Virginia v. Cal (Men)
- Friday, October 15, 2021
- Spieker Aquatics Complex, Berkeley, CA
- Dual Meet Format
- Results on Meet Mobile as “CAL vs UVA”
- Full Results
- Score: Cal 168, Virginia 94
The Virginia Cavaliers made the cross country trip to take on the Cal Bears in Berkeley for some October dual meet competition. Cal, who finished #2 at last season’s NCAA championships and may even be deeper this year, easily defeated Virginia (#9 at 2021s NCAA), 168-94, but the Cavaliers managed to bookend the meet with a pair of relay victories. Despite the swift times, we were told that no tech suits were involved. Social media does show that the Cal band made an appearance, though.
The UVA men made the first event count, as they threw down a swift 1:25.88 in the 200 medley relay to get Spieker rocking. Matt Brownstead led off in 22.19, followed by Noah Nichols (23.79), Max Edwards (20.87), and Matt King (19.03). The Cal squad of Destin Lasco (22.31), Reece Whitley (24.09), Trenton Julian (20.74) and Bjorn Seeliger (19.36) finished 2nd in 1:26.60, followed by teammates Hugo Gonzalez (21.87), Liam Bell (23.64), Robin Hanson (21.29), and Jack Alexy (19.72) at 1:26.52.
That relay win would prove to be Virginia’s only victory for a while, and one of only three for the evening.
Stars Trenton Julian and and Destin Lasco led Cal with a pair of victories each. Julian, one of several fifth years whose return is a big boon for the Bears, took the 200 free in 1:35.54 and the 100 fly in 46.96. Julian finished 3rd in the 200 free at the 2021 NCAA Championships, and he’s a strong 400 IMer, but he may opt for the 100 fly on Day 3 this year, especially after a strong summer in long course in that event.
Lasco won the 200 back (1:43.25) and the 200 IM (1:46.60), two events in which he made the A-final as a freshman (and put up incredible times) at NCAAs last season.
A few notable Cal newcomer also earned wins. Will Roberts, who transferred to Cal as a grad student for his 5th year after wrapping up four years at Michigan, won the 1000 free tonight in 9:13.71. Liam Bell, who transferred from Alabama, won the 100 breast in 52.49. Bell should provide some much-needed depth for the Bears, who didn’t have anyone other than Reece Whitley swim the 100 breast at NCAAs. Freshman Gabriel Jett won the 500 free in 4:28.20.
Last season we saw some freshman sprinters light up pools all season with historically fast 50 and 100 free times, and several of those men squared off tonight, as Cal’s Bjorn Seeliger battled UVA’s Matt King and Matt Brownstead in both of those races. Seeliger got the better of King in the 50, winning 19.70 to 19.79.
King, however, came back after the break to edge Seeliger, narrowly winning the 100 free, 43.87 to 43.89. Like Bell, King was at Alabama last season, but he opted to go the other direction (geographically, speaking) and join the Cavalier sprint crew. Brownstead finished 3rd in the 50 free behind Seeliger and King (20.09) and 4th in the 100 free (44.36) behind those two and Cal’s Robin Hanson (44.13).
The Cavaliers closed out the action with a 1:18.24 victory in the 200 free relay. Brownstead led off in 19.82, followed by August Lamb (19.65), Justin Grender (19.82), and King, who had the fastest split in the field at 18.95. Cal’s ‘A’ relay of Seeliger (19.72), Alexy (20.01), Hanson (19.72) and Gonzalez (19.62) took 2nd in 1:19.07.
It’s worth noting that neither of Cal’s other other confirmed big fifth year swimmers — Daniel Carr and Sean Grieshop– swam tonight. Also, US Olympian Bryce Mefford appeared in the Meet Mobile list of swimmers, like Carr and Grieshop, but did not swim either, and does not currently appear on Cal’s roster. The two teams will also compete tomorrow, with the format apparently changing to off-distance events.