Freshmen Make Their Presence Known On Opening Night of Men’s Pac-12s

2021 MEN’S  PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIPS

The freshmen made an immediate impact on Sunday night as the Men’s Pac-12 Championships got underway, with the Cal Bears walking away with two wins in the 800 free and 400 medley relays.

In the 800 free relay, we saw first-year swimmers Destin Lasco of Cal and Luke Maurer of Stanford lead their respective schools off by tying for the fastest opening leg, achieving personal best times of 1:33.28. This marks the second time the two have tied in just over a week, as Lasco and Maurer had both set a best time of 1:33.99 in a recent dual meet.

A second Cardinal freshman, Preston Forst, then dropped the second-fastest split in the field swimming second (1:31.68), opening up a big lead for Stanford. Cal would ultimately run them down for the win, but Maurer and Forst looked exceptional and should be big factors over the next three days.

Then, in the 400 medley relay, Cal freshman Bjorn Seeliger produced a scorching 41.21 freestyle anchor, bringing the Bears in for a new meet record. Seeliger’s swim is one of the top 100 free relay splits we’ve seen this season, with Texas’ Daniel Krueger hitting a 41.18 for the fastest.

In addition to Maurer and Forst’s exploits on the 800 free, three of Stanford’s four legs on the 400 medley were first-years.

Leon MacAlister led off in 47.41, Ethan Hu was very impressive in 45.11 on fly, and Jonny Affeld anchored in 42.08. A native of Australia, MacAlister’s swim slides under his best of 47.46 set earlier this month, while Hu owns a flat-start 100 fly best of 45.47 and Affeld was almost a full second under his flat-start 100 free time (43.05).

The Cardinal ended up placing third in 3:06.14, faster than the team’s winning time from last season.

Through two events, Cal, Stanford and Arizona all looked good, but it’s clear the first-year swimmers will make a sizeable impact on the meet.

RELAY SPLITS

In addition to the freshmen’s work, Alexei Sancov hit a best time leading off the 800 free relay for USC, clocking 1:32.69 to take down his 2018 PB of 1:32.80, and Trenton Julian was fantastic with a 1:31.52 flying split for Cal.

Joining Seeliger on the winning Cal medley relay, Bryce MeffordReece Whitley and Ryan Hoffer all looked good. Mefford was just off his 2019 best time in 45.51 on back, while Whitley’s 50.83 puts him just off his 50.65 from last season.

Hoffer’s 45.05 on fly was just under half a second slower than 2020, though he jumped early on that 44.59.

800 FREE RELAY

  1. Cal, 6:11.98
  2. Stanford, 6:12.83
  3. Arizona, 6:16.30

Lead-off Splits

Swimmer School Split
Alexei Sancov USC 1:32.69
Destin Lasco Cal 1:33.28
Luke Maurer Stanford 1:33.28
Daniel Namir Arizona 1:33.40
Cole Giandinoto Utah 1:37.01

Flying Splits

Swimmer School Split
Trenton Julian Cal 1:31.52
Preston Forst Stanford 1:31.68
Zach Yeadon Cal 1:32.96
Brooks Fail Arizona 1:33.66
Grant Shoults Stanford 1:33.75
Hunter Ingram Arizona 1:33.82
Mason Gonzalez Stanford 1:34.12
Daniel Carr Cal 1:34.22
Max Saunders USC 1:34.67
Dominic Margarino USC 1:34.71
Harry Homans USC 1:34.97
Isaac Stump Arizona 1:35.42
Noah Carlson Utah 1:37.03
Marko Kovacic Utah 1:38.68
Dylan Becker Utah 1:39.99

400 Medley Relay

  1. Cal, 3:02.60
  2. Arizona, 3:05.35
  3. Stanford, 3:06.14

Back Splits

Swimmer School Split
Bryce Mefford Cal 45.51
Ogi Maric Arizona 45.90
Andrei Ungur Utah 46.91
Leon MacAlister Stanford 47.41
Jack Kirby USC 47.64
Jack Anderson Arizona 47.93
David Schlicht Arizona 48.30
Ryan Garstang Utah 48.83

Breast Splits

Swimmer School Split
Reece Whitley Cal 50.83
Daniel Roy Stanford 51.54
Sam Iida Arizona 51.74
Andrew Britton Utah 51.98
Ryan Foote Arizona 52.04
Mario Koenigsperger USC 52.28
Ty Wells Arizona 53.02
Jaek Horner Utah 53.68

Fly Splits

Swimmer School Split
Ryan Hoffer Cal 45.05
Ethan Hu Stanford 45.11
Noah Reid Arizona 45.11
Alexei Sancov USC 45.50
Ben Waterman Utah 46.41
Brooks Tamer Arizona 46.89
Santiago Contreras Utah 47.39
Ty Coen Arizona 47.59

Free Splits

Swimmer School Split
Bjorn Seeliger Cal 41.21
Nikola Miljenic USC 41.92
Jonny Affeld Stanford 42.08
Marin Ercegovic Arizona 42.30
Cooper Deryk Utah 42.35
Finn O’Haimhirgin Utah 42.64
Tai Combs Arizona 43.80
Aldan Johnston Arizona 43.94

TEAM SCORES (THRU DAY 1 + DIVING)

  1. Utah, 189
  2. Stanford, 173
  3. Arizona, 152
  4. USC, 124
  5. Cal, 102

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Willswim
1 month ago

Who ya got in the 400 medley?

Staka
Corbeau
Jiang
Krueger

Carr/Lasco
Whitley
Hoffer
Seeliger

Cheney
Hillis
Friese
Smith

Whyte
Somov
Albiero
Sameh

Bobthebuilderrocks
Reply to  Willswim
1 month ago

The Longhorns, although it’ll be an absurd race.

SAMUEL HUNTINGTON
Reply to  Willswim
1 month ago

I pick the Longhorns. Krueger can split :40 and that will be the difference.

swimfan210_
Reply to  Willswim
1 month ago

Texas. They had the fastest time out of the four and, according to individual performances, seem the least tapered. I think Texas and Cal will improve a lot at NCAAs, while Florida and Louisville generally drop less at NCAAs.

JimSwim22
1 month ago

Freshmen been going 1:33 since the 80’s

Jay Ryan
Reply to  JimSwim22
1 month ago

Yeah, Troy Dalbey set the 15-18 NAG 1:33.28 as a Gator freshman in 1987. I was broken by Stanford freshman Tom Kremer 1:33.07 in 2013.

Jay Ryan
Reply to  Jay Ryan
1 month ago

It not i

BearlyBreathing
Reply to  JimSwim22
1 month ago

1:29 is the new 1:33

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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