French National Record Holder and Tokyo Olympian Mewen Tomac Commits to Cal for 2024-25

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Mewen Tomac from France has announced his commitment to swim and study at the University of California, Berkeley beginning next fall.

“Starting off the new year with some big news… I’m stocked to finally announce my commitment to swim and study at the University of California, Berkeley next year! I’d like to thank my family, my friends and the Cal staff for supporting me through this decision. I’d also like to say a huge thank you to everyone at @amiensmetropolenatation for getting me to where I am today. Can’t wait for this new chapter and GO BEARS 🐻”

Tomac, who swims with Amiens Metropole Natation and represents France internationally, will join the 2024 Gallic invasion of Berkeley begun by countrywomen Lilou Ressencourt and Mary-Ambre Moluh with their verbal commits last fall. Nans Mazellier, originally committed to Cal for 2023-24, is taking a gap year and will join the Golden Bears next fall, as well.

The Cal men’s team is bringing in a huge class in the fall. Tomac’s addition was made possible in part to Pieter Coetzee’s decision to decommit from Cal and remain in South Africa to turn pro. Tomac will be part of an incoming men’s cohort that includes Lucca Battaglini, Edward Huang, Thackston McMullan, Carter Lancaster, Nick Mahabir, August Vetsch, Freddy Klein, Matthew Elliott, Trey Hesser, and Yamato Okadome.

Tomac, the top backstroker France, currently owns the SCM 200 back national record and a ton of French age records. He recently lowered his own French national record in the 200 to 1:48.55 with his 3rd-place finish at 2023 European Short Course Championships; at the same meet he won gold in the 50 back (22.85) and 100 back (49.72). In a lead-up to the European meet, he won the 50 back (22.96), 100 back (49.99), and 200 back (1:49.21) at French Short Course Nationals in Angers in October. His 1:49.21 in the 200 back was a national record, lowering his own mark set in Melbourne in December 2022 (1:49.61).

Tomac won the 50/100/200 back at French Long Course Nationals last June, as well. At long course World Championships last summer, he placed 4th in the 200 back and 8th in the 100 back and led off France’s medley relay that came in 4th in the final.

His converted times would have scored in the A finals of the 100/200 back at 2023 NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships.

Top times:

Event SCM best LCM best SCY conversion
50 back 22.83 24.80 20.56
100 back 49.72 52.86 44.79
200 back 1:48.55 1:55.79 1:37.79
50 free 22.40 23.06 20.05
100 free 48.42 49.70 43.33
200 free 1:45.77 1:47.75 1:34.18

Tomac told SwimSwam he chose Cal in order to swim with “the best backstrokers in the world.” In addition to the men’s college team, he will train in the off-season with Ryan Murphy, Destin Lasco and the rest of the Cal pro group. Born on September 11, 2001, he should have 2 years of eligibility with the Golden Bears.

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4 months ago

Wait, he’s currently 22 and will be 24 when he’s done with his two years at Cal.

Same age as Grant House when he finished competing…

Last edited 4 months ago by MJay
4 months ago

Everyone. Three letters. B-Y-U. If you are a Mormon and take your two-year mission as a freshman, at the age of 18 or 19, and are also an athlete, you return as a 20- or 21-year-old freshman. And, if you decide to take a redshirt season, and begin your athletic career as a 21- or 22-year-old, in four years you will graduate at 25 or 26 and as a senior you will be competing against 17-, 18-, 19-year-old athletes. And this has been transpiring since BYU’s athletic existence in the NCAA. So where has everyone’s outrage been over BYU having an athletic advantage because of the age of someone of their athletes?

tea rex
4 months ago

A little off-topic, but Hafnaoui is no longer listed on Indiana’s roster; I didn’t remember any official announcement.

That’s a huge miss for IU.

4 months ago

Sure rule benders bend the rules. As sad as it is, nothing new here. It’s a poor reflection of the character of our NCAA coaching ranks and athletic depts.

That said, it’s a little amazing to me that the bigger more simple issue is ignored or missed by most here. These are (for the most part) public schools built with public dollars, coaches as state employees taking in large tax funded salaries (and then supplementing those salaries with even more side jobs like camps and club positions at public facilities), giving publicly funded scholarships to grown men/women and countries that pay in ZERO to this system. Meanwhile the average or even excellent but sub-elite, home-grown swimmer and family is stuck… Read more »

Reply to  PoolGal
4 months ago

I don’t think college athletics works the way you think they do.
I don’t think university funding works the way you think it does either.
And finally, I don’t think you understand how economies work. You mean we can pull some of the best talent from other countries to America for a few thousand dollars per year?? How much value do you think a talented employee with a graduate degree from Cal adds to a business in a year? I bet it’s more than the value of the scholarship.

International students pay significantly higher rates of tuition to attend most American universities (as do out-of-state students).

