2023 Men’s PAC-12 Swimming and Diving Championships: Day 2 Finals Live Recap

2023 MEN’S PAC-12 SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

TEAM SCORES THRU DAY 1

  1. USC – 198
  2. Utah – 146
  3. Arizona – 131
  4. ASU – 127
  5. Stanford – 117
  6. Cal – 72

ASU had a dominant display in today’s prelims, putting four swimmers into the ‘A’ final in each individual event–the 500 free, 200 IM, and 50 free. That includes the top seed in the 200 IM, NCAA record holder Leon Marchand. The Frenchman put up the fastest time of the morning with a 1:40.32, but had the slowest freestyle leg of the top-8 qualifiers, which signals that he should have a lot more left in the tank for finals.

The Sun Devils flexed their depth, but Cal took the top seed in both the 500 and 50 freestyle. In the 500, grad student Lucas Henveauxwho joined the team this semester, clocked the fastest prelims time in a personal best 4:11.06. His teammate Patrick Callan is seeded second, over two seconds back in 4:13.21.

The top seed in the 50 freestyle belongs to Bjorn Seeliger, who was the only man to crack 18 seconds in prelims. He posted 18.87, just seven-hundredths off the meet record, so that’s another record to keep an eye on this session. Seeliger is the favorite heading into finals, but there’s a close race for second shaping up behind him as Jack Dolan, Jonny Kulowand Andrei Minakov are separated by just three-hundredths.

500 FREESTYLE – FINALS

  • NCAA Record: 4:06.32, Kieran Smith (Florida) — 2020 SEC Championships
  • Pac-12 Record: 4:07.81, Leon Marchand (Arizona State) — 2023 ASU vs. Arizona
  • Championship Record: 4:09.49, Trenton Julian (Cal) — 2021 PAC-12 Championships
  • 2022 Champion: Preston Forst (Stanford) – 4:12.06
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 4:11.40
  • 2022 NCAA Invite: 4:14.96

Top 8:

  1. Gabriel Jett (Cal) – 4:09.66
  2. Lucas Henveaux (Cal) – 4:11.16
  3. Julian Hill (ASU) – 4:12.21
  4. Patrick Callan (Cal) – 4:12.45
  5. Andrew Gray (ASU) – 4:12.55
  6. Daniel Matheson (ASU) – 4:13.14
  7. Preston Forst (STAN) – 4:15.01
  8. Zalan Sarkany (ASU) – 4:16.48

Gabriel Jett continued his breakout year here at the PAC-12 Championships, earning the conference title in the 500 freestyle. Jett swam a lifetime best of 4:09.66, scaring the meet record that Trenton Julian set at 4:09.49 in 2021. The swim is a best time for the sophomore by 4.24 seconds, improving on the 4:13.90 he swam at the 2021 Minnesota Invite.

At this meet last year, Jett finished 20th in prelims with a 4:23.09 before electing to scratch finals. Additionally, this swim vaults him up to second fastest in the NCAA this season, behind only Leon Marchandwho will likely opt for the 200 IM at NCAAs like he did here. Many had Jett as dark horse contender in the 200 fly, but he’s just asserted himself as a contender in this event as well.

Cal’s newest addition of Lucas Henveaux made it a 1-2 for Cal, clocking a 4:11.16, which is just a tenth slower than the time he posted in prelims.

ASU had four swimmers up in this final, and Julian Hill was the fastest of the four, taking third in 4:12.21, which is a new personal best for him.

Last year’s champion Preston Forst finished seventh in 4:15.01. That’s well off his personal best, but marks a new season best.

ASU’s Jack Wadsworth, a transfer from D3 Ithaca College, won the ‘B’ final in 4:17.87 to lower his lifetime best from the 4:19.33 that he swam in prelims. Prior to today, his personal best was the 4:23.72 he posted at the NC State Invite. And before arriving in Tempe? His best was a 4:38.44. Before arriving at ASU, he didn’t swim the event that often–he only raced it once while at Ithaca.

