2022 Men’s Pac-12 Championships: Day 4 Finals Live Recap

2022 MEN’S PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIPS

Team Scores After Day 3

  1. Stanford – 579.50 points
  2. Cal – 516.50 points
  3. ASU – 459.50 points
  4. Arizona – 331.50 points
  5. USC – 313 points
  6. Utah – 237 points

The final session of the 2022 Men’s Pac-12 Swimming & Diving Championships is here, and with it we’ll see finals of the 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, and 200 fly, as well as timed finals of the 1650 free and 400 free relay.

Cal set themselves up just about as well as they possibly could have this morning, racking up 16 A finalists. They stand a very good chance of catching Stanford, who has led the meet since day 1. Arizona State also had a great morning, but they have a lot more ground to make up.

First up is the fastest heat of the 1650 free, where Arizona’s Brooks Fail is the top seed. Stanford’s Grant Shoults‘ who has swum well so far this week, is also in the fastest heat.

Next up is the 200 back, which Stanford’s Leon MacAlister led this morning. He’ll have a tough battle on his though, as the Pac-12 meet record holder Daniel Carr (Cal) and 2021 NCAA runner-up Destin Lasco (Cal) are both in the A final as well.

Top-seeded Andrei Minakov (Stanford) was a bit off this morning in the 100 free, leaving him 9th, just out of the championship final. All eyes will be on the B final to see whether or not the 100 fly champion puts up a special performance in the B final. In the A final, 50 free champion Cal’s Bjorn Seeliger and 200 free champion Arizona State’s Grant House are set to fight it out. Cal freshman Jack Alexy broke through this morning, and tied for 1st with Seeliger.

Cal star Reece Whitley was in command of the 200 breast this morning, and is looking for yet another Pac-12 title in the event. Teammate Hugo Gonzalez nearly swam a personal best this morning, so we’ll be watching to see if he has a little something extra left in the tank tonight. ASU’s Leon Marchand, who has been absolutely incredible all meet, is in the mix as well.

Cal 5th year Trenton Julian led the 200 fly this morning. The seeding is tight in tonight’s A final, but Julian’s season best and personal best are both the fastest in the field by a solid margin.

MEN’S 1650 FREESTYLE – TIMED FINALS:

  • NCAA – 14:12.08
  • Pac-12 – 14:24.35
  • Pac-12 Champ –
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut – 14:37.31

Top 3:

  1. Brooks Fail (ZONA) – 14:41.22
  2. Grant Shoults (STAN) – 14:45.38
  3. Gordon Mason (ASU) – 14:50.70

Brooks Fail, the top seed coming into the race, clipped his season best to win the Pac-12 title in the mile tonight, posting a 14:41.22. Grant Shoults swam a 14:45.38 for 2nd, marking a season best by 10 seconds. Arizona State’s Gordon Mason also chipped a few seconds off his season best, solidifying his spot in the national standings, which will be relevant next week when NCAA invites are handed out.

Speaking of NCAA invitations, USC freshman Daniel Matheson swam a season best by 20 seconds, finishing 4th with a 14:51.59. That swim will certainly be fast enough for the freshman to earn an invite to NCAAs at the end of this month.

Notably, Sean Grieshop came in 5th with a 15:00.90, well off his personal best, but 6 seconds faster than his previous season best.

MEN’S 200 BACKSTROKE – FINALS:

  • NCAA – 1:35.73, Ryan Murphy, CAL (2016)
  • PAC-12 – 1:35.73, Ryan Murphy, CAL (2016)
  • PAC-12 Champ – 1:37.87, Daniel Carr, CAL (2020)
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut – 1:39.13

Top 3:

  1. Destin Lasco (CAL) – 1:38.81
  2. Daniel Carr (CAL) – 1:38.90
  3. Leon MacAlister (STAN) – 1:39.18

In a huge event for Cal, they had 4 swimmers finish in the top 5. 2021 NCAA runner-up Destin Lasco out-touched teammate Daniel Carr, the Pac-12 meet record holder, at the finish. Lasco established a lead through the early stages of the race, but Carr and Stanford’s Leon MacAlister both closed faster than Lasco on the final 50. Ultimately, Lasco was able to hold on to win the title, and all three men swam season best times. MacAlister’s swim also stands as a new personal best.