BTW – hundreds of thousands of US students go to college for… Read more »

Reply to  swimapologist
4 months ago

1) Not sure where you get your info from on American students overseas. I received a degree overseas, as a dual citizen. It was anything but cheap or free. First off, most other countries don’t have the lax casual attitude of the open door that the US does. They protect their own and have a nationalistic pride in their institutions. Second, the overseas institutions that are low cost are low quality. The institutions that are high quality are very expensive (for both the locals and the “visitors”) and considered an honor to attend. Upward mobility is more difficult. Americans that do travel overseas have deep pockets typically.

2) A dollar is a dollar. You can chop it up and… Read more »

Reply to  PoolGal
4 months ago

Football pays for your swim program. And donors. Most of Cal’s program is funded by Donors. They built the aquatics center. They call them “The Big Four”.

Are they US tax payers? Sure. But it’s not their tax money that pays for it. It’s their voluntary donations that pay for it.

US students studying at German Universities pay roughly $3,500 per year, a new fee which came in 2017. In 2016, “Currently, an estimated 10,000 U.S. citizens are studying at German colleges — nearly all of them for free, according to NBC News.” – WaPo

(And they study for free in English).

Tuition at the Technical University of Munich, Germany’s best university, for Americans is… Read more »

Reply to  swimapologist
4 months ago

I assume that PoolGal studied in one of the few countries overseas that has tuition and fee structures more similar to the US. The UK is a notable example of this.

Reply to  Braden Keith
4 months ago

Of course there are exceptions to every trend. So when I say this, there will be people that want to argue otherwise, however the general rule of thumb overseas is as such:

1) free education for citizens, “relatively” low cost for foreigners; the point people are missing here is that native tax is astronomical in these (mostly Northern European) countries- overall rate 45% to 55%, sometimes 60%. So it has already been paid for many times over. Americans pay MORE than average.


2) two tiered educational and health systems- whereas the lower tier is free but low quality. People of means opt up near 100 % of the time and this does preserve the status quo of limited… Read more »

Reply to  swimapologist
4 months ago

I have no children of any age that swim. Nice attempt in trying to make it personal.

Am I to assume you are one of the college coaches that loves to cut comers and stick it to some local family that works hard; does all the right things, and now has to spend out of state tuition for their kid- just so you can score 8 more points at conference?

The most amusing part is how in quoting German university cost (well-known as the most liberal and open system in Europe) you highlight how Germany changed their policy- whereby no foreigner may pay the same as German citizen. Imagine that? Thank you for proving my point.

While you… Read more »

Reply to  PoolGal
4 months ago

Bro, international students pay more to go to college in the US too (except the “more” is way more) and you can get scholarships to attend German colleges.

Seems like we’re on the same page, then!

Reply to  swimapologist
4 months ago

Y’all chill please. Conversations are fine, but let’s not make it personal.

Reply to  PoolGal
1 month ago

I totally agree with you! Same goes for Cal’s rowing team. When I made that comment to them on Insta they blocked me. Time to bring this to the attention of the legislature.

4 months ago

People are freaking out because of how old Tomac is, and while it is rarer at this level, speaking from experience stuff like this is much more common than you guys think in the mid major level. Multiple 24-/26 year old international students score very highly at conference champs every year

Reply to  Breastroke=Bestroke
4 months ago

No. People are freaking out because this is a swimmer who is not only 23 but has already “gone pro” in a paid professional league before NIL was a thing. Division 2 and 3 rules do not apply to Division 1. Karlyn Pipes-Neilsen swam for Div 2 UCSB and broke NCAA records at the age of 36. Also, people are freaking out because this is the exact same shifty recruiting Marsh was doing at Auburn that put him under the radar of the NCAA compliance office.

4 months ago

Grant house is no longer the oldest NCAA athlete 💀

4 months ago

C’mon, he’ll be 23 at 2025 NC’s and 24 in 2026, and then his eligibility will be over. That is not so unusual these days, even for domestic students. The question of whether he is eligible after competing in ISL is a separate question. I suspect that Cal has done their research and they think he is, perhaps because he never got paid, but who knows!

Reply to  DLswim
4 months ago

The reaction to this article has hit a classic SwimSwam comments sweet spot of grumbling about international swimmers, pro swimmers, old swimmers in NCAA, not to mention Cal/Marsh… just need to somehow branch out to bring in Michael Andrew and maybe a touch of Australian-American sniping to check the bingo card plus perhaps finish it off by looping it back to include reliable Bowman/ASU/international swimmer grumbling again

Old Swim Coach
Reply to  TXSwimDad
4 months ago

Might as well throw in some Texas hate.

Reply to  Old Swim Coach
4 months ago

And UVA women.

Long Strokes
4 months ago

Brody is so old 💀

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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