2023 Men’s PAC-12 Swimming and Diving Championships: Day 3 Finals Live Recap

2023 MEN’S PAC-12 SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

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

It’s the third night of finals at the 2023 Men’s PAC-12 Swimming and Diving Championships, and we’ll see finals of the 400 IM, 100 butterfly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back, and the 400 medley relay.

ASU continued to swim well this morning, and are sitting comfortably over 100 points ahead of Cal, the five time defending champions. Cal is projected to close the gap, though the Sun Devils did get 19 finalists compared to Cal’s 21.

Things will get started with a bang this session in the 400 IM, where Leon Marchand aims to defend his 2022 title. He set an NCAA record in the event at a January dual, and while he’s not fully tapered just how fast will he swim tonight? He had a relzed morning swim, and it was Jason Louser (Cal) who took the top seed for the final. He’ll also have Hugo Gonzalez to contend with. Gonzalez was in the pool when Marchand broke his NCAA record and after dropping a PB in the 200 IM on Day 2, looks back on form after a slow return in January.

Stanford earned the top three seeds in the 100 fly, led by 2022 NCAA champion Andrei Minakov (44.34). They aren’t the only team how put on a dominant show in an event this morning, as Cal went 1-2-3-4-5 in the 100 breaststroke. There, it’s Reece Whitley with the fastest morning swim of 51.34.

ASU earned the top seeds in the other two individual events on the day–the 200 free and 100 backstroke. Defending champion Grant House led the way in the freestyle (1:32.50) and newly crowned 50 free champion Jack Dolan posted the top time in the 100 back in 44.78.

400 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY – FINALS

  • NCAA Record: 3:31.84, Leon Marchand (Arizona State) — 2023 ASU vs. Cal
  • PAC-12 Record: 3:31.84, Leon Marchand (Arizona State) — 2023 ASU vs. Cal
  • PAC-12 Championship Record: 3:34.45, Leon Marchand (Arizona State) — 2022 PAC-12 Championships
  • 2022 Champion: Leon Marchand (ASU) – 3:34.45
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 3:39.16

Top 8:

  1. Leon Marchand (ASU) – 3:31.57 (NCAA and US Open Records)
  2. Hugo Gonzalez (CAL) – 3:37.65
  3. Hubert Kos (ASU) – 3:37.68
  4. Jason Louser (CAL) – 3:39.27
  5. David Schlicht (ASU) – 3:40.71
  6. Ron Polonsky (STAN) – 3:40.97
  7. Daniel Matheson (ASU) – 3:41.60
  8. Lucas Henveaux (CAL) – 3:42.67

Well, he’s done it again. Leon Marchand took down his own NCAA and U.S. Open Records in the 400 IM with a blistering 3:31.57. If you watched the ASU vs. Cal dual where Marchand set his old record of 3:31.84, it was a similar scene here in Federal Way as Marchand was swimming entirely his own race.

After qualifying second for the final tonight, he wasted no time making sure it was clear who was winning the event, he blasted out on the fly leg in 48.20. Then, he followed up with splits of 54.19/59.08/50.10.

Hugo Gonzalez, who previously owned the NCAA record in the event, finished second in 3:37.65, over six seconds behind Marchand. Though he was well behind his rival, this was a strong swim for Gonzalez who is clearly getting back to form. It’s a season-best time for him, taking 5.57 seconds off his prelims swim. Coming into the meet, his fastest time this season was 3:57.92 so this swim is over a 20second drop from that.

This was also a great swim for ASU’s Hubert Kos, who joined the Sun Devils just this semester. A Hungarian, Kos is still adjusting to yards swimming, and his improvement trajectory made a big jump here as he posted a personal best of 3:37.68, lowering the mark he set in prelims at 3:40.47.

100 BUTTERFLY – FINALS

  • NCAA Record: 42.80, Caeleb Dressel (Florida) — 2018 NCAA Championships
  • PAC-12 Record: 43.71, Andrei Minakov (Stanford) — 2022 NCAA Championships
  • PAC-12 Championship Record: 43.90, Andrei Minakov (Stanford) — 2022 PAC-12 Championships
  • 2022 Champion: Andrei Minakov (Stanford) – 43.90
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 44.82

Top 8:

  1. Andrei Minakov (STAN) – 44.51
  2. Aaron Sequeira (STAN) – 45.09
  3. Rafael Gu (STAN)/Max McCusker (ASU) – 45.13
  4. (tie)
  5. Alex Colson (ASU) – 45.38
  6. Dare Rose (CAL) – 45.51
  7. Cody Bybee (ASU) – 45.59
  8. Jonny Affeld (STAN) – 46.01

He had a rough turn at the halfway mark, but Andrei Minakov recovered well and defended his PAC-12 title in the 100 fly. He posted a 44.51, which is .17 seconds slower than his prelims time, but he was still the only swimmer sub-45.

