Cal Wins 4 of 6 Groups; 15 of 18 Events Against Stanford in Triple-Distance Meet

Though no official team score was kept, the edge at the 2013 Cal-Stanford triple distance meet was to the Cal Golden Bears, who took 4 of the 6 event disciplines and 15 out of 18 events overall.

This meet has a unique event format, where each athlete is put into their primary stroke group, and they swim three different distances within a discipline, and the lowest aggregate time gets the win.

Per group, the winners were:

  • 50/100/200 fly – Tom Kremer, Stanford, 2:59.64
  • 50/100/200 back – David Nolan. Stanford, 3:02.15
  • 50/100/200 breast – Ryan Studebaker, Cal, 3:27.43
  • 50/100/200 free – Tyler Messerschmidt, Cal, 2:34.03
  • 100/200/400 IM – Josh Prenot, Cal, 6:33.03
  • 200/500/1000 free – Jeremy Bagshaw, Cal, 15:17.14

Butterfly Group

Stanford sophomore Tom Kremer is building off of a very successful breakout freshman season, and he really dominated this butterfly group. Overall, he was a second-and-a-half better than his next closest competitor, Cal freshman Long Gutierrez, in aggregate across the three distances.

Kremer had a good time in the 100 fly (49.55), but where he really stamped his difference on the group was in the 200 fly, where he put up a 1:47.64.

That 200 time knocked a full second off of Kremer’s previous season-best, and puts him second in the conference, behind only Cal senior  Marcin Tarczynski, this season.

At this meet, Tarczynski’s 200 didn’t look very good (1:50.90), but his shorter races did – he and Gutierrez went 1-2 in the 50 in 22.17 and 22.18, respectively. Tarczynski also had the best time of the field in the 100 fly by a good margin with a 48.84.

Kremer took the overall win, with Gutierrez second, Cal junior Dane Stassi 3rd, Tarczynski 4th, and Stanford sophomore Gray Umbach 5th in 3:02.08. Stassi did well on the strength of a 1:48.42 in the 200 fly – this meet format tends to lend itself to the 200 butterfliers more than the sprint specialists, as the margins between a great 200 butterflier and an average 200 butterflier are much greater than the same in the 50.

Backstroke Group

Defending 100 back NCAA Champion David Nolan easily won the backstroke group on final times, but that wasn’t obvious from watching the swimming.

He and teammate Ryan Arata, who was 2nd overall in 3:03.47, were about equal in the 100 (Nolan 50.26-Arata 50.22) and 200 (Nolan 1:49.29 – Arata 1:49.49).

The difference in this backstroke was the 50. Nolan swam a 22.60 that is a very good time for this point of the season, and a Murphy DQ gave away the group early.

Despite that disqualification for a twitch on the blocks, Murphy really wow’ed the crowd at this meet; he was a 47.5 in the 100 back, a 1:43.4 in the 200 back.

Neither of the legal times is quite his season best time, but excluding Jack Conger’s suited swims at the Texas intrasquad (which they did not official submit for consideration), Murphy now has the country’s three best times in the 100 and 200 backstrokes. It seems as though the hype surrounding Murphy has been well-justified early this year, and he’ll have confidence for the rest of the season after performing so well against Nolan.

Breaststroke Group

Both Stanford and Cal are looking for someone in their breaststroke group will step up this year, and at this meet it was Cal’s Ryan Studebaker who did so and took the group in an aggregate time of 3:27.43. That gave him almost exactly a second edge over Stanford’s Mason Shaw (3:28.44), with that edge being built pretty equally across the three distances.

In the 50, Studebaker swam a 26.04 to Shaw’s 26.36; in the 100, Studebaker was 57.09 to Shaw’s 57.21; and in the 200, Studebaker was a 2:04.30 to Shaw’s 2:04.87.

