FULL MEET RESULTS HERE
The #22 USC Trojans traveled to Berkeley, CA, for their weekend Bay Area showdowns with #7 Cal and #12 Stanford. This afternoon marked Cristian Quintero‘s debut for the Trojans after he didn’t compete for the Trojans during the fall semester. The Venezuelan Olympian won the 200 free against the Golden Bears, his first individual race back. Taking Cal’s Trent Williams to the final 50 yards, as the two split within hundredths of one another at the 150 mark, Quintero finished tough for the win (1:36.99) over Williams (1:37.44).
The exciting race came shortly after an intense 200 medley relay matchup. Cal currently holds the 2nd fastest time in the country (1:24.15) from the Georgia Invite, but Chuck Katis got switched onto the Golden Bears’ B relay and Josh Prenot moved to the A for the breaststroke legs. Prenot swims the 200 breast far more often than the shorter breaststroke distances, Katis’ specialty, so there’s reason to believe that Cal was looking to 1-2 the Trojans to get off to a hot start at home. This wasn’t the case, however, as Trojan breaststroker Morten Klarskov caught right back up to Prenot after Ryan Murphy took a big half-second lead over Luca Spinazzola. Trojan sophomore Dylan Carter edged Cal freshman Justin Lynch on the fly leg, and Quintero matched Tyler Messerschmidt‘s 19.91 anchor leg as the Trojan A relay upset the Golden Bears. Not only did Cal place 2nd, but USC’s B relay actually tied them thanks to a furious 19.28 anchor from Santo Condorelli. The Trojan A relay touched at 1:27.93, followed by Cal’s A and USC’s B at 1:28.05, and finally Cal’s B just behind in 1:28.30.
Despite the quick start by the upset-minded Trojans, Cal’s depth panned out over the rest of the meet. The Golden Bears 1-2’d USC in each 200 of stroke (with the exception of the 200 free) and swept them 1-2-3 in the 200 IM. Jacob Pebley had a big win in the 200 back, touching at 1:44.44, over two seconds ahead of teammate Jesse Ryckman. Prenot led the 200 IM charge (1:46.19), while Long Gutierrez won both the 200 and 100 fly. He was 1:45.79 in the 200 fly over Prenot (1:46.29) and took the 100 fly in 47.64 over Trojan freshman Ralf Tribuntsov (48.47).
It was just another day on the job for Ryan Murphy, who won twice himself. First, he took the 100 back (46.53) over Tribuntsov (47.61) and then went head-to-head with Quintero. The two were neck-and-neck the entire race, as Murphy flipped at 21.40 to Quintero’s 21.43 at the 50. Quintero edged Murphy 22.56-22.58 on the back half, but Murphy hit the pad first in 43.98, winning by just one hundredth. Condorelli, who was actually out the fastest (21.23), couldn’t pull off the win and slipped to third (44.05). The stud sophomore did take the 50 free, however, touching at 19.89 to follow up his heroic medley relay anchor leg and was the only competitor under 20 seconds.
Quintero did not look very sharp in his final event, the 500 free. He, Adam Hinshaw (Cal), and teammate Reed Malone were each out in 1:47’s, but Hinshaw and Malone pulled ahead over the next couple of hundred yards. Malone led Hinshaw going into the final 50, but the Golden Bear dug deep to prevail (4:28.07) over Malone (4:28.45). Quintero was a ways back, touching at 4:31.26.
The Trojans put up big points in diving, as Deon Reid won the 3 meter and Collin Pollard led a Trojan 1-2-3 in the 1 meter. Finally, Cal outlasted the Trojans in the 400 free relay as the Bears ended up on top, 173-127. This marks Cal’s 21st straight dual meet win, a streak which dates back to the 2012-13 season.
The Trojans face #12 Stanford in Palo Alto tomorrow at noon PT, while the Golden Bears will host the Cardinal in a Bay Area showdown at noon PT on Saturday, February 21st.