Bryce Mefford Breaks Down Dynamic of Cal Backstroke Crew


Reported by James Sutherland.


  • World Record: Aaron Peirsol (USA) – 1:51.92 (2009)
  • American Record: Aaron Peirsol – 1:51.92 (2009)
  • US Open Record: Aaron Peirsol (USA) – 1:53.08 (2009)
  • World Junior Record: Kliment Kolesnikov (RUS) – 1:55.14 (2017)
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: Ryan Murphy (USA) – 1:53.62
  • 2016 US Olympic Trials Champion: Ryan Murphy – 1:53.95
  • Wave I Cut: 2:02.99
  • Wave II Cut: 2:00.81
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 1:57.50
  1. Ryan Murphy (CAL), 1:54.20
  2. Bryce Mefford (SMST), 1:54.79
  3. Austin Katz (TXLA), 1:55.86

Ryan Murphy took control of the men’s 200 back final from the get-go and the win was never in doubt, as the defending Olympic champion touched first in a time of 1:54.20.

Murphy moves into second in the world rankings this season, and posts his fastest swim since the 2019 World Championships. It’s his seventh-fastest ever, having been sub-1:54 three occasions.

One of Murphy’s training partners at Cal, Bryce Mefford, moved into second, passing Austin Katz, on the third 50, and then charged down the last 50—even making up ground on Murphy.

Mefford came back in 29.46, the fastest in the field, to take second in 1:54.79, a massive best time and also the second consecutive 1-2 finish at Trials for Cal swimmers in this event. Mefford entered the meet with a 2019 best of 1:57.39, and then brought that down to 1:56.57 in the semis before this showing.

The 22-year-old is now the eighth-fastest American of all-time.

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About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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