Hoffer Splits 18.55, Cal Men’s 200 Free Relay Hits ‘A’ Cut with 1:16.63

Cal vs USC (Friday Men’s Dual)

  • Friday, January 29th, 2021
  • Spieker Aquatics Complex, Berkely, CA
  • SCY (Short Course Yards)
  • Results

Team Scores

  1. Cal – 98
  2. USC – 50

Cal hosted USC for the first day of a two-day men’s dual meet at Spieker Aquatics Complex. Cal heads into tomorrow’s session with a 48-point lead, putting them in excellent position to emerge victorious.

Of today’s events, Cal won both relays and all but one of the individual events. The headline swim came at the end of the session, where Cal’s 200 free relay suited up, and clocked a 1:16.63 to establish an NCAA ‘A’ cut in the event, automatically qualifying them to swim it at NCAAs.

Bjorn Seeliger led the team off in an impressive 19.24, just .01 seconds off his season best of 19.23, which is currently the 6th-fastest time in the NCAA this season. Ryan Hoffer then split a scorching 18.55 on the 2nd leg, with Nate Biondi (19.26) and Bryce Mefford (19.58) bringing the squad home.

With one Automatic Qualifier in a relay, now they only need consideration cuts in the other relays to race those at NCAAs – which for a program like Cal takes the pressure off.

The Cal men race-suited only their A 200 free relay and were in training suits the rest of the meet; USC reportedly wore racing suits for most (but not all) of the meet.

In the 400 medley relay, the Bears clocked a 3:08.90, out-splitting USC’s A relay (3:10.06) by 2.45 seconds on the first half of the race. Destin Lasco led Cal off in 46.97, with Reece Whitley diving in for a 52.32 breast split. The Trojans were better on the back half, with Alexei Sancov splitting 46.01 on fly, and Nikola Miljenic anchoring in 42.31, resulting in a back half which was 1.29 seconds faster than Cal’s. Cal had Ryan Hoffer on fly (46.39) and Bjorn Seeliger (43.22) on free.

Cal’s Zach Yeadon posted a dominant win and led a 1-2-3 Cal charge in the 1000 free. Yeadon posted a final time of 8:59.80, with consistent splits of 4:28.20 on the first 500, and 4:31.60 on the second 500. Sean Grieshop was 2nd in the 1000 today, finishing in 9:10.08. Freshman Tyler Kopp came in 3rd, clocking a 9:18.89. Another Cal freshman, Jack Meehan, swam a 9:17.20, but raced exhibition (not for points).

Reece Whitley touched first in the 100 breast by over 2 seconds, swimming a 53.26. That swim was well off Whitley’s season best of 51.54, which is the 3rd-fastest time in the NCAA this season. Trenton Julian picked up a win in the 200 fly, finishing in 1:43.31.

Bryce Mefford (Cal) handled the 100 back with the fastest split in the field on both 50s. Mefford took the race out in 23.00, and came home in 24.17, resulting in a 47.17 finish for the senior. USC’s Jack Kirby was 2nd in the race with a 48.36.

Freshman Destin Lasco posted a 1:45.91 in the 200 IM, winning a tight race with teammate Hugo Gonzalez (1:46.14), who made his season debut for Cal today. Gonzalez opened up a lead over Lasco, splitting 23.04 on the first 50 to Lasco’s 23.79. Lasco then out-split Gonzalez 26.33 to 26.91 on backstroke, and 24.62 to 25.06 on free. Gonzalez narrowly was faster than Lasco on breaststroke, 31.13 to 31.17.

USC’s lone win on the day came from Nikola Miljenic, who took the 100 free with a 43.05, touching first by nearly a full 2 seconds. Miljenic was out in 20.67, and came home in 22.38, marking the fastest split in each 50 in the field. Miljenic also went on to split a 19.64 on the 2nd leg of USC’s A 200 free relay (1:19.76).


BERKELEY, Calif. – A pool record in the 200 free relay highlighted California’s start to the 2021 dual-meet season, as the Golden Bears hosted USC Friday afternoon at Spieker Aquatics Complex.

Friday’s portion of the two-day dual meet featured eight swimming events and two diving competitions. Cal and USC will return to action at noon PT Saturday to complete the remainder of the meet. Cal leads, 98-50, after the first day.

Björn Seeliger, Ryan HofferNate Biondi and Bryce Mefford capped the day by cruising to a pool-record-setting 1:16.63 finish in the 200 free relay. The NCAA A qualifying relay result stands as the third-fastest time in the country so far this season. Cal opened the meet with another relay victory, as Destin LascoReece Whitley, Hoffer and Seeliger clocked the ninth-fastest 400 medley relay time (3:08.90) in the country this season.

In between the relays, the Bears won five of six individual events. Cal swept the 1000 free with Zach Yeadon (8:59.80) leading the way and Sean Grieshop (9:10.08) and Tyler Kopp (9:18.89) taking second and third. A battle between two Bears in the 200 IM ended with Destin Lasco (1:45.91) besting Hugo Gonzalez (1:46.14).

