2021 MEN’S PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Sunday, February 28 – Wednesday, March 3
- Houston, TX (Central Time Zone)
- Defending Champion: Cal (3x) (results)
- Championship Central
- Psych Sheets
- Live Results
- Live Stream
- Day 1 Finals Heat Sheet
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)
- Utah, 133
- Stanford, 107
- Arizona, 86
- USC, 64
- 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
- Cal, 6:11.98
- Stanford, 6:12.83
- 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
- Cal, 3:02.60
- Arizona, 3:05.35
- 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.
(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.)
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)
- Utah, 189
- Stanford, 173
- Arizona, 152
- USC, 124
- Cal, 102