2023 Men’s Pac-12 Championships: Day 4 Finals Live Recap


The five-time defending champion Cal men face an uphill battle on Saturday night to stretch their conference title streak to six in a row at the 2023 Pac-12 Championships.

The night will begin with the 1650 free before a showdown between Cal teammates Destin Lasco (1:38.66) and Hugo Gonzalez (1:38.84). Then in the 100 free, fellow Cal teammate Bjorn Seeliger will attempt to lower his meet record from prelims (41.30). In the 200 breast, Arizona State star sophomore Leon Marchand comes in as the second seed (1:52.34) behind Cal’s Jason Louser (1:50.99), who set a new lifetime best in prelims by almost a second.

The evening will conclude with finals in the 200 fly and 400 free relay. Cal has a 103.5-point deficit to overcome tonight.


  1. ASU – 637.5
  2. Cal – 534
  3. Stanford – 441.5
  4. Arizona – 245
  5. Utah – 239.5
  6. USC – 233.5

Men’s 1650 Freestyle

  • NCAA Record: 14:12.08, Bobby Finke (FLOR) – 2020 SEC Championships
  • Pac-12 Record: 14:24.35 – Chad La Tourette (Stanford), 2012
  • Pac-12 Championship Record: 14:33.69 – Zach Yeadon (Cal), 2021
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 14:37.31
  • 2022 NCAA Invite Time: 14:55.21

Top 8:

  1. Zalan Sarkany (ASU) – 14:41.65
  2. Daniel Matheson (ASU) – 14:48.52
  3. Lucas Henveaux (CAL) – 14:48.84
  4. Gabe Machado (STAN) – 14:50.02
  5. Matthew Chai (CAL) – 14:55.68
  6. Julian Hill (ASU) – 14:57.11
  7. Liam Custer (STAN) – 14:59.05
  8. Mason Nyboer (ARIZ) – 15:09.43

Arizona State freshman Zalan Sarkany dropped more than eight seconds off his previous best from last month with a 14:41.65 to win the 1650 free title by nearly seconds. Sarkany’s time is a new school record that also ranks as the eighth-fastest in the NCAA this season. He’s the Sun Devils’ first Pac-12 champion in the mile since CJ Nuess in 2008.

ASU teammate Daniel Matheson shaved more than three seconds off his previous best from last year’s Pac-12 Championships. Cal’s Lucas Henveaux also went sub 14:50, finishing just a few tenths behind Matheson with a 14:48.84.

Men’s 200 Backstroke

  • NCAA Record: 1:35.73, Ryan Murphy (CAL) – 2016 NCAA Championships
  • Pac-12 Record: 1:35.73, Ryan Murphy (Cal) – 2016 NCAA Championships
  • Pac-12 Championship Record: 1:37.87 – Daniel Carr (Cal) – 2020
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:39.13
  • 2022 NCAA Invite Time: 1:40.92

Top 8:

  1. Destin Lasco (CAL) – 1:36.94
  2. Hugo Gonzalez (CAL) – 1:37.19
  3. Owen McDonald (ASU) – 1:39.01
  4. Hubert Kos (ASU) – 1:39.21
  5. Aaron Sequeira (STAN) – 1:39.94
  6. Leon MacAlister (STAN) – 1:40.16
  7. Josh Zuchowski (STAN) – 1:40.68
  8. Sebastian Somerset (CAL) – 1:41.09

Cal’s Destin Lasco and Hugo Gonzalez both finished under the Pac-12 Championship record in this thrilling showdown, but Lasco out-touched his teammate by a quarter-second to claim the 200 back title.

Lasco was nearly two seconds quicker than his winning time from last season (1:38.81), and less than a second slower than his lifetime best from the 2021 NCAA Championships (1:35.99).

ASU’s Owen McDonald rounded out the podium with a 1:39.01, edging teammate Hubert Kos for third place by two-tenths of a second. McDonald also set a new school record in the process.

Men’s 100 Freestyle

  • NCAA Record: 39.90, Caeleb Dressel (FLOR) – 2018 NCAA Championships
  • Pac-12 Record: 40.75 – Bjorn Seeliger (Cal) – 2022
  • Pac-12 Championship Record: 41.30 – Bjorn Seeliger (Cal) – 2023
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 41.64
  • 2022 NCAA Invite Time: 42.34

Top 8:

  1. Bjorn Seeliger (CAL) – 40.90
  2. Jack Alexy (CAL) – 41.42
  3. Grant House (ASU) – 41.69
  4. Jack Dolan (ASU) – 41.96
  5. Patrick Sammon (ASU) – 41.98
  6. Andrei Minakov (STAN) – 42.01
  7. Matthew Jensen (CAL) – 42.09
  8. Jonny Kulow (ASU) – 42.16

Cal junior Bjorn Seeliger lowered his meet record from prelims en route to victory in 40.90, reaching the wall more than half a second ahead of runner-up Jack Alexy (41.42). Seeliger was only .15 seconds away from his personal-best 40.75 from last year’s NCAA Championships.

