The Cal men’s breaststroke problem looks like much less of a problem now than it did 24 hours ago.
That’s because Harvard’s Chuck Katis will be transferring to Cal, and the plan is for him to arrive at the semester to bolster the Cal breaststroke group. Katis announced the decision to his team on Monday afternoon, and the coaches confirmed the news shortly thereafter.
Katis’ best times as a sophomore at Harvard last year in the breaststroke races were 52.49 and 1:54.08 over 100 and 200 yards, respectively. Those times were both done mid-season, and reports were that he took ill at NCAA’s, causing his times to slide.
With the graduation of Trevor Hoyt, and junior Christian Higgins no longer listed on Cal’s roster, they were left with Ryan Studebaker as their lone real breaststroke option for the medley relays; he was a 53.21 at Pac 12’s in 2013 in a time trial.
Studebaker has been solid this year, though it’s always hard to tell where he’s at given that he’s a big taper swimmer.
Cal also had sophomore Josh Prenot, who is a great 200 breaststroker and an improving 50 and 100 breaststroker, and sophomore Scott Haeberle at their disposal. In the least, the addition of a swimmer of Katis’ versatility and quality should help push that whole group.
At most, Katis, is a double NCAA A-finalist in the breaststrokes who can bring 30+ individual points and make Cal’s medley relays NCAA title worthy with no obvious weakness. Though nobody has pulled away as a favorite for this year’s men’s NCAA title, with this news, Cal has to start looking like a slight favorite.
We were unable to reach Katis for comment as of posting.