Stanford had a lot to celebrate in this race, as Minakov, Aaron Sequeira, and Rafael Gu defended their 1-2-3 seeds from prelims. They didn’t quite sweep the podium, as ASU’s Max McCusker tied Rafael Gu for third in 45.13. For the sophomore Sequeira his time of 45.09 is a big personal best, undercutting the 45.34 he swam at this meet last year. Gu was just three-hundredths off the personal best 45.10 he swam in prelims.

In addition to their 1-2-3 finishes, Stanford added more points with Jonny Affeld‘s eighth place finish. With their showing in this event, the Cardinal have now overtaken Cal in the team standings by 4.5 points. The Golden Bears had only Dare Rose as a representative in this ‘A’ final, and Rose finished sixth in 45.51. Cal’s best in this session is still yet to come though, as among other swims, they make up over half the ‘A’ final in the 100 breast.

200 FREESTYLE – FINALS

  • NCAA Record: 1:29.15, Dean Farris (Harvard) — 2019 NCAA Championships
  • PAC-12 Record: 1:30.14, Andrew Seliskar (Cal) — 2019 NCAA Championships
  • PAC-12 Championship Record: 1:30.23, Grant House (Arizona State) — 2022 PAC-12 Championships
  • 2022 Champion: Grant House (Arizona State) – 1:30.23
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:31.98

Top 8:

  1. Grant House (ASU) – 1:30.67
  2. Patrick Sammon (ASU) – 1:31.82
  3. Julian Hill (ASU) – 1:32.37
  4. Robin Hanson (CAL) – 1:33.21
  5. Ralph Daleiden (ARIZ) – 1:33.24
  6. Andrew Gray (ASU) – 1:33.34
  7. Andres Dupont (STAN) – 1:33.36
  8. Gabriel Jett (CAL) – 1:35.51

It was ASU’s turn to go 1-2-3, as Grant House, Patrick Sammonand Julian Hill swept the podium in the 200 freestyle. House defended his PAC-12 title to the tune of 1:30.67, which is about four-tenths off his winning time from last season. The time is a season-best for him and the new top time in the NCAA, taking over from the 1:30.77 his teammate Marchand posted leading off the 800 free relay on Day 1.

Sammon, a sophomore, earned second in a new personal best of 1:31.82. That’s his first time sub-1:32, and moves him up to #6 in the NCAA this season. Hill rounded out the podium for the Sun Devils in 1:32.27, just missing his personal best from midseason by a hundredth.

Arizona has been tearing it up on the relays at this meet, and now they’ve gotten their highest individual performance in the pool courtesy of Ralph Daleiden earning fifth in 1:33.24. The freshman knocked two-hundredths off the personal best he swam in prelims. Prior to this meet, his best was a 1:34.01 from the Minnesota Invite. He out-touched Andres Dupont, a Stanford freshman, by two-hundredths. Dupont followed a similar pattern to Daleiden, shaving three-hundredths of his new best from prelims, which was also his first time sub-1:34.

100 BREASTSTROKE – FINALS

  • NCAA Record: 49.69, Ian Finnerty (Indiana) — 2018 NCAA Championships
  • PAC-12 Record: 50.04, Kevin Cordes (Arizona) — 2014 NCAA Championships
  • PAC-12 Championship Record: 50.78, Carsten Vissering (USC) — 2019 PAC-12 Championships
  • 2022 Champion: Reece Whitley (California) – 51.30
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 51.40

Top 8:

  1. Reece Whitley (CAL) – 51.12
  2. Matthew Jensen (CAL) – 51.42
  3. Liam Bell (CAL) – 51.58
  4. Jaek Horner (UTAH) – 51.78
  5. Zhier Fan (STAN) – 51.97
  6. Luke Rodarte (CAL) – 52.15
  7. Jacob Soderlund (CAL) – 52.24
  8. Chris O’Grady (USC) – 52.27

Stanford went 1-2-3 in the 100 fly, ASU went 1-2-3 in the 200 free, and now Cal has gone 1-2-3 in the 100 breast. Fifth-year Reece Whitley won the conference title in the 100 breast for the fourth-straight year with a season best 51.12, which moves him up to sixth in the NCAA this season. Whitley led this race from wire-to-wire, opening in 23.98 before coming home in 27.14.

Additionally, this is the fourth-straight event of the session where the 2022 champion has defended his title.

