2021 MEN’S PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Sunday, February 28 – Wednesday, March 3
- Houston, TX (Central Time Zone)
- Defending Champion: Cal (3x) (results)
- Prelims: 11:00 AM Central Time (Days 2-4); Finals: 6:00 PM Central Time (Days 1-4)
- Championship Central
- Live Results
- Live Stream
- Day 4 Finals Heat Sheet
The Cal Golden Bears took the top 6 places in the 200 backstroke at the Pac-12 Championships on Wednesday as part of the final-day effort that is expected to see the Bears in 17 out of 18 individual events at the meet (pending the outcome of the finale 400 free relay, where they’re heavily favored).
The group was led by freshman Destin Lasco, who swam 1:38.13. That time improves upon his previous personal best of 1:39.60 swum in November. He was already ranked #2 in the nation, behind only Texas A&M’s Shaine Casas (1:36.54), but the gap between Lasco and everyone besides Casas is beginning to grow.
Lasco’s swim ranks him as the 3rd-fastest freshman ever in the event, behind only Ryan Murphy and Austin Katz.
Top Freshmen in History, 200 Yard Backstroke:
- Ryan Murphy, Cal, 2014 – 1:37.35
- Austin Katz, Texas, 2018 – 1:37.53
- Destin Lasco, Cal, 2021 – 1:38.13
- Bryce Mefford, Cal, 2018 – 1:38.43
- Hugo Gonzalez, Auburn*, 2017 – 1:39.05
Note: Gonzalez swam at Auburn as a freshman, though he’s now a Cal Golden Bear.
The two swimmers ahead of him won NCAA titles as freshmen.
While the present edition of the Pac-12 isn’t as deep as it has been, especially with Arizona State redshirting the entire season because of the coronavirus pandemic, but these teams are legitimately fast. They represent 6 of the top 12 times in the nation so far this season, with still the Big Ten 200 back left to be swum.
- Destin Lasco (Cal), freshman, 1:38.13
- Daniel Carr (Cal), senior, 1:38.81
- Hugo Gonzalez (Cal), junior, 1:39.18
- Bryce Mefford (Cal), senior, 1:40.08
- Colby Mefford (Cal), sophomore, 1:40.50
- Sebastian Somerset (Cal), sophomore, 1:40.62
While 5 of the names on that list were expected to be that fast, the big breakthrough is the 6th-place finisher Somerset. His best time coming into the meet was a 1:42.24 at last year’s Pac 12 Championships.
A native Canadian, Somerset’s best long course time of 2:00.12 was done in April of 2018.