Additionally, Lasco, Carr, and MacAlister are now the top 3 performers in the NCAA this season.

The Mefford brothers were the next swimmers into the finish. Bryce Mefford, in his best race of the meet, swam a 1:39.49 for a massive season best to take 4th. Colby Mefford swam a 1:40.81 to take 5th. His time was faster than his prelims time, but just a tick off the 1:40.56 he swam in a time trial on Wednesday night.

Cal also picked up a 7th-place finish from Sebastian Somerset, who swam a 1:41.02, just off his prelims time of 1:40.70.

Cal has already cut the lead to just 14 points in the team standings following the 200 back.

MEN’S 100 FREESTYLE – FINALS:

  • NCAA – 39.90, Caeleb Dressel, Florida (2018)
  • PAC-12 – 40.76, Vladmir Morozov, USC (2013)
  • PAC-12 Champ – 41.38, Vladmir Morozov, USC (2013)
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut – 41.71

Top 3:

  1. Bjorn Seeliger (CAL) – 41.51
  2. Grant House (ASU) – 41.82
  3. Jack Alexy (CAL) – 41.93

Bjorn Seeliger made it a sweep of the sprint free events, taking the 100 free after winning the 50 free on Thursday. He swam a new personal best tonight, chipping 0.14 seconds off his previous mark, which was set at the 2021 NCAAs. Seeliger took the lead on the first 25 of the race, splitting 9.16, and basically just maintained his lead through the remaining 75 yards.

ASU’s Grant House, the 200 free champion from Friday night, took 2nd with a new personal best of 41.82. House’ performance marks his first time under 42 seconds in the event, checking another box for the senior who is absolutely on fire this week. House’s previous best time of 42.06 was set earlier this season at the NC State Invite.

Cal freshman Jack Alexy swam a 41.93 for 3rd, touching just off his prelims performance. The swim was, however, Alexy’s 2nd time under 42 seconds in the event.

ASU’s Carter Swift swam a personal best of 42.16 to take 4th. The swim was 0.14 seconds faster than this morning, and puts Swift safely in place to earn an invite to NCAAs.

After the 100 free, Cal has not only officially taken the lead in the team standings, they’re now in first by 38 points.

MEN’S 200 BREASTSTROKE – FINALS:

  • NCAA – 1:47.91 Will Licon, Texas (2017)
  • PAC-12 – 1:48.53 2020 Reecce Whitley, CAL (2020)
  • PAC-12 Champ – 1:48.86 Reece Whitley, CAL (2021)
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut – 1:52.28

Top 3:

  1. Leon Marchand (ASU) – 1:50.39
  2. Hugo Gonzalez (CAL) – 1:50.57
  3. Reece Whitley (CAL) – 1:50.89

In a surprising turn of events, Pac-12 record holder Reece Whitley was a bit slower than his prelims swim, finishing 3rd in tonight’s final. Whitley was hanging tough with Arizona State’s Leon Marchand and Cal teammate Hugo Gonzalez, but just couldn’t match their closing speed on the final 50, and faded to 3rd at the finish.

For Marchand, who is just a freshman, the swim marked an enormous personal best and decimated the Arizona State program record. Before this morning, ASU’s record stood at 1:53.54, a time which Marchand has now bettered by over 3 seconds. The victory also marks his 3rd individual title of the week. It was the 3rd that made the difference for Marchand. His 28.14 split on that lap was significantly faster than both Gonzalez and Whitley. Marchand is now the #10 performer all-time in the event.

For Gonzalez, the swim was a new personal best, and his first time under 1:51 in the event. Gonzalez is now the 11th-fastest performer all-time in the SCY 200 breast.

