Pac-12 Saturday Recap: Cal Sweeps Arizona on Senior Day; Stanford Sweeps Arizona State

Cal's Noemie Thomas. Photo Courtesy: Dan D'Addona

In the final home meet for four Golden Bear seniors, Cal came through with a near perfect afternoon, winning all 16 events en route to a 195-96 victory over Arizona Saturday at Spieker Aquatics Center.

Senior Noemie Thomas was one of nine Bears to take first place in at least one individual event, prevailing in the 100-yard butterfly in 52.28, a nearly third-of-a-second improvement from Friday’s meet vs. Arizona State. She currently ranks third nationally in the 100 fly. Thomas also played a role by swimming the butterfly leg in the Bears’ opening victory in the 200 medley relay.

Junior Amy Bilquist claimed the 100 and 200 backstroke, sophomore Abbey Weitzeil won the 50 and 100 free, freshman Ali Harrison prevailed in the 100 and 200 breaststroke, freshman Briana Thai took first on the 1-meter and 3-meter springboards, and junior Katie McLaughlin won the 200 fly and 500 free.

Cal closed out the day by winning the 200 free relay in 1:30.94, while taking fifth in the race was an all-senior squad composed of Jasmine Mau, Thomas, Valerie Hull and Maija Roses.

The Cal men raced to a 165-123 victory over Arizona. Top 25 poll.

Before jumping in to race, Cal honored a group that has been strong both in the water and in the classroom as Kyle Coan, Connor Hoppe, Matthew Josa, Ryan Kao, Justin Lynch, Nick Silverthorn, Zach Stevens and Matt Whittle were recognized for their contributions to the program.

Sean Grieshop provided a look to the future in the 1,000 free as the freshman stopped the clock in a season-best 9:05.64 to add another win to Cal’s total. Not long after that result, a battle between Golden Bears broke out in the 200 free as junior Mike Thomas staved off challenges from Kao and Coan to win the 200 free in 1:36.39.

Freshman Bryce Mefford kept the momentum going, just beating teammate Andrew Seliskar to the wall to win the 100 backstroke in 48.74. Seniors again took center stage in the 100 breast as this time Hoppe touched in 54.51 to pick up a win and Whittle took second in 56.15.

Zheng Wen Quah earned Cal’s top result in the 200 butterfly with a second-place finish and Cal swimmers went 1-2 in the 50 free as Michael Jensen clocked a time of 19.47 to just beat Lynch to the wall. The Bears continued that dominance in the sprints after the first break of the day when Pawel Sendyk and Hoffer combined to tie for the win in the 100 free, each recording a time of 44.51 to get the victory.

Quah earned a spot in the winner’s circle with a time of 1:44.58 in the 200 back and Hoppe highlighted a senior-laden effort in the 200 breast with a winning time of 2:01.83. Silverthorn and Stevens each turned in strong performances in the race as well, finishing third and fourth, respectively. Josa won a Golden Bear duel in the 100 fly, racing to a time of 46.53 in the 100 fly and beating Lynch by just four-hundreths of a second.

Stanford sweeps Arizona State

Stanford senior Janet Hu won two events and set a pool record to guide No. 3 Stanford women’s swimming and diving to a 176-113 victory over Arizona State at a crowded Avery Aquatic Center on Saturday afternoon.

In addition to Hu, freshman Grace Zhao, sophomore Katie Ledecky, junior Ella Eastin and senior Simone Manuel also won multiple individual events as Stanford was victorious in every swimming event.

Hu set the facility record in the 200-yard backstroke. Her time of 1:53.18 eclipsed the mark set by Amy Bilquist (1:53.80) in 2016. A short while later, Hu won the 100 butterfly at 52.16.

Returning from injury, Manuel swept the 50 and 100 freestyles. In the final event of the first session, Manuel won the 50 with a time of 22.36, and then in the first event after the break, the Sugar Land, Texas, native blew past the competition with a two-second victory in the 100 (48.03).

Zhao continued an impressive rookie campaign with a sweep in the breaststroke. She was tops in the 100 with a finish of 1:01.21 and bested the field in the 200 at 2:12.19.

