Reece Whitley Swims 1:48.5 in 200 Breaststroke after 8 Months Without Racing

Cal vs. Stanford Dual Meet – Men

  • Saturday, November 14, 2020
  • Berkeley, California
  • Short Course Yards (25 yards), No Team Scoring
  • Full Meet Results (PDF)

After the women’s teams got their first crack at competition, the Cal and Stanford men renewed their rivalry on Saturday afternoon at the Cal pool.

While many of the Stanford men entered 2 races each at the meet, the Cal men each swam only a single event, leaving the meet feeling more lopsided in results than it actually was.

The highlight of the day was a 1:48.53 in the 200 yard breaststroke from Cal junior Reece Whitley. That swim, which is a lifetime best for him, is a best time for him by 1.3 seconds and is the 3rd-fastest swim in history.

Only former Texas Longhorn swimmer Will Licon has been faster in the event. That means Whitley breaks both Andrew Seliskar’s Cal school record of 1:48.70 and Kevin Cordes’ Pac-12 Record of 1:48.66.

All-Time Top 10 Performances, Men’s 200 SCY Breaststroke

  1. 1:47.91, Will Licon, Texas – 2017 NCAA Championships
  2. 1:48.12, Will Licon, Texas – 2016 NCAA Championships
  3. 1:48.53, Reece Whitley, Cal, Cal vs. Stanford Dual
  4. 1:48.66, Kevin Cordes, Arizona, 2014 NCAA Championships
  5. 1:48.68, Kevin Cordes, Arizona, 2013 NCAA Championships
  6. 1:48.70, Andrew Seliskar, Cal, 2019 NCAA Championships
  7. 1:49.31, Cody Miller, Sandpipers of Nevada (Pro), 2017 Winter Nationals
  8. (TIE) 1:49.38 – Kevin Cordes, Arizona, 2013 UT Invite/Josh Prenot, Cal, 2016 NCAA Championships
  9. 1:49.41 – Max McHugh, Minnesota, 2019 NCAA Championships

Whitley’s last sanctioned swims came in March at the Pac-12 Championships, where he was just 1:52.52 in the 200 breaststroke. That year’s NCAA Championship meet was eventually canceled due to the burgeoning coronavirus pandemic.

The meet was loaded with fast times. That includes an 18.97 in the 50 free from the defending NCAA Champion Ryan Hoffer. That jumps Texas’ Daniel Krueger, who swam 19.16 earlier this season, as the best time in the country this season.

His freshman teammate Bjorn Seeliger from Sweden established himself as a strong second for Cal with a 19.23. With the graduation of Pawel Sendyk at the end of last season, that will be an important role for Seeliger to fill for the defending NCAA Champions from Cal. His best time coming out of high school was 45.93 done back in 2018.

Destin Lasco also had a huge debut for the Cal men. He won the 100 back in 45.21, which already climbs him to 4th all-time in program history behind only Ryan Murphy, Daniel Carr, and Tom Shields. That time by Lasco would have been the 12th-best swim in the NCAA last season.

Daniel Carr, the Bears’ top returning backstroker, won the 200 back in 1:40.28, just ahead of his teammate Bryce Mefford in 1:40.45.

Both schools, under strict coronavirus control protocols, have been working together to try to make this meet happen, and will attempt to put together more meets throughout the season. But, with opportunities to chase cuts for a possible NCAA Championship meet in the spring limited, it’s not a surprise that both teams went after this meet pretty hard.

The highlight of the meet for the Stanford men was also a debut in the form of a 1:34.19 win in the 200 free for freshman Luke Maurer. That time would have made him the Cardinals’ #2 in that event last season.

Maurer, the #14 recruit in the class of 2020, finished high school with a best time of 1:34.49.

Stanford’s top 200 freestyler who didn’t exhaust his eligibility at the end of last season, Jack Levant, was absent from the meet. He was one of 3 individual NCAA qualifiers from last season who should have returned this season, but who didn’t race on Saturday, along with Stanford senior Brennan Pastorek, and Cal junior Hugo Gonzalez.

Maurer also won the 100 free in 43.60, which cuts three-tenths of a second off his best time. He was part of the 2nd-ranked recruiting class in the country. Even with Andrei Minakov, the World Championship silver medalist from last year, deferring his enrollment until next fall amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Cardinal still showed off one of the top classes in the country on Saturday.

Other Winners:

  • Zach Yeadon, who has transferred from Notre Dame to Cal for his senior season, won the 500 free in 4:14.90. That’s almost as fast as the 4:14.31 he swam in the 500 free at his mid-season invite last season before tapering to a 4:10 at the ACC Championships.
  • Stanford’s Jonathan Affeld won the 200 IM in 1:45.91. That is about 6-tenths short of his previous best time done at Winter Juniors West in December.
  • Stanford freshman Ethan Hu won the 100 fly in 46.62. The #8 recruit in the class of 2020, he’s been 45.6 in that event. He was only 1:47.0 in the 200 fly.
  • Cal’s Trenton Julian won that 200 fly in 1:39.93. His first time under 1:40 and a best time by 7-tenths of a second, he jumps Andrew Seliskar and Michael Thomas as the 3rd-fastest swimmer in program history. He now ranks behind only Tom Shields (1:39.65) and Zheng Wen Quah (1:38.83).
  • Cal senior Sean Grieshop swam 3:42.69 to win the 400 IM. That’s only half-a-second slower than he swam at last year’s Pac-12 Championship meet and would have been his 2nd-best time of the season in 2019-2020. At his early-November dual meet in 2019, he was 3:54.39 – almost 12 seconds slower.

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Big Poppa Pump
2 years ago

I see Reece is still working that illegal extra dolphin kick like a charm. Ain’t competing if ya ain’t cheating

Last edited 2 years ago by Big Poppa Pump
2 years ago

Bears looking like they’re doing some work in Berkeley! Keep it up guys!

2 years ago

He maturing, he knows his strength now.
Watch out for him.

2 years ago

Did Nathan Adrian swim at CAL today? Seems like not part of the dual meet. Just wonder if there is any news on the pro group swims.

2 years ago

Did he do his illegal turn?

Reply to  GowdyRaines
2 years ago

I’d assume he’s still doing dolphin kicks into the walls.

Reply to  ZGY
2 years ago

Breaststrokers are allowed to do a dolphin kick on the last stroke into the wall.

Reply to  Penguin
2 years ago

Makes sense for 6’8″ whitley who has extra trouble timing his turns in the bathtub.

Reply to  Penguin
2 years ago

Correction: you are not required to do a breaststroke kick going into the walls. Many swimmers will undulate their body with their stroke and are not DQed for it.

2 years ago

I can’t even swim that freestyle

2 years ago

Can’t wait to see what the stanford guys can do fully rested :DDDD

2 years ago


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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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