Gabriel Jett Rips 21.9/46.8/1:43 Backstroke PBs At Cal-Stanford Tri-Distance Meet

#1 Cal vs. #7 Stanford Triple Distance Meet

  • November 4, 2022
  • SCY (25 Yards)
  • Avery Aquatic Center, Stanford, California
  • Final Score: Cal 202, Stanford 174
  • Full Results

Gabriel Jett continues to show just how much untapped potential he has.

After having a huge breakout year in the mid-distance freestyle and butterfly events last season, the Cal sophomore took on backstroke events at the Cal-Stanford men’s triple-distance meet on Friday and set three personal best times. In a unique competition format where swimmers raced in all of either 50/100/200-yard stroke or sprint free events, 200/500/1000-yard distance free events, or 100/200/400 IM events, Jett was one out of three swimmers to win all of his races.

Jett posted a 21.99 in the 50 back, a 46.89 in the 100 back, and a 1:43.30 in the 200 back, improving upon his personal bests of 22.69, 46.95, and 1:44.69 respectively. His 200 back time now makes him the eighth-fastest performer so far in the 2022-23 season, and the fourth-fastest in a practice suit. This meet actually isn’t the first time Jett has swum backstroke this season, as at Cal’s meet against Pacific last week, he lowered his PB from a 47.87 to a 46.89.

Given Cal’s overall depth in backstroke, it’s unlikely that they’ll need him in the back events come time for championship season, but it’s still interesting to see him post formidable results while experimenting with the stroke.

The two other swimmers that swept their events at this meet were Stanford’s Preston Forst and Cal’s Destin Lasco.

Forst swam his marquee distance events, winning the 200 free (1:38.91), 500 free (4:29.26), and 1000 free (9:17.23). His 200 and 500 free swims were the first of his 2022-23 season, whereas his 1000 free was a few seconds slower than the 9:11.51 personal best he set at Stanford’s dual meet against Utah last month. Lasco, on the other hand, won the 100 IM (50.13), 200 IM (1:45.73), and 400 IM (3:51.03). His 200 IM was a new season-best, beating out the 1:46.50 he went against Utah. The time makes him the eighth-fastest performer so far this season, and the fifth-fastest in a practice suit.

While there were only three total event sweeps at this meet, there were plenty of near sweeps, where swimmers won two out of the three events that they swam. One of them came in sprint freestyle, where Bjorn Seeliger went 19.76 and 43.57 to win the 50 and 100 free respectively, a bit off his season-bests of 19.29 and 42.79. However, he fell to 11th in the 200 free, clocking a 1:42.68. That 200 free race (which was separate from the one that Forst won) was won in 1:36.37 by Robin Hanson. In fact, second, third, and fourth place finishers Luke Maurer (1:37.01), Rafael Gu (1:37.01), and Andres Dupont (1:38.08) were all faster than Forst’s winning time, despite the fact that the 200 free was the first event on the program for the distance swimmers and the last event for the sprinters.

Two Stanford swimmers, Zhier Fan and Jonny Affeld, also completed near-sweeps. Fan, a top-ranked freshman who is making his NCAA debut after missing the Stanford-Utah meet, won the 50 breast (25.08) and 100 breast (54.18). However, his teammate Ethan Dang, who had finished second to Fan in the 50 and 100, went 1:57.94 in the 200 breast to beat him by over a second. Affled took first place finishes in the 50 fly (21.87) and 200 fly (1:47.07), but was fourth in the 100 fly. That event was won by Matt Jensen, who put up a 48.18.

Notably, Stanford’s best swimmer, NCAA champion Andrei Minakov, was not racing at this meet. He didn’t swim at Stanford’s season-opener against Utah last month either.

Officially, triple-distance winners were declared based on their combined time from the three events that they swam. You can see the full list of triple-distance winners down below:

The meet finished off with some sprint relays between the two Pac-12 rivals. Cal’s Jack Alexy (20.14), Lasco (19.33), Hanson (20.19), and Jensen (19.67) went 1:19.33 to beat Stanford’s Gu (20.22), Affeld (19.90), Dupont (20.02), and Avery Voss (20.02) in the 200 free relay, whereas Cal’s Jett (22.11), Luke Rodarte (24.59), Liam Bell (21.16), and Seeliger (19.55) dominated to win the 200 medley relay. Notably, Bell, who is typically breaststroker, was swimming fly on this relay for the second week in a row. For second, there was a tight battle between Cal’s Kai Crews (22.92), Jacob Soderlund (24.69), Dare Rose (21.00), and Colby Hatton (19.61) and Stanford’s Hu (22.32), Leon MacAllister (25.06), Ron Polonsky (21.36), and Luke Maurer (19.54), but Cal got the best out of Stanford 1:28.22 to 1:28.28.

Ironically, MacAllister was Stanford’s medley relay backstroker at NCAAs and Hu is typically a breaststroker, so their positions on the 200 medley relay this meet were virtually swapped,

Ultimatley, Cal took the overall win, beating Stanford 202 to 174. Both Cal and Stanford will not be racing again until their mid-season invites.

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1 year ago

Nothing makes me happier than Bjorn swimming anything over a 100. Dude is like the archetype of a sprinter. Taking the first 50 out four tenths faster than anyone else and losing by 6 seconds. Going 47.4/55.2 in his 100 splits. It’s perfect.

1 year ago

gabriel is such an exciting swimmer right now

1 year ago

Dude’s got three great strokes. Kind of want to see him throw down a 200/400 IM in December

Grant Drukker
Reply to  Joe
1 year ago

Cal is weak in the 500, so it would be hard to take him off of that. But it does feel like he could pull out something great in the 200IM

Reply to  Grant Drukker
1 year ago

I’m curious if he would do the 500 / 400 IM / 200 fly lineup. His 200 free is A final level so it’s hard to say he should drop that one though.

1 year ago

Looks like we found Jett’s 4th event.

1 year ago

Gabe Urlando.

Andy Hardt
1 year ago

I’ve always thought the best way to combine results in events like these is to *multiply* times rather than adding them. Still wouldn’t have helped e.g. Seeliger overcome the 200 free, though…

Reply to  Andy Hardt
1 year ago

Should have let Bjorn do a 25

Reply to  Taa
1 year ago

Now I really want to know the 25 yard freestyle American & U.S. Open records.

Reply to  BearlyBreathing
1 year ago

According to Herbie Behm, Ryan Held has been a 7.9 on a 25 free off the blocks. If this is true, then a prime Caeleb Dressel could go 7.6 or 7.5.

Reply to  PNW
1 year ago

I wonder what watch for him at 7.9? I’ll believe it if it was with touch pads and a timing system.

Reply to  PNW
1 year ago

In a sub 8 second race, touch pads and a starter’s horn would be mandatory.
Yes I realize my demands are unreasonable. No I will not change them.

About Yanyan Li

Yanyan Li

Although Yanyan wasn't the greatest competitive swimmer, she learned more about the sport of swimming by being her high school swim team's manager for four years. She eventually ventured into the realm of writing and joined SwimSwam in January 2022, where she hopes to contribute to and learn more about …

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