200 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY – FINALS

  • NCAA Record: 1:37.69, Leon Marchand (Arizona State) — 2022 NCAA Championships
  • Pac-12 Record: 1:37.69, Leon Marchand (Arizona State) — 2022 NCAA Championships
  • Championship Record: 1:39.65, Leon Marchand (Arizona State) — 2022 PAC-12 Championships
  • 2022 Champion: Leon Marchand (Arizona State) – 1:39.65
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:41.22
  • 2022 NCAA Invite: 1:43.36

Top 8:

  1. Leon Marchand (ASU) – 1:37.81 (Meet Record)
  2. Hugo Gonzalez (CAL) – 1:38.72
  3. Ron Polonsky (STAN) – 1:40.42
  4. Destin Lasco (CAL) – 1:40.60
  5. Owen McDonald (ASU) – 1:41.60
  6. Grant House (ASU) – 1:41.62
  7. David Schlicht (ASU) – 1:42.33
  8. Jonny Affeld (STAN) – 1:43.38

Leon Marchand took down his own championship record in the 200 IM to defend his title, blasting a 1:37.81. That’s the second-fastest swim of all-time in the event, trailing only his 1:37.69 that he swam at 2022 NCAAs. Marchand split 21.52/24.34/28.17/23.78.

In his post-race interview, Marchand said that he’s not done a full taper for this meet, and that it’s his improvements in his breaststroke and freestyle that have allowed him to swim as fast as he was last year without fully tapering.

After a slow start when he rejoined Cal earlier this semester, Hugo Gonzalez is back on form. He pushed Marchand through the majority of the race–though Marchand used powerful underwaters to pull away from him on the freestyle leg. Gonzalez swam 1:38.72, which is a personal best by 1.1 seconds.

Rounding out the podium was Stanford’s Ron Polonsky, who took third for the second straight year. His time of 1:40.42 is faster than the 1:40.71 he swam at this meet last year. The sophomore used a strong back half (28.76/24.29) to overtake Destin Lasco, who repeated his fourth place finish from last year with a 1:40.60.

After clocking a lifetime best 1:42.94 in prelims, ASU freshman Owen McDonald continued to drop time here in finals. He finished fifth in 1:41.60, edging out teammate Grant House by two-hundredths of a second.

In the ‘B’ final, Hubert Kos finished second behind Jason Louser (1:41.82) in a new personal best of 1:42.37. That takes .73 seconds off his previous best, a 1:43.10.

50 FREESTYLE – FINALS

  • NCAA Record: 17.63, Caeleb Dressel (Florida) — 2018 NCAA Championships
  • Pac-12 Record: 18.27, Bjorn Seeliger (Cal) — 2022 NCAA Championships
  • Championship Record: 18.80, Brad Tandy (Arizona) — 2014 PAC-12 Championships
  • 2022 Champion: Bjorn Seeliger (Cal) – 18.84
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 18.88
  • 2022 NCAA Invite: 19.28

Top 8:

  1. Jack Dolan (ASU) – 18.86
  2. Bjorn Seeliger (CAL) – 18.91
  3. Andrei Minakov (STAN) – 19.07
  4. Jonny Kulow (ASU) – 19.09
  5. Jack Alexy (CAL) – 19.13
  6. Max McCusker (ASU) – 19.14
  7. Ryan Perham (ARIZ) – 19.32
  8. Patrick Sammon (ASU) – 19.47

ASU won their second straight event as Jack Dolan won the 50 freestyle in a personal best of 18.86. That undercuts his previous best of 18.92, which he swam at midseason. With the improvement, he also moves up to 7th in the NCAA this season–and the race there for a spot in the NCAA ‘A’ final gets event tighter. Dolan was six-hundredths off the meet record, which has stood at 18.80 since 2014.

