2023 Men’s Pac-12 Swimming & Diving Championships: Day 4 Prelims Live Recap




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

It’s the final day of the 2023 Men’s PAC-12 Swimming & Diving Championships. In this last prelims session, heats of the 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, and 200 butterfly will race. In finals, those events will be joined by the fastest heat of the 1650 freestyle and the 400 freestyle relay.

The final day of a championship meet is typically Cal’s best day, but after barely making up any ground against ASU on Day 3, they’re fighting an uphill battle to defend their five year conference title streak. In the first event of the session, they’ll need their 200 backstroke group to be as strong as ever and put themselves in a position to pick up big points. Defending champ Destin Lasco is the top seed there in 1:38.23. Keep an eye on ASU’s Jack Wadsworth, the #4 seed (1:40.90). After the improvements he’s made in his other events at this meet, he could be poised for another big drop here.

The 100 freestyle sees Bjorn Seeliger as the top seed and the only man in the field with a seed time sub-42 (41.68). It might not happen until finals, but Andrei Minakov, Max McCuskerGrant House, and 50 free champion Jack Dolan aim to join him under that barrier.

All eyes will be on Leon Marchand in the 200 breaststroke. Marchand has stuck to his usual championship event lineup here and the clear favorite to defend his title. Marchand–whose best is 1:48.20–won the event last year in 1:50.39 and after the meet he’s had so far, we can expect him to be faster than that: the question is by how much.

The final event of the session is the 200 fly, which is the only event where the 2022 winner isn’t racing this year. In his stead, last year’s second through fifth place finishers Alex Colson, Dare Rose, Gabriel Jettand Andrew Gray look to set themselves up to claim the title later this evening.

200 Backstroke — PRELIMS

  • 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 PAC-12 Championships
  • 2022 Champion: Destin Lasco, Cal — 1:38.81
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:39.13
  • 2022 NCAA Invite Time: 1:40.92

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Destin Lasco (CAL) – 1:38.66
  2. Hugo Gonzalez (CAL) – 1:38.84
  3. Owen McDonald (ASU) – 1:39.62
  4. Aaron Sequeira (STAN) – 1:40.16
  5. Sebastian Somerset (CAL) – 1:40.44
  6. Leon MacAlister (STAN) – 1:40.60
  7. Hubert Kos (ASU) – 1:40.63
  8. Josh Zuchowski (STAN) – 1:40.81

In the final heat, defending champion Destin Lasco cruised to the top time of the morning in 1:38.66. It’s a new season best for the junior, moving him up to second in the NCAA behind only Brendan Burns. Cal qualified three swimmers into the ‘A’ final, with Hugo Gonzalez and Sebastian Somerset joining Lasco.

1:38.84 is a new lifetime best for Gonzalez, his second best time of the meet. It’s his first best time in the event since 2017, when he swam 1:39.05 at the Georgia Invitational while competing for Auburn.

Joining Cal by getting three men into the ‘A’ final was Stanford. Aaron Sequeira led the way for the Cardinal by qualifying fourth in a lifetime best 1:40.16. The sophomore has been having a strong meet so far, with two personal bests and a podium finish of day 3 of the meet. Senior Leon MacAlister and freshman Josh Zuchowski qualified sixth and eighth. Zuchowski’s 1:40.81 is a personal best for him by .39 seconds, giving him a best time in his third event of the meet.

Owen McDonald followed up his 100 back second place finish by qualifying for the final in third. He blasted a 1:39.62, besting his best time from the NC State Invite by 1.66 seconds. His teammate Hubert Kos moved through in seventh with a new personal best as well.

