Lucas Henveaux Breaks Cal Record in His 2nd NCAA Meet (And That Was Just the Beginning)

Cal vs. Stanford (Men Only)

  • February 18, 2023
  • Spieker Aquatic Center, Berkeley, California
  • Short Course Yards (25 yards)
  • Full Meet Results (PDF)
  • Final Team Scores:
    • Cal M def. Stanford M 156-142

While most of the country has settled into championship season, the Pac-12 men are still two weeks away from their big show. That means teams are wrapping up dual meet season, including the mega cross-bay showdown between Cal and Stanford on Saturday afternoon.

The Golden Bears suited up for the 200 medley relay and sporadically throughout the meet, while the Cardinal stayed suited throughout the day; the defending NCAA Champions from Cal who won the day by 14 points – reversing last year’s outcome, where Stanford won by 8.

Both teams acquitted themselves in the competition, including Cal snapping back at any doubts about their ability to defend their title after the Florida Gators dominated the SEC Championships (again).

Cal, known for its sprinters, gets a big distance boost this semester from graduate student Lucas Henveaux, a Belgian who made his debut for the team in their last meet against USC. He broke the school and pool 1000 free records with an 8:45.39 to win by four-and-a-half seconds ahead of freshman teammate Matthew Chai (8:49.82).

The previous school record was an 8:46.45 set in 2019 by Nick Norman. That is Henveaux’s second official 1000 yard free, after an 8:57.64 against USC. As a graduate student, Henveaux seems poised for a very short, but potentially-impactful, career for Cal.

Chai now ranks 4th in program history.

Stanford junior Preston Forst won the 500 free in 4:16.79, which beat Henveaux by .22 seconds. Henveaux made up a gap in the last 50, by four-tenths of a second, but Forst’s third and fourth hundreds gave him enough cushion to grab the win.

Cal also exploded in the relays. Their men’s medley swam 1:23.15 to win (Stanford wasn’t far back in 1:24.00). Cal’s time was just three-tenths shy of their mid-season invite time and included a 20.76 leadoff split from Destin Lasco, a 23.67 breaststroke from Forrest Frazier, a 20.32 fly leg from Dare Rose, and an 18.40 free split from Jack Alexy. Alexy, the sophomore, seems to have unseated junior Bjorn Seeliger from the A relay – Seeliger split 18.74 to anchor the “B” relay, and Alexy anchored both here and mid-season. This split for Alexy was a few-tenths better than his mid-season anchor on the same relay.

That is notable because Seeliger is the third-fastest performer in history in the flat-start 50 yard free.

Stanford swam a new season-best, including an electric 23.35 breaststroke split from Ron Polonsky.

Alexy (42.09) and Seeliger (40.65) swam the opening legs of the Cal 400 free relay, which finished in 2:47.07. That relay is 1.56 seconds ahead of what they swam mid-season. Gabriel Jett (41.56) and Robin Hanson (42.77) rounded out that relay.

Stanford finished 2nd in 2:48.40, including a 41.30 anchor split for sophomore Andrei Minakov, who has rejoined the Cardinal for the spring semester.

Minakov only swam three of the allowed four events at the meet, but he won his only individual race, the 100 free. He swam 42.20 to just out-touch Alexy (42.26). That’s the exact same time that he swam at this meet last season en route to a 3rd-place finish at the NCAA Championships.

In the other sprint event, the 50 free, Alexy swam 19.14 to win, while Seeliger was 2nd in 19.24.

The whole meet was full of conference-championship-caliber times. In the men’s 200 fly, Gabriel Jett won in 1:39.95, later adding victory in the 100 fly in 45.21.

That 200 fly time is 2nd all-time only to Arizona State’s Leon Marchand this season, and would have won titles this week at both the ACC and SEC Championships.

Stanford sophomore Ron Polonsky followed up his relay split with a 51.77 win in the individual 100 breaststroke, leading a 1-2 Cardinal finish with freshman teammate Zhier Fan (52.66).

In the 200 IM, Polonsky swam 1:42.08 for 2nd place. The winner of that race was Cal junior Destin Lasco in 1:41.28. Lasco won three individual events on the day. Besides that 200 IM, he won the 100 back in 44.73 and 200 back in 1:38.23.

That 200 back is another time that would have won both the ACC and SEC titles.

Cal’s Reece Whitley won the 200 breaststroke by almost five seconds with a 1:51.02.

The other swimming event on the day was the 200 free, won by Stanford junior Luke Maurer in 1:34.04. He just out-touched his junior teammate Preston Forst in 1:34.16. The finish was an exciting one, with the top five finishers separated by only seven-tenths of a second.

For Maurer, that was his best time this season by seven-tenths of a second, and two-and-a-half seconds better than he’s been in any other dual meet this season.

Maurer was also fast in this dual meet last season, where he swam 1:33.39 in this 200 free.

Both teams will now finalize preparations for the 2023 Pac-12 Championships that will be held from February 22-25 in Federal Way. The Cal men have won the last five Pac-12 conference titles.

