PAC 12 MEN
- Dates: Wednesday, March 4th – Saturday, March 7th; Prelims 11AM/Finals 6PM
- Location: Federal Way, WA (Pacific Time Zone)
- Defending Champion: California (results)
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Stanford’s David Nolan leads a tough 200 backstroke field as he chases his second win of this week’s meet. Nolan won the 200 IM on day 1 and was right in the hunt in the 100 back last night. His 1:40.57 took top billing in the 200 back Saturday morning, but it’s looking more and more like a solid group of guys could go under 1:40 in tonight’s final.
Stanford freshman Patrick Conaton impressed in this race in a time trial earlier this week, and he followed it up with a big point-scoring swim of 1:40.87 to give Stanford the first and second seeds.
Cal took the next two spots, with junior Jacob Pebley (1:40.93) and defending Pac-12 and NCAA champ Ryan Murphy (1:41.07).
A very Cardinal- and Bear-heavy A final also features Stanford senior Drew Cosgarea (1:41.69) and Cal senior Jesse Rickman (1:42.12).
Also into the A final: Arizona’s Thane Maudslien (1:42.18) and Arizona State’s Perry Barkley (1:42.50).
After becoming the first Pac-12 man to three-peat in the 200 and 500 frees last night, USC’s Cristian Quintero is back in search of his third individual win of the 2015 postseason. Quintero went 42.61 to top the 100 free prelims, and after his 41.6 split on the 400 medley relay last night, he looks capable of even more in the final.
The field behind him, though, is incredibly bunched up. In fact, there was a three-way tie out of prelims for the second seed, with USC’s Santo Condorelli and Ralf Tribuntsov both equalling Utah’s Nick Soedel at 42.66, just .05 back of Quintero.
Behind them was another tie, this time for 5th between Cal’s Seth Stubblefield and Sam Perry of Stanford at 42.79. USC sophomore captain Reed Malone was one of only two men not in a tie in the top 9 of this event, going 42.97 for 7th.
Behind him was yet another deadlock, this one requiring a swim-off between Stanford’s Tom Stephens and Cal’s Tyler Messerschmidt for the last championship heat spot. Both men were 43.16.
That should add tremendous drama to the end of the prelims session, as the only thing more exciting that swim-offs are swim-offs between two rival teams still fighting for the conference title. In terms of point values, the winner of the swim-off will be guaranteed 11 points with a shot at earning more, while the loser can only earn a maximum of 9, and that’s if he can hold his position in tonight’s B final.
Swim-off results: Messerschmidt took the swim-off win with a 43.03 and will nab lane 8 for the championship heat. Stephens went 43.18, just off the pace, and will lead the B final.
Finally some breakthrough swimming from Steven Stumph! The former national high school record-holder in the 100 breast struggled as a freshman at USC, not hitting lifetime-bests in either breaststroke race. But after swimming to a personal-best in the 100 breast yesterday, Stumph became the top qualifier in the 200 breast with a 1:53.01 that blows out his previous PR by almost three seconds.
Stumph was great going out, turning in 53.99 at the 100-wall with no other swimmer cracking 55. He leads a field that includes huge names like Josh Prenot of Cal (2nd in 1:54.25) and American record-holder Kevin Cordes of Arizona (4th in 1:55.49).
The Trojans got four into the championship final, perhaps giving them the ammunition they need to make a run at Stanford for the team title. Also in the top 8 for Southern Cal: Morten Klarskov (3rd in 1:54.65), Andrew Malone (5th in 1:55.65) and Ridge Altman (7th in 1:55.84).
Arizona State’s french junior Thibaut Capitaine went 1:55.69 for sixth, and Cal’s Chuck Katis earned the final A heat lane with a 1:55.89 for 8th.
USC’s huge day continued with the Trojans third top finisher. Sophomore Michael Domagala led the 200 fly in 1:42.75. That’s a drop of 2.3 seconds on a day where coach Dave Salo‘s crew has been shedding seconds in droves.
Domagala has two Stanford Cardinal and two Cal Golden Bears nipping at his heels in the 1:43s. Stanford’s Gray Umbach is second in 1:43.31, and Tom Kremer sits fourth in 1:43.75.
Meanwhile for Cal, Long Gutierrez is third in 1:43.50 with Adam Hinshaw going 1:53.92 for fifth.
Arizona also put a pair in the the final, with freshman Justin Wright leading the way in 1:44.19 and fellow rookie Rasmus Skjaerpe going 1:44.70. The final championship heat spot went to Arizona State’s Patrick Park at 1:44.77.
The day will continue with platform diving prelims, plus the early heats of the 1650 free, before all those events and the 400 free relay compete in tonight’s finals.