2022 MEN’S PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Wednesday, March 2-Saturday, March 5, 2022
- Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center, Federal Way, Washington
- Defending champions: Cal (4x)
- Start times: 11:00 am prelims / 6:00 pm finals (PST)
- Event Schedule
- Diving Results
- Championship Central
- Live Results
- Live Stream
After a blistering opening night of competition that saw all six 200 medley relays achieve NCAA ‘A’ cuts and the top three teams go under the meet record in the 800 free relay, the first prelim session of the 2022 Men’s Pac-12 Championships gets underway Thursday in Federal Way.
With the diving competition already concluded, this is where the team race stands as we kick off the individual swimming events:
TEAM SCORES AFTER DAY 1
- Stanford – 207 points
- Utah – 183 points
- Arizona – 148 points
- USC – 137 points
- ASU – 105 points
- Cal – 64 points
The standard NCAA schedule will see just three individual events run this morning in the 500 free, 200 IM and 50 free.
Cal swimmers won all three of these events last year, and two of those men will be defending their titles tonight with fifth-year Trenton Julian in the 500 free and senior Hugo Gonzalez in the 200 IM.
In the 50 free, sophomore Bjorn Seeliger will look to carry on the Cal tradition as the Bears have won the event at five straight championships. Seeliger was the runner-up as a freshman last season behind the now-graduated Ryan Hoffer, and the Swede was on incredible form in last night’s 200 medley relay, anchoring Cal in a scintillating 18.27.
In the 500 free, Julian is only the eighth seed, with Arizona fifth-year Brooks Fail leading the pack after going 4:10.32 at the Minnesota Invite in December.
The 200 IM projects to be a stacked event with Gonzalez joined by ASU’s Leon Marchand, who ranks second in the NCAA this season at 1:40.80, Cal’s Destin Lasco, who was third in that event at the 2021 NCAAs, and another Sun Devil, Grant House, who led off ASU’s winning 800 free relay last night in a blistering 1:30.54.
Men’s 500 Free – Prelims
- Pac-12 Record: 4:08.92, Jean Basson (ARIZ), 2009
- Pac-12 Championship Record: 4:10.67, Grant Shoults (STAN), 2017
- NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 4:11.62
- NCAA ‘B’ Cut: 4:23.34
- 2021 NCAA Invite Time: 4:16.75
- Preston Forst (STAN), 4:13.83
- Brooks Fail (ZONA), 4:14.83
- Victor Johansson (USC), 4:15.34
- Andrew Matejka (STAN), 4:15.39
- Grant Shoults (STAN), 4:15.51
- Andrew Gray (ASU), 4:15.64
- Sean Grieshop (CAL), 4:15.73
- Daniel Matheson (USC), 4:15.77
It was a blistering four heats of prelims in the 500 freestyle, with 10 men going sub-4:16 and two of them missing out on the ‘A’ final.
Stanford sophomore Preston Forst threw down the top time of the session in 4:13.83, winning the fourth and final heat over fifth-year seniors Brooks Fail (4:14.83), Grant Shoults (4:15.51), and freshman Daniel Matheson (4:15.77).
Forst’s time falls just .02 shy of his lifetime best set at the 2021 Pac-12s where he finished fifth.
Fail, who leads the Pac-12 this season with his time of 4:10.32 from the Minnesota Invite, qualifies for the final second overall, while Shoults, the winner of this event in 2018 and 2020, advances in fifth. Matheson dropped his best time by over three seconds to sneak into the final in eighth.
USC senior Victor Johansson, the 2019 champion, won the penultimate heat in 4:15.34, and ended up being the only swimmer from the heat to advance to the final with defending champion Trenton Julian (4:15.84) locked out in ninth.
The cut-off to qualify for the ‘A’ final (4:15.77) was significantly faster than it was last season (4:19.43), though it’s worth noting the Sun Devils weren’t competing. In 2020, with all hands on deck, it took 4:18.04 to make the top eight
Joining Julian and Bresette as notable swimmers missing the championship final included Arizona State junior Julian Hill, who came in seeded second at 4:13.23 but ended up 12th in 4:18.62, and Cal freshman Gabriel Jett, who went 4:13.90 earlier this season but finds himself in the ‘C’ final tonight after clocking 4:23.09.