Eastin won twice more on Saturday to finish with five individual wins in five different events over the weekend. She was tops in the 500 free at 4:45.56, and won the 200 butterfly at 1:53.94.

Ledecky won two events for the second straight day as she claimed the 200 free at 1:44.21, and the 400 individual medley at 4:06.48.

Howe won the 100 back at 52.25, and was second to Hu in the 200 at 1:54.37. Brooke Forde won with a career-best finish of 9:47.76 in the 1,000 free.

The No. 5 Stanford men completed a weekend sweep of the Arizona schools with a 184-101 win over No. 10 Arizona State on Saturday at the Avery Aquatic Center.

The Cardinal (4-0, 3-0 Pac-12) picked up where it left off on Friday, winning the 200-yard medley relay to start the meet.

True Sweetser (8:59.54) led the way in the 1,000-yard freestyle, with Johannes Calloni (9:07.93) in second. Grant Shoults (1:36.46) then won the 200-yard freestyle with Liam Egan (1:37.78) placing second.

Zdroik (1:46.82) won the 200-yard butterfly, beating teammate Alex Liang (1:47.19) for the top time. Arizona State’s Cameron Craig (20.17) narrowly beat Perry (20.27) and Mestre (20.32) in the 50-yard freestyle before the first break of the day.

Shoults (4:19.61) swam fastest, followed by Sweetser (4:25.04), Egan (4:26.10) and James Murphy (4:27.22) for the four fastest times in the field in the 500.

Arizona State’s Zachary Poti won the 100 backstroke (47.35) and 200 backstroke (1:42.87). Christian Lorenz won the 100 breaststroke (54.84). Cameron Craig won the 100 freestyle (43.93).

Ashley McCool won 3-meter diving (316.35).

Utah sweeps Denver

Utah swept Denver for the first time since 2003 on Saturday. The men won 173.5-126.5 and the women won 151-149.

The women’s meet came down to the final event, the 200 free relay. Utah’s contingent of Dorien Butter, Gillian St. John, Claire Jackson and Jenna Marsh came out victorious in a time of 1:33.16.

Butter also won the 100 free (51.41) and placed third in the 200 free (1:52.01). Meanwhile, St. John won the 50 free (23.57), with Marsh taking fourth (24.24). St. John also finished second in the 100 fly (56.28) to cap a solid day in the pool.

Genny Robertson picked up a pair of wins for the Utes, claiming the 100 (1:03.22) and 200 breast (2:16.11). Jordan Anderson won the 200 fly (2:04.59).

The Utes swept the boards with Emma Ruchala taking 1-meter with a score of 263.40. The freshman took second in 3-meter (245.33), finishing behind teammate Makenzie Caufield (252.08).

Paul Ungur set the tone for the men’s team by setting a pool record in the 100 back (47.46) and winning the 100 fly (48.36). He also led off two successful relay events for the Utes top open and close the day.

In the 200 medley, he teamed with Jack Burton, Ben Scott and Rodolfo Moreira to win in 1:28.20. Ungur and Moreira teamed up again, this time with Liam O’Haimhirgin and Clay Stoddard to win the 200 free (1:20.76).

Burton won the 100 (56.13) and 200 breast (2:03.72). O’Haimhirgin was a runner-up in the 100 and 200 free while Scott earned a pair of top-five marks, placing second in the 200 fly and third in the 100. Moreira and Stoddard went second and third in the 50 free.

Daniel McArthur turned in a strong performance, winning the 200 IM (1:52.12), placing as the runner-up in the 200 back and going third in the 100 back. Chris Taber also impressed with a win in the 200 fly and on the boards, Nathan Makarewicz swept the 1-meter (263.18) and 3-meter (321.00)

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Author: Daniel D'Addona

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Dan D'Addona is the lead college swim writer for Swimming World. He has covered swimming at all levels since 2003, including the NCAA championships, USA nationals, Duel in the Pool and Olympic trials. He is a native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, and a graduate of Central Michigan University. He currently lives in Holland, Michigan, where he also is the Sports Editor at The Holland Sentinel.

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