ASU fifth year Grant House edged teammate Jack Dolan by .27 seconds for the final spot on the podium with a time of 41.69, just off his personal-best 41.48 from last year’s NCAAs.

Men’s 200 Breaststroke

  • NCAA Record: 1:47.91, Will Licon (TEX) – 2017 NCAA Championships
  • Pac-12 Record: 1:48.20 – Leon Marchand (ASU) – 2022
  • Pac-12 Championship Record: 1:48.86 – Reece Whitley (Cal), 2020
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:51.54
  • 2022 NCAA Invite Time: 1:53.23

Top 8:

  1. Leon Marchand (ASU) – 1:47.67 *NCAA Record
  2. Reece Whitley (CAL) – 1:51.30
  3. Jason Louser (CAL) – 1:51.41
  4. David Schlicht (ASU) – 1:52.15
  5. Chris O’Grady (USC) – 1:52.77
  6. Ben Dillard (USC) – 1:53.27
  7. Ron Polonsky (STAN) – 1:53.53
  8. Jacob Soderlund (CAL) – 2:15.29

Arizona State sophomore Leon Marchand wasn’t even the top seed entering this final, but he still managed to make an NCAA record look effortless with a 1:47.67 to win the 200 breast.

Marchand took down the previous NCAA record belonging to Will Licon from the 2017 NCAA Championships. His previous best before tonight was a 1:48.20 from last year’s NCAA Championships, which earned him the national title.

It’s Marchand’s NCAA record of his career after setting marks in the 200 IM last year and 400 IM this year.

Cal fifth year Reece Whitley earned the runner-up finish nearly four seconds behind Marchand, edging teammate Jason Louser (1:51.41) by just a tenth of a second.

Men’s 200 Butterfly

  • NCAA Record: 1:37.35, Jack Conger (TEX) – 2017 NCAA Championships
  • Pac-12 Record: 1:38.53 – Trenton Julian (Cal), 2021
  • Pac-12 Championship Record: 1:38.53 – Trenton Julian (Cal), 2021
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:40.20
  • 2022 NCAA Invite Time: 1:42.42

Top 8:

  1. Gabriel Jett (CAL) – 1:39.27
  2. Alexander Colson (ASU) – 1:39.55
  3. Andrew Gray (ASU) – 1:41.20
  4. Dare Rose (CAL) – 1:41.83
  5. Haakon Naughton (ARIZ) – 1:42.60
  6. Jonny Affeld (STAN) – 1:42.83
  7. Harry Homans (USC) – 1:43.52
  8. Ethan Hu (STAN) – 1:44.03

Cal sophomore Gabriel Jett posted the first sub-1:40 performance of his career with a 1:39.27 to win the 200 fly title.

Jett improved upon his previous-best 1:40.22 from last year’s NCAA Championships. ASU’s Alexander Colson also broke the 1:40 barrier, clocking a 1:39.55 to place second ahead of teammate Andrew Gray (1:41.20) and set a new school record in the process.

Only two other men have been under 1:40 this season: Indiana’s Brendan Burns and ASU’s Leon Marchand.

Men’s 400 Free Relay

  • NCAA Record: 2:44.31, NC State – 2018 NCAA Championships
  • Pac-12 Record: 2:45.94 – Cal (2022)
  • Pac-12 Championship Record: 2:45.94 – Cal (2022)
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 2:50.52
  1. Cal – 2:45.67
  2. ASU – 2:46.14
  3. Arizona – 2:49.90
  4. Utah – 2:52.06
  5. USC – 2:54.17

Cal’s quartet of Dylan Hawk (42.43), Bjorn Seeliger (40.87), Matthew Jensen (41.57), and Jack Alexy (40.80) combined for a 2:45.67, breaking the Pac-12 and meet records set by Cal last year (2:45.94). Seeliger and Alexy had the only sub-41 splits in the field.

ASU’s ‘A’ team of Leon Marchand (41.61), Grant House (41.86), Patrick Sammon (41.18), and Jack Dolan (41.49) placed second in 2:46.14 less than a second behind Cal.