100 Freestyle — PRELIMS

  • NCAA Record: 39.90, Caeleb Dressel (Florida) – 2018 NCAA Championships
  • PAC-12 Record: 40.75, Bjorn Seeliger (Cal) — 2022 NCAA Championships
  • PAC-12 Championship Record: 41.38, Vlad Morozov (USC) — 2013 PAC-12 Championships
  • 2022 Champion: Bjorn Seeliger (Cal) — 41.51
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 41.64
  • 2022 NCAA Invite Time: 42.34

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Bjorn Seeliger (CAL) – 41.30 (Meet Record)
  2. Jack Alexy (CAL) – 41.80
  3. Jack Dolan (ASU) – 41.84
  4. Matthew Jensen (CAL) – 42.01
  5. Andrei Minakov (STAN) – 42.03
  6. Grant House (ASU) – 42.21
  7. Jonny Kulow (ASU) – 42.25
  8. Patrick Sammon (ASU) – 42.32
  9. Dylan Hawk (CAL) – 42.40

Note: Heat 3 of the 100 freestyle was reswum, moving Grant House into the ‘A’ final in 42.21. That bumps Cal’s Dylan Hawk to ninth and the ‘B’ final. At the other end, Stanford sophomore Avery Voss was bumped out of the scoring finals and into the ‘C’. 

Bjorn Seeliger wasted no time this morning, blazing a 41.30 to erase Vlad Morozov‘s meet record which had stood since 2013. The junior opened in 19.25, bringing it home in 22.05. The time moves Seeliger ahead of Youssef Ramadan for third in the NCAA this season, trailing only Jordan Crooks and Josh Liendo. 

His teammate Jack Alexy was just off his lifetime best with a 41.80 to qualify for the final in second and move him up to 10th in the league this season. Coming into the meet, Seeliger was the only swimmer seeded under 42, but both Alexy and Jack Dolan joined him under that mark. This swim Dolan’s first under the barrier, he cut .69 seconds off his best of 42.53 from midseason.

Cal put four swimmers into the championship heat, with Matthew Jensen and Dylan Hawk joining Seeliger and Alexy. ASU has three, with Dolan, Jonny Kulow, and Patrick Sammon. Kulow took a half-second off the best time he posted at ASU’s February dual with Arizona. Jensen posted a big personal best of 42.01 to just miss joining the top three qualifiers sub-42. He’ll get another crack at that mark tonight; coming into the meet, his personal best was 42.39 from 2022 PAC-12s.

Last year, Andrei Minakov had a bit of a misfire in prelims and missed qualifying for the ‘A’ final. He didn’t make that mistake again, and moved through in a season best of 42.03.

200 Breaststroke — PRELIMS

  • NCAA Record: 1:47.91, Will Licon (Texas) – 2017 NCAA Championships
  • PAC-12 Record: 1:48.20, Leon Marchand (Arizona State) — 2022 NCAA Championships
  • PAC-12 Championship Record: 1:48.86, Reece Whitley (Cal) — 2019 PAC-12 Championships
  • 2022 Champion: Leon Marchand (Arizona State) — 1:50.39
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:51.54
  • 2022 NCAA Invite Time: 1:53.23

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Jason Louser (CAL) – 1:50.99
  2. Leon Marchand (ASU) – 1:52.34
  3. Reece Whitley (CAL) – 1:52.54
  4. David Schlicht (ASU) – 1:52.92
  5. Chris O’Grady (USC) – 1:53.72
  6. Ron Polonsky (STAN) – 1:54.43
  7. Jacob Soderlund (CAL) – 1:54.45
  8. Ben Dillard (USC) – 1:54.52

In a replay of the 400 IM prelims on day 3, Cal’s Jason Louser took the top seed in the 200 breaststroke ahead of Leon Marchand. Louser’s time of 1:50.99 is a personal best by almost a second, and cuts a whopping ten seconds from his seed time which was a 2:01.10. For his part, Marchand was in cruise mode, adding 3.5 seconds from his season best to qualify comfortably in second. As we’ve seen throughout the meet, he’s saving his best for the final.

