2023 PAC-12 MEN’S SWIMMING AND DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS
DAY 4 PRELIMS HOTSHEET
MADE POINTS FOR DAY 3
- ASU – 637.5
- Cal – 534
- Stanford – 441.5
- Arizona – 245
- Utah – 239.5
- USC – 233.5
It’s the final day of the 2023 PAC-12 Men’s Swimming and Diving. In this last preliminary session, heats are run on 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast and 200 butterfly. In the final, these events will be joined by the fastest heat of the 1650 freestyle and the 400 freestyle relay.
The final day of a championship meet is usually Cal’s best day, but after barely making up any ground against ASU on Day 3, they’re fighting an uphill battle to defend their five-year conference title streak. In the first event of the session, they need their 200 backstroke group to be as strong as ever and put themselves in a position to collect big points. Defending champion Destin Lasco is the top seed there at 1:38.23. Keep an eye on ASU Jack Wadsworth, seed No. 4 (1:40.90). After the improvements he’s made in his other events at this meet, he could be poised for another big drop here.
100 freestyle sees Bjorn Seeliger as top seed and the only man in the field with a seed time sub-42 (41.68). It might not happen before the final, though Andrei MinakovMax McCusker, Grant House, and 50 free champions Jack Dolan aim to join him under that barrier.
All eyes will be directed Leon Marchand on 200 breaststroke. Marchand has stuck to his usual championship lineup here and the clear favorite to defend his title. Marchand – whose best is 1:48.20 – won the event last year in 1:50.39 and after the meet he’s had so far, we can expect him to be faster than that: the question is how much.
The final event of the session is the 200 fly, which is the only event in which the 2022 winner is not running this year. Instead of last year’s second to fifth places Alex Colson, Dare Rose, Gabriel Jett, and Andrew Gray looks set to claim the title later tonight.
200 back — PRELIMS
- NCAA Record: 1:35.73, Ryan Murphy (Cal) – 2016 NCAA Championships
- PAC-12 Record: 1:35.73, Ryan Murphy (Cal) – 2016 NCAA Championships
- PAC-12 Championship Record: 1:37.87, Daniel Carr (Cal) — 2020 PAC-12 Championships
- 2022 champion: Destin LascoCal – 1:38.81
- NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:39.13
- 2022 NCAA Invitational Time: 1:40.92
Top 8 qualifiers:
- Destin Lasco (CAL) – 1:38.66
- Hugo