Swift Relays By Both Teams Highlight Cal Men’s Victory Over Virginia

by Robert Gibbs 22

October 15th, 2021 College, News, Previews & Recaps

Virginia v. Cal (Men)

  • Friday, October 15, 2021
  • Spieker Aquatics Complex, Berkeley, CA
  • SCY
  • 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.

Veteran Reece Whitley took the 200 breast in 1:54.49, while IMer Hugo Gonzalez, no slouch at breaststroke himself, won the 100 back in a strong 46.49, and Dare Rose won the 200 fly in 1:46.35.

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.

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1 year ago

I stand by my preseason pick if uva top 5 at ncaa.

1 year ago

Matt King going 18.9 and 19.0 — UNSUITED in October. Looks like he’s leveling up. With Brownstead and Lamb, UVA is a legit contender in the sprint relays. 23.7 breast by Nichols also impressive

Reply to  swimgeek
1 year ago

No chance of beating nc state in the free relay

Reply to  Swimfan
1 year ago

NCST could DQ 😏

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Swimgeek
1 year ago

And appeal, get reinstated, and get DQ’d again.

1 year ago

Looks like Bell is right back to freshman year form. Turns out, being in a place you want to be really helps your swimming.

1 year ago

My main takeaways from this meet are that Hugo Gonzalez can excel at anything he swims, and Gretchen Walsh is a destroyer of worlds.

Reply to  Willswim
1 year ago

I’m sure Hugo enjoys being able to race backstroke some with Mefford1 done with college and Carr not racing. European champ would probably compete for a title.

Hint of Lime
1 year ago

Is Mefford confirmed to be coming back for a fifth year?

Bryce Mefford Retired
Reply to  Robert Gibbs
1 year ago

Bryce is retired.

Reply to  Bryce Mefford Retired
1 year ago

Are you sure?

1 year ago

For UVA men to win both sprint relays vs Cal is pretty impressive!

Looking at UVA women times, I had to ask myself, we’re they or were they not wearing tech suits?

All results should indicate swimmers in tech suits with an asterisk!

Reply to  Ghost
1 year ago

If you would read the women’s article: “Neither team wore technical racing suits for the meet.”

Reply to  Huh
1 year ago

I did read it but after I looked at results. And not all articles inform us who is in a suit or not!

Reply to  Ghost
1 year ago

I was at the meet. No tech suits from either team.

1 year ago

GO BEARS!!!!!!!!

1 year ago

NO TECH SUITS and a 1:34 relay??????

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