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No.1 Cal Men’s Swimming and Diving edged 151-149 by No.5 Stanford

The entire meet came down to the 3rd place 200 Free relay finish (AKA has no bearing on NCAA success)

2016 Arena Pro Swim Series at Santa Clara - Day 1
With the graduation of Ryan Murphy, this is now Andrew Seliskar’s team.
Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Somehow, Stanford found a way to edge the Cal Golden Bears by the time all of the points are counted. Despite the Bears winning 9 of 16 events (which included 2 diving events that both went to Stanford), Cal were edged by 2 points thanks to the Stanford depth. The same Stanford depth that served them well as they won the Pac-12 championship last year despite being a non-contender at the NCAA.

In the meet today, the Bears won both relays and the following 7 individual events: 200 Free (Jensen), 100 Breast (Seliskar), 200 Fly (Quah), 50 Free (Sendyk), 100 Free (Jensen), 200 Breast (Seliskar), 100 Fly (Lynch).

Stanford, behind 3 wins by Abraham DeVine in 100 Back, 200 Back, and 200 IM (next to last event), was able to use their depth in distance swimming and edge in diving to compensate for not getting the wins.

Anyhow, Pac-12 championships is next for the Golden Bears, who are much much more of a threat for the NCAA team crown than this Stanford squad in 2018.


No.1 California Golden Bears (5-0, 4-0 in Pac-12) at No.5 Stanford Cardinal (5-0, 3-0 in Pac-12)

Where: Avery Aquatics Center (Stanford, CA)

When: 12 pm PT

Free Live Stream: Stanford Live Stream

Closing the regular season for Cal Men’s Swimming this weekend will be the Big Meet (inside the Pool). The Golden Bears will look to spoil Stanford’s Senior Day by beating the home team in their home pool.

The Golden Bears have recently just ascended to the No.1 spot in the country, overtaking Indiana, after a very impressive outing at USC. While the coaches’ poll has never been a good indicator of future success, particularly in the a change in format from the dual meet at the NCAA, SwimSwam’s “Swimulator” currently have the Golden Bears as a heavy favorite ahead of the three-time defending champs Texas (for the women, they have Cal as a close third behind Stanford and Texas A&M). Even factoring in how Cal and Texas will likely taper (drop time for the NCAA), the Golden Bears are in a pretty good position to challenge for the program’s 6th NCAA team title.

After that meet in LA, freshman Ryan Hoffer was named Pac-12 Swimmer of the Week. As expected, the talented No.1 freshman class in the country (where Hoffer was the top overall recruit) has allowed the Golden Bears to withstand the graduation of superstar Calympian Ryan Murphy.

In addition to Hoffer, Bears are getting a lot of production from other freshmen such as Sean Grieshop in distance/400 IM, Bryce Mefford in back, Daniel Carr in back/IM, and Trenton Julian in a variety of events.

The Golden Bears also have plenty of experience on the squad, led by senior Justin Lynch. Junior Andrew Seliskar had a breakthrough performance at the NCAA last year and will be looking to get to the top of the podium finally.

Bears also finally got a full year of participation from Singapore Olympian in Zheng Wen (Jack) Quah who joined the Bears only for the NCAA last year due to some eligibility concern that was only resolved at the last second.

Golden Bears should have a very well rounded group heading to the NCAA again this year. Last year’s freshman sensation Pawel Sendyk should be a force in the sprints and relays. His classmate Michael Jansen gives the Bears another great freestylist. Matthew Josa is one of the best Fly swimmer in the country with Jack Xie improving in his 2nd year; Bears also have Mike Thomas who scored in the 200 Fly at the NCAA last year being also stronger in his junior year. Connor Hoppe, Carson Sand, and Matt Whittle gives the Bears a stable of good breaststrokers.

As of the USC meet, the following Cal swims have met the NCAA A-standard (these swimmers are going to the NCAA for sure):

All 5 relays (not a surprise there), Quah and Thomas in 200 Fly, Josa in 100 Fly, Lynch in 100 Free.

The much (much) longer lists show all the swims that have met the B-standard (and many will likely become even better to meet the A-standard once the Pac-12 is over):

Hoffer, Sendyk, Lynch, Jensen, Josa in 50 Free; Hoffer, Jensen, Sendyk in 100 Free; Seliskar, Thomas, Mefford, Jensen, Julian, Coan, Xie, Kao in 200 Free; Grieshop, Norman, Takahashi, Kao in 500 Free; Norman, Grieshop in 1650 Free; Carr, Quah, Josa, Thomas, Hoffer, Mefford, Song, Puczkowski in 100 Back; Carr, Mefford, Josa, Song, Young, Quah, Thomas in 200 Back; Hoppe, Sand, Whittle, Daugherty, Arvidsson, Seliskar in 100 Breast; Seliskar, Hoppe, Whittle, Sand, Arvidsson in 200 Breast; Lynch, Quah, Hoffer, Jensen, Sendyk, Mefford in 100 Fly; Lynch, Xie, Julian, Josa, Kao, Takahashi in 200 Fly; Seliskar, Thomas, Quah, Carr, Josa, Mefford Xie, Julian in 200 IM; Thomas, Seliskar, Grieshop, Takahashi in 400 IM

This is why the Golden Bears are one of the favorite to win the 2018 NCAA team title from Minneapolis in late March.

Even in diving, Bears may have more than Connor Callahan, who made the NCAA as a freshmen last year. Johnny Robinson and Jackson Gabler are capable of placing, particularly in the dual meets.

5th ranked Stanford also has some stars on that squad. Freshman Johannes Calloni is a threat in both distance and backstroke. Sam Perry is the top sprinter. Grant Shoults is the top freestylist. Abraham Devine is their top backstroker as well as IMer. Matt Anderson is their best breaststroker. Brothers Andrew and Alex Liang have won some events for the Cardinal this year.

Just like the women last weekend, the next two events for the teams will be the Pac-12 Championships (Feb 28 - Mar 2 from Federal Way, WA for the swimming, diving will take place the week earlier with the women) and the NCAA Championships (March 21 - 24 from Minneapolis, MN).

Let’s get these races underway!