There it is! After a dominant week of swimming (and diving last week that should not be overlooked), California Golden Bears Men’s Swimming and Diving have won the 2018 Pac-12 Men’s Swimming and Diving Championship!
ROLL. ON. YOU. BEARS. @Calmenswim are your 2018 Pac-12 Men's Swimming Champions! pic.twitter.com/54aWyNgLnB— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) March 4, 2018
Bears have dominated the swimming portion of the meet, winning 11 of the 18 swimming events, including 4 of 5 relays (Bears used a backup lineup for the meet ending 400 Free relay). Individually, senior Justin Lynch won two events (50 Free, 100 Fly) and junior Andrew Seliskar won two events (400 IM, 200 Breast - both new Pac-12 title) to lead the way. Singapore Calympian Zheng Quah set a new Pac-12 record while winning the 200 Fly on Saturday night. Senior Connor Hoppe won 100 Breast. Most surprisingly, junior Nick Norman won the 1650 Free earlier on Saturday afternoon. When it is over, Golden Bears won by nearly 200 points over 2nd place Stanford and by 400 points over 3rd place USC.
Final team point total: 1. Cal - 971 2. Stanford - 769 3. USC - 549
Andrew Seliskar earned the Swimmer of the Meet honor for his two Pac-12 records. In the post meet interview, head coach Dave Durden praised the Cal senior leadership this year for the work in getting the fall academics in order with a shout out to senior Zach Stevens.
Congratulations to head coach Dave Durden and the entire Cal squad. The Bears may have rested one too many swimmer when they lost the road Big Swim few weeks ago, but it has been a great season with the influx of the No.1 recruiting class in the country. The next challenge for the Golden Bears is the NCAA Championships from Minneapolis, MN (March 21-24) in three weeks where the program will try to win its 6th NCAA team title.
ROLL ON YOU BEARS!
With 15 events out of 21 in the books, Cal Men’s Swimming and Diving have a very healthy 133 points lead over 2nd place Stanford by the end of Day 3. In the 12 swimming events completed, Golden Bears have won 8 of them, including all 4 of the relays. Bears have 677 points to Stanford’s 544 points in 2nd place.
— Cal Athletics (@CalAthletics) March 3, 2018
Federal Way is #BearTerritory pic.twitter.com/Y3kvXmNex4
On Friday night, Bears claimed three individual titles starting with junior Andrew Seliskar setting a new Pac-12 title in the 400 IM. Senior Justin Lynch won his 2nd individual title this week when he took the 100 Fly over teammate Matthew Josa. Senior Connor Hoppe also found himself atop the podium by winning 100 Breast with a late 50 yard comeback. Bears closed the night with another relay win as Daniel Carr (back), Andrew Seliskar (breast), Matthew Josa (fly), and Justin Lynch (free) took the 400 medley relay title.
On Thursday, Bears won two titles with senior Justin Lynch winning the 50 Free race before leading the Cal quartet with Pawel Sendyk, Ryan Hoffer, Michael Jensen (all 4 were finalists in the 50 Free) to the 200 Free relay win.
On the meet opening Wednesday, Golden Bears won both relays to set the tone for the swimming portion of this championship. Daniel Carr (back), Connor Hoppe (breast), Justin Lynch (fly), Ryan Hoffer (free) combined for the 200 medley relay win. Andrew Seliskar, Michael Thomas, Zheng Quah, and Michael Jensen then combined to win the 800 free relay.
Even with all the victories, the key to the big team point lead is the depth of this year’s squad. Golden Bears regularly have 3-4 A-Finalists for each event and 5-6 swimmers scoring points in the two finals of each event.
Looking ahead at Saturday, Golden Bears should have at least 2 A-Finalists for each event: 1650 Free (Grieshop, Norman), 200 Back (Carr, Mefford, Josa), 100 Free (Lynch, Hoffer, Jensen), 200 Breast (Seliskar, Hoppe, Whittle), and 200 Fly (Lynch, Quah, Xie). Golden Bears also have the top seed time for the meet ending 400 Free relay.
