2022 Men’s Pac-12 Championships: Day 4 Prelims 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

Cal made a huge move on Friday but still find themselves down 63 points to Stanford heading into the final day of the meet. This morning’s (or afternoon, depending on where you are) prelims session will be critical to whichever team ends up winning the title tonight. The 200 back is a huge event for the Golden Bears, as they have 8 guys seeded in the top 16, led by Destin Lasco, the top seed in the event.

Stanford has the top seed in the 100 free, Andrei Minakov, who enters the meet with a season best of 41.69. It should be a really thrilling event, as Bjorn Seeliger, the 50 free champion, is right behind, and Grant House, the 200 free champion, is 3rd.

Reece Whitley is the top seed in the 200 breast by a very comfortable margin, coming in as the only swimmer under 1:50. Someone who is a little ways down on the psych sheet but we should definitely keep an eye on is Stanford freshman Ron Polonsky. Polonsky has had an incredible meet thus far, taking 3rd in the 200 IM, and 4th in the 400 IM.

Cal 5th year Trenton Julian is the top seed in the 200 fly, coming in as the only sub-1:40 in the field. The early heats of the 1650 will be swum later this afternoon. Arizona’s Brooks Fail is the top seed, and will be in lane 4 for the fastest heat, which will kick off tonight’s finals session.

MEN’S 200 BACKSTROKE – PRELIMS:

  • 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 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Leon MacAlister (STAN) – 1:39.36
  2. Daniel Carr (CAL) – 1:39.71
  3. Destin Lasco (CAL) – 1:40.22
  4. Sebastian Somerset (CAL) – 1:40.22
  5. Bryce Mefford (CAL) – 1:41.29
  6. Colby Mefford (CAL) – 1:41.49
  7. Evangelos Makrygiannis (USC) – 1:41.86
  8. Aaron Sequeira (STAN) – 1:41.94

Wow, what a way to kick off the final prelims session of the meet! Leading the way this morning was Stanford junior Leon MacAlister, who swam a massive personal best, breaking 1:40 for the first time in his career. MacAlister was also just off the NCAA ‘A’ cut of 1:39.13, and his swim this morning makes him the #5 performer in the NCAA this season.

Cal did what they needed to do, getting all 5 of their swimmers who are racing for points into the A final. Daniel Carr was the first Golden Bear this morning, cracking 1:40 for the first time this season. Destin Lasco was next, swimming about a second slower than his season best.

Sebastian Somerset, a junior locked up an NCAA invite for this year with his 1:40.22 this morning, which stands as a personal best. Bryce Mefford, who has looked just a little bit off this weekend, had a really nice prelims swim, clocking a 1:41.29, which is a season best by 2.48 seconds. He’ll need to be a tick faster tonight to lock up an NCAA invite this year. His younger brother, Colby Mefford, swam a 1:41.49, getting him into the championship final.

Notably, Cal had 3 would-be B finalists who swam exhibition this morning. Freshman Ziyad Saleem swam a season best 1:42.28, which would have put him 9th. Another freshman, Kai Crews, swam a 1:43.43, which would have been 16th. Kyle Millis, a senior, was 1:43.34, which would have put him 15th.

MEN’S 100 FREESTYLE – PRELIMS:

  • 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 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Jack Alexy (CAL) – 41.77 (tie)
  2. Bjorn Seeliger (CAL) – 41.77 (tie)
  3. Grant House (ASU) – 42.15
  4. Carter Swift (ASU) – 42.30
  5. Matthew Jensen (CAL) – 42.52
  6. Jack Dolan (ASU) – 42.53
  7. Robin Hanson (CAL) – 42.57
  8. Marin Ercegovic (ZONA) – 42.59

The biggest story in this morning’s 100 free prelims isn’t who made the A final, but who didn’t. Stanford freshman Andrei Minakov, who was the top seed coming into prelims, swam a 42.68 to finish 9th, one spot out of the A final. That’s huge from the team standing’s perspective, as Cal freshman Jack Alexy moved up from his 10th seed to tie teammate Bjorn Seeliger for the top seed for tonight’s final. Additionally, Stanford’s Luke Maurer swam a 42.69 for 10th, giving the Cardinal 2 guys who just missed out on the top 8.

For Alexy, the swim was massive. He downed his personal best, which stood at 42.63 from April of last year. With the swim the freshman is now #9 in the NCAA this season, making him safe to earn an invite to NCAAs by a wide margin. Another Cal freshman, Robin Hanson, made it into the championship final, swimming a personal best of 42.57 to take 7th.

Arizona State really got things rolling in the 100 free this morning, which bodes well for their 400 free relay tonight. 200 free champion Grant House touched 3rd, while Carter Swift swam a 42.30, clipping his season best. Swift will need to drop a tiny bit more time tonight to be safe for qualifying for NCAAs.