Last year’s champion Bjorn Seeliger took second in 18.91, adding four-hundredths from his prelims time. Seeliger was first at the turn–the only man out under 9 seconds with an 8.96–but Dolan used a fast turn to power a strong second 25 and get his hand on the wall ahead of Seeliger.

Stanford’s Andrei Minakov earned third with a 19.07. That’s a personal best for him, knocking a hundredth off the 19.08 he swam to get second at this meet last year. Minakov didn’t race this event at 2022 NCAAs, instead opting to be on all five relays. It’s a positive sign for Minakov, who did not compete for Stanford in the fall semester.

Freshman Jonny Kulow came into the meet with a personal best of 19.46, which he lowered to 19.15 in prelims. He dropped again here in finals to grab fourth in 19.09. That puts him in a six way tie for 17th in the NCAA.

200 FREESTYLE RELAY — TIMED FINAL

  • NCAA Record: 1:14.08, Auburn – 2009 NCAA Championships
  • PAC-12 Record: 1:14.36, Cal — 2021 NCAA Championships
  • PAC-12 Championship Record: 1:15.00, Cal — 2022 PAC-12 Championships
  • 2022 Champion: Cal — 1:15.00
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:16.80

Top 6:

  1. Cal (Seeliger, Alexy, Lasco, Jett) – 1:15.40
  2. ASU (Dolan, Kulow, McCusker, House) – 1:15.75
  3. Arizona (Palmer, Ercegovic, Miller, Perham) – 1:15.97
  4. Stanford – 1:16.24
  5. Utah – 1:18.02

DQ: USC

Cal earned their second event win of the session with their win here in the 200 free relay, and defended their event title from last year. Seeliger led off in 18.87, which ties what he swam in the 50 free prelims earlier today. While that time still would have been second to Dolan in the individual final, it was enough to give Cal the lead, as Dolan led off for the Sun Devils in 19.15.

The Golden Bears led from wire-to-wire in this race. Jack Alexy split 18.54, which is about what he split on the DQed 200 medley relay. Destin Lasco swam the third leg, clocking 18.81. Newly crowned 500 freestyle champion Gabriel Jett anchored in 19.18. For a moment, it looked like ASU’s anchor Grant House was going to catch Jett, but the sophomore had a monster underwater off his turn to put distance between himself and House.

ASU touched second in 1:15.75. After Dolan, Kulow split 18.86, .46 slower than his 200 medley relay anchor on Night 1. The important context there was that was his first swim of the evening, whereas tonight he swam the 50 free less than an hour before. Max McCusker swam 18.97, before handing things off to House who anchored in 18.95. They combined for a time of 1:15.75. Their 1:15.30 from midseason remains their fastest time of the season.

Finishing third was the Arizona Wildcats, who have been putting together strong relays so far at this meet. They turned their ‘B’ cut from midseason into an ‘A’ cut–their third of the meet–with a 1:15.97. Freshman Tommy Palmer opened for them with a 19.31, three-hundredths faster than the time he swam to win the ‘B’ final. Then, Marin Ercegovic and Seth Miller split 18.99 and 19.12, respectively. Ryan Perham brought them home in 18.55, surging past Stanford to grab the final spot on the podium.

While they finished off the podium, Stanford still earned an NCAA ‘A’ cut in 1:16.24, which is meaningful as they hadn’t yet hit a ‘B’ cut in the event.

Team Scores Thru Day 2

  1. ASU – 357.5
  2. Cal – 251
  3. Stanford – 238
  4. USC – 202.5
  5. Arizona – 197
  6. Utah – 174

ASU has taken a commanding lead after two days of racing. That’s thanks to the major depth they showed in the three individual events today, where they had 12 ‘A’ finalists–two of whom won their events. The teams are beginning to sort themselves out into a more recognizable order as more racing happens. Not only has ASU taken over first, but Cal has leaped from sixth to second, and Stanford has pulled into third. The team that had the roughest day was USC: they only had one finalist and then they disqualified their relay, meaning that they earned just 4.5 points on the day.

