Tom Shields Doubles; Cal Takes Lead After Day 3 of 2013 Pac 12 Championships

Coming off a big morning, the California Golden Bears looked to extend their lead over Stanford in night 3 of the 2013 Men’s PAC-12 Championship. While the big story from this week is Stanford’s unprecedented 31-year conference title streak under fire from their archrival, both teams (as well as Arizona and USC) have made it clear their main focus lies in Indianapolis in the coming weeks.

Cal appears to be using the same strategy it has for years; rest everyone just enough to qualify for NCAAs in their respective events, and look to light it up at the big one. Stanford, under first-year head coach Ted Knapp, has clearly taken a different path than past Skip Kenney-led squads. Rather than fully tapering a majority of his swimmers for this week, Knapp has proved he wants everyone to know that a great team performance at NCAA’s is Stanford’s number one priority.

To see a breakdown of who is in and who is out of NCAA’s, check at the bottom of this column, below the event recaps.

Men’s 400 IM

Cal led off the evening with an early 1-2 finish, thanks to freshman Josh Prenot (3:41.82 – new meet record) and sophomore Adam Hinshaw (3:44.36). When Prenot had the lead at the halfway mark (1:47.93 at the 200 mark), it was clear the Orcutt, CA native was going to run away with the race. An All-American-caliber breaststroker, Prenot played to his strength as we have seen him do so many times this season, splitting 30.37-30.82 on the 3rd 100 to open up a 3+ second lead on the field.

Stanford’s Matt Thompson touched third in 3:45.82. The senior, who was runner-up in this event a year ago, looks poised to jump into the upper echelon in this event in Indianapolis. Sophomore Eric Solis, a junior transfer from Arizona, jumped into the top 30 to likely qualify for his first NCAA championship with a 3:46.32.

Utah’s Kristian Kron was 5th (3:48.10), Ben Hinshaw of Cal was 6th (3:48.10), Robert Hommel of Stanford was 7th (3:48.69), and Arizona freshman Michael Meyer (3:51.21, 3:47.54 in prelims) touched 8th.

Two big swims out of the B final… In the first points heat of the evening, Drew Cosgarea and Bryan Offutt went 1-2 for the Cardinal, each qualifying for NCAAs with times of 3:44.40 and 3:46.30. That’s huge for Stanford; the North Baltimore tandem (who each scored last year) looked like they could miss qualifying for NCAA’s before tonight.

Men’s 100 fly

Cal went 1-2 for the second straight event. Tom Shields won his 3rd career PAC 12 100 fly title, busting the :45 barrier in the process (44.92). Teammate Marcin Tarczynski switched over from the 100 backstroke (his middle day event from last season) to finish 2nd for the Bears in 45.97. With a deep backstroke core (Shields, newcomers Tony Cox and Jacob Pebley), it will be interesting to see which event the junior from Poland elects to swim in Indianapolis. Considering the overall depth of the 100 back, don’t be shocked if he sticks to this event.

Giles Smith, runner up to Shields in this event at NCAA’s last year, touched 3rd in 46.16. Though the Wildcats look more prepared for this meet than previous years, that’s still a great time at this point in the season for an Arizona swimmer. USC freshman and former national high school record holder Maclin Davis was 4th in 46.54. Stanford teammates Gray Umbach and Jack Lane touched 5th and 6th in 46.57 and 46.68, respectively. Wade Allen of UCSB (brother of former Stanford sprint standout Jake Allen) was 7th in 46.69, and Alex Coci of ASU finished 8th in 46.82. With their times from today, all 8 of these swimmers are in position to make NCAA’s.

Men’s 200 free

USC joined the party with a 1-2 finish of their own: Cristian Quintero ran away with his second race of the weekend, posting the country’s third fastest time of 1:33.21. His teammate Dimitri Colupaev, who was last year’s champion in this event, posted his fastest time of the season in 1:34.44.

Cal freshman Trent Williams jumped into NCAA qualification contention, finishing 3rd in 1:35.22. Stanford teammates Thomas Stephens (1:35.44) and Tom Kremer (1:35.60) were 4th and 6th, split by Chad Bobrosky of USC (1:35.57). Will Hamilton from Cal (1:35.61) and Nick Soedel of Utah rounded out the head.