Through the first two events this morning Cal has 9 A finalists, while Stanford has 2.

MEN’S 200 BREASTSTROKE – PRELIMS:

  • 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 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Reece Whitley (CAL) – 1:50.57
  2. Hugo Gonzalez (CAL) – 1:51.27
  3. Daniel Roy (STAN) – 1:52.37
  4. Chris O’Grady (USC) – 1:52.66
  5. Leon Marchand (ASU) – 1:52.97
  6. Jason Louser (CAL) – 1:52.97
  7. Ben Dillard (USC) – 1:53.77
  8. Ron Polonsky (STAN) – 1:54.60

No surprise here, as Cal’s Reece Whitley led the way this morning, turning in a very solid morning swim of 1:50.57. The senior has set himself up well for another sub-1:50 performance tonight, and maybe taking a run at his Championship Record of 1:48.86.

Cal teammate Hugo Gonzalez has been swimming well this week, and kept it rolling this morning. Gonzalez’s time of 1:51.27 was just off his personal best of 1:51.20, which he swam at last year’s NCAA Championships. With the swim, Gonzalez is now #6 in the NCAA this season.

Daniel Roy clipped his season best to take 3rd this morning, making it as one of two Stanford swimmers to advance to the A final. The other is freshman Ron Polonsky, who swam a personal best of 1:54.60 to grab the last spot in the championship final tonight.

We should all keep our eyes on Arizona State’s Leon Marchand, who has been on fire all week. After posting the 2nd-fastest 400 IM ever last night, Marchand swam a personal best in the 200 breast this morning.

MEN’S 200 BUTTERFLY – PRELIMS:

  • 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 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Trenton Julian (CAL) – 1:41.22
  2. Alexander Colson (ASU) – 1:41.25
  3. Dare Rose (CAL) – 1:41.85
  4. Andrew Gray (ASU) – 1:42.25
  5. Preston Forst (STAN) – 1:42.30
  6. Alexei Sancov (USC) – 1:43.10
  7. Will Roberts (CAL) – 1:43.23
  8. Gabriel Jett (CAL) – 1:43.27

Cal has concluded an exceptional prelims session, grabbing another 4 A finalists to bring their total for the day to 16. 5th year Trenton Julian led the way with a 1:41.22, narrowly grabbing the top seed for tonight over ASU’s Alexander Colson. For Colson, the swim was a season best, clipping his previous mark of 1:41.38. He remains #14 in the NCAA this season with the swim.

Cal’s Dare Rose swam a personal best to take 3rd this morning, swimming under 1:42 for the first time in his career. 500 free champion and 200 free runner-up Preston Forst (Stanford) made it into the A final, swimming a personal best and a massive season best.

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Samuel Huntington
8 months ago

Question – should Marchand swim the 100 free instead of 200 breast or fly? Hard to ignore the 41.1 split from last night.

Marsh
Reply to  Samuel Huntington
8 months ago

I was thinking that too but they still got 3 into the A final. Probably more points for him in the 200 breast + relay anchor, where I think he’ll be in the hunt to catch the bears

Kyle Sockwell
Reply to  Samuel Huntington
8 months ago

Having to decide between literally every event except for the mile on the last day is a weird problem to wrap your head around, eh?

Kyle Sockwell
Reply to  Samuel Huntington
8 months ago

But nah… I think he’s got 1:37 speed and 1:50 speed in the 2fl/2br

Taa
8 months ago

Cal showed full force today on some meet rest they got better and better.

StuartC
8 months ago

Not counting 1650, Cal has 16/4 (up/down) while Stanford has 5/12. Cal also has more firepower in 1650. If no DQs in relay, Cal will win by around 90 to 100 points!

Swammer
8 months ago

Chances Minakov puts up the fastest time from the B final?

SoCal Swammer
Reply to  Swammer
8 months ago

Slim, my money is on Seeliger or House.. House has been on fire this meet and this morning Seeliger completely shut it down the last few strokes coming into the wall.. should be a great race

Willswim
8 months ago

What’s Cal’s best 400 free relay lineup? Obviously Seeliger and Alexy are on it, but did Jensen and Hanson just bump Lasco and Hugo off? I thought this season they’d only be replacing Hoffer from the NCAA winning team, but they may be better off trying to defend the title with 3 new guys.

Jay Ryan
8 months ago

Live results lists Sebas Somerset at 1:40.70, not 1:40.22 today but both times will make NCAA qual

Swimmy
8 months ago

Minakov missing the A final just sealed Stanfords fate

SoCal Swammer
8 months ago

100 freestyle just sealed it. Roll on you bears.