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Orange
29 days ago

How did Gonzalez get so much faster than Marchand between the dual meet and this meet if both were unshaved and untapered at the dual meet?

Andrew
Reply to  Orange
29 days ago

marchand went a 3:31 4 im, how do you expect him to get faster? lol

hugo barely broke 4 minutes, obviously he’s gonna be faster

Bort
Reply to  Orange
29 days ago

You don’t get bonus points for how much you drop from dual meet to conference meet

HornFrogs
29 days ago

Everyone on Zona last week, they look like one of the over performers this week. 🧐🧐

HJones
29 days ago

The rise of ASU compared to whatever the heck is going on with USC is astounding.

Marklewis
29 days ago

Arizona smashed their school record in the 200 free relay. Ryan Perham on fire with the 18.55 anchor. Chalking up another ‘A’ cut, three for three for the meet.

Noah
29 days ago

U gotta hope Grant House is just doing a NCAAs taper…

oxyswim
Reply to  Noah
29 days ago

I wouldn’t worry about him at all. Bob has talked all year about making sure the men’s team was all in for NCs this year. He was one of the guys who took a small step back from an amazing PAC-12 meet to NCs last year and they took steps to adjust. His 200 IM was still the fastest of the season. I would bet money that he goes 1:29 this year at NCs.

25Back
Reply to  oxyswim
29 days ago

To build on this, I don’t think any of their guys pre-qualified from NC State Invite are fully tapered. I think Marchand, House, Hill, Colson, and McCusker are 100% geared towards NCAAs, and the rest of the roster might have some in the tank as well.

Justin Pollard
Reply to  oxyswim
29 days ago

How much?

Wanna Sprite?
Reply to  Justin Pollard
29 days ago

1:29.83 watcg

Popovici 1:39.99
29 days ago

Just when I didn’t think things could get worse for usc they dq the relay… wouldn’t even have swum the B cut, either. What a joke usc swimming has become. Just 5 years ago they were a top 7 team at nationals. A lack of talent, lack of leadership, and lack of drive to be sure down in south Los Angeles. I really wonder what the deal is with Maurer and her logic when she chose who to dismiss and who to keep. Some commenters seem to have inside info and I can’t help but be intrigued.

anon
Reply to  Popovici 1:39.99
29 days ago

To compound on this, IMO the private school / cost of attendance argument that seems to follow recent USC threads is weak.

There is likely some marginal impact but Stanford and OOS UVA at highly expensive levels don’t seem to inhibit much. Like it or not, most top level competitive swimmers are coming from some degree of support. It isn’t exactly trivial to travel around the region and pay elite tier club fees.

The economically disadvantaged swimmers at the top of the top will have funding figured out for private schools.

There is definitely a systematic problem in accessibility for competitive swimming but USC being bad is completely unrelated.

Last edited 29 days ago by anon
Lakeshow23
Reply to  Popovici 1:39.99
29 days ago

Haven’t been able to watch much of the swimming, but these results are horrendous for USC. Mauer has seemingly been the worst coach in USC swim history. Even coach water bottle was able to muster up better results at Pac 12s with no support from any of his athletes. The only thing Mauer “fixed” at USC is securing last place at Pac 12s. AD Mike Bohn is too busy pillow talking with Lincoln Riley on his private jet, that he can’t see this Men’s program crumbling under Mauer. Sad weekend to be a LA sports fan.

USC Justice
Reply to  Lakeshow23
29 days ago

Head Coach Lea Maurer should apply her own rule of judgment poor team performance, destroying the legacy having the wrong person in charge at USC her lack of skills and ability to perform the job are hard to simply ignore

Admin
Reply to  USC Justice
29 days ago

I am interested that you wanted us to discount accusations pf abuse against a former coach of yours because it was just a “disgruntled former swimmer,” but now want us to take your accusations seriously in spite of…you know…

USC Justice
Reply to  Popovici 1:39.99
29 days ago

Blame-shifting what we all seeing this weekend prepared for things to get worse
USC parents’ organizers or USC directors. USC gave her absolute power with zero accountability regarding her decisions.
 
