For the First Time in Primary Events, Cal Tops Pacific at Home

For the first time this season, the Cal Golden Bears men’s team swam largely primary events in their first traditional meet of the season: a 149-104 (with exhibitions by Cal in 4 of the 11 events) victory.

The Golden Bears led the meet off with a win in the 200 medley relay in 1:31.47. That included an outstanding 19.85 anchor from Tyler Messerschmidt, the only sub-20 split of the meet.

Cal went 1-2-3 in that relay, with their other All-American sprinter Seth Stubblefield anchoring the B relay in 20.01.

Next up was the 1000 free. The distance races are Cal’s biggest weak spot this year, but Freshman Janardan Burns will be the bright spot after winning this men’s 1000 in 9:38.27. He was followed by Pacific freshman Kale Ai, who was 2nd in 9:45.09.

Cal again went to town on the men’s 200 free, with Canadian middle-distance specialist Jeremy Bagshaw winning the race in 1:40.01 over Trent Williams in 1:40.45. Williams has a little more speed than Bagshaw, as demonstrated by him turning in the lead mid-way, but Bagshaw has more distance in him, and he ripped a big final 50 to take this victory.

Cal freshman Ryan Murphy was 3rd in 1:41.59. The Golden Bears are probably really going to push his freestyle boundaries this year, hoping that he can develop into an apt replacement for Tom Shields, who in addition to his individual abilities was always a huge part of the Cal relays.

Pacific junior Cooper Rogers took 3rd in 1:43.26; that’s not quite as strong of a season-opening swim for him as we saw last season, but still a solid start to his year.

Bagshaw would later win the 500 free in 4:29.89, winning by 11 seconds over exhibitioned teammate Jamey Lyon.

Cal’s Marcin Tarczynski won the men’s 100 back in 48.84, just out-touching his sophomore teammate Jacob Pebley (48.86). Tarczynski, after three straight titles, gave up his King of the Pool crown this year in Cal’s first meet of the season, but interestingly it’s not because he isn’t swimming well. He, in fact, is swimming better than ever, and this 100 back was almost half-a-second faster than he was at this same meet last season.

Pacific got one of two hands-to-the-wall-first win of the night in the men’s 100 breaststroke. There, junior Cameron Franke won in 58.00, followed by Cal’s Ryan Studebaker (58.08) and Hunter Cobleigh (58.19). The sprint breaststrokes are probably Cal’s weakest discipline this year, though Studebaker is a notoriously-strong taper swimmer and will be much better than this at the end of the year.

Cal was also without the services of Christian Higgins at this meet.

After a 200 fly win by freshman Long Gutierrez in 1:49.51, the prodigal son of Cal swimming made his glorious return.

Tyler Messerschmidt, listed officially as a sophomore, missed most of last season while working through some academic challenges. After getting himself back on track and readmitted to the University, Messerschmidt looked again very sharp early. He was a 20.16 to win the 50 free (ahead of 20.38 from Stubblefield and 20.80 from Fabio Gimondi); and followed that with a 44.55 win in the 100 free.

Murphy the freshman was the runner-up in that 100, swimming 45.39.

Again, maybe working his way up for some relay swims, Murphy swam that race instead of the 200 back that followed it, and that led to another UoP win. This one came from freshman Curtis Klein in 1:50.53.

Klein took this race out very hard, but held off Cal junior Jeremie Dezwirek and his 1:50.90, despite Dezwirek out-splitting Klein by a full second in the final 50 yards.

Prenot got his first individual win of the meet in the 200 breaststroke, with a 2:01.76 that saw him get a lot of clean water very early in this race. He split this race nearly-perfectly for this time of year, going out in 58.9 and coming back in 1:01.8.

Ignoring exhibitions, Cal went 1-4 in the men’s 100 fly, led by the junior Stubblefield (48.76) and the freshman Gutierrez (49.62). Tarczynski probably winds up being the butterflier on Cal’s medley relays, after placing 5th in the 100 fly at NCAA’s last year and with their depth in backstroke, but we might also see head coach Dave Durden work on adding this race, instead of the 200 free, as Stubblefield’s third championship event. For what it’s worth, last year he only swam the 100 fly in the spring semester, but at this same meet was over two seconds slower.

(Another star missing from this meet – former NCAA 200 fly champion Will Hamilton).

Murphy picked up his lone individual win of the meet in the 200 IM, touching in 1:51.72 – ahead of sophomore Jacob Pebley in 1:53.22.

