2014 Men’s Pac 12 Conference Championships Fan Guide: Cal Looks to Repeat

  26 Morgan Priestley | March 05th, 2014 | College, Featured, News, Pac-12, Previews & Recaps

pinit fg en rect gray 28 2014 Mens Pac 12 Conference Championships Fan Guide: Cal Looks to Repeat
  • Dates: Wednesday, March 5th – Saturday, March 8th; Prelims 11AM/Finals 6PM (Diving February 26th-March 1st with women’s Pac-12s)
  • Location: Federal Way, WA  (Pacific Time Zone)
  • Defending Champion: California (results)
  • Live Results:
  • Live Video (If available): 
  • Championship Central

Quick Hit (from our Championship Primer): Last season, Cal ended Stanford’s 31-year winning streak at the Pac-12 Championships by just 25 points. This year looks like another battle, with the top 4 teams all sitting within the top 10 in our mid-season power rankings. Cal looks like a well-rounded juggernaut with a loaded young backstroking corps featuring Ryan Murphy and Jacob Pebley as well as new breaststroking addition Chuck Katis and big-time distance man Jeremy Bagshaw. Stanford has its own loaded lineup, headlined by backstroker David Nolan. And you can’t count out USC or the powerhouse Arizona lineup, and Utah has been on a tear this season since upsetting Zona early on.

Now that the talk of “The Streak” is over (in reference to Stanford’s 31-year conference winning streak that ended last season), there are a number of other story lines we can focus on in this meet.  First, the Cal Bears are looking to defend their Pac 12 title and set themselves up for a title run at the end of the month at NCAA’s.  Stanford, meanwhile, is looking to take back the top spot from their rivals, with a 100+ point edge from diving coming into the meet, along with returning individual NCAA champion David Nolan and a core group of freshmen who are making an immediate impact.

Although the team race has been all about Stanford and Cal for a majority of the last three decades, the rest of the field adds plenty of fireworks to the show.  Although USC lost Vlad Morozov–the most valuable swimmer in the NCAA–to the professional circuit, the Trojans brought in the #1-ranked freshman class, headlined by Reed Malone and Dylan Carter.  Combined with the 1-2 mid-distance punch of Dimitri Colupaev and Cristian Quintero, and USC has the pieces to play the role of spoiler this weekend.  Arizona never puts a lot of stock in Pac 12’s, but with American/NCAA/U.S. Open record holder Kevin Cordes and newly-eligible sprinter Bradley Tandy, expect to see some fast swimming from the Wildcats.

Under first year head coach Joe Dykstra, the Utah Utes have had one of their best seasons in recent memory, including some unbelievable in season performances from junior sprinter Nick Soedel.

Stars

Arizona: Matt Barber (senior mid-distance), Kevin Cordes (junior breaststroker), Mitchell Friedemann (senior backstroker), Michael Meyer (sophomore IMer), Andrew Porter (sophomore sprint butterflyer), Giles Smith (senior sprinter), Kevin Steel (senior breaststroker), Bradley Tandy (junior sprint freestyler)

Arizona State: David Adalsteinsson (senior backstroker), Richard Bohus (freshman backstroker), Thibaut Capitaine (sophomore breaststroker), Alex Coci (senior butterflyer), Zac Dalby (junior IMer)

Cal: Jeremy Bagshaw (senior distance free), Tony Cox (senior sprinter), Chuck Katis (junior breaststroker), Ryan Murphy (freshman backstroker),  Josh Prenot (sophomore IMer), Seth Stubblefield (junior sprinter), Marcin Tarczynski (senior everything)

Cal Poly: Caleb Davies (freshman sprinter), Jimmy Deiparine (junior breaststroker), Sonny Fierro (sophomore distance freestyler), Mackey Hopen (junior breaststroker), Paolo Stanchi (junior IMer)

Stanford: Connor Black (freshman sprinter), Drew Cosgarea (junior distance), Tom Kremer (sophomore freestyler), Daniel Le (freshman breaststroker), David Nolan (junior anything), Thomas Stephens (junior freestyler), Danny Thomson (sophomore distance freestyler), Max Williamson (freshman IMer/breaststroker)

UC Santa Barbara: Randy Aakhus (senior IMer), Wade Allen (junior sprinter), Andy Castilleja (sophomore breaststroker), Armen Darbinyan (sophomore distance freestyler), Ryan Hanni (senior sprinter), Tyler Jean (junior breaststroker), Chase Lemley (junior sprinter), Mickey Mowry (junior butterflyer)

USC: Dylan Carter (freshman freestyler/backstroker), Santo Condorelli (freshman sprinter) Dimitri Colupaev (senior freestyler/IMer), Maclin Davis (sophomore butterflyer), Michael Domagala (freshman freestyler/butterflyer), Morten Klarskov (sophomore breaststroker), Reed Malone (freshman freestyler), Cristian Quintero (junior freestyler)

Utah: Bence Kiraly (sophomore freestyler/butterflyer), Kristian Kron (sophomore breaststroker), Nolan Rogers (freshman IMer), Nick Soedel (junior sprint freestyler), Ken Tiltges (senior sprinter) 

Standings

Stanford comes into the meet with a 100+ point cushion from their diving crew that competed last week, but as much as it pains me to say, the Bears should have enough depth to take their second straight Pac 12 title, particularly in the backstroke and sprint freestyle events.  That being said, with the conference format minimizing the advantages the Bears will have at NCAA’s in certain events (the 100 back, for example, where they should put four swimmers in the top ten), this one should be closer than most people think.  If Stanford (or USC, for that matter) really makes a push, don’t be surprised if someone else takes this meet.

1. Cal
2. Stanford
3. USC
4. Arizona
5. Utah
6. UCSB
7. Arizona State
8. Cal Poly

Comments

  1. President Taft says:
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    You’re just trying to make me angry, aren’t you Ponyta?

