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Tokyo Calympian: Andrew Seliskar, Swimming, USA
The recent Cal alum is a 1st-time Olympian
One of six Cal Bears on Team USA Swimming, Andrew Seliskar has finally earned the status of being an Olympian on his third U.S. Swim Trials. Despite being the top recruit of his class, Seliskar did not become an NCAA Champion until his senior season at Cal, when he won three individual NCAA titles while helping the Golden Bears to the team national championship. He knows something about patiently working his craft until he gets the reward. While he only qualified for a relay in the Tokyo 2020 Games, Seliskar would surprise absolutely no one in the swimming world if he qualified for and medaled at multiple individual events in 2024.
Event: 4x200m Freestyle Relay
Hometown: McLean, VA
Olympic Appearance: 1st
Age: 24 (September 26th, 1996)
Cal connection: Alumnus (‘19)
Cal accomplishments: In his senior season, Seliskar led Cal to the 2019 NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championship title by taking 3 events: 200y Free, 200y Breast, 200y IM as the Swimmer of the Meet.
Seliskar qualified for the Tokyo Olympics by placing 4th in the 200m Free. The former NCAA 200y Free champ (check out the highlight video below) will look to extend the USA’s dominance in men’s 4x200m Free Relay when he teams up with two Longhorns and a Gator: Townley Haas (Texas), 2021 NCAA champ Kieran Smith (Florida), and Drew Kibler (Texas). Even if there are some serious international threats to the Americans’ hold on Gold in this event since 2004 (coinciding with the dominance of a certain Michael Phelps), Teams USA should still medal, just like when Seliskar and company helped the US to a Bronze at the 2019 World Championships.
Seliskar is a versatile swimmer who can also swim 200 IM, 200 Fly, and even 200 Breast at a world-class level. At the recent Swim Trials, Seliskar also made the 200 IM final where he placed 6th.
From his Team USA bio, Seliskar apparently also plays in at least two bands with other swimmers.
Since graduating from Cal, Seliskar has swum on the Los Angeles Current of the ISL in both 2019 and 2020, where his ability to swim multiple events well is particularly useful in that format.
Making it to Tokyo in 2021 should just be the start of a solid Olympic resume for Andrew Seliskar. Of course, there are always younger swimmers emerging, including several who also trains at Cal. Still, I see parallels between his 2021 Swim Trials to his junior year at Cal where he got 2nd in both 200y Breast and 400y Free Relay. The best of Andrew Seliskar could be yet to come.
Yes, my CGB post on that championship said that Cal was sitting on 99 team national titles. Cal Athletics since said that the official count was only 97 because they had mistakenly counted a couple that used ineligible student-athletes.