Unlike past years, Cal got a decent contribution from 4 divers in this year’s championships. The 4 Bears combined for 82 points, which give Stanford (the only school that could possibly challenge the Bears in swimming) a mere 12 point lead and USC a 33 point lead after the 3 diving events. Sophomore Connor Callahan (who made the NCAA last year) and freshmen Johnny Robinson will compete in the NCAA diving zone qualification to try to earn spots at the NCAA this year.
After the Pac-12 championship ends on Saturday night (the final session will be on the Pac-12 Network Washington at 6:30 PM PT), the Bears will refocus for the NCAA championship in three weeks from Minneapolis, MN.
Despite graduating superstar Ryan Murphy, Bears have replaced Murph in this championship with major contributions from 5 freshmen - Ryan Hoffer, Daniel Carr, Bryce Mefford, Sean Grieshop, and Trenton Julian. Unlike last year when he joined the team AFTER the Pac-12 championship, just in time for the NCAA, Singapore Olympian Zhang Quah has also been a huge contributor for the Bears this year.
Of course, the Pac-12 Championship has never been a big focus for the program. Two years ago, the top 3 Golden Bears (Ryan Murphy, Josh Prenot, and Jacob Pebley) skipped the Pac-12 Championships to swim in a long course meet to better prepare for the Olympics Trial (all three became 2016 Rio Olympians). This team Pac-12 title will only be the program’s 6th in the long history of Pac championships. By comparison, the Bears have also won 5 NCAA team titles. Maybe 2018 can join 1980 and 2014 as years when Cal Men’s Swimming and Diving wins both the Pac and the NCAA.
2018 Pac-12 Titles won by the Cal Bears
- 200 Medley Relay - Daniel Carr, Connor Hoppe, Justin Lynch, Ryan Hoffer
#Pac12Swim CHAMPS @calmenswim wins the 200-yard medley relay! #GoBears pic.twitter.com/VVWPc9ilHa— Cal Athletics (@CalAthletics) March 1, 2018
1) Carr, Daniel FR 2) Hoppe, Connor SR
3) Lynch, Justin SR 4) Hoffer, Ryan FR
21.16 44.26 (23.10) 1:04.28 (20.02) 1:23.14 (18.86)
- 800 Free Relay - Andrew Seliskar, Michael Thomas, Zheng Quah, Michael Jensen
Two races, two wins on opening night at #Pac12Swim. We're looking forward to seeing what day two brings! #GoBears pic.twitter.com/17pDlrjpgn— Cal Men's Swimming (@calmenswim) March 1, 2018
1) Seliskar, Andrew JR 2) Thomas, Michael JR
3) Quah, Zheng SO 4) Jensen, Michael SO
21.71 45.35 (45.35) 1:08.65 (1:08.65) 1:32.12 (1:32.12)
1:53.50 (21.38) 2:17.78 (45.66) 2:42.48 (1:10.36) 3:07.18 (1:35.06)
3:28.22 (21.04) 3:51.80 (44.62) 4:15.69 (1:08.51) 4:39.49 (1:32.31)
5:00.33 (20.84) 5:24.10 (44.61) 5:48.46 (1:08.97) 6:13.30 (1:33.81)
- 50 Free - Justin Lynch, 19.00
Cal's first individual Pac-12 title of the week goes to a senior! Congrats, Justin! #GoBears pic.twitter.com/tcCOlk4wke— Cal Men's Swimming (@calmenswim) March 2, 2018
- 200 Free Relay - Justin Lynch, Pawel Sendyk, Ryan Hoffer, Michael Jensen
And how about a third relay title in as many tries> Congrats Michael Jensen, Ryan Hoffer, Pawel Sendyk and Justin Lynch! #GoBears pic.twitter.com/FqU3Hh5HNy— Cal Men's Swimming (@calmenswim) March 2, 2018
1) Lynch, Justin SR 2) Sendyk, Pawel SO
3) Hoffer, Ryan FR 4) Jensen, Michael SO
