Breakout Cal Freshman Gabriel Jett Wins 3 Events as Bears Rout Arizona

Cal vs. Arizona (Men’s Results)

  • January 21, 2021
  • Spieker Aquatics Complex, Berkeley, California
  • Short Course Yards (25 yards)
  • Full Meet Results (PDF)
  • Team Scores
    • Cal M def. Arizona M 173-80 (exhibition aided)

The Cal men rolled over the University of Arizona Wildcats on Friday at the Spieker Aquatics Complex, winning by a margin of 173-80. That is a 9th straight win for the Cal men in the series, and moves them to 33-8 all-time against Arizona.

The Cal men exhibitioned the last individual and last relay events of the meet.

Individually, Cal freshman Gabriel Jett continued to be a revelation for the Golden Bears.

Jett swam, and won, three individual events in the meet. That started with a new lifetime best of 9:01.56 in the 1000 free, which beat runner-up Brooks Fail of Arizona by almost 14 seconds. Fail, who placed 2nd in 9:15.49, finished 3rd in the 500 free and 4th in the 1650 free at last year’s NCAA Championship meet.

He followed that with a win in the 200 fly in 1:44.53, which is more than three seconds better than he was in his last dual meet swim, and another in the 100 fly in 46.90.

While Jett was a “Best of the Rest” ranked recruit coming out of the class of 2021, he has been one of the top performers in this year’s freshman class thanks to big drops already.

Time Drops in Freshman Season at Cal:

HS Best Freshman Best Drop
50 free 21.96 20.92 -1.04s
100 free 44.67 43.33 -1.34s
200 free 1:36.04 1:32.52 -3.52s
500 free 4:22.53 4:13.90 -8.63s
1000 free 9:10.74 9:01.56 -9.18s
100 fly 48.88 46.90 (dual meet) -1.98s
200 fly 1:44.71 1:41.92 -2.79s

Jett has the pedigree – his parents Scott Jett and Kristie (Krueger) Jett combined for 31 All-America honors while at Auburn – to continue his progression. As the Cal men scratch-and-claw to make up ground on the defending NCAA Champion Texas Longhorns, a few points from an unexpected place, like Jett, could wind up making a big difference come March.

Jett now has 10 event wins in his college career already, including a 200 free victory at the Minnesota Invitational in December, where Texas also raced.

The Golden Bears opened the meet with a 1-2-3 finish in the 200 medley relay, led by the group of Hugo Gonzalez, Reece Whitley, Trenton Julian, and Jack Alexy. While timing errors mean we don’t know exactly who split what, there are still some interesting developments as Cal goes through the season. One is Gonzalez on the backstroke leg and Julian on the butterfly leg.

Both swimmers are not known for their pure-sprint abilities, and neither was on the “A” 200 medley mid-season, but both swimmers have progressed over the last year or so in that sprinting – mostly demonstrated at non-collegiate meets.

Gonzalez, for example, who is a 400 IM contender at NCAAs, split 21.83 on the leadoff leg. That is only .07 seconds behind Daniel Carr, who is Cal’s usual leadoff, and who led off the team’s mid-season medley relay.

This gives Durden options for championship season, to play the hot hand, to balance between the two day 1 relays, and to help balance the workload across his team. Relay selection will be critical for the Golden Bears in March, as they lost their relay hammer Ryan Hoffer to graduation after last season.

Besides Jett, Cal had only one other individual multiple winner at the meet as part of a broad-reaching and dominant performance.

Julian rolled off that relay to also win the 200 free (1:36.15) and 500 free (4:23.50), while Hugo Gonzalez won the 200 back (1:43.63) and 200 IM (1:44.63).

They led 1-2-3 finishes for Cal in the 100 free, 200 free, 500 free, 50 back, 200 back, and 200 fly events.

While Cal won 14 out of 15 events on the day, the Wildcats didn’t totally strike out at the meet. Sophomore Jake Hand won the 200 breaststroke in 2:01.37. That his second win of the season and 4th of his collegiate career so far.

