2023 Minnesota Invitational – Day 2 Finals Live Recap

2023 Minnesota Invitational 

The second finals session of the 2023 Minnesota Invitational kicks off tonight at 6pm (CT). Tonight’s session will feature the 500 freestyle, 200 IM, 50 freestyle, and 200 free relay for both the men and women.

Mia Motekaitis of California leads the way into the 500 freestyle final, as she posted a time of 4:42.72 to take the top seed by over 2 seconds. Motekaitis owns a lifetime best of 4:40.80 from last year’s NCAA Championships, so she was within 2 seconds of that this morning.

Minnesota junior Bar Soloveychik qualified 1st for the men, touching in 4:20.25. California teammates Gabriel Jett (4:20.72) and Keaton Jones (4:21.10) followed closely behind to qualify 2nd and 3rd. Jett placed 6th in this event at last year’s NCAA Championships and owns a best time of 4:09.66.

Cal took both top seeds in the 200 IMs this morning, with Isabelle Stadden (1:57.94) and Destin Lasco (1:42.76) qualifying to swim in lane 4 tonight.

Pittsburgh senior Sophie Yendell clocked a time of 22.14 to secure the top seed in the 50 freestyle this morning. Yendell owns a lifetime best of 21.89 from the 2023 ACC Championships. Cal teammates Jack Alexy (19.26) and Bjorn Seeliger (19.44) lead the men’s field heading into tonight’s final.

You can watch tonight’s action on YouTube:

WOMEN’S 500-YARD FREESTYLE — FINALS

  • NCAA Record: 4:24.06 — Katie Ledecky, Stanford (2017)
  • 2024 NCAA ‘A’ Standard: 4:37.89
  • 2023 NCAA Invited Time: 4:41.09

Top 8:

  1. Mia Motekaitis (CAL) – 4:39.33
  2. Megan Van Berkom (MINN) – 4:42.63
  3. Katie McCarthy (MINN) & Rachel Klinker (CAL) – 4:44.79
  4. N/A
  5. Eliot Kennedy (MINN) – 4:45.53
  6. Alexandra Bastone (HARV) – 4:45.80
  7. Piper Wood Prince (HARV) – 4:47.87
  8. Kathryn Hazle (CAL) – 4:48.53

Cal’s Mia Motekaitis took the 500 freestyle tonight in dominate fashion, clocking a best time of 4:39.33 in the process. Motekaitis undercut her previous best time of 4:40.80 en route to winning tonight’s race by over 3 seconds.

Minnesota senior Megan Van Berkom posted a 4:42.63 for 2nd place, a best time by nearly 4 seconds. Van Berkom doesn’t contest this event often, as she typically opts to focus on the 200 IM on this day of major meets. She owns a lifetime best of 1:54.92 in that event.

Katie McCarthy of Minnesota and Rachel Klinker of Cal tied for 3rd, finishing in a time of 4:44.79. The swim by McCarthy marks a big drop for the Minnesota freshman, taking down her previous best of 4:47.45 from the 2023 NCSA Spring Championships.

MEN’S 500-YARD FREESTYLE — FINALS

  • NCAA Record: 4:06.32 — Kieran Smith, Florida (2020)
  • 2024 NCAA ‘A’ Standard: 4:10.74
  • 2023 NCAA Invited Time: 4:14.36

Top 8: 

  1. Gabriel Jett (CAL) – 4:16.15
  2. Bar Soloveychik (MINN) – 4:18.37
  3. Tyler Kopp (CAL) – 4:20.64
  4. Cole Kuster (HARV) – 4:22.13
  5. William Christenson (MINN) – 4:22.69
  6. Aaron Shackell (CAL) – 4:22.77
  7. Keaton Jones (CAL) – 4:24.38
  8. Beck Parnham (ARIZ) – 4:24.91

Gabriel Jett (CAL) and Bar Soloveychik (MINN) took control of the 500 free from the beginning and never looked back. Jett turned through the 200 in a time of 1:40.22, just 0.13 ahead of Soloveychik. They flipped tied at the 300 turn (2:32.97) before Jett slowly started to make his move. He took control of the race from there, touching the wall in a final time of 4:16.15.

Soloveychik hit the touchpad in 4:18.37 to secure 2nd, while Tyler Kopp of Cal grabbed 3rd (4:20.64).