Arizona rounded out the podium in third place with a 2:49.90 while Utah placed fourth in 2:52.06.

Final Team Scores

  1. ASU – 897.5
  2. Cal – 819
  3. Stanford – 615.5
  4. Arizona – 323
  5. USC – 314.5
  6. Utah – 300.5

The Arizona State men brought home their first Pac-12 title in program history, 78.5 points ahead of five-time defending champion Cal. After the victory, Sun Devils head coach Bob Bowman got a well-deserved Gatorade bath.

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Mark warkentin
15 days ago

Nick Brunelli deserves a ton of credit for ASU success at PAC-12 champs. That guy did something truly special. Props to you Nick. (And also to the other awesome alumni who were so important when it mattered).

Hope ucla and UW see what just happened.

Grant Drukker
Reply to  Mark warkentin
15 days ago

Is he a coach or assistant on staff?

Reply to  Mark warkentin
15 days ago

Amazing to see their turn around after what they went through. Wish UW or UCLA could get a team back

Reply to  Mark warkentin
15 days ago

As in bring back their programs? Would love it but highly unlikely especially UW. Where is that money and support going to come from?

Reply to  FlyFly
15 days ago

From the same place as any other school swimming program.

Patrick Nalley
Reply to  Mark warkentin
15 days ago

Simon Percy and a few others deserve a championship ring for saving this program.

No kidding
Reply to  Mark warkentin
15 days ago

Nick Brunelli?! That’s the most interesting shout-out I’ve heard in a while. Can you please elaborate? I didn’t know he was still in the swimming world.

Reply to  Mark warkentin
15 days ago

Freestyle/Backstroke swimmer for Sun Devils and Pac-10 200 free Champion in his time and, what I suspect Wark is referring to, I believe he was part of the cabal of former ASU swimmers (Rob Richardson, Mike Orn, Simon Percy, Emerson Ward and many, many others that played a large role in bringing the Men’s program back to life after it was unceremoniously disbanded.

Justin Pollard
15 days ago

Wow, Alexy really coming into his own. 40.80 on that relay split? 🔥🔥🔥

Reply to  Justin Pollard
15 days ago

With a beard and not shaved

Grant Drukker
Reply to  Justin Pollard
15 days ago

and 41.4 in the individual.

Reply to  Justin Pollard
15 days ago

What the heck did you expect from a guy that huge who was good enough as a high schooler to get a second swim in the 100 free at the Olympic trials while breaking Calaeb Dressels NAG record?

15 days ago

Wow, way to go, Sun Devils! As a former Bruin swimmer and ASU assistant coach, it’s just very cool to see a new conference champ! Congrats guys!

Justin Pollard
15 days ago

Amazing meet, Sun Devils! A well-deserved win, all around exceptional performances!

Reply to  Justin Pollard
15 days ago

Yeah. It was a high quality meet. Frenchy was “magnifique”

Justin Pollard
15 days ago

Small correction: this is Jett’s 2nd sub 1:40 performance

Reply to  Justin Pollard
8 days ago

Correct. In Stanford v. Cal dual meet, always oneof the fastest of the collegiate season, Jett won the 200 Fly in 1:39.95.

15 days ago

Congrats to the University of Southern California men for finishing top 5!

Fight on!
Reply to  Guy
15 days ago

You know there are only 6 teams right? 😂

Reply to  Guy
15 days ago

I mean, it’s better than two years ago when we got dead last!

15 days ago

Arizona 400 free relay hit another ‘A’ cut with their time of 2:49,90.

Relays were a highlight of their meet.

Reply to  Marklewis
15 days ago

Not sure why they are able to make aspects work on the men’s side when almost nothing is working on the swim side.

Reply to  oxyswim
15 days ago

It was tough to reach the finals with the depth of Cal and ASU.

Two of their freshman made the finals of the 200 free and 200 fly.

Reply to  Marklewis
15 days ago

Meant to say almost nothing is working on the women’s side and mistyped.

15 days ago

Bob Bowman is cooking something scrumptious at ASU, students and pros. I remember when his rep dwindled for a little bit post Phelps retirement.

But he’s done solid work with the school’s swim program. An NCAA Championship is definitely on the radar for them in a few years.

Former Big10
15 days ago

Think it was more because his Michigan teams weren’t breaking into the top 3-5

15 days ago

And meanwhile the pro group is swimming lights-out as well! Definitely tip the cap to Bowman & co.!

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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