The 2013 men’s Pac 12 Championship begins on Sunday in its rescheduled home of Federal Way, Washington; and they began with a bang. Stanford has a new coach this year for the first time in their legendary 31-straight year Pac 12 Championship run with former assistant Ted Knapp taking over for Skip Kenney. Many have whispered that the streak would end this season, but tapered or not tapered, Stanford’s depth is vastly underrated.
They have a huge lead already after diving, and are swimming very well early in this meet. We’ll have to wait until the end of this month to see if that’s a tapered thing or not, but expect the streak to continue this year.
Note: the Pac 12, despite many requests, has chosen not to air a live stream of the meet, and instead will tape-delay it on the Pac 12 Network. Fortunately, all of the glitches with live results seem to have been worked out.
Men’s 200 Medley Relay
Cal lost some key pieces to this medley relay who were the national runners-up last season; namely, every lead except for the butterflier Tom Shields. They’ve still managed to cobble together a very good relay, and took the first win of the meet in 1:24.42. That included junior Shayne Fleming just holding off Stanford anchor Aaron Wayne as the Golden Bears won 1:24.42-1:24.48.
Tony Cox, a transfer from Auburn, was a big part of this Cal effort, leading off in 21.53 (just about a tenth behind Stanford’s Nolan). Trevor Hoyt gave Cal the lead, before Shields extended it with a 19.86. That’s a great swim for Shields, though we’ve now seen there’s a few other guys who will be under 20 at NCAA’s. He was a 19.80 in this same spot at last year’s national championship meet for reference.
With Wayne looming for the Cardinal, and splitting a big 18.93 anchor, Fleming was strong as well in 19.28 to hang on for the victory. Both relays were nailing their exchanges, speaking to the focus that the two teams are coming into the meet with.
Arizona took 3rd in 1:24.83 – exactly .01 better than they were at their mid-season rest meet where they shot for most of their NCAA qualifying times. Carl Mickelson swam their breaststroke leg in a grand 23.65: the best of the scoring relays. The American Record holder, Kevin Cordes, was on the B-relay, though and outsplit him just a bit in 23.50. (Note that B relays don’t score at this meet).
USC took 4th in 1:25.04, with head coach Dave Salo tweeting afterward that his last 100 (Chase Bloch and Vlad Morozov) aren’t shaved. Bloch split a 21.01 on the butterfly leg, and Morozov maybe took the most attention of the whole race with an 18.32 anchor. Salo’s tweet is backed up by the fact that Morozov split 18.3 at the Cal dual meet last week also.
(note, since we’ve already had questions about this: there were some issues with the relay takeoff equipment at the women’s meet, and have been a few glitches here early, so don’t take the pad reaction times as official, including Aaron Wayne’s -.02).
Men’s 800 Free Relay Final
Strengthened by a phenomenal back-half, the USC Trojans won the men’s 800 free relay in relatively easy fashion, with a 6:16.88 ahead of Cal’s 6:18.83.
For USC, that included a 1:32.58 third leg from sophomore Cristian Quintero, and a 1:33.83 from Dimitri Colupaev. That time broke a 2002 team record that included Klete Keller.
Cal was 2nd, including a 1:33.60 from Tom Shields, the only swimmer from the major A-relays to pull double duty on this relay.
Stanford was 3rd in 6:22.32, with their best leg coming from freshman Tom Kremer on the leadoff from 1:34.57. Their B-relay was in a 6:24.04; their A could’ve been about two seconds faster had they combined their four fastest legs on this day, but that wouldn’t have been enough to move them to a higher placement. That time disparity likely points to different levels of taper for this meet.
Arizona took 4th in 6:22.88, with Utah 5th in 6:26.06. For the Utes, that’s a new school record by 10 seconds, and the leadoff leg of sophomore Nick Soedel of 1:35.83 is also a new School Record.
Unlike the women’s meet, this men’s Pac-12 meet only scores to 16 places, just like NCAA’s. Diving was completed last week with the women’s competition, and we have incorporated those scores below (though official results won’t yet have them).
Stanford dominated the diving scoring with 137 points; Arizona was 2nd with 81 thanks to a second-straight Platform title. Cal was 5th among diving points with just 54.