2021 Men’s Pac-12 Championships: Day 1 Finals Live Recap

2021 MEN’S  PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIPS

It’s a rare Sunday night start for the 2021 Men’s Pac-12 Championships from Houston, as the Cal men look to follow up on the women’s team success and claim a fourth straight conference title.

The meet will open with timed finals of the 800 free and 400 medley relays, where the Bears would have to be favored to win both.

They’ve won five straight titles in the 800 free, dating back to 2016, while Stanford comes in as the defending champs in the 400 medley relay after Cal was disqualified in 2020 (the Bears touched first by about four seconds before the DQ for an early takeoff).

There will be a lengthy 45-minute break between the two relays as well.

It’s also important to note that the diving portion of the meet has already wrapped up. Utah holds the points lead at 133, followed by Stanford and Arizona.

TEAM SCORES (THROUGH DIVING)

  1. Utah, 133
  2. Stanford, 107
  3. Arizona, 86
  4. USC, 64
  5. Cal, 22

And, in case you forgot, Arizona State won’t be competing after the team decided to redshirt the entire roster due to the pandemic back in July.

800 Free Relay Timed Final

  • Pac-12 Record: 6:07.31, Cal, 2019
  • Pac-12 Championship Record: 6:10.94, Cal, 2019
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 6:17.18
  • 2020 Champion: Cal (Quah, Mefford, Carr, Julian), 6:11.47
  1. Cal, 6:11.98
  2. Stanford, 6:12.83
  3. Arizona, 6:16.30

The Cal men won a tight battle with Stanford to open the meet in the 800 free relay, with senior Trenton Julian unloading a massive 1:31.52 split swimming third.

The three teams racing in the second heat (Cal, Stanford and Arizona) were virtually even on the opening leg, with Cal’s Destin Lasco and Stanford’s Luke Maurer locked at 1:33.28. Crazily enough, both Lasco and Maurer tied at Stanford and Cal’s dual just over a week ago, both setting what is now their former best time at 1:33.99.

Another Cardinal freshman, Preston Forst, dropped a 1:31.68 split swimming second to launch Stanford to the lead by over two seconds at the halfway mark. Daniel Carr was 1:34.22 on Cal’s second leg, almost two seconds slower than he was last season.

Then, it was Julian who brought Cal up to a .06 lead on Stanford heading to the anchor, with Arizona still within striking distance less than two seconds back.

In a battle of seniors, Zach Yeadon got the job done for Cal, splitting 1:32.96 for a final time of 6:11.98. This is the sixth straight win in the event for the Bears, and their time ranks them third in the NCAA, trailing Texas (6:07.28) and Texas A&M (6:11.63).

Stanford’s Grant Shoults split 1:33.75 to bring them in for second in 6:12.83, and Arizona held on to beat USC’s opening heat-winning time for third in 6:16.30. The time for the Cardinal narrowly misses their school record of 6:12.66 set in 2017 (a team that featured Shoults as a freshman).

Three swimmers split 1:33 for Arizona, with junior Daniel Namir the fastest of the bunch on the lead-off in 1:33.40, under his previous best set at last year’s meet (1:33.66).

USC won Heat 1 in a time of 6:17.04, led by junior Alexei Sancov who recorded a 200 free time of 1:32.69 on the opening leg. That ranks him 11th in the nation this season, and marks his first best time in the event since entering college. Sancov’s previous best of 1:32.80 was set back at the 2018 Austin Sectionals.

400 Medley Relay Timed Final

  • Pac-12 Record: 3:01.28, Cal, 2016
  • Pac-12 Championship Record: 3:03.30, Cal, 2009
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 3:05.95
  • 2020 Champion: Stanford (Ho, Poppe, Liang, Gonzalez), 3:06.81
  1. Cal, 3:02.60
  2. Arizona, 3:05.35
  3. Stanford, 3:06.14

The Bears looked sharp as they roared to the 400 medley relay win in 3:02.60, lowering their 12-year-old meet record of 3:03.30 from 2009.

Bryce Mefford was just over a tenth off his 100 back best time leading off in 45.51, and then Reece Whitley dropped a monstrous 50.83 breast split to put them in complete command in the final heat.

Ryan Hoffer (45.05) and Bjorn Seeliger (41.21) closed the show as Cal takes over the #2 time in the nation behind Texas (3:02.11).

(Cal touched in a time under the 2009 record last season, 3:02.85, before getting DQed due to Hoffer’s -.04 reaction on the fly leg.)

Stanford took second in the heat in 3:06.14, ultimately finishing third. Sophomore Daniel Roy had a solid 51.54 breast split and freshman Ethan Hu was 45.11 on fly.

Arizona beat USC head-to-head in Heat 2, putting up a time of 3:05.35 which ended up being good for second overall. The Wildcats had strong splits throughout from Ogi Maric (45.90), Ryan Foote (52.04), Noah Reid (45.11) and Marin Ercegovic (42.30). USC kept pace with them after falling behind on back, with Sancov hitting a 45.50 on fly and Nikola Miljenic anchoring in 41.92.

In fifth, Utah clocked 3:07.65, just .16 off their school record, with junior Andrew Britton dipping under 52 on the breast leg (51.98).

Amongst the relay teams swimming as exhibition, Arizona had senior Sam Iida put forth an encouraging 51.74 breast split on its ‘B’ squad.

TEAM SCORES (THRU DAY 1 + DIVING)

  1. Utah, 189
  2. Stanford, 173
  3. Arizona, 152
  4. USC, 124
  5. Cal, 102

In This Story

47
Leave a Reply

Subscribe
Notify of
47 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Ghost
1 month ago

Is ASU regretting their choice? Not that they would admit so but since everyone is getting a bonus year, it seems obvious!

Erik
Reply to  Ghost
1 month ago

Hindsight is 20/20, I imagine that same decision would be made again, more often than not.. putting your work into more seemingly possible (trials and beyond) took the stress off of the pandemic/semester.

Guerra
Reply to  Ghost
1 month ago

Bob Bowman ought to be ashamed of himself. I personally see it everyday here at IU where Ray Looze and his staff bust their butts to make it work for both the collegiate athletes and Olympic hopefuls because it’s the right thing to do for all the athletes. A majority of the college coaches in our sport are also doing everything they can for ALL their athletes. Bowman, with his usual smugness and arrogance, is doing this to make it easier on himself and it isn’t the right thing for the athletes or the sport. He’s just using the Arizona State program for one last Olympic effort and then, I believe, he will be gone after the Olympics. ITS A… Read more »

PFA
1 month ago

Depending on how Luke does on the 800 free relay for Stanford, can’t wait to see how the meet will go for him as well as hoffer.

Go Gators
1 month ago

Live stream?

Rafam
Reply to  James Sutherland
1 month ago

Ty

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

Read More »