Other individual wins came from Mefford in the 100 back (47.17), Whitley in the 100 breast (53.26) and Trenton Julian in the 200 fly (1:43.31).

In the diving events down the road at Legends Aquatic Center, sophomore transfer Tyler Wesson was the lone Bear to compete. He placed second in the 3-meter (255.38) and took third on the platform (185.40).

For complete coverage of Cal men’s swimming and diving, please follow the Bears on Twitter (@CalMenSwim), Instagram (@CalMenSwim) and Facebook (Facebook.com/CalMensSwimmingandDiving).


USC opened their 2021 dual-meet season against Cal, Friday (Jan. 29) at the Spieker Aquatics Complex, where Freshman Kaitlyn Dobler posted the first NCAA A-cut of the season during a record breaking performance in the 100y breast.

The Bears and Trojans competed in eight swimming races and two diving competitions Friday and will return to the pool Saturday for nine more races to complete the two-day meet. Action continues tomorrow at 9 AM with the women’s competition, followed by the men’s meet at noon.

Freshman Kaitlyn Dobler, who touched in 58.31 to win the 100y breast, also set a Spieker Aquatics Complex pool record, and secured the first Trojan NCAA A-cut of the season. Dobler’s time is the third fastest in the country this season. Isabelle Odgers was third in 1:00.48 and Maggie Aroesty was fifth in 1:03.45.

Trojan newcomer Hallie Kinsey was third in the 200y fly, finishing in 1:58.04. Makenna Turner was fifth in 1:59.39.

Senior Nikola Miljenic won the only event of the day for Troy, taking the 100y free in 43.05. Dom Margarino was third in 45.02, Max Saunders fourth in 45.09, Jan Collazo Torres fifth in 45.22 and Trent Martinez sixth in 45.49.

Sophomore Harry Homans was second in the 200y fly (1:44.09) and third in the 200y IM (1:49.22.) Junior Alexei Sancov touched third in the 200y fly in 1:44.68.

The USC diving program opened their 2021 season against Cal Friday (Jan. 29), winning three out of four total events.

Sophomore George Korovin won both the men’s platform (383.63) and 3-meter (382.50) competition.  Freshman Tatsuya Machida was second on platform with 255.60 and third on 3-meter with 247.50.

On the women’s side, Nike Agunbiade led a Trojan sweep on platform with 291.90. Freshman Farah Volpintesta was second with 244.35 and Savannah Stocker third with 239.70. Alyson Ward was sixth with 191.63. On 1-meter, Agunbiade was second with 298.20, and Stocker was third with 274.50.

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2 years ago

Hoffer, Whitley, Julian, Yeadon, Grieshop, Mefford, Carr, Gonzalez, Lasco, Seeliger, Biondi, Louser (no particular order)

Krueger, Corbeau, Pomajevich, Johnston, Foster, Foster, Staka, Jiang, Kibler, Scheinfeld, Katz, Larson, Carrozza

Just off the top of my head, I’d say the names I mentioned are likely to score at the potential NCAA meet, if Coach Durden and Coach Reese were to include them on their respective NCAA roster.

Reply to  bobthebuilderrocks
2 years ago

For Texas, add (possible) scorers Couchon, Koustik, Sannem, Park, Zettle, Vines…. and the divers.

2 years ago

What ISL team is signing Hoffer ?
LA current ? Like the rest of Cal

Reply to  Skoorbnagol
2 years ago

Probably depends on how exactly this ‘draft’ works out.

If swimmers who weren’t in the league last year are forced into the ‘draft,’ he’ll be a high draft pick, I’d have to believe. But…it’s conceivable that “high” still means sliding to LA Current, depending again on who actually goes into the draft (for example – does London get to keep their Aussies? Or do they go into the draft?)

2 years ago

I am thankful for swimming.

X Glide
2 years ago

Anyone know if people were suited?

Reply to  X Glide
2 years ago

Looks like not suited, except for last relay.

2 years ago


Last edited 2 years ago by PFA
2 years ago

Ready for Hoffer to split 17.

2 years ago

Was just about to say I think it’s going to happen. I also think if he hits his taper right, he may individually go under 18.4 and under 41 will have to wait and see.

Reply to  PFA
2 years ago

Man would be great to see him go 40. That 41-low as a HS junior is still one of the most mind-blowing performances in swimming.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  swimgeek
2 years ago

Especially since it was practically all underwater.

Reply to  swimgeek
2 years ago

I’ve watched that swim more times than I’m proud of. My favorite moment is the announcer giggling when he learns that hoffer broke the pool record.

Reply to  Hmmmm
2 years ago

That entire sequence of him announcing Hoffer broke the pool record was fantastic. You hear him go “… what?” Away from the mic as someone presumably tells him the pool records gone, he announces it, giggles, and then you see Hoffer realize too and laugh

2 years ago

Great format

2 years ago

Looking over those results… Cal has a depth issue

SoCal Swammer
Reply to  Whoa
2 years ago

Care to elaborate? Because it seems like Cal has the polar opposite of a “depth” issue