Four-time 100 breast champion Reece Whitley also added from his season best, clocking 1:52.54 to grab the third seed for the final. In addition to Louser and Whitley, Cal also had Jacob Soderlund qualify for the ‘A’ final. Soderlund’s 1:54.45 is a huge swim for the sophomore, as his previous best was a 1:56.04 from 2022 PAC-12s.

USC had what was easily their best event of the meet so far, putting both Chris O’Grady and Ben Dillard into the top-8.

200 Butterfly — PRELIMS

  • NCAA Record: 1:37.35, Jack Conger (Texas) – 2017 NCAA Championships
  • PAC-12 Record: 1:38.53, Trenton Julian (Cal) — 2021 PAC-12 Championships
  • PAC-12 Championship Record: 1:38.53, Trenton Julian (Cal) — 2021 PAC-12 Championships
  • 2022 Champion: Trenton Julian (Cal) — 1:39.95
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:40.20
  • 2022 NCAA Invite Time: 1:42.42

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Gabriel Jett (CAL) – 1:40.46
  2. Dare Rose (CAL) – 1:41.82
  3. Alex Colson (ASU) – 1:42.43
  4. Haakon Naughton (ARIZ) – 1:43.11
  5. Andrew Gray (ASU) – 1:43.15
  6. Jonny Affeld (STAN) – 1:43.26
  7. Ethan Hu (STAN) – 1:43.58
  8. Harry Homans (USC) – 1:43.94

Gabriel Jett and Dare Rose claimed the top two seeds in the 200 fly for the Golden Bears. In the final heat, Jett cruised to the heat win by nearly three seconds, clocking 1:40.46 to Andrew Gray‘s 1:43.15. After winning the 500 free on day 2, it looked like Jett had a bit of a misfire in the 200 free to finish eighth, but seemed back on form here. His 1:40.46 moves him up to fifth in the NCAA ahead of Alex Colson.  For his part, Colson looked controlled this morning, adding 1.65 seconds to move through safely in third.

Like Cal, both ASU and Stanford put two swimmers into the ‘A’ final. Stanford will be represented by juniors Jonny Affeld (1:43.26) and Ethan Hu (1:43.58) who qualified in sixth and seventh. Both have been faster in their careers, but shaved time off of their season bests.

Arizona freshman Haakon Naughton qualified for the final in fourth out of the non circle-seeded heats. Naughton posted 1:43.11, which is a personal best by four-tenths.

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1 year ago

Anyone got early heat mile results?

Reply to  SwimmerTX
1 year ago

Top 3: Henveaux 14:48.84, Chai 14:55.68, Hill 14:57.11

Reply to  Turmanator
1 year ago

That’ll leave Chai out of NCAAs. Real shame, just couldn’t stay healthy it sounds like

Reply to  Reid
1 year ago

He simply waited to long to start rolling; he was 27+ through the bulk of the race (26 of 27 consecutive 50s) before dropping from 27.7 to finish with a 26.18, 25.45 and finally a 23.81 in the end. Too little too late.

1 year ago

Seeliger taking the top seed in prelims… where have I seen this before?

I think we all know the writing on the wall…

Justin Pollard
1 year ago

There may not be a better way to take into account the need to re-swim heat 3. But unless it was already the final heat, I think they should allow subsequent heats to be re-swum as well. The benefit of getting to re-swim is knowing what you need to do. Obviously the detriment is that you have to swim again, so leaving the option for coaches/swimmers to weigh that trade-off seems like a reasonable compromise.

Reply to  Justin Pollard
1 year ago

This is standard operating protocol at all meets, including age group. Only the affected heats have the option to reswim.

For what it’s worth; I see almost no way that cal doesn’t win nationals unless House and Kos find another level there and Dolan finds a way to make at least 2 a finals

Justin Pollard
Reply to  SKOOOOOO
1 year ago

Yea, I know this is standard, and so how they handled it seems correct under the current rules. I’m suggesting the standard falls short and a change should be considered for the future.

Reply to  Justin Pollard
1 year ago

I just think you’re upset Hawk got bumped out.