The top 6 swimmers in the A final tonight were all under the NCAA ‘A’ cut of 1:52.28. Stanford’s Daniel Roy swam a 1:51.21 for 4th, USC’s Chris O’Grady (freshman) was 1:51.67 for 5th, and Stanford freshman Ron Polonsky clocked a 1:51.73 for 6th.

MEN’S 200 BUTTERFLY – FINALS:

  • NCAA – 1:37.35, Jack Conger, Texas (2017)
  • PAC-12 – 1:38.53, Trenton Julian, CAL (2021)
  • PAC-12 Champ – 1:38.53, Trenton Julian, CAL (2021)
  • NCAA ‘A’ – 1:40.44

Top 3:

  1. Trenton Julian (CAL) – 1:39.95
  2. Alexander Colson (ASU) – 1:40.28
  3. Dare Rose (CAL) – 1:41.36

Cal 5th year Trenton Julian got the job done again, picking up another Pac-12 200 fly title. As Julian is want to do, he was out well faster than everyone else in the field, posting the fastest splits in the field on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd 50s of the race. Arizona State’s Alexander Colson made up 0.85 seconds on Julian on the final 50, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the lead Julian had built.

For Colson, the swim marks both a personal best and an ASU program record. The previous ASU record-holder was actually Leon Marchand, who swam a 1:40.86 at the mid-season invite back in November. Colson also picked up an NCAA ‘A’ cut with the performance.

Cal’s Dare Rose swam a personal best for 3rd, marking his second personal best in the event today. Freshman teammate Gabriel Jett was 4th with a 1:41.42, chipping 0.08 seconds off his previous best time.

Cal has also officially locked up the team title, having built a 75.5-point lead with just the 400 free relay remaining.

MEN’S 400 FREESTYLE – TIMED FINALS:

  • NCAA – 2:44.31, NC State (R.Held, J. Ress, J. Molacek, C. Stewart), 2018
  • PAC-12 – 2:46.41,  2019 CAL (Jensen, Sendyk, Hoffer, Seliskar)
  • PAC-12 Champ – 2:46.92, California (M Jensen, P Sendyk, D Carr, R Hoffer), 2020
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut – 2:50.99

Top 3:

  1. CAL ‘A’ – 2:45.94
  2. ASU ‘A’ – 2:45.95
  3. STAN ‘A’ – 2:47.17

Well…that was quite the end to the meet. Cal and Arizona State gave us one of the most thrilling conference relay races ever, which, of course, ended in a 0.01-second margin of victory. Before we even get into the race between Cal and ASU, I need to point out that Stanford freshman Andrei Minakov led the Cardinal relay off in 41.47, which is both a personal best and would have won the 100 free individually earlier tonight.

Both Cal and Arizona State had exceptional performances on their lead-off legs. For ASU, Grant House swam a 41.77, swimming another personal best and re-breaking the ASU record with the swim. On Cal’s relay, sophomore Dylan Hawk led off in 42.19, beating out the personal best of 42.53 he swam for 10th in the 100 free tonight. Prior to today, Hawk’s personal best in the 100 free was 43.92, marking huge improvement for the 19-year-old.

Although ASU had built up a half-second lead on the lead-off, Cal freshman Jack Alexy would have something to say about that. Alexy split 41.14 on the 2nd leg, making up ground on ASU’s Carter Swift, who posted a speedy 41.46 himself. ASU’s Jack Dolan got the better of Cal’s Hugo Gonzalez on the 3rd leg, splitting 41.46 to Gonzalez’s 41.70. It came down to the anchor, where Cal’s Bjorn Seeliger, the 100 free champion from earlier tonight, delivered in the biggest way.

Going up against a red-hot Leon Marchand for Arizona State, Seeliger tore home for the Golden Bears, delivering a 40.91 anchor split while getting his hand on the wall 0.01 seconds ahead of Marchand at the finish. To his credit, Marchand was excellent on ASU’s anchor, splitting 41.26, but it just wasn’t enough for the victory by the slimmest margin possible.

Both teams were well under the Pac-12 conference record. Additionally, Cal and ASU’s swims are the 4th and 5th fastest 400 free relays in history, respectively.

