USC’s Ralf Tribuntsov Blazes 100 Back Prelims At Men’s Pac 12 Swimming Championships

Southern California men's swimming and diving
Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

FEDERAL WAY – After an explosive day of competition at the Pac 12 swimming championships that included an American record in the 200 IM by David Nolan, today’s prelims set up for more interesting races as athletes attempt to qualify for the NCAA championships, and battle for the conference team title. USC freshman Ralf Tribuntsov wasted no time in swimming fast with a blazing 100 back this morning.

Number of total A and B finalists by school after day one prelims:

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400 individual medley
California junior Josh Prenot, on a quest to challenge Chase Kalisz at the NCAA championships, cruised to a 3:40.84 in the 400 IM prelims, breaking his two-year-old meet record of 3:41.82. He will be chasing his conference record – and lifetime best – of 3:38.58 from last March’s NCAA championships, and could have some strong competition from Stanford freshman Curtis Ogren.

Ogren, the national independent high school record holder in the 200 IM, posted a personal best 3:41.23 to qualify second and earn a second event invite to the NCAA championships after finishing fourth in last night’s 200 IM. Another talented freshman, California’s Connor Green, swam a lifetime best to qualify third with a 3:43.04.

California’s Adam Hinshaw (3:44.69), Stanford’s Danny Thomson (3:45.34), Arizona’s Nick Thorne (3:45.75), Stanford’s Max Williamson (3:45.89) and Arizona’s Michael Meyer (3:46.19) also qualified for the championship final. It should be noted that Meyer swam a 3:42.90 in December, just five tenths off the automatic NCAA qualifying time but could still get an invite, unless he swims faster tonight.

Number of A and B finalists by school for the 400 IM are listed below:
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100 butterfly
California senior Seth Stubblefield will be the only upperclassman in tonight’s final, with two freshmen and five sophomores behind him. Stubblefield posted a 45.86 to earn automatic selection to the NCAA championships, good for seventh in the nation. Just missing the automatic cut was USC freshman Ralf Tribuntsov, who joined the Trojan squad last fall from Estonia, with a 45.92.

The rest of the field all posted times in the 46-second range. Arizona State’s Tadas Dusinkas (46.10), Stanford’s Andrew Liang (46.20), USC’s Santo Condorelli (46.31), USC’s Michael Domagala (46.34), Stanford’s Connor Black (46.65), and USC’s Dylan Carter (46.73) made the top eight. With four in the championship final, look for Southern California to make some big moves in the team standings tonight after this event.

Notably, California’s Justin Lynch scratched the event after his fast fly split in last night’s 200 medley relay. Head coach Dave Durden did not comment on the scratch when contacted by Swimming World.

Number of A and B finalists by school for the 100 fly are listed below:
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200 freestyle
Reed Malone is still looking for his first individual Pac 12 title after falling .05 short last night in the 500 freestyle. He posted a 1:34.01, beating his lifetime best from December 2013 by eight tenths. He’ll need to be faster to beat a talented field that includes teammate Cristian Quintero.

Quintero qualified fifth for tonight’s final with a 1:34.98, illustrating how close qualifying times were this morning. In second was Stanford’s Tom Kremer with a 1:34.32, while Utah’s Nick Soedel recovered from subpar swims earlier in the meet to qualify third with a 1:34.50. California’s Long Gutierrez is fourth with a 1:34.86.

Also in the hunt will be USC’s Chad Bobrosky (1:35.04), Stanford’s Thomas Stephens (1:35.16) and Stanford’s Drew Cosgarea (1:35.25). The Cardinal made a big push in this event, and might keep a healthy lead in the team points.

Number of A and B finalists by school for the 200 free are listed below:
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100 breaststroke
Kevin Cordes’ streak of Pac 12 meet titles in the 100 breast is in jeopardy tonight. Qualifying first is California’s Chuck Katis with a 52.00. That’s a new lifetime best for the senior by two hundredths of a second. Cordes is second with a 52.13, and will have to put forth a time close to his meet record of 51.23 to earn a fourth title. Also in the hunt might be Southern Cal senior Andrew Malone (no relation to Reed) with a 52.58, dropping seven tenths off his lifetime best to leapfrog to the top 20 nationally.

Places four through 15 were all in the 53-second range, to show how deep the Pac 12 is in sprint breaststroke. Qualifying for the championship final were: Arizona State’s Thibault Capitaine (53.21), USC’s Steven Stumph (53.27), California’s Connor Hoppe (53.36), USC’s Morten Klarskov (53.38) and Christian Lorenz of Arizona State (53.39).

Stanford’s lead will be greatly reduced after the 100 breast, as the Cardinal only got two swimmers in the B final.

Number of A and B finalists by school for the 100 breast are listed below:
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100 backstroke
Though all eyes were on a potential matchup between reigning NCAA champion Ryan Murphy of California and Stanford’s David Nolan for the 100 back final, it was Tribuntsov who stole the show with a 44.95 in the prelims. He broke Peter Marshall’s 11-year-old meet record of 45.21 and placed himself at the top of the collegiate standings as the only swimmer under 45 seconds so far this season. Tribuntsov just missed the list of top-10 all-time performances, but now sits 13th among the list of performers in history.

Murphy and Nolan did make the final, with Murphy qualifying third with a 45.68 and Nolan cruising into seventh spot with a 47.11. Nolan is the 2013 NCAA champion in the 100 back, so expect the two to make a major run for the win tonight.

Qualifying second was USC’s Luca Spinazzola with a 45.40, good enough to automatically qualify for the NCAAs and set the Trojans up for a possible 1-2 finish. California’s Jacob Pebley (46.10), Stanford’s Ryan Arata (46.88), California’s Sven Campbell (47.06) and Stanford’s Patrick Conaton (47.62) also are in the final.

With three in the championship final and three in the consolation final, California gains an edge in this event. Notably, only 16 swimmers were eligible to score points in the event today, and Arizona’s Austin Ringquist scratched.

Number of A and B finalists by school for the 100 back are listed below:
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2015 Men’s Pac 12 Championships: Day Three Prelims – Results