Notably, California junior Trent Frandson took the B-Final win with a time of 4:21.67, which would have placed him 4th in the A-Final had he qualified.

WOMEN’S 200-YARD IM — FINALS

  • NCAA Record: 1:48.37 — Kate Douglass, Virginia (2023)
  • 2024 NCAA ‘A’ Standard: 1:53.66
  • 2023 NCAA Invited Time: 1:56.90

Top 8:

  1. Ava Chavez (CAL) – 1:57.63
  2. Sydney Gring (PITT) – 1:58.70
  3. Kelsey Wasikowski (ARIZ) – 1:59.33
  4. Grace Drabot (MINN) – 2:00.16
  5. Lizzy Cook (CAL) – 2:00.18
  6. Stephanie Iannaccone (HARV) – 2:00.38
  7. Daisy Anderson (ARIZ) – 2:02.49
  8. Aleksandra Denisenko (HARV) – 2:02.70

After Isabelle Stadden pulled out of the event, Golden Bear freshman Ava Chavez became the top seed for tonight’s final. She held her seed to take the win in a time of 1:57.63, eclipsing her previous best time of 1:59.23 from December.

Rounding out the top 3 tonight was Pitt freshman Sydney Gring (1:58.70) and Arizona freshman Kelsey Wasikowski (1:59.33). Both swimmers posted a personal best time en route to their 2nd and 3rd place finishes. The time by Wasikowski represents her first time under the 2:00 barrier.

Cal junior Alicia Henry dropped a second from her prelims swim to win the B-Final, recording a time of 2:02.01 in the process.

MEN’S 200-YARD IM — FINALS

  • NCAA Record: 1:36.34 — Léon Marchand, Arizona State (2023)
  • 2024 NCAA ‘A’ Standard: 1:41.03
  • 2023 NCAA Invited Time: 1:43.14

Top 8:

  1. Destin Lasco (CAL) – 1:40.16
  2. Ryan Purdy (ARIZ) – 1:43.99
  3. Gunner Grant (HARV) – 1:44.26
  4. Max Matteazzi (PITT) – 1:44.47
  5. Orion Henderson (ARIZ) – 1:44.63
  6. Jadan Nabor (ARIZ) – 1:45.81
  7. Kaiser Neverman (MINN) – 1:45.97
  8. Marcin Goraj (PITT) – 1:47.09

Cal senior Destin Lasco won the 200 IM by nearly 4 seconds tonight in Minneapolis, recording a time of 1:40.16. The swim by Lasco is an NCAA ‘A’ standard time, and is 1.5 seconds faster than he was at this same meet last year (1:41.52). Lasco’s final 50 of 23.01 is faster than the 23.31 he closed in at NCAAs last March.

Arizona senior Ryan Purdy (1:43.99) and Harvard senior Gunner Grant (1:44.26) placed 2nd and 3rd, respectively. The time by Purdy marks a new lifetime best, taking down his previous mark of 1:44.11 from the 2023 PAC-12 Championships. World Junior Champion Grant also lowered his previous best time (1:44.39) from the 2023 Ivy League Championships.

WOMEN’S 50-YARD FREESTYLE — FINALS

  • NCAA Record: 20.79 — Maggie MacNeil, Louisiana State (2023)/Gretchen Walsh, Virginia (2023)
  • 2024 NCAA ‘A’ Standard: 21.63
  • 2023 NCAA Invited Time: 22.15

Top 8:

  1. Sophie Yendell (PITT) – 22.03
  2. Isabelle Stadden (CAL) – 22.24
  3. Mckenna Stone (CAL) – 22.25
  4. Eloise Riley (CAL) – 22.34
  5. Payton Kelly (BALL) – 22.42
  6. Ella Mazurek (CAL) – 22.51
  7. Hannah Cornish (MINN) – 22.64
  8. Emily Gantriis (CAL) – 22.69

Pitt senior Sophie Yendell took the 50 free win by nearly a quarter of a second, touching in 22.03. Her time tonight checks-in just shy of her 21.89 best time from the 2023 ACC Championships.

Isabelle Stadden, who qualified 1st for tonight’s 200 IM final but opted to race this instead, placed 2nd in a best time of 22.24.

Cal was well represented in tonight’s final with 5 of the top 8 swimmers. Mckenna Stone (22.25), Eloise Riley (22.34), Ella Mazurek (22.51), and Emily Gantriis (22.69) placed 3rd, 4th, 6th, and 8th respectively.