Reply to  SKOOOOOO
1 year ago

For what it’s worth, if you score out the meet with times done to date among Cal, ASU, Florida, Texas and NC State, going into the last relay it is;

Florida 393,
Cal 391,
ASU 391,
NC State 292, and
Texas, 172.5 (clearly the most misleading total).

Each team (except maybe Florida? Pretty much all the Gators were lights out at SECs) has studs that have swum well but likely have some more to room to go (i.e. Lasco, Seeliger, Gonzalez, Marchand, House, Kos, Miller…) but are already seeded high enough that it won’t affect their scoring that much (i.e. Marchand, Lasco already on top) whereas several of the Texas studs are well down the… Read more »

1 year ago

ASU is crushing finals. For A and B finals, ASU has 32/26 time drops. Cal not bad 20/34. Look for ASU to close out strong. Final gap will be about 100 I would guess.

Reply to  SKOOOOOO
1 year ago

Cal always peaks for NCAAs so I wouldn’t focus too much on best times for them.

Justin Pollard
Reply to  ArtVanDeLegh10
1 year ago

Right you are Art!

Reply to  ArtVanDeLegh10
1 year ago

The focus was on the improvement from
Prelims to finals at this meet and why I don’t see cal making up much ground during this last session.

Justin Pollard
1 year ago

Little correction on Jett’s 2 fly “moving him up” in NCAA rankings. He swam 1:39.9 a few weeks back, so 1:40.4 won’t move him up.

1 year ago

Has anyone scored out prelims? How close is it? Can ASU hold on for the win?

Reply to  RTR
1 year ago

Absolutely did enough this morning to lock it up.

Reply to  RTR
1 year ago

I don’t see it happening. Just quickly looking at A finals, it’s even at 10 each. There’s no way Cal is making up 100 points via B-finals.

Joel Lin
1 year ago

After all the shade thrown following the ASU dual meet need Lasco & Hugo going 1-2 in the 2 back & then casually breaking out a bag of In-N-Out burgers on deck ahead of the awards ceremony for the event.

Because the haters deserve it.

Reply to  Joel Lin
1 year ago


Reply to  Joel Lin
1 year ago

Exactly. So much shade thrown at Seeliger and Cal for no reason…

Reply to  Joel Lin
1 year ago

Wait what? Cal is supposed to be celebrating this meet bc two of their stars go 1-2 in an event? Maybe this is a specific reference that I’m not familiar with. And I’m aware that Cal puts its emphasis on NCAAs – but ASU has more than backed up their January dual meet performances here…

Justin Pollard
Reply to  Swimgeek
1 year ago

@swimgeek did you see the SwimSwam comment section after the ASU v Cal meet? That’s what Joel is referring too. A couple sentiments I remember: “Does Cal have any sense of pride, losing like that?”, “Hugo should be embarrassed to get lapped by Marchand in the 4im”. Things that that. ASU is swimming great this year and that should be celebrated. Hell, I’m as big of a Cal fan as they come and I’m excited for ASU. But the vitriol directed towards Cal is completely uncalled for. Probably by just a few people, but it’s angry voices that are usually the loudest.

Reply to  Justin Pollard
1 year ago

So true.

ASU dominated Cal at the dual meet because they are both solid and deep teams but each at different points in their training cycles and approach when their dual meet came around.

The “shade” thrown then was by so many Cal fans laying it on thick that Cal NEVER at any time swims fast except at NCAA, and essentially suggesting the Bears were the only ones taking such a supposedly lofty approach. In fact, it wasn’t a matter of Cal never intending to swim fast in dual meets as their Cal-Stanford contest is ALWAYS far and away one of the fastest dual meets in the country, when they are motivated and it fits in their training… Read more »

1 year ago

A positive for USC- their only FR, O’Leary, with big PBs in the backstrokes from 47.8/1:47.0 HS to 46.8/1:43.2 here

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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