The Men’s Swimming and Diving team are out at the conference championships this week. We’ll keep you posted here as we update you on all the latest.
*Editor’s note: It has Rob Hwang as the byline, but all content is being written by Christopher Zheng and Ruey Yen.
Cal kicked off their championship season with a win in the 800-yard freestyle relay. Behind Zheng Wen Quah's field-best leadoff split, the junior trio of Bryce Mefford, Daniel Carr, and Trenton Julian kept a close battle with Arizona State before Julian pulled decisively ahead in the last 15 yards. Carr, a fresh face for this relay, and Julian provided 2 of the fastest splits en route to their 6:11.47 that should slot into the 4th-best time in the country this year. Congratulations to the quartet for a great start to the meet!
While Cal initially touched in first in the 400-yard medley relay by almost 2 seconds, Ryan Hoffer jumped early, nullifying their result. On the bright side, senior Ethan Young hit a lifetime best (46.05) in the 100-yard backstroke that led off the relay, which despite the relay's disqualification, still counts as Young is in pretty good shape to clinch a swim at the NCAA Championship. Even with the DQ in the relay, Cal should have no problem mounting their 99-point comeback on first-place USC. Keep an eye out for ASU though. They have come out swinging.
Congratulations to Daniel Carr on his win in the 200-yard individual medley! With a new personal-best by .55 seconds (1:41.79), Carr has the 2nd fastest time in the country this year. Despite a disqualification of Hugo Gonzalez in the morning prelims, Cal, with Zheng Wen Quah and Bryce Mefford following Carr, swept the podium and added a 7th (Reece Whitley) place finish as well. Shoutout to freshman Jason Louser on his consolation-final winning swim (1:43.69) that was 2.3 seconds faster than his previous best, which should be good enough for Louser’s first NCAA Championship berth.
As if one podium sweep weren’t enough, Ryan Hoffer, Pawel Sendyk, and Michael Jensen followed suit in the next event, the 50-yard freestyle. Hoffer’s and Sendyk’s times of 18.87 and 18.91, respectively, are now the two fastest times in the country for the duo that completed the exacta in this event at last year’s NCAA Championship. Congratulations to freshman Marcos Rico Peng for his milestone-beating personal-best time (19.84) en route to his C-final win. Sprint on you Bears!
Congratulations to the relay squad of Pawel Sendyk, Ryan Hoffer, Michael Jensen, and Zheng Wen Quah for their win in the 200-yard freestyle relay! With a 1:15.54, the Cal quartet tied the 11-year-old meet record held by Stanford and now has the fastest time in the country this year.
With their incredible wins tonight, Cal is down just five points behind first-place Stanford.
Continuing last night’s theme, Cal kicked off the evening with their 3rd podium sweep of the meet. Hugo Gonzalez led the charge with a new meet record (3:36.60) and country-leading time in the 400-yard individual medley. Behind strong freestyle finishes, Jason Louser, Sean Grieshop, and Chris Jhong charged their way into 2nd, 3rd, and 5th place finishes, respectively. Congratulations to our aquatic Bears!
Congratulations to Ryan Hoffer on his 2nd conference title of the meet! His 44.85, a lifetime-best and 3rd-best time in the country this year, in the 100-yard butterfly led the way as Zheng Wen Quah and Pawel Sendyk finished in 3rd and 4th, respectively.
After a great swim on opening night’s 800-yard freestyle relay, Trenton Julian switched his focus from the 400-yard individual medley to the 200-yard freestyle, and that paid off. Even without fellow Bears in the final, the junior put together a patient and controlled swim to win with a new lifetime-best (1:33.17). Congratulations to Julian on his first individual conference title!
Sophomore Reece Whitley made it 4 for 4 by winning the 100-yard breaststroke after a 2nd-place finish last year as a freshman. With a noticeably faster stroke tempo, Whitley set a new Cal school record (50.85), a new lifetime-best, and the nation’s second-best time this year. Keep racking in the accolades Whitley!
Even the cool water of a pool could not tame the torching speed the Cal men put on display tonight as the Cal squad of Daniel Carr, Reece Whitley, Pawel Sendyk, and Ryan Hoffer blasted their way to the Bears’ fifth victory of the evening with a win in the 200-yard medley relay. This is the exact quartet that finished second at last year’s NCAA Championship and their time tonight (1:22.16) would have won it all last year. If they can replicate it again in a few weeks, that might just be good enough for some more hardware as they were almost a full second faster than any other squad in the country prior to this weekend. Congratulations on the win!
With their dominant start to the evening, Cal has firmly taken over the lead--one that the Bears most likely will not relinquish tomorrow night. The Bears have an almost insurmountable 162-point lead on an ASU team that is fending off Arizona and Stanford for second place.