Southern California’s Ken Takahashi has given his verbal agreement to join the Cal Golden Bears class of 2019. Takahashi is a versatile talent with national times in a variety of events: IM, breast, fly, and distance free.
“Cal felt more like a brotherhood than a swim team and that was part of the reason why I chose the school. When I talked to Dave and Yuri, I felt that the program was comfortable for me. They knew exactly what it takes to make a successful team.”
Takahashi is a multi-time All-American and was an integral member of the CIF-Southern Section Division I champions University High School team. He took fifth in the 200 IM and fourth in the 500 free in 2014, and seventh and eighth, respectively in 2013. But his strongest events aren’t even on the menu for high school swimming. His best is the 400 IM where in long course season he finaled at both Juniors and Nationals and finished the summer with a 2016 Olympic Trials cut. Here is a sampling of his times:
400y IM: 3:53.64 400m IM: 4:25.70
200y IM: 1:50.10 200m IM: 2:08.12
200y breast: 2:03.11 200m breast: 2:25.37
200y fly: 1:49.66 200m fly: 2:06.36
500y free: 4:27.31 400m free: 4:02.16
1000y free: 9:20.82 800m free: 8:23.62
1650y free: 15:55.72 1500m free: 16:00.51
The Cal coaches and Takahashi have plenty of time to decide where he will focus, but a quick look at the Golden Bears’ points from NCAAs indicates that besides diving, Cal was relatively weak in distance free. We’ll see next year, but wherever they put him, the Golden Bears pulled in a good one with Takahashi.