Her failure to deliver full of false promises to USC and Parent’s about trusting her, in one of her earlier tasks if someone remember her podcasts on swimswam interview she was supposed to cut 03 swimmers and she decide to set an example cutting 10 defending her decision saying she was creating a squad that is focus on culture and setting new tone.
 
Nothing but a way to create Intimidating behavior threatening the swimmers with severe consequences as a way to maintain power… Read more »

swimapologist
Reply to  USC Justice
29 days ago

Will you stop beating around the bush and just admit that you’re mad that you got cut? JFC spend less time writing these paragraphs-long rants (yeah we can all tell it’s you) and just work harder.

anonymousotter
Reply to  swimapologist
29 days ago

It is not about beating around the bush and being mad that someone got cut. It is about the hypocrisy and lack of knowledge that Lea Maurer has. She took away lifetime dreams of people to represent their school and continue to swim until they graduate all because she “didn’t like their personality,” which by the way, is a very lame reason. Not everybody likes everybody. That is life. But as mentioned in a previous comment, it is either her way or the highway. When it comes to this sport, you have to think about TIMES. When cuts are made, it is a question of “are you fast enough or not? Because a championship team has to be build off… Read more »

Popovici 1:39.99
Reply to  swimapologist
28 days ago

The usage of “we” suggests this comment comes from an active swimmer at usc. It’s pretty telling where your priorities lie if you’re spending you’re time commenting on SS instead of figuring out how to score more points.

Fight on!
Reply to  Popovici 1:39.99
28 days ago

The “C” in USC stands for “C” Finals under Coach Mauer! It’’s been a horrible weekend for the Trojans. Very few if any in the A and B finals and several swimmers finishing dead last in their events. Don’t get me started on their DIII relay performances. After researching who was kept and who wasn’t, makes me scratch my head. Unless she purposely calculated this Trojan death spiral which is what it is. And to those coaches voting in the college coaching poll who had USC voted in the top 20 this season, you should have your vote in future polls taken away. You are clueless. Swimswam polls were much more actuate as no one had USC in the top… Read more »

USC Justice
Reply to  Fight on!
28 days ago

C stands for Coach who made promises she can’t keep. Lea Maurer shall face the direct consequences of her bad decisions, the results of her actions are in plain sight.
Worst USC men’s swim team ever !!

oxyswim
29 days ago

Don’t know his best ever 50 split, but Hugo has been 19.8 to his feet with a flying start on 400 FR relays. Think him or Bell are significant upgrades over Jett for that last spot. 50 is too short for Jett.

Admin
Reply to  oxyswim
29 days ago

He’s been 23.4/22.47 in LCM/SCM. Has split 22.60/22.22 on relays in LCM/SCM.

Not sure his SCY best.

Willswim
Reply to  oxyswim
29 days ago

Hawk split 18.97 anchoring their B medley relay last night. That’s also faster than Jett’s 19.18 tonight.

Justin Pollard
Reply to  oxyswim
29 days ago

Jett appeared to slip on the start and enter the water at a steep angle and sideways. He can split .5 sec faster than what he did just there. He’s gonna be on at least the 400 and 800 free relays, and maybe fly on the 400 medley and a slot on this relay. Point is, Durden has lots of options with Jett, makes sense to try things out here.

kolandolan
29 days ago

WHAT A RACE!!!!! GO BEARS!

About Sophie Kaufman

Sophie Kaufman

Sophie grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, which means yes, she does root for the Bruins, but try not to hold that against her. At 9, she joined her local club team because her best friend convinced her it would be fun. Shoulder surgery ended her competitive swimming days long ago, …

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