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|
|100 fly||48.88||46.90 (dual meet)||-1.98s|
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 Rose, Matt Jensen, Bjorn 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.