Matthew Jensen grabbed second in a lifetime best 51.42, besting the 51.60 he posted in prelims. Before prelims, his fastest time was a 52.57 from the Minnesota Invite. Senior Liam Bell earned the final spot on the podium in 51.58, which is about a second off his personal best 50.50 which he swam for third at 2022 NCAAs.

Jaek Horner and Zhier Fan broke up the Cal party by finishing fourth and fifth in 51.78 and 51.97, respectively. Horner’s time is a personal best by a tenth, while Fan chopped .53 off his best time from prelims. Before today, the Stanford freshman hadn’t been under 52 seconds.

Luke Rodarte and Jacob Soderlund earned sixth and seventh for Cal.

100 BACKSTROKE – FINALS

  • NCAA Record: 43.35, Luca Urlando (Georgia) — 2022 NCAA Championships
  • PAC-12 Record: 43.39, Ryan Murphy (California) — 2016 NCAA Championships
  • PAC-12 Championship Record: 44.14, Zachary Poti (Arizona State) — 2020 PAC-12 Championships
  • 2022 Champion: Bjorn Seeliger (California) – 44.72
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 44.79

Top 8:

  1. Destin Lasco (CAL) – 44.57
  2. Owen McDonald (ASU)/Andrei Ungur (UTAH) – 45.00
  3. (tie)
  4. Jack Dolan (ASU) – 45.06
  5. Bjorn Seeliger (CAL) – 45.33
  6. Aaron Sequeira (STAN) – 45.45
  7. Leon MacAlister (STAN) – 45.85
  8. Jack Alexy (CAL) – 46.14

The streak of 2022 champions defending their titles is snapped, but 2021 winner Destin Lasco reclaimed his crown here in the 100 backstroke. His teammate Bjorn Seeliger flipped first at the 50 in 21.34, but with 25 yards left to go, the field had caught up and it was still anybody’s race.

Lasco turned on the jets in the last 25 yards with a field-best 11.37 to take the win in 44.57. The time moves him up from sixth to third in the NCAA this season behind only Adam Chaney and Kacper Stokowski.

ASU freshman Owen McDonald has been having a great meet so far, and he kept rolling by tying for second with Andrei Ungur in 45.00. Over the course of the day, McDonald has dropped 1.05 seconds from his personal best of 46.05, which he swam at ASU’s dual meet with Arizona in February.

For his part, the time is also a best for Ungur, shaving five-hundredths off his time form 2022 NCAAs. His tie for second is also Utah’s best individual finish at the meet so far, improving on the fourth place Horner secured one event ago in the 100 breast.

45.00 moves both into a tie for eighth in the NCAA this season.

After leading the field around, last year’s champion Seeliger fell to fifth in 45.33, which is a tenth off his season best.

Stanford’s Sequeira finished his 100 fly/100 back double with a sixth place finish in the latter, just a hundredth slower than the personal best 45.44 he swam in prelims.

Men’s 400 Medley Relay — Timed Final

  • NCAA Record: 2:59.22, Texas – 2017 NCAA Championships
  • PAC-12 Record: 3:00.36, California — 2022 NCAA Championships
  • PAC-12 Championship Record: 3:01.45, Stanford — 2022 PAC-12 Championships
  • 2022 Champion: Stanford — 3:01.45
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 3:04.96

Top 6:

  1. ASU (Dolan, Marchand, McCusker, House) – 3:01.39 (Meet Record)
  2. Cal (Lasco, Whitley, Rose, Seeliger) – 3:02.46
  3. Stanford (MacAlister, Polonsky, Minakov, Maurer) – 3:02.71
  4. Utah – 3:06.51

DQ: Arizona, USC

The Sun Devils closed out the session with another relay record, this time taking down the meet record in the 400 medley relay. They posted 3:01.39 to shave six-hundredths off the record that Stanford set last year. Jack Dolan led off for them in 45.05, a hundredth faster than he swam for fourth in the individual 100 backstroke. Then, Leon Marchand dove in and after opening the session with an NCAA record in the 400 IM, he fired off a sizzling 49.73 100 breaststroke split.

Max McCusker, who tied for third in the 100 fly, split 45.34 before turning things over to Grant House who anchored in 41.27.

100 backstroke champion Destin Lasco put Cal in the lead after the backstroke leg with a 44.73. The Golden Bears have a strong first half of their relay with Lasco and Reece Whitleywho won his 100 of stroke earlier in the session as well. Whitley split 51.11, and while that wasn’t enough to keep up with Marchand, he did keep Cal in second. Then, Dare Rose split 45.82, and Bjorn Seeliger brought them home in 40.80, passing Stanford’s Luke Maurer to grab second. Cal’s time of 3:02.46 is .65 seconds off what they went at the Minnesota Invite with the same quartet.

