Olympic Finalist Bryce Mefford Joins Cal Roster For 2022 NCAA Postseason

Tokyo Olympic finalist and 11-time CSCAA All-American Bryce Mefford has officially joined the Cal men’s swimming & diving roster for the 2021-22 season, a spokesperson for the team confirmed to SwimSwam on Wednesday.

Mefford joins the team as a fifth-year senior, utilizing the extra season of eligibility granted to student-athletes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and bolsters the loaded Golden Bears team as they prepare for the Pac-12 Championships in February and the NCAA Championships in March.

Mefford scored 36 individual points at the 2021 NCAAs as a senior, placing third in the 200 back (1:38.31), eighth in the 100 back (45.52) and ninth in the 200 IM (1:41.86). He also contributed a 1:32.00 leg on the Bears’ 800 free relay that finished second.

Mefford’s Best Times (SCY)

  • 200 free – 1:32.84
  • 100 back – 45.04
  • 200 back – 1:38.31
  • 200 IM – 1:41.86

The Bears, who won the 2019 NCAA team championship title and then remained the reigning champions for an extra year after the 2020 meet was canceled, finished second in 2021 to the University of Texas, 27 points back of the Longhorns (595-568).

After completing his senior year, Mefford had a breakout performance in the long course pool at the U.S. Olympic Trials, qualifying for the Olympic team after placing second in the men’s 200 back final behind Ryan Murphy, hitting a monster best time of 1:54.79. He also rattled off three sub-53 swims in the 100 back, placing fourth in the final.

In Tokyo, Mefford finished fourth in the 200 back, recording the second-fastest swim of his career in the final (1:55.49).

Since the Games, Mefford’s only swim on record is a singular SCY 50 back (23.30) from Cal’s dual with Virginia in October, but he has been training with the team all season.

With Texas coming in as the favorites to repeat as NCAA champions in 2022, Mefford will provide a huge boost to Cal’s hopes of reclaiming the title. And with last season’s national champ in all three of his events, Shaine Casas, turning pro, Mefford projects to be in title contention in the 200 back and a likely top-eight finisher in the 100 back and 200 IM.

Currently, Cal holds the top-two spots in the nation this season in the 200 back, with sophomore Destin Lasco (1:39.24) ranked first and fellow fifth-year senior Daniel Carr (1:40.09) in second.

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CraigH
3 months ago

There’s David Marsh, up to his old tricks!

Jay Ryan
3 months ago

Nice!!

Gordon Wheeler Superfan
3 months ago

If Cal can somehow lull Gordon Wheeler out of retirement then they will have NCAAs locked down.

Klorn8d
3 months ago

Cal adding Medford and Texas losing windle makes things a whole lot closer. I know right now all the attention is on Texas but they’ve got a very good top end. Gonzalez, Mefford, Carr, lasco, seeliger, whitley, Julian, grieshop should all be fighting for a top 3 in at least one event and an a final in multiple. Just need some depth guys to compliment that and a freshman or two to step up like last year (though hard to expect anyone to breakout like lasco)

Swimmer21
Reply to  Klorn8d
3 months ago

Jett easily could be the breakout the swimmer they are looking for. He is already 1:32 200 free, 4:13 500 free, 1:41 200 fly. Hanson is a great long course swimmer at 48/1:46. Jack Alexy is a solid relay addition and could score individually in the sprint events.

Swimm
Reply to  Klorn8d
3 months ago

Somewhere lost in this is Liam Bell going 52 low in the 100 breast in a Speedo in the fall. He hasn’t really done anything since, but it wouldn’t shock me if he showed up to NCAAs in March and goes 50 high. He could also show up and go 53 mid. Kind of a wild card, but if he is in form, it’s bad news for the longhorns

SwimminIsGood
3 months ago

As if this year’s NCAAs couldn’t be any more exciting….adding another stellar athlete to the mix only makes it all that much more intriguing. And, an Olympian, no less! Shaping up to be another incredible March to look forward to, for all teams, all athletes, and all fans! Good luck swimmers, stay safe and enjoy the rest of the season – sadly for the fans, it will be over in a splash!

swimmer
3 months ago

I was hoping he would take his fifth year! Great news for Cal.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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