Cal Men Claim First 800 Freestyle Relay Title Since 1986 In NCAA Record Fashion (6:02.26)


The first night of the 2024 Men’s NCAA Championships was 2-for-2 in terms of NCAA Records, as the Cal Golden Bears just downed Texas’ previous mark in the 800 freestyle relay. It marks the first title for Cal in this event since 1986, where Matt Biondi was a prominent member of the team.

The squad of Gabriel Jett (1:30.32), Destin Lasco (1:29.60), Jack Alexy (1:30.50), and Robin Hanson (1:31.84) stopped the clock in 6:02.26, which lowered the previous record of 6:03.42 by 1.16 seconds. Cal entered the meet as the 4th fastest entrant (6:09.13), but notably haven’t fielded their absolute best line-up all season.

Of note, Alexy’s best flat-start time rests at 1:32.72, which he recorded back in February at the Cal vs. Arizona dual meet. Jett’s best time was 1:30.74, so his lead-off split of 1:30.32 is promising heading into the individual event on Friday. Hanson also split under his lifetime best of 1:31.95, which he put on the books at the recent Pac-12 Championships.

Last year, the Bears hit the wall in 6:06.41 for 3rd place status, meaning they improved by four seconds over the course of one year. Jett (1:31.35) and Lasco (1:29.53) returned from that quartet, with Lucas Henveaux (1:31.90) and Patrick Callan (1:33.63) each graduating after maximizing their eligibilities.

Lasco was marginally slower this year, 1:29.60 compared to 1:29.53, but the addition of Alexy’s 1:30.50 split along with the improvements of Jett and Hanson this season made all the difference.

Splits Comparison: 

Cal’s New NCAA Record At 2024 NCAAs TEXAS, 2023 NCAAS TEXAS, 2022 NCAAS
Gabriet Jett — 1:30.32 Luke Hobson — 1:29.63 Drew Kibler — 1:30.54
Destin Lasco — 1:29.60 Coby Carozza — 1:30.50 Coby Carozza — 1:31.46
Jack Alexy — 1:30.50 Peter Larson — 1:33.14 Luke Hobson — 1:30.84
Robin Hanson — 1:31.84 Carson Foster — 1:30.15 Carson Foster — 1:31.05
6:02.26 6:03.42 6:03.89

Full Results, 800 Freestyle Relay Final:

  • NCAA Record: 6:03.42 — Texas (L. Hobson, C. Carrozza, P. Larson, C. Foster), 2024
  • Meet Record: 6:03.42 — Texas (L. Hobson, C. Carrozza, P. Larson, C. Foster), 2024
  • American Record: 6:03.42 — Texas (L. Hobson, C. Carrozza, P. Larson, C. Foster), 2024
  • U.S. Open Record: 6:03.42 — Texas (L. Hobson, C. Carrozza, P. Larson, C. Foster), 2024
  • 2023 Champion: 6:03.42 — Texas (L. Hobson, C. Carrozza, P. Larson, C. Foster), 2024

Top 8: 

  1. Cal (G. Jett, D. Lasco, J. Alexy, R. Hanson) — 6:02.26 *NCAA, Meet, U.S. Open Record*
  2. Arizona State (L. Marchand, H. Kos, P. Sammon, J. Hill) — 6:04.95
  3. Texas (L. Hobson, C. Carrozza, N. Germonprez, C. Taylor) — 6:05.33
  4. Florida — 6:08.00
  5. Georgia — 6:08.13
  6. Indiana — 6:08.26
  7. Louisville — 6:08.32
  8. Stanford — 6:08.77

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21 days ago

No race videos?

Stewart Fenwick
22 days ago

No one predicted Cal to smash ASU by more than 2.5 seconds.

22 days ago

Wow! Congrats to Jett, Lasco, Hanson and Alexy. Smart call by Durden putting Alexy in the mix. That relay just SMOKED ASU even WITH Marchand’s amazing first leg. The relays this week are going to be madddddd!

22 days ago

Cal’s 1986 time was 6:21.68. Not sure where to find the splits.
Tommy Werner, Thomas Lejdstrom, Michael Soderlund, and Matt Biondi

Reply to  PBJSwimming
22 days ago

I’ve got my May 1986 issue of Swimming World right here. Page 43: Werner 1:36.23, Lejdstrom 1:37.10, Soderlund 1:35.28, Biondi 1:33.07.

Reply to  82BruinMenStixBarrettLeamy
21 days ago

Amaaaaazing thanks. That’s one of the meets we don’t have.

22 days ago

ASU looked a bit tired

Reply to  Dblmove11
21 days ago

ASU had school records in both races. Tied their NCAA 200 MR record to now stand with 2 of top three performances all-time. 800 was ASU best and had the first sub 1:29 flat start ever.

Florida in the medley and Cal in the 800 were simply better on this night.

Both used significant lineup changes, with Florida switching Liendo from a 4×200 leg at SECs to replacing Buff on fly leg, gaining from :19.7 to 18.9.

And Cal used the Westmont Shift!

ASU tried a lineup shift as well, subbing Kos (1:32.29) for Owen McDonald (1:32.06 flat; 1:32.00 rolling). Didn’t make the difference to Cal, though.

Certainly enhances interest in the rest of the meet.

(G)olden Bear
22 days ago

As a member of the ‘86 team (NOT the 800 free relay…), I say GO BEARS!

Tea rex
22 days ago

Prediction: it’s under 6:00 before 2030.

Reply to  Tea rex
22 days ago

2 1:29 splits, a 1:31 and a 1:30 high…I can see it

Tea rex
22 days ago

I don’t suppose there’s any word on lasco using a fifth year?

Reply to  Tea rex
22 days ago

Hopefully not

Reply to  Tea rex
22 days ago

It’s Cal, they’ve converted literally every key senior ever except Jason Louser I think

Reply to  25Back
22 days ago

Hoffer neither

Reply to  Tea rex
22 days ago

It’s cal. He’ll be back

Reply to  Tea rex
22 days ago

Feels like if they lose this year (still likely despite today’s performances, ASU just has too many guys (edit: and dudes)) he’s more likely to come back. Same for Alexy and Jensen. And then they add Curry and Tomac and Mazellier and Battaglini and swim 1:12/2:40/5:59 in the relays

Last edited 22 days ago by Reid