19.06 37.86 (18.80) 56.99 (19.13) 1:15.78 (18.79)
- 400 IM - Andrew Seliskar, 3:38.65 - new Pac-12 record
New @pac12 Championship RECORD— Cal Athletics (@CalAthletics) March 3, 2018
Andrew Seliskar breaks the 400 IM record with a time of 3:38.65. #Pac12Swim pic.twitter.com/XnVdoG09hj
23.02 49.69 (26.67) 1:17.98 (28.29) 1:45.85 (27.87)
2:16.45 (30.60) 2:47.29 (30.84) 3:13.68 (26.39) 3:38.65 (24.97)
- 100 Fly - Justin Lynch, 45.14
Justin Lynch returns to the podium for @calmenswim claiming the 100 fly for his second #Pac12Swim individual title! https://t.co/VLBFUSfZH5 pic.twitter.com/VFntzdDYzj— Pac-12 Conference (@pac12) March 3, 2018
9.48 20.96 (11.48) 32.93 (11.97) 45.14 (12.21)
- 100 Breast - Connor Hoppe, 51.91
And again! Connor Hoppe finishes strong to give @calmenswim its third win of day 3 at #Pac12Swim! pic.twitter.com/hIYviLqCnn— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) March 3, 2018
r:+0.69 11.17 24.51 (13.34) 37.97 (13.46) 51.91 (13.94)
- 400 Medley Relay - Daniel Carr (back), Andrew Seliskar (breast), Matthew Josa (fly), Justin Lynch (free), 3:03.91
Finishing the way they started - @calmenswim takes the 400-medley relay with a time of 3:03.91. pic.twitter.com/Z6ZpjWqhnQ— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) March 3, 2018
1) Carr, Daniel FR 2) Seliskar, Andrew JR
3) Josa, Matthew SR 4) Lynch, Justin SR
22.45 45.93 (45.93) 1:09.67 (23.74) 1:37.07 (51.14)
1:57.71 (20.64) 2:22.06 (44.99) 2:41.66 (19.60) 3:03.91 (41.85)
- 1650 Free - Nick Norman, 14:39.77
.@calmenswim claims the first win of the night yet again, as Nick Norman takes home the 1650 free! pic.twitter.com/aln3OWUW0c— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) March 4, 2018
24.30 50.69 (26.39) 1:17.35 (26.66) 1:44.14 (26.79)
2:11.02 (26.88) 2:37.90 (26.88) 3:04.92 (27.02) 3:31.87 (26.95)
3:58.89 (27.02) 4:26.03 (27.14) 4:52.98 (26.95) 5:19.85 (26.87)
5:46.75 (26.90) 6:13.60 (26.85) 6:40.58 (26.98) 7:07.37 (26.79)
7:34.21 (26.84) 8:00.96 (26.75) 8:27.84 (26.88) 8:54.53 (26.69)
9:21.26 (26.73) 9:48.10 (26.84) 10:14.80 (26.70) 10:41.45 (26.65)
11:08.34 (26.89) 11:35.22 (26.88) 12:02.34 (27.12) 12:29.09 (26.75)
12:55.69 (26.60) 13:22.04 (26.35) 13:48.31 (26.27) 14:14.49 (26.18)
- 200 Breast - Andrew Seliskar, 1:51.30 - new Pac-12 record
Another day, another Pac-12 Championship record for Andrew Seliskar.— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) March 4, 2018
He takes home the 200 breaststroke for @calmenswim at #Pac12Swim. pic.twitter.com/jzELHJMue8
25.10 53.41 (28.31) 1:22.15 (28.74) 1:51.30 (29.15)
- 200 Fly - Zheng Wen Quah, 1:40.24 - new Pac-12 record
Unbelievable! Another #Pac12Swim Championship record for @calmenswim! This one goes to Zheng Wen Quah in the 200 fly! pic.twitter.com/XZFPdJqj77— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) March 4, 2018
22.83 48.27 (25.44) 1:13.87 (25.60) 1:40.24 (26.37)
HOW TO WATCH
Pac-12 Networks will have the live coverage on Saturday night at 6:30 PM PT on Pac-12 Washington (I guess the Women’s Basketball tournament takes priority?)
Daily prelims start at 10:30 AM PT. Finals start at 6 PM PT.
The prelim and the daily finals will be streamed online at HERE
Live stats (if they work) can be found HERE