Men’s 200 IM – Prelims
- Pac-12 Record: 1:38.14, Andrew Seliskar (CAL), 2019
- Pac-12 Championship Record: 1:40.07, David Nolan (STAN), 2015
- NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:41.34
- NCAA ‘B’ Cut: 1:46.77
- 2021 NCAA Invite Time: 1:44.15
- Leon Marchand (ASU), 1:40.90
- Grant House (ASU), 1:41.74
- Ron Polonsky (STAN), 1:41.95
- Hugo Gonzalez (CAL), 1:42.04
- Destin Lasco (CAL), 1:42.07
- Jason Louser (CAL), 1:42.19
- Jonny Affeld (STAN), 1:42.52
- Rick Mihm (STAN), 1:43.13
It was another lightning-fast prelim in the 200 IM, so much so that the time that qualified second into last season’s final (1:43.24) would’ve missed the top eight.
Marchand’s time is just a tenth shy of his lifetime best, 1:40.80, which ranks second in the NCAA this season. House’s time takes three-tenths off his PB of 1:42.05, which, like Marchan’ds best, was set at the NC State Invite in November.
Along with those two Sun Devils, the ‘A’ final tonight will also feature three Stanford swimmers and three more from Cal.
Cardinal freshman Ron Polonsky, who hit a PB less than two weeks ago of 1:42.32 in Stanford’s dual meet against the Golden Bears, qualified third overall in 1:41.95, while his sophomore teammates Jonny Affeld (1:42.52) and Rick Mihm (1:43.13) also established lifetime bests to advance in seventh and eighth.
Gonzalez and Lasco are the top two returners from last season’s NCAAs after 2021 champion Shaine Casas of Texas A&M opted to turn pro early.
Louser takes a second and a half off his previous best time (1:43.69) set at the 2020 Pac-12s.
Among the notable names missing the final was ASU junior David Schlicht, who was sixth in the event at NCAAs last season while competing for Arizona. Schlicht put up a time of 1:45.22 to finish 16th in the prelims, well off his season-best of 1:43.30 set during mid-season invites.
Cal’s Bryce Mefford, who officially joined the team late in the season, finished 19th in a time of 1:45.66. Mefford won the ‘B’ final at the 2021 NCAAs in a best time of 1:41.86.
Men’s 50 Free – Prelims
- Pac-12 Record: 18.58, Ryan Hoffer (CAL), 2019
- Pac-12 Championship Record: 18.80, Brad Tandy (ARIZ), 2014
- NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 18.96
- NCAA ‘B’ Cut: 19.96
- 2021 NCAA Invite Time: 19.46
- Bjorn Seeliger (CAL), 18.86
- Andrei Minakov (STAN), 19.24
- Jack Dolan (ASU), 19.33
- Cody Bybee (ASU), 19.37
- Marin Ercegovic (ZONA), 19.42
- Artem Selin (USC), 19.45
- Jack Alexy (CAL), 19.47
- Tai Combs (ZONA), 19.51
Cal sophomore Bjorn Seeliger fired off the top 50 free time of the prelims by nearly four-tenths in 18.86, making him the 10th swimmer sub-19 in the NCAA this season.
Seeliger, whose previous season-best sat at 19.02 from the Minnesota Invite, now ranks eighth in the NCAA this season. The Swede set a lifetime best of 18.71 at the 2021 NCAAs, where he was the runner-up to now-graduated teammate Ryan Hoffer.
Seeliger’s time was also nearly dead on what he went in last season’s Pac-12 prelims (18.88) before he dropped to 18.84 to take second (to Hoffer) in the final.
Relative to the rest of the field, Seeliger was notably 29 one-hundredths faster than the next-fastest swimmer on the first 25 (8.96).
Stanford freshman Andrei Minakov, who was the second-fastest at the 25 in 9.25, won the first circle-seeded heat to qualify second overall in 19.24, and Arizona State junior Jack Dolan touched first in the penultimate heat to advance in third at 19.33.
The remainder of the field for the ‘A’ final will be comprised of a trio of seniors in ASU’s Cody Bybee (19.37) and the Arizona duo of Marin Ercegovic (19.42) and Tai Combs (19.51), along with a pair of freshmen in USC’s Artem Selin (19.45) and Cal’s Jack Alexy (19.47).
The highest-seeded swimmer to miss the ‘A’ final was USC fifth-year Nikola Miljenic, who came in ranked fifth (19.39) and ended up tied for 18th (19.78).
We notably saw the cutoff to make the ‘B’ final this season (19.81) faster than the ‘A’ final cutoff in 2021 (19.87).
Including two exhibition swims, a total of 35 men broke 20 seconds this morning compared to 11 doing so last season.