Closing the meet, Cal put up a tempered, if solid, 400 free relay, winning in 3:06.43. They didn’t, however, use any of their top sprinters (Gimondi, Stubblefield, Messerschmidt, Murphy) and with four relays, got the opportunity to put some different guys in those relay positions. The fastest split went to Trent Williams with a 45.85.

Full meet results available here.

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bobo gigi

Messerschmidt looks ready for a great season.


if that is all they got, I dont’ think it is enough to win ncaa’s this year

Joel Lin

Korn, When is card counting or examining tells of a team of any use in October? NCAA swimmers are getting smashed with heavy training right now both in the pool, in the weight room and with supplemental dry land. When Marcin won the 200 IM at NCAAs two seasons ago in 1:41, his duel season showings were often materially over 1:50. I think it is a rare bird (and usually the distance guys) who tend to go duel meet times anywhere near a zone of their taper / shave times. This looks to me a lot like prior Cal or prior Auburn teams in October in same seasons they took an NCAA title home. In truth, if you don’t stink… Read more »


They are still missing Christian Higgins and Will Hamilton so that isn’t all they have got. They still have many places to improve, whether or not they will have enough to win NCAAs, we will see in March.


They’re missing Adam Hinshaw too


Not to be harsh but did 9:38 really win the 1000?

bobo gigi

I’m sure Katie Ledecky swims that time untapered. 🙂

bobo gigi

And after 10 miles of training. 🙂

Joel Lin

Remember where the gold in the hills is. Not to slight distance swimming, but in the NCAA format it is all about sprinters and the 100 and 200 players in the strokes. How many points did the Cal, Arizona or Auburn NCAA title teams in trailing decade plus had scorers in the 500 or in 1,650? Lean to none.


Hey, give the kid a break. He”s a freshman and this was his first college dual meet. @Joel Lin – well you did slight distance swimming(ers) but you are correct about the NCAA format. I then have to ask – why do any of the teams even bother to recruit the distance guys anyway, particularly if any of the points they score don’t count for much. Maybe a college coach can respond and answer that question?

I would love to know the answer, so I can pass along that information to my age group distance swimmers to manage their expectations for college swimming.


400 IM, 1650 free, 500 free, 200 stroke events, these all score points as well …. from what I’ve seen some guys come in as milers but end up being studs on the 4 x 200 relay (Connor Jaeger’s name ring a bell to anyone). A good swimmer is a good swimmer is a good swimmer, who knows the limit’s of Burns potential. Also, collegiate programs want to win conference meets as well as nationals. They need distance depth at conference as well. I would say that distance and sprint are equally important in college programs. Mike Bottom (a SwimSwam hero/legend) is a perfect example of a coach who gets this. He won NCAA because of distance freestyle.


Thanks HISWIMCOACH. Good information. Looks like Cal is trying to build their distance program. Bagshaw (Sr.) Hinshaw (Jr.) Lyon (So.) and Burns (Fr.) – one for each year, as well as the supporting guys Tyrell (Sr.) Farley (Sr.) and Shimomura (So.) all add to the depth in the distance free events (thinking the 1000 and 1650 mainly). Prenot and Haney thrown into the 1000 and Williams and Hamilton as well as the other players listed above in for the 500 too. Seems they have plenty of bodies to go around. Prenot (So.) and Hinshaw (Jr.) best in the 400 IM, it seems. Can they compete with Michigan? They hired Yuri Sugiyama, so are they now getting serious about developing their… Read more »


Just took a look at last year’s Pac-12 results. Cal didn’t have anyone on the podium for the 1650 even though Lyon scored the 3rd fastest time (sub-15) at the meet since he was swimming exhibition. Isn’t he the kid who got scratched by Cal off the NCAA invite (roster) for a Cal diver? That doesn’t seem like they have an interest in distance but who knows now that they have Burns too or maybe they think they still don’t need the points.

Joel Lin

Woah, no intended slights or criticals pointed from me. In fact I didn’t even mention the 9:38. I am sure if I scrubbed the tables of NCAA finalists in 500 free or 1,650 I would find a great many of them who were pulling 9:30’s in December on in. Jean Basson at Arizona looked like IronMan in a suit after taper, and rarely — if ever — really threw down a huge 1000 in a dual meet. My point is the NCAA format has biases AGAINST distance swimmers. When was the last time Arizona, Cal or Auburn had a US national team member or world class international 400m or 1500m guy? My memory is blank all the way back to… Read more »

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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