It’s worth noticing Stanford’s Christian Brown. Though he finished 7th out of 8 swimmers in the overall competition, was the second-best 50 breaststroker (26.21) and the best 100 breaststroker (57.05). His 200 time of 2:11.03, almost seven seconds behind Shaw and Studebaker, caused him to slide down the rankings.

Sprint Freestyles

This sprint group was the biggest of the meet, but it was still won by about the same full-second margin. Cal’s Tyler Messerschmidt won the group in 2:43.03, followed by his teammate Seth Stubblefield (2:44.01) and Trent Williams (2:46.31).

Stanford’s top finisher was junior Thomas Stephens in 2:46.60 for 4th. This was very much indicative in the difference between these two programs right now: Cal’s best freestylers are largely pure freestylers, whereas Stanford’s best freestylers Nolan and Kremer have other specialties, so the difference between the two sets of relays won’t likely be as big as this result indicates.

Messerschmidt and Stubblefield tied for the fastest time in the 50, with matching 20.21’s; Fabio Gimondi was second-best in 20.56.

The 100 free, though, was all Messerschmidt, as he swam a 44.15 to Stubblefields 44.95 and Gimondi’s 45.01.

Messerschmidt and Stubblefield again went 1-2 in the 200 free, in 1:38.67 and 1:38.85, respectively, though this time Gimondi wasn’t even close as he slid to 11th in the overall standings. Williams’ 1:39.17 helped him jump up a little bit to 3rd in the group standings.

IM Group

It was little surprise that Cal’s Josh Prenot won the IM group, especially as his speed has looked better-and-better this season. It’s that speed, in the 100 IM, that was the bulk of the difference-maker here, as Stanford freshman Max Williamson gave Prenot a heck of a run in the two longer distances.

In the 100, Prenot was a 51.4 to Williamson’s 52.3; in the 200, though, they were nearly a dead-heat, with Prenot touching in 1:49.99 and Williamson in 1:50.09; in the 400, it was again a great battle with Prenot touching in 3:51.58 and Williamson in 3:51.60.

The two are really very similar swimmers. Both are on the older end of their class, both are great breaststrokers, neither has a glaringly weak stroke. Prenot is perhaps a bit better butterflier than Williamson, but Williamson has about four inches of height on Prenot if you trust the teams’ official rosters. It was fun to see those two battle on Wednesday evening, and will be fun to watch them continue to do so over the next three seasons.

Men’s Distance Group

Perhaps the biggest upset of the night came in the men’s distance group, where Jeremy Bagshaw won with an aggregate time of 15:17.14.

It wasn’t so much a surprise that he won, as Bagshaw has been on-fire the last couple of weeks; it was a bigger surprise, over the impressive Stanford distance group, that Bagshaw won by six seconds.

He topped all three events by over a second each. His 1:40.48 in the 200 free bettered the matching 1:41.9’s by Danny Thomson of Stanford and Jimmy Yoder of Stanford.

Bagshaw’s 500 free was the best by almost two seconds in 4:28.65, ahead of Stanford’s Justin Buck in 4:30.52.

Buck was a bit closer in the 1000, but still nobody could beat Bagshaw. The Cal senior was a 9:08.01, and Buck was 2nd in 9:09.93.

In the overall rankings, it was Buck who took 2nd in 15:23.00, followed by Thomson in 15:34.30, and Yoder was 4th in 15:43.85.

Full meet results available here.

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susan williams

I believe Ryan Murphy of Cal won the backstroke group!

susan williams

It was announced incorrectly…your right!

ole 99

Using cumulative time puts too much weight on the longer distance event. They should generate a time scoring index for each distance then use the cumulative for the winner.


haha I was thinking the same. But I can see things getting complicated. Just adding the times together is easier for everybody. And I think part of this meet is to get the swimmers outside their comfort-zone.

Steve Nolan

I was thinking the same thing – either use points or multiply the times out, but they’re not scoring this or anything so no big deal either way.


Pretty cool meet to take a snapshot at potential components for medley relays. Cal’s versatility is solid if Durden can use Pebley and Cox in the IM and sprint groups.

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