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Cal Men’s Swimming at NCAA Championships: Night 2 Finals Open thread

Golden Bears took 3rd in the opening night relay on Wednesday. Bears qualified 6A, 4B finalists tonight.

Cal senior Andrew Seliskar is ready to win his 1st NCAA individual title tonight in the 200 IM
Cal Men’s Swimming Twitter

Fellow Cal swim fans. I feel bad about the lack of coverage so far during the always exciting NCAA championships weeks. I will have a post up on Friday recapping the women’s performance from last week.

As for the men, the feeling is that this year is as good as any for the California Golden Bears to snap the long Texas Longhorns hold on the team NCAA men’s swimming and diving championship title.

Even without Hugo Gonzalez (Spanish Olympian transfer from Auburn who is ruled to be eligible only starting in the fall of 2019), Cal may have enough great swimmers, led by senior Andrew Seliskar who is the top seed in 200 Free, 200 Breast, and 200 IM, to cover Texas’s prowess in diving. The Golden Bears contingent in Austin this week includes 14 swimmers and 2 divers.

It should be a very close race that will go down to the wire (even more so than the Cal women’s 2nd place team finish behind Stanford that saw the Cardinal took the lead on Night 4).

List of Cal swimmers/divers:

Judging from the psych sheet, 12 Cal Bears should be scoring points this week in either the A or B finals. I actually think that the unseed guys like Trenton Julian (who will also contribute in some relays) and Carson Sand are fully capable of making some B-Finals as well (Update: Julian made the B-Final in 500 Free). Cal can also use some emotional boost from some B-Final (9th-16th place) finishes from divers Connor Callahan and Johnny Robinson.

Wednesday Night: 800 Free Relay

The first day of the NCAA championships started with some record breaking swims. Golden Bears saw two new records as senior Andrew Seliskar started his final NCAA (where he has yet to win an individual NCAA title before but is the favorite in 3 events this year) with a record breaking 200 Free split of 1:30.14 and the Cal quartet of Seliksar, Bryce Mefford, Trenton Julian, and Mike Thomas set a new Cal record in the 800 free relay with a time of 6:07.31.

Unfortunately, that time was only good enough for 3rd place behind Texas’ 6:05.08 - a new NCAA record and NC State’s 6:06.43 from an earlier heat.

Thursday Night:

200 Free relay:

Bears’ quartet of Pawel Sendyk, Ryan Hoffer, Michael Jansen, and Andrew Seliskar got the top morning seed time for the Bears. NC State and Texas are also threats in this event.

500 Free:

Cal sophomore Sean Grieshop has the 2nd best prelim time this morning behind Texas’s Townley Haas. Cal sophomore Trenton Julian just missed out on the A-Final by 0.01 second (the smallest time difference recordable at these meets); Julian is the top seed in the B-Final.

200 IM:

Can this event be Andrew Seliskar’s first NCAA title? The Cal senior has the top prelim time this morning and the top time in the country this year.

Texas has one swimmer (John Shebat) in the A-Final. Daniel Carr and Mike Thomas are in the B-Finals for the Bears against just one longhorn (Ryan Harty).

50 Free:

In the prelims, Cal’s Ryan Hoffer and Pawel Sendyk are 1-2. Either of them is capable of winning tonight. Texas has one A (Tate Jackson) and one B (Drew Kibler in that 9th prelim spot). Cal also has Michael Jansen in the B-Final.

400 Medley Relay:

Bears qualified for the A-Final with the 7th best time. A lineup change is probably coming for a lot of the squads in this night 2 closing relay. Indiana had the top prelim time. Texas and NC State are also in this A-Final.

1-meter diving:

Connor Callahan has the 18th prelim score in this event. Maybe he can get in the top 16. Texas has the 5th and 6th best divers in this event by prelim scores.

How to watch:

Free online stream: WatchESPN

When: 4 pm PT