A Bear Named Bear: European Junior Champion Sprinter Commits to Cal

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Swedish sprinter Björn Seeliger has verbally committed to the Cal Golden Bears as part of their class of 2020. Björn, appropriately, is the Swedish word for “bear.”

I am excited to announce my commitment to swim and study at the University of California, Berkeley‍. I want to thank my family and friends for believing in me and helping me along the way. Go Bears🐻🐻

The 19-year old Seeliger was the 2018 European Junior Champion in the 50 free, swimming 22.27 to beat, among others, Russia’s Kliment Kolesnikov and South Carolina sprinter Lewis Burras.

Seeliger’s best times in LCM:

  • 50 free – 22.27 (21.66 in SCM)
  • 100 free – 49.57 (48.67 in SCM)
  • 100 back – 55.89
  • 200 back – 2:04.02

Seeliger dabbles a little bit in the backstroke events but is mostly a pure sprint-freestyler. After his title in 2018, he didn’t swim any lifetime bests in 2019, though after missing the Swedish team for the World Championships he also didn’t have a summer championship meet (he has no official results between April and September).

Last year at the NCAA Championships, Cal scored 45 points in the men’s 50 free, Seeliger’s best event, which is over twice as many as any other team did (Texas was 2nd with 20). They also won the 200 free relay, and scored the second-most points in the 100 free (24 vs. 25 for Texas). That includes an NCAA sprint title for Ryan Hoffer. The Cal men are the defending NCAA Champions.

Seeliger’s best time in the 50 free in long course is 22.27. Without having to rely on conversion tools, that’s essentially the same time as was swum by Gus Borges (Michigan), Santiago Grassi (Auburn), and Pawel Sendyk (Cal) this summer. Those 3 ranked 12th, 21st, and 2nd, respectively, in the NCAA last season in the 50 yard free.

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1 year ago

Go Bjorns!

Bearly Breathing
1 year ago

Welcome Björn! I’m looking forward to seeing you continue Cal’s legendary sprint free tradition. Go Bears!

1 year ago

Congratulations Björn! Go Bears 💙💛🐻

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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