The meet also saw the NCAA debut this season for Olympian Bryce Mefford. Mefford wasn’t on the Cal roster for the fall semester, and the school was being coy about whether he would participate this season for his bonus 5th year. In the new semester, though, he was officially added to the roster, and raced in the meet on Saturday. He swam 48.07 in the 100 fly, which was the third-best time of the meet, but was part of the Bears’ exhibition lineup.

Cal races again Saturday against Arizona State, while Arizona will head to Stanford.

Other Event Winners:

  • Cal sophomore Destin Lasco won the 100 back in 47.89.
  • Cal sophomore Forrest Frazier won the 100 breast in 55.49.
  • Cal senior Bjorn Seeliger won the 100 free in 43.11.
  • Cal finished 1-2-3 in the men’s 400 free relay, led by a 2:57.31 by the “A” relay of Dare RoseMatt JensenBjorn Seeliger, and Jack Alexy. Seeliger had the fastest split in the field in 43.08. Arizona’s “A” relay touched 4th in 4:03.83, but was disqualified.


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3 months ago

I think covid just impacted how much fast yards racing was really available in California.

No one paying attention is surprised Jett is going fast after he was 1:47/1:57 free and fly long course last summer.

3 months ago

Durden might be able to coach a lick or two…..

Reply to  Yup
3 months ago

Amen. When was scoring shut off?

Former Big10
3 months ago

Hoping Whitley will rebound, after not performing at the heights we thought he’d be… but then I look at Forrest, and I have to wonder what the heck is up with the breaststroke crew? 55.5 is not good enough, even in heavy training.

U of A, what a state of disarray. Oof. They’re going on the better part of a decade being bang average.

Reply to  Former Big10
3 months ago

Agreed. Arizona men and women are bad. Time for Augie to go.

Reply to  Slade
3 months ago


lunarglide 7s
3 months ago

Jett led the Bears’ rout of Arizona en route to rerouting the Wildcats back home to Tucson, devastated.

3 months ago

Oh, they managed to “route” them, did they? Sorry to be that guy, Braden, but I couldn’t help myself.

3 months ago

Gabe Jett is something special.

Reply to  Collegeswimmer
3 months ago

Jett is progressing really nice but a 9:02 is not that fast. Hobson and Johnston were both 8:48 and would have beat him by over a length.

Katie Legoatkey
Reply to  epiphany
3 months ago

It was a dual meet chill

A lot of fast guys go this time in duals

Last edited 3 months ago by Yanyan Li
Reply to  Katie Legoatkey
3 months ago

Jett gets all the run, while Hobson, another frosh, is putting up better times. Hobson is more of a d guy, while Jett seems to be more of a middle d guy. What other fast guys go 8:48 in duals? You say there’s a lot of them.

Reply to  epiphany
3 months ago

I’ll answer for you. That would be none except Finke. Jett does the 27th best time in a 1000 and gets a homer article written about him.

Last edited 3 months ago by epiphany
Katie Legoatkey
Reply to  epiphany
3 months ago

And Hobson got an article written about him too yesterday. I don’t get what you’re upset about

Reply to  Katie Legoatkey
3 months ago

Oh man I missed the article. My bad. I’m sorry

Katie Legoatkey
Reply to  epiphany
3 months ago

I meant a 9:01

Bchs swkm
Reply to  epiphany
3 months ago

Jett hater much?

Cameron Schwantes
Reply to  epiphany
3 months ago


Reply to  Cameron Schwantes
3 months ago

Jett is certainly proving to be incredibly versatile. He certainly seems to be a 200/500 free guy, but is putting up butterfly times in the 200 and even 100 yard free times that make him incredibly valuable at conference championship and a real score threat at NCAA

3 months ago

Hm still no Liam Bell. He doesn’t appear to have competed very much this year besides a couple times in the fall. Cal will need him healthy imo if they are to take down Texas

Mike Y
Reply to  Swimm
3 months ago

seems like his whole career he’s always competed sparingly …not sure what the issue is

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of 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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