For Stanford, Leon MacAlister swam 45.68, two tenths faster than his individual race, and Ron Polonsky split 51.12 on the front half of their relay. Andrei Minakov pulled them into second with a 44.16 100 fly split (with better turns than his individual race). Maurer anchored in 41.75, giving the Cardinal a total time of 3:02.71, a season best by 2.42 seconds, turning their ‘B’ cut into an ‘A’.

Behind the race between ASU, Cal and Stanford, the other three teams were locked in a tight race for fourth. Arizona touched the wall fourth, but was DQed along with USC, leaving fourth place to Utah, who touched in a ‘B’ cut time of 3:06.51.

Team Scores Thru Day 3

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

Despite Cal’s push with 21 finalists, the gap between them and first-place ASU remains at about a 100 point margin. After their 1-2-3-8 finish in the 100 fly, Stanford briefly passed Cal for second, but the Golden Bears reasserted themselves through the back half of the session and have opened up a gap on the Cardinal.

Another relay DQ is a big hit for USC, especially with Utah having one more ‘A’ finalist than them and turning those into second and fourth place finishes. They’re now occupying last place in the standings, six points behind Utah.

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Really
11 months ago

ASU for sure benefited from the Covid Team Red Shirt and the extra year of eligibility from the NCAA for this team.

Fluidg
11 months ago

ASU/ Bowman pro group having one heck of a week!

SwimmerTX
11 months ago

Bears are at 12 guaranteed qualifiers – Lasco, Seeliger, Whitley, Jett, Hugo, Henveaux, Alexy, Callan, Jensen, Louser, Bell, Hawk
Soderlund is potentially on the bubble – 3 way tie at 51.90, not even gonna bother doing the math to find the rank
Still need – Somerset, Colby Mefford, Hanson, Chai, Kopp, Rodarte
Depending on Josh Thai’s zone results coming up, may be riding the 18 qualifier line or need to cut someone.

SwimmerTX
Reply to  SwimmerTX
11 months ago

Worth mentioning from previous comments that Hanson’s on the bubble in the 200 free, and Kopp on the wrong side in the 400 IM…

Willswim
Reply to  SwimmerTX
11 months ago

Rose is also in

SwimmerTX
Reply to  Willswim
11 months ago

Knew I was missing someone, thanks.
That puts Bears at 13 guaranteed. Will be interesting to see how today’s swims play out, plus tomorrow’s time trials.

Forky
11 months ago

Disappointing for the cats. Had a chance to seal up 4th. 3 team race now for 4th

Owlmando
11 months ago

Could it potentially make sense for leon to swim breast on the french relay?

Hugol
Reply to  Owlmando
11 months ago

They already have Antoine Viquerat who swam a 1:00.3 at the relay at worlds, I doubt Leon could swim under the minute. He is way useful in the fly

Bonjourbaguette
Reply to  Owlmando
11 months ago

As a frenchman, I can tell you that it could definitely make sense. But since the decline of Mehdy Metella, there is no longer a world-class butterfly swimmer in France. Leon will be our “relay glue-guy” and help us to lose as little time as possible on the butterfly or breaststroke relays depending on the state of form of our other swimmers.

Reid
Reply to  Bonjourbaguette
11 months ago

Has Metella declined or just sort of stopped swimming? I see very few results for him last year, so maybe he can get back down to at least 51? If so I’d still think him + Marchand is the fastest combination

Bonjourbaguette
Reply to  Reid
11 months ago

He didn’t swim during one whole year after the Tokyo Olympics and went into depression after the event. He has been training again for a few months but I don’t think he will come back to his best level. I wish it was possible to let Leon swim both breast and fly during the 4x100m medley relay lol

DStyle294
11 months ago

That second turn dolphin kick in the 400 medley relay from Leon didn’t look right to me….

Last edited 11 months ago by DStyle294
Swammer
11 months ago

Marchand obviously does 2 kicks on the first pull out in the relay.

Marce
11 months ago

Is that a record split for leon?

Cracked
Reply to  Marce
11 months ago

Cordes split 49.56 at NCAAs in 2013

Last edited 11 months ago by Cracked
Adam H.
Reply to  Marce
11 months ago

Cordes and Finnerty have both been faster, maybe others as well. Definitely up there though

Andrew
Reply to  Marce
11 months ago

no, but sub 50 split is still ridiculous and hasn’t happened since Licon/Finnerty in 17/18 respectively

KimJongSpoon
Reply to  Andrew
11 months ago

Carsten Vissering, Max Mchugh, and Ian Finnerty were all sub 50 at 2019 NCAA’s. Surprisingly, Finnerty didn’t go 49 flying at 2018 when he went his best 49 flat start.

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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