MEN’S 50-YARD FREESTYLE — FINALS

  • NCAA Record: 17.63 — Caeleb Dressel, Florida (2018)
  • 2024 NCAA ‘A’ Standard: 18.82
  • 2023 NCAA Invited Time: 19.21

Top 8: 

  1. Jack Alexy (CAL) – 19.19
  2. Bjorn Seeliger (CAL) – 19.22
  3. Tommy Palmer (ARIZ) – 19.31
  4. Liam Bell (CAL) – 19.62
  5. Seth Miller (ARIZ) – 19.67
  6. Robin Hanson (CAL) – 19.75
  7. Jack Donovan (ARIZ) – 19.99
  8. Kai Crews (CAL) – 20.07

Jack Alexy and Bjorn Seeliger of California held their seeds from this morning, posting a 1-2 punch for the Golden Bears. Alexy led the way with a time of 19.19, touching out Seeliger (19.22) by just 0.03.

Just like we saw in the women’s 50, Cal represented 5 of the top 8 in tonight’s final. Liam Bell (19.62), Robin Hanson (19.75), and Kai Crews (20.07) placed 4th, 6th, and 8th.

Arizona sophomore Tommy Palmer posted a 19.31 to comfortably grab 3rd, equaling his personal best time.

WOMEN’S 200-YARD FREESTYLE RELAY — TIMED FINALS

  • NCAA Record: 1:23.87 — Virginia (K. Douglass, G. Walsh, L. Cuomo, A. Walsh) (2023)
  • 2024 NCAA ‘A’ Standard: 1:28.43
  • 2024 NCAA ‘B’ Standard: 1:29.21

Top 3:

  1. CAL ‘A’ (Stone, Riley, Stadden, Gantriis) – 1:28.24
  2. ARIZ ‘A’ (Heimstead, Wozniak, Timmer, Sheikhalizadehkhangh) – 1:29.13
  3. CAL ‘B’ (Akakabota, Mazurek, Brophy, Neser) – 1:29.93

The California foursome of McKenna Stone (22.38), Eloise Riley (22.02), Isabelle Stadden (21.92), and Emily Gantriis (21.92) combined to post an NCAA ‘A’ cut time of 1:28.24 en route to the victory. The Golden Bears took the win by nearly a second, with Arizona finishing in a time of 1:29.13 to grab 2nd.

Arizona’s quartet of Julia Heimstead (22.41), Julia Wozniak (22.17), Elisabeth Timmer (22.25) and Maryam Sheikhalizadehkhangh (22.30) posted a time of 1:29.13 to slide under the NCAA ‘B’ standard of 1:29.21.

MEN’S 200-YARD FREESTYLE RELAY — TIMED FINALS

  • NCAA Record: 1:13.35 — Florida (J. Liendo, A. Chaney, E. Friese, M. McDuff) (2023)
  • 2024 NCAA ‘A’ Standard: 1:16.80
  • 2024 NCAA ‘B’ Standard: 1:17.38

Top 3:

  1. CAL ‘A’ (R. Jones, Hanson, Lasco, Alexy) – 1:16.61
  2. CAL ‘B’ (Seeliger, Bell, Jett, Rose) – 1:16.91
  3. ARIZ ‘A’ (Palmer, Ciuferri, Miller, Hardy) – 1:17.04

Tommy Palmer of Arizona, who placed 3rd in the individual 50 freestyle earlier in the night, led-off in a personal best time of 19.29 to give Arizona a big lead. Ralph Daleiden Ciuferri and Seth Miller held the lead for the Wildcats through the first 150, but Jack Alexy of Cal ran the Arizona team down with an 18.71 anchor split. Cal touched 1st in a time of 1:16.61 with Arizona placing 2nd in the heat (3rd overall) with a time of 1:17.o4.

The time recorded by Cal is an NCAA ‘A’ standard. The swim from Arizona marks the third relay at this meet where they missed the NCAA ‘A’ standard by just a few tenths.

The Cal B-relay from an earlier heat took 2nd overall, as the quartet of Bjorn Seeliger, Liam Bell, Gabriel Jett, and Dare Rose combined for a time of 1:16.91. Splits are currently unavailable.