  2. YouGotLezakd says:
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    Interesting that Bradley Tandy is seeded at NT.

  3. ThatSwimKid says:
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    Tyler Messershmidt is swimming correct? He was left about of Cal’s “Stars” section and I imagine him as a pretty big star on their team.

    • Jared Anderson Jared Anderson says:
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      A lot of stars on that Cal team – hard to pick just a handful to feature. Messerschmidt should swim, and will definitely be a factor.

  4. ole 99 says:
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    Does Stanford’s men’s coaching staff not believe in resting for a midseason taper meet?

    • Andrew says:
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      It’s not that they don’t believe in it, it’s that Stanford is on the quarter system and has about a month less to train and then ultimately taper down for a meet in November/December. Additionally, Stanford has a school policy where a team isn’t allowed to travel to a meet/miss school for an extended period of time during dead week/finals if the competition isn’t conference or NCAA related. Since those two weeks usually fall in the beginning of December, they can’t go to any meets during that time. A November meet is too early in the season to taper considering Stanford starts school at the end of September.

  5. Swim question says:
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    How many individual events & relays can they swim?

    • Braden Keith Braden Keith says:
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      Same as at NCAA’s – 3 individuals and 4 relays, or 2 individuals and 5 relays.

      Unfortunately, the Pac-12, like most conferences, don’t require coaches to decide what exactly those events will be until each day of the meet.

      • ole 99 says:
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        Unfortunately? Its what Will Ferrell’s GWB would call “strategery”

        • Braden Keith Braden Keith says:
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          ole99 – I think coaches like to sell it as “strategery”. I think the overall benefit to the sport of swimming by forcing coaches to set lineups would greatly outweigh the 3-4 point advantage a coach can get by what is currently allowed – and even then, it only happens if they get lucky.

          • Peterdavis says:
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            Luck is for the ill prepared, and for those who need to fabricate a reason why they didn’t win. It ain’t luck chasing down single points at championship meets, it’s the plan from day one

          • Jeff says:
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            Maybe I’m not thinking it all the way through, but what benefit to the sport of swimming are you referring to? It would be nice for fans, I guess. The flip side is that coaches may over-enter as a form of insurance. For instance, a swimmer gets sick right before the meet begins. In the case of a conference meet (not sure of logistics for NCAA meet), it may be possible to bring another swimmer as a replacement, but if they are not entered, they cannot swim and you are down 1 athlete. Along the same lines imagine someone who is entered in multiple individual events each day of a meet. Again, if this person gets ill (maybe a 24 hour thing), being over-entered would allow them to scratch the first day’s events and still be able to swim a full schedule.

            I don’t doubt there is a level of gamemanship at play, but there are some practical reasons for this practice as well

          • Braden Keith Braden Keith says:
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            “It would be nice for fans, I guess.”

            That’s 100% of my rationale for why it would benefit the sport of swimming, and I’m afraid that the attitude of “I guess it would be nice for fans” is why the World Championship Trials last summer were roughly a quarter full.

            None of these conferences allow you to enter more athletes than are allowable, so that practicality is null. It allows athletes to enter more than the allowable number of events.

            So yes, the sickness thing is a possible advantage, but at the same time, it’s also ‘sports’. People get sick. It adds to the intrigue of sports – yes, for the fans. The Michael Jordan flu game is a good example – that was the biggest story in sports for a long time, and one of his iconic games that people still talk about.

            Swimming can continue to put the interests of fans last, or swimmers can start to make a lot of money – you can’t have both.

          • TheTroubleWithX says:
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            Gosh, as a high school coach I wish I could I make final decisions on individual events the day of the meet. There are few things more annoying than sending in entries and then having to scratch people and have empty lanes because swimmers got sick or hurt. Does any other sport force you to do that? That’s like having to turn in a baseball lineup three days in advance and then having to sacrifice a spot in the batting order if one of the players you entered couldn’t make it, while you have available players on the bench.

            Even from a fan’s perspective: I don’t think the Duel in the Pool requires entries in advance. Not knowing exactly who is going to swim was part of the fun. My memory could be wrong there, though.

            Where exactly is the benefit to the fans? Just knowing which day a swimmer you want to see is swimming if you’re going to watch it in person?

          • Peterdavis says:
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            We already have precedent, set by Eddie, Frank, and Skip, for postponing the gdamn national championship if their swimmers get sick. So…

  6. splash says:
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    I thought Jeremy Bagshaw was a distance swimmer not a sprinter… O.o

  7. duckduckgoose says:
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    How did Hamilton’s mid-season swims count, but Katis’ swims at the exact same meet not count for NCAA qualification? Both were enrolled in college at the time and neither was officially swimming for Cal.

  8. ChopSuey says:
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    I do not see Luca Spinazzola on the lists. Is he swimming?

  9. ThatSwimKid says:
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    I don’t think this can be changed easily, but on the Psych Sheet, it shows Tom Shields as the NCAA record holder for the 200 Breaststroke.

  10. Peterdavis says:
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    For all the crap I like to talk, I think Stanford is in as good a place as they possibly could have hoped for to take back the PAC title, looking at the psych + diving. Damn those divers are good. I bet no one else is predicting this, much less any other Bears. Will be an interesting few nights – I’ll be watching results with my old Cardinal swimmer father, who loooves telling me how dumb I am about this stuff. Strangely enough, he predicts Bears.

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About Morgan Priestley

A recent graduate of Stanford University and Birmingham, Michigan native, Morgan Priestley started writing for SwimSwam in February on a whim, and is loving that his tendency to follow and over-analyze swim results can finally be put to good use. Morgan swam competitively for 15+ years, primarily excelling in the mid-distance …

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