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1 year ago

This excellent meet, suited and motivated, was exactly as I predicted in several posts. It is great every year. A few years back, for example, Whitley was 1:48.53 200 breast, which is still his PB.

A few other observations:

  1. While Polonsky was “electric” on the 200 MR at :23.35, it actually give support to pulling him from that effort so he can be more rested for his leg on Stanford’s 4×200 FR, as the breastroker on the Stanford “B” was “lightning,” in the person of freshman Zhier Fan at :23.19. Last year Polonsky doubled that first night at both Pac-12 and NCAA with Breaststroke splits of :23.40 and :23.10 respectively, and 200 rolling start splits of 1:31.50 and
… Read more »

Reply to  dscott
1 year ago

I really like point 6. While I don’t have the time to calculate meet scores, I must acknowledge your effort.

As for point 8, Whitley would be lucky to A final in both breastrokes this year. Both distances are incredibly deep (1 breast in particular) and Whitley has barely dropped time in either of those. JAlexy would be VERY lucky to score in 100 free, although I can see him splitting 41.2 or something of that nature. Lasco and Seeliger are probably 2 of the 5 best swimmers in the NCAA rn, so that helps too lol

Justin Pollard
Reply to  dscott
1 year ago

Wow, I think Swimswam might want to post this as a separate article! We’ll done 🙂 And an interesting change of tune from your post on the ASU v Cal dual. Champions are made in March 😉 Minor correction: Whitley didn’t swim 1:48.53 at this meet. That was an early season dual in November 2020.

Reply to  Justin Pollard
1 year ago

Thanks, Justin. And I appreciate the correction on when Whitley did his 1:48.53; I looked back and hadn’t recalled there were three Cal/Stanford tussles in 2020-2021, all of which produced some high end swims.
Meet #1: 11/14/20(non-scoring) event when Whitley’s gem happened,
Meet #2: 11/21/20(non-scoring) where they swam a mix of LCM and SCY, servicing the needs of those
looking toward Tokyo, and
Meet #3: the standard scoring meet 2/19/21.

Meet #1 not only produced Whitley’s mark but an :18.97 50 by Hoffer, a 4:14 500 by Yeadon, :45.21 100 back from Lasco, 3:42.69 400 IM from Grieshop, 1:39.93 Julian 200 Fly, and 1:40.28 and 1:40.45 200 backs by Carr and B. Mefford, respectivley.

A… Read more »

Slower Than You
1 year ago

I know he suited up for the 200, but Reece Whitley going out .01 faster than the 100 is hilarious.

Justin Pollard
1 year ago

I think Hugo is gonna be gtg for NCAAs. 1:39.8 2-back and 1:42.7 2-im are pretty solid swims. He was 1:42.1 2-im last year against Stanford, so fairly on track for a good showing in March.

Justin Pollard
1 year ago

The men’s pac 12 swimming championship starts March 1st, rather than Feb 22. I think diving starts Feb 22.

1 year ago

Gabriel Jett out 46.6 could be a dark horse for March

Reply to  Swammer
1 year ago

Not so sure he is a dark horse!

Big Swim Fan 34
Reply to  Swammer
1 year ago

I heard he actually had a drag suit on during the 1:39, and was doing planks on deck instead of warming down between races. What a talent!

Reply to  Big Swim Fan 34
1 year ago

Must be Auburn genetics.

Joel Lin
1 year ago

Opening of Bear Season.

1 year ago

How is Seeliger’s backstroke this year? He was 20.08 on the 2MR at NCAA’s last year

Reply to  Dan
1 year ago

His best 100 Back in 2022 was :44.58 at NCAAs. He was 20.73 and :45.23 at Novermber invite; and :21.52 v ASU. His backstroke will play in a bundle of points, via 4×50 MR and individual 100.

1 year ago

It’s exciting seeing Cal/Stanford suit up for the rivalry meet nowadays as it is consistently a competitive meet year in year out and suiting up for this one adds to the excitement. I hope Durden/Schemmel continue to keep it suited moving into the future.
Regarding the suits, you’re pretty much right. Stanford wore suits the whole meet while Cal wore suits for almost all of their non-exhibitioners. Off the top of my head, Whitley had no suit in the 200 Medley relay/100 Breast but had a suit on the 200 Breast, Seeliger only wore a suit for the 400 relay and not the other events. I am definitely missing a couple but it was the exhibitioners for Cal that… Read more »

Reply to  Swimswammer
1 year ago

I watched the meet and when they were suited, they were impressive. I think they played around on the 2MR with the order. Seelinger will be the backstroker and save Lasco for other relays. They used their “3rd string” breastroker! But put on a suit on anyone of this talent and they fly.
I was confused as to why their non conference scorers didn’t suit up? What meet will they focus on? Since their conference is small, can they bring everyone and just have them swim prelims only? Or do they do something else?
Seeing their relays and their 200’s, they are the team to beat!

Reply to  Swimswammer
1 year ago

I caught the livestream. Bjorn and Reece did end up suiting, but Louser, Bell, Meehan, Colby Mefford, Daily didn’t suit from what I remember. I could also be wrong.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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