FINAL TEAM STANDINGS

  1. Cal – 853.5
  2. Stanford – 760
  3. Arizona State – 652
  4. USC – 449
  5. Arizona – 423.5
  6. Utah – 264

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NB1
6 months ago

MEN’S 400 FREESTYLE
 isn’t it 4×100 or relay?

Last edited 6 months ago by NB1
Swim Fan
6 months ago

Cal has to be the front runner for the 2022 NCAA championship.

Grant Drukker
Reply to  Swim Fan
6 months ago

I did a quick glance over the top rankings, and it looks a lot closer than I would have thought. Texas has some holes in the 200 back/fly and their typical “best” events like the 200/500 free are extremely crowded with talent across the NCAA. The two big events they have the leg up on Cal though is diving and the mile, which might just be too much to overcome.

Swim3r
6 months ago

Cal is winning the 2022 NCAA championship

I Bench
6 months ago

PAC-12 > SEC & ACC

h2olover
Reply to  I Bench
6 months ago

Interesting question as to the best swimming conference. I plan on keeping track of conference aggregate scores to see which conference has the legitimate claim as home of the fastest (male) swimmers.

oxyswim
6 months ago

Minakov (with clear water) was faster than the winning time in the 100 leading off the relay.

Joe
Reply to  oxyswim
6 months ago

Shoulda done it in prelims

PFA
Reply to  oxyswim
6 months ago

Where does that place him with all time freshman?

Grant Drukker
Reply to  PFA
6 months ago

Behind a jr in high school.

oxyswim
6 months ago

B relay getting the A cut is dirtyyy.

Random123
Reply to  oxyswim
6 months ago

also having two teams do it in the same race :O

mds
Reply to  Random123
6 months ago

ASU also had two teams under the “A” cut. Actually, Coach Durden won’t necessarily need to make substitutions as he made good choices for the A v B relays. All 4 on their A had faster swims than all 4 on the B relay (giving 0.6 for relay starts) Hawk had been 1:35.56 coming into the meet in the 200 free and went 1:33.4 in prelims.1:33.5 in finals, with 28th (my guess at the cut line) at 1:33.03. In the 100 he came in at :43.92 and swam :42.84 and :42.53 in prelims and finals with the current anticipated NCAA cutoff at approx. :42.25. And he logically earned the slot on the A relay as his 10th behind Minakov in… Read more »

ALDASP
Reply to  oxyswim
6 months ago

someone help me out here – does that mean you can enter two teams at NC’s?

Admin
Reply to  ALDASP
6 months ago

It does not. Just impressive.

Swimdude
Reply to  oxyswim
6 months ago

NCS did this at mid season IIRC

HeatFan14
6 months ago

What a finish.

HJones
6 months ago

Whitley will probably come back for a 5th year, but I feel like he just never really “got it going” with Cal. Haven’t seen any stroke/skill improvements, and if anything he got worse in LC. It’s really strange since he had so much upside coming out of HS but going to Cal didn’t seem to make him a better swimmer.

Swammer
Reply to  HJones
6 months ago

I was thinking about this as well. He’s made progress in breaststroke, mainly the 200, but he’s had bad luck at NCAAs. Pair of 4th places as a freshman is good, got screwed over as a sophomore and got blocked by McHugh last year.
What really hurts him in my eyes is the lack of development in a tertiary event. He’s made no freestyle drops since hs, and his 200IM is has been a 1:43 for 4 years. I know McHugh doesn’t have a third option at all, but he was recruited as a pure breaststroker and thats how he’s panned out. Whitley was supposed to have upside beyond breaststroke, but it hasn’t turned out that way. I’m pulling… Read more »

Ricky Fuentez
Reply to  Swammer
6 months ago

You guys… It’s way too soon. He’s gonna pull a Seliskar/Hoffer 4th year and then ride off into the sunset.

Swammer
Reply to  Ricky Fuentez
6 months ago

That would be even better than taking a 5th year

MA swims 56 100breast in Paris
Reply to  Ricky Fuentez
6 months ago

He’wasn’t tapered for Conference. Saving it all for NCAAs