Team Scores (Through Day Two):

Women:

  1. California – 822 points
  2. Minnesota – 553 points
  3. Pittsburgh – 519.5 points
  4. Arizona – 486.5 points
  5. Harvard – 375 points
  6. Ball State – 25 points

Men:

  1. California – 663 points
  2. Arizona – 415 points
  3. Minnesota – 388.5 points
  4. Pittsburgh – 378 points
  5. Harvard – 361.5 points
  6. Ball State – 8 points

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old swimmer
3 months ago

Minnesota is in dire need of sprinters. Distance free, better than what I expected

Audrey
3 months ago

Why was harvard DQd in the final relay?

Juan Cena
3 months ago

Marchand first 150 + Lasco last 50 =
1:34.74 200 IM 👁️👄👁️

Andrew
Reply to  Juan Cena
3 months ago

Marchand’s freestyle is by far is his weakest leg… and he goes 1:28 200-yard free. Oddly enough, I think Marchand has a slight breathing problem on the free leg

PACFAN
Reply to  Andrew
3 months ago

Whenever I spend over 50 seconds underwater in a race I tend to take longer to breathe too :/

Andrew
Reply to  PACFAN
3 months ago

Fair enough, I was merely pointing out how far ahead his other 3 strokes are ahead of his free. In international fields, he has middle-bottom of the pack free splits in both IM distances and his 200 free long course is rather underwhelming

Kinda nice to see that 2 free LCM can humble even the greats, that event is HARD

SwimmerTX
3 months ago

Cal men’s 200 free relay also had Bell going 18.9 on the second leg of the B relay. Hypothetically, if we used the fastest 3 flying starts + fastest leadoff: 19.20 (Seeliger) + 18.94 (Bell) + 18.94 (Lasco) + 18.71 (Alexy) = 1:15.79 would bring them to #3 in the nation.

SwimmerTX
Reply to  SwimmerTX
3 months ago

The women’s relay would be marginally faster, as Brophy outsplit Riley by 0.11 (21.91 vs 22.02) and would have a final time of 1:28.13 to maintain #12 in the national.

SwimmerTX
Reply to  SwimmerTX
3 months ago

Too late to edit but 1:16.61 puts them at #7, just above Stanford

Boxall's Railing
3 months ago

Has anyone ever closed a 200 IM in under 23? Lasco was so close at 23.01.

PACFAN
Reply to  Boxall's Railing
3 months ago

Neva Neva Neva ‼️

Andrew
3 months ago

it’s early obviously, but K Jones and Shackell going nowhere near their best 500 times is not a very good look.

lasco is still a dawg and seeliger is still a choker, same old Cal team but missing a few midseason international additions

Justin Pollard
Reply to  Andrew
3 months ago

Really excellent commentary! I’m glad you decided to chime in, cause I was wondering about whether or not it was too early in the season to tell how poorly Cal is doing with all of its talented swimmers. Now we can all rest easy 😂

Jonny Newsom
Reply to  Andrew
3 months ago

“Same old Cal team” you mean like National Champions? Ok.

Andrew
Reply to  Jonny Newsom
3 months ago

2019: carried by handsome god Seli (legit ring)

2022: won because of Trenton julian, a guy who shouldn’t have even been swimming and Meffraud joining in January. Mickey Mouse ring

2023: won because of Gonzalez/Henveaux joining in January. Another Mickey Mouse ring

Jonny Newsom
Reply to  Andrew
3 months ago

The thing I like most about this the number of times you said “ring.”

Caleb
3 months ago

Interesting to see Cal seemingly change their approach to the season – they were *much* faster in the Fall, the last few years. And sorta suggests that Lasco might do something ridiculous this year.

Pieter H
Reply to  Caleb
3 months ago

Durden is targeting NCAA, Olympics trials, and Olympics.

No need to unnecessarily shoot their wad too early.

Last edited 3 months ago by Pieter H
Taa
Reply to  Pieter H
3 months ago

Only 3 guys going to the Olympics so why would the other 20 guys suck so bad right now

Sheeesh
3 months ago

Cal is a college team just swimming a bunch of high schoolers here. Respect 🫡 to Pitt though. Chase is turning that ship around just need more depth now

Adult
Reply to  Sheeesh
3 months ago

Classless and ignorant comment… There would be no “college” swimming to compete in if all the “high schoolers” weren’t there to compete against. Be thankful for the thousands of “high schoolers” and their parents who fund the collegiate sport that literally zero people outside of the swim world care about. Once you swallow that truth, grow up and learn some respect.