15.69 (1:38.68)
        3:38.78 (23.09)     4:03.81 (48.12)
      4:29.78 (1:14.09)   4:55.68 (1:39.99)
        5:17.74 (22.06)     5:42.01 (46.33)
      6:07.16 (1:11.48)   6:32.71 (1:37.03)

400 Medley Relay

The Cal Bears made it a sweep of the opening-night relay events when they won the 400 medley relay in 3:02.60, good for a two-plus second triumph over Arizona (3:05.35). After Bryce Mefford turned in a backstroke leg of 45.51, Reece Whitley came through with a breaststroke split of 50.83. That set the stage for Ryan Hoffer to go 45.05 on butterfly, and for Bjorn Seeliger to close the relay with a freestyle split of 41.21.

The Golden Bears now rank second nationally behind Texas.

Each of Cal’s splits was the fastest of the event, but Arizona’s runner-up showing should not go overlooked. The Wildcats benefited from the efforts of Ogi Maric (45.90), Ryan Foote (52.04), Noah Reid (45.11) and Marin Ercegovic (42.30).

 Event 5  Men 400 Yard Medley Relay
==================================================================================
         NCAA: N 2:59.22  3/23/2017 Texas
                          J. Shebat, W. Licon, J. Schooling, J. Conger
       PAC-12: M 3:01.28  2016      California
                          Murphy, Prenot, Lynch, Gutierrez
 PAC-12 Champ: P 3:03.30  2009      California
                          Russell, Dugonjic, Moore, Adrian
                 3:05.95  A Standard
                 3:07.74  B Standard
    School                           Seed     Finals       Points 
==================================================================================
  1 CAL  'A'                      3:05.38    3:02.60PA       40  
     1) Mefford, Bryce SR             2) r:0.34 Whitley, Reece JR     
     3) r:0.17 Hoffer, Ryan SR        4) r:0.27 Seeliger, Bjorn FR    
             21.85        45.51 (45.51)
        1:09.26 (23.75)     1:36.34 (50.83)
        1:56.58 (20.24)     2:21.39 (45.05)
        2:40.62 (19.23)     3:02.60 (41.21)
  2 ARIZ  'A'                     3:08.04    3:05.35 A       34  
     1) Maric, Ogi SO                 2) r:0.25 Foote, Ryan SO        
     3) r:0.09 Reid, Noah SR          4) r:0.32 Ercegovic, Marin JR   
             22.05        45.90 (45.90)
        1:09.76 (23.86)     1:37.94 (52.04)
        1:58.72 (20.78)     2:23.05 (45.11)
        2:42.81 (19.76)     3:05.35 (42.30)
  3 STAN  'A'                     3:06.81    3:06.14 B       32  
     1) MacAlister, Leon FR           2) r:0.19 Roy, Daniel SO        
     3) r:0.35 Hu, Ethan FR           4) r:0.26 Affeld, Jonny FR      
             22.45        47.41 (47.41)
        1:11.53 (24.12)     1:38.95 (51.54)
        1:59.82 (20.87)     2:24.06 (45.11)
        2:43.93 (19.87)     3:06.14 (42.08)
  4 USC  'A'                      3:09.56    3:07.34 B       30  
     1) Kirby, Jack SO                2) r:0.13 Koenigsperger, ario SR
     3) r:0.41 Sancov, Alexei JR      4) r:0.10 Miljenic, Nikola SR   
             22.82        47.64 (47.64)
        1:11.76 (24.12)     1:39.92 (52.28)
        2:00.92 (21.00)     2:25.42 (45.50)
        2:44.89 (19.47)     3:07.34 (41.92)
  5 UTAH  'A'                     3:07.49    3:07.65 B       28  
     1) Ungur, Andrei JR              2) r:0.04 Britton, Andrew JR    
     3) r:0.33 Waterman, Ben JR       4) r:0.22 Deryk, Cooper JR      
             22.23        46.91 (46.91)
        1:10.17 (23.26)     1:38.89 (51.98)
        2:00.32 (21.43)     2:25.30 (46.41)
        2:44.90 (19.60)     3:07.65 (42.35)
 -- ARIZ  'B'                     3:11.60   x3:10.36        
     1) Anderson, Jack SR             2) r:0.21 Iida, Sam SR          
     3) r:0.56 Taner, Brooks SO       4) r:0.15 Combs, Tai JR         
             22.96        47.93 (47.93)
        1:03.16 (15.23)     1:39.67 (51.74)
        2:01.14 (21.47)     2:26.56 (46.89)
        2:46.92 (20.36)     3:10.36 (43.80)
 -- UTAH  'B'                          NT   x3:12.54        
     1) Garstang, Ryan FR             2) r:0.39 Horner, Jaek SO       
     3) r:0.29 Contreras, Santi SR    4) r:0.02 O'Haimhirgin, Finn SO 
             23.13        48.83 (48.83)
        1:13.76 (24.93)     1:42.51 (53.68)
        2:04.22 (21.71)     2:29.90 (47.39)
        2:49.76 (19.86)     3:12.54 (42.64)
 -- ARIZ  'C'                     3:14.14   x3:12.85        
     1) Schlicht, David SO            2) r:0.26 Wells, Ty JR          
     3) r:0.26 Coen, Ty JR            4) r:0.36 Johnston, Aldan JR    
             23.56        48.30 (48.30)
        1:12.91 (24.61)     1:41.32 (53.02)
        2:02.90 (21.58)     2:28.91 (47.59)
        2:49.76 (20.85)     3:12.85 (43.94)