Cal vs USC (Friday Men’s Dual)
- Friday, January 29th, 2021
- Spieker Aquatics Complex, Berkely, CA
- SCY (Short Course Yards)
- Cal – 98
- 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).
PRESS RELEASE – CAL:
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 Hoffer, Nate 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 Lasco, Reece 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).
PRESS RELEASE – USC:
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.
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.
The USC diving program opened their 2021 season against Cal Friday (Jan. 29), winning three out of four total events.
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.