The Cal women and Stanford men both won every event but one on day 3 of the UNLV Invitational, sealing wins for each team. Cal put the exclamation point on the day by splitting its best swimmers up between 3 different 400 free relays and still making an NCAA “A” cut.
Sammy Harrison of Oregon State won the mile to kick off the meet, going 16:19.81, just a few seconds off her time from Pac-12s last year. She beat Cal’s Catherine Breed (16:38.13) and ASU’s Anna Olasz (16:50.29).
From then on, though, it was all Cal on the women’s side, especially with UCLA and UCSB leaving the meet after prelims and not swimming the finals session. Update: A press release on the UCLA website revealed that the Bruins left early due to poor air quality at the facility.
Missy Franklin won the 200 back, going 1:53.73, about a second off the A cut. She was followed by three more Golden Bears, Sophia Batchelor (1:54.61), Hoi Shun Au (1:57.35) and Melanie Klaren (1:57.84).
Franklin came off that win to swim the 100 free, where she was out-touched by teammate Liz Pelton 48.71 to 48.83. Cal’s Rachael Acker was 49.43 for third, and UNLV’s Jessica Heim, usually a distance swimmer, went a lifetime-best 50.04 for fourth place.
Marina Garcia Urzainqui went 2:10.98 to win the 200 breaststroke after winning the 100 last night. Cal’s Celina Li took second in 2:13.72, a lifetime best for her. ASU’s Tory Houston, who was 2nd in the 100, took third here, going 2:14.72.
Li swam back-to-back events, going from second in the breast to winning the 200 fly. Her time of 1:57.55 was just enough to hold off teammate Sophia Batchelor, who took second in 1:57.68. The race could have gotten even more interesting, but two of the top three seeds didn’t swim finals – Noelle Tarazona of UCLA was the fastest swimmer in prelims, going 1:57.21, but her Bruins left early and did not compete at finals. Her teammate Anna Senko was the third seed after going 2:00.18 in the morning. ASU’s Tristin Baxter finished third at finals, sneaking under two minutes at 1:59.79.
Cal split up its top swimmers among 3 different 400 free relays to create some races at the end of the night. Missy Franklin anchored the A relay, Liz Pelton the B and Rachael Acker the C, splitting up the top 3 finishers in the open 100 free tonight. Franklin’s relay emerged victorious thanks to her 47.67 split as well as 48s from Caroline Piehl and Cindy Tran. Those three plus Alicia Grima went 3:16.42, an NCAA “A” cut. Pelton was 48.7, and her relay got a solid leadoff leg from Celina Li, who went 50.14. Their relay finished second overall in 3:17.92, just a second off A cuts. Acker was 49.1 and her relay teammate Rachel Bootsma went 49.0. That tidal wave of names and numbers might make your head spin – it really underscores the tremendous relay options Cal coach Teri McKeever has at her disposal this season.
The Golden Bears dominated the team scores at this meet, finishing over 800 points ahead of second-place Arizona State. Most of California’s studs will rest for winter nationals in a couple of weeks, so the fast swimming appears to be only beginning for Berkeley.
Final Team Scores
1. University of California 1278
2. Arizona State University 429.5
3. UCLA 394
4. UNLV 388.5
5. Oregon State Beavers 282
6. UC – Santa Barbara 241
7. Brigham Young University 200
8. Northern Arizona University 155
9. Colorado State University 85
Stanford went 1-2-3-4 in the 1650 for the men, with Danny Thompson going 15:08.21 to win. 500 free and 400 IM winner Drew Cosgarea took second, going 15:23.37 to nip teammate Justin Buck (15:23.73). Bryan Offutt was fourth in 15:28.98.
Dave Nolan won the 200 backstroke, going 1:42.40, a good three and a half seconds faster than he was at this time last year. Cosgarea took second in his second consecutive event, going 1:43.21, while Stanford’s Will Gunderson was third in 1:45.57.
Adam Kalms of Wyoming took home the 100 free win, the only individual event on the day that Stanford didn’t claim. Kalms was 43.82, a season-best, a day after winning the 200 free. UNLV took the next two spots, with Sam Lameynardie going 44.22 and 50 free winner Dillon Virva going 44.23. Stanford’s Tom Stephens was just behind in 44.25.
Three men went sub-2:00 in the 200 breaststroke, including two from Stanford. Max Williamson won the event, going 1:58.97, while fellow Cardinal swimmer Mason Shaw was 1:59.65. The top seed, UNLV’s Brandon Meier, took third, going 1:59.98.
The closest race of the night for the men was the 200 fly, where Stanford’s Tom Kremer barely beat out UNLV’s Balint Batka for the win. Kremer was 1:45.40 and Batka was 1:45.67. ASU’s Alex Coci took third, going 1:46.42.
Stanford did not enter any 400 free relays, leaving UNLV to sweep the top 2 spots. The team of Gui Passos, Tom Paco-Pedroni, Dillon Virva and Sam Lameynardie won in 2:55.06, getting a solid 43.12 split from Virva. UNLV’s B team went 2:56.88 for second place. Wyoming finished third thanks to the fastest leadoff split in the pool in Adam Kalms’ 44.09.
Final Team Scores
1. Stanford 1262
2. UNLV 748
3. Wyoming 370
4. Arizona State University 356
5. UC – Santa Barbara 261
6. Brigham Young 259