Nimrod Shapira Bar-Or won the console heat in 1:35.53.

Men’s 100 breast

American record holder Kevin Cordes was well under the 52.0 barrier again, winning in 51.65, though that was a few tenths slower than he was in prelims.

Sprint-freestyle extraordinaire Vlad Morozov swam a lifetime best time of 52.06 to finish 2nd, yet another USC School Record for him. He really is impressively versatile; remember that he was an Olympian in the 100 backstroke.

Cal senior Trevor Hoyt bettered his morning swim to touch 3rd in 52.78. Carl Mickelson of Arizona was 4th in 52.88.

Men’s 100 back

There were no really mind-blowing times in this race, but Cal’s Tom Shields got a good warmup for his upcoming double at NCAA’s, where he will be trying to repeat as the 100 fly/100 back champion. Here, his winning mark was 46.12, ahead of Stanford sophomore and defending Pac 12 Champions David Nolan. Nolan wasn’t able to get out on his first 50 quite as fast as he did in the prelims, and that results in a 46.38: a small addition for the Cardinal.

Cal freshman Jacob Pebley took 3rd in 46.51, and USC’s Luca Spinazzola was 4th in 46.66.

Men’s 400 medley relay

There was a ton of suspense after the final of this 400 medley relay, as Cal and USC finished in a bang-boom finish, followed by a touchpad malfunction.

When the times were officialized, however, it was Cal who took the win in 3:06.09, with the Trojans 2nd in 3:06.17. Those times both rank in the top 5 in the country this season, though Arizona’s swim from Winter Nationals is actually the fastest by a Pac-12 swim this season.

Among the most impressive splits were a 44.68 from Tom Shields as Cal’s butterflier, and a 51.59 from Vlad Morozov as USC’s breaststroker. USC only gives up a bit having Morozov as their breaststroker rather than their anchor, as Dimitri Colupaev still anchored in a very fast 42.22.

Arizona ended up 3rd in 3:06.80; Cordes was on the B-relay in the 200 medley relay, but here made it onto the A with a 50.91 split. Nimrod Shapira Bar-Or anchored them in a 42.2 of his own, thoguh a 47.3 leadoff by Friedemann cost them at the end.

Stanford was 4th in 3:08.08. They have moved Nolan back to the backstroke leg (46.20) with Mason Shaw splitting 53.40 on the breaststroke leg. That’s after having used Nolan as their breaststroker earlier this year.

Team Standings With 1 Day To Go

The team scores below include platform diving, though the platform won’t be formally included in the official scoring until Wednesday’s last finals session.

Headed into the final day, Cal has more than a 50-point margin over Stanford headed into the last day of competition. Don’t mistake that, however, for this meet being a lock for Cal. Stanford, last year, had a nearly 80-point margin headed into the meet’s final day, and then outscored Cal by another 30-or-so swimming points on the meet’s last day.

Stanford should have a scoring advantage in the 200 backstroke, if they hit their tapers; Cal isn’t quite as good in the 100 as they were in the 50, so the Cardinal have an opportunity to just about match there; the 200 breast will be a heavy swing in Cal’s favor; the 200 fly and the 1650 both could go either way.

Cal is in a very good position headed into the meet’s final day, but they can’t lose focus. If they have a bad day and Stanford a good one, then this meet could go either direction.

1. Univ of California – Berkeley 600
2. Stanford University 549
3. University of Southern Calif 420.5
4. University of Arizona 381
5. The University of Utah 235.5
6. Arizona State University 211
7. UC Santa Barbara 154
8. Cal Poly 74

We saw a number of new swimmers jump into NCAA qualification range today. Looking at the top times from this year and referencing the NCAA selection process (which calls for a maximum of 235 swimmers, plus 35 divers), the cut line for individual events appears to be 32 swimmers in some events, and 33 swimmers in others. Until the end of the weekend (after the last night of PAC 12s and the other remaining championship meets), we can only use our best estimates. Here are the individual qualifiers for each team, if the selection process was done tonight:

Shields Wayne Smith Morozov
Stubblefield Nolan Shapira Bar-Or Colupaev
Fleming Kremer Barber Bobrosky
Gimondi Pickard Friedemann Quintero
Williams Cosgarea Sheppard Spinazzola
A. Hinshaw Thomson Miller Lendrum
Bagshaw Offutt Cordes Karpov
Tarczynski Swanston Mickelson Lujan-Rivera
Pebley Thompson Steel Bloch
Hoyt Montgomery Rowan Wright
Prenot Umbach Meyer Wagner
Hamilton Lane Joye Davis
Higgins Solis

In addition, Nick Soedel has qualified for Utah.

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ole 99
7 years ago

Even thought they came in 3rd, I have to think Arizona is the clear favorite to win the 4 x 100 medley relay at NCAAs. Seems like they should have significant drops in 3 of the 4 legs of the race.

I am a little disappointed we didn’t get to see Nolan swim the 100 breast on the relay.

jean Michel
7 years ago

Tom Shields is one of the best butterflier i have seen in a long time ( apart From M Phelps of course ) . When is he gonne shift his power into 50 meter pool races ????

Reply to  jean Michel
7 years ago

Soon, I think. He dropped a lot to get 4th at trials in the 100 last year.

bobo gigi
Reply to  jean Michel
7 years ago

You must also know Chad le Clos. Perhaps one of the best on fly you have seen in a long time (apart from the king). Or Ian Crocker. Please, Tom Shields isn’t, until now, in the same category. I admit he has well improved for 2 years in long course. He could swim around 51.50 this summer and will play the 2 qualification spots for Barcelona with Ryan Lochte and Tyler McGill. We’ll see but if the Americans want to win the medley relay they need a great fly leg. If not, Japan and France can win.

jean Michel
Reply to  bobo gigi
7 years ago

Sorry but France has never had good breastrokers if i can remember well since Stephane Caron era ( 1988 ) and Usa has won all medley relays since years ans years ….i will never bet on the french team to win in a medley world championship . Your chauvisnism is wrongly placed in this statement . Sorry

Reply to  jean Michel
7 years ago

I apologize for stating the obvious:

The reason why Shields is so much better than everyone else in college in SCY is because he’s so much better UW. He’s a good swimmer, but a great UW kicker. LCM swimming forces you to be a great swimmer. Unfortunately, I don’t think he’ll ever be a great LCM swimmer because of this.

Reply to  ArtVanDeLegh10
7 years ago

Maybe, but if Misty Hyman could learn to swim LC, I think Shields can too 🙂

Reply to  kcswimjk
7 years ago

Misty Hyman had only one great LCM swim, and fortunately for her it was at the Olympics final.

Apart from that 2:05 olympics swim, Hyman never broke 2:09.

Reply to  ArtVanDeLegh10
7 years ago

Shields went 51.86 in the 100m fly last year. Phelps was 51.65 at 20 years old (actually was faster at 19 with a 51.34), so I think Shields is doing just fine.

Reply to  completelyconquered
7 years ago

Phelps went 51.10 in the 100 fly at the 2003 worlds which was actually faster than the time that won gold for him in ’12


Reply to  completelyconquered
7 years ago

Phelps was 51.10 in 2003, when he was turning 19, which was incidentally faster than he was in ’12

Reply to  ArtVanDeLegh10
7 years ago

I said the same thing about Lochte when he was tearing up the NCAAs his junior and senior years. Sure, he was an Olympian, but he didn’t have the raw power above the water that we see today. It took him about three years of concerted work, but look at how good he has become.

bobo gigi
7 years ago

Impressive Vlad Morozov in the 100 breast! He’s really a pure sprinter in every stroke. Like Florent Manaudou. If he swims in SCM the 100 IM it could be explosive. Perhaps he’ll swim this race against Ryan Lochte at the next SCM world championships.

Reply to  bobo gigi
7 years ago

Didn’t he win the 100 IM at some of meets in Europe this past Fall? I can’t remember the meets, but he has swum it, and he is very fast at it.

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Morgan Priestley

A Stanford University and Birmingham, Michigan native, Morgan Priestley started writing for SwimSwam in February 2013 on a whim, and is loving that his tendency to follow and over-analyze swim results can finally be put to good use. Morgan swam competitively for 15+ years, primarily excelling in the mid-distance freestyles. While …

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