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Cal wins 2019 NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championship - 6th in program history; 99th team title in Cal Athletics history

Andrew Seliskar won 3 individual events: 200 IM, 200 Free, 200 Breast

Diving into the pool after winning the national championship is the best kind of dive
Cal Men’s Swimming Twitter

With contribution from the entire squad, Cal Men’s Swimming and Diving are your 2019 NCAA champs! Dave Durden’s squad has won the program’s 6th title, first since 2014, and 4th under Durden.

This is also Cal Athletics’ 99th team national championship. Cal Rugby in either 15s or 7s and/or either men’s or women’s Cal Rowing (the Cal women are the last Cal team national champs last year) may win that 100th title this spring.

Final Team Standings:

1. California 560

2. Texas 475

3. Indiana 385.5

4. NC State 307

5. Louisville 212

6. Florida 164

7. Alabama 142

8. Harvard 132

9. Ohio St 124

10. Virginia 106

11. Tennessee 105

11. Missouri 105

13. Michigan 99

14. Florida St 97

15. Stanford 96

16. Arizona 95

17. Texas A&M 93

18. Georgia 86

19. Minnesota 84

20. Southern Cali 81

In the last 10 years in NCAA men’s swimming and diving, either Cal or Texas have finished No.1 or No.2 in the nation. After four straight championships by the Texas Longhorns, California Golden Bears are yet again the best in the country in men’s collegiate swimming and diving!

Fact is, Cal Men’s Swimming have been the best in the country for more than just the 4 of the past 10 years. However, the championship is awarded to “swimming AND diving” [emphasis mine]. Texas Longhorns consistently scores 80+ points across the 3 diving events to more than compensate for the Cal Bears’ edge in swimming. 2019 was no difference with Texas earning 84 points in diving to Cal’s 0.

Golden Bears did have two divers at this meet, however, as the still relatively new diving (and swimming) facility at Cal should start to pay dividend in the form of NCAA diving points sooner than later.

How the Bears achieved this dominant victory is from the depth of the 14 men swimming contingent that qualified for this year end national championships.

Nearly every Cal swimmers not only scored points, but most made multiple A-Finals (top 8 finishes). Let’s take a careful look at all 16 Cal participants (mainly focusing on points scored).

  • Karl Arvidsson – 22nd in 100 Breast; 29th in 200 Breast for 0 points
  • Connor Callahan – 18th in 1-meter; 36th in 3-meter; 29th in platform diving for 0 points
  • Daniel Carr – 11th in 200 IM (6 points); 7th in 100 Back (12 points) - via to a big Personal Record reswim; 5th in 200 Back (14 points)
  • Sean Grieshop – 2nd in 500 freestyle (17 points); 2nd in 400 IM (17 points); 4th in 1650 Free (15 points) for a total of 49 points
  • Ryan Hoffer1st in 50 Free (20 points); 7th in 100 Fly (12 points); 6th in 100 Free (13 points) for a total of 45 points
  • Michael Jensen – 9th in 50 Free (9 points); 100 freestyle (11)
  • Trenton Julian – 9th in 500 freestyle (9 points); 5th in 400 IM (14 points); 6th in 200 Fly (13 points) for a total of 36 points (and he was not seeded in any of these events coming in!)
  • Bryce Mefford – 3rd in 200 Back (16 points)
  • Nick Norman – 3rd in 1650 Free (16 points)
  • Zheng Wen Quah – 6th in 100 Fly (13 points); 3rd in 200 Fly (16 points) for a total of 29 points
  • Johnny Robinson – 39th in platform diving for 0 points
  • Carson Sand – 16th in 200 Breast (1 points)
  • Andrew Seliskar1st in 200 IM (20 points); 1st in 200 Free (20 points); 1st in 200 Breast (20 points) for 60 individual points
  • Pawel Sendyk – 2nd in 50 Free (17 points); 10th in 100 Fly (7 points); 8th in 100 Free (11 points) for a total of 35 points
  • Mike Thomas – 9th in 200 IM (9 points); 3rd in 400 IM (16 points); 10th in 200 Fly (8 points) for a total of 33 points
  • Reece Whitley – 4th in 100 Breast (15 points); 5th in 200 Breast (14 points) for a total of 29 points

Of course, many Golden Bears also contributed on the 5 relays, swimming in either the prelims and/or the finals.

800 Free Relay - 3rd, 6:07.31 (new Cal record): Seliskar, Mefford, Julian, Thomas

200 Free Relay - 1st, 1:14.46: Sendyk, Hoffer, Jensen, Seliskar

400 Medley Relay - 2nd, 3:01.56: Carr, Whitley, Seliskar, Hoffer

200 Medley Relay - 2nd, 1:22.43: Carr, Whitley, Sendyk, Hoffer

400 Free Relay - 3rd, 2:46.41: Jensen, Sendyk, Hoffer, Seliskar

Overall, Golden Bears took the Gold in 5 events, 4 individuals (3 by Seliskar) and 1 relay. There have been many years where the Bears have won more events without winning the team title. This year’s team title was strongly helped by the 5 2nd place finishes and the 5 3rd place finishes.

Congratulations to the entire Cal men’s swimming and diving program! We are certainly glad that head coach Dave Durden, who is already named the USA men’s swimming head coach for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, signed a well deserved contract extension this past offseason (when his old stumping ground Auburn had a job vacancy).

Love that Durden just wants to take that much anticipated victory lap instead of doing the interview.

Durden did eventually talk to the press later (with a huge smile on his face). Durden was named the Coach of the Meet.

Here is “Seli” talking about his weekend to remember. As expected, Seliskar was named the Swimmer of the Meet.

If you miss the action, the final streams (maybe not last night) are mostly still up on WatchESPN.

ESPNU will show the Cal domination on April 8th at 6pm PT.

Of course, Bears will miss the seniors on this team - particularly the versatile Andrew Seliskar who should be staying to train in Berkeley as a part of that superstar pro group. Mike Thomas, Nick Norman, Carson Sand will also be missed for their consistent contribution and leadership. All of these seniors, including Seliskar, steadily improved in their 4 years at Cal; that is the same trajectory that we can expect out of the rest of the Cal swimmers.

For the next season, Bears will gain another international Olympian in Hugo Gonzalez (Spain) to join Zheng Quah (Singapore) as Olympics vet on the team. Underclassmen like Hoffer (already with a NCAA title to his name now), Carr (how many time did this kid swim this week?), Greishop (should win a NCAA title before he graduate), Julian (my biggest pleasant surprise of the meet), Mefford, and Whitley (only a freshman and already in 2 A-Finals) should only get better. Texas has apparently reloaded with a big class, but the Golden Bears will be ready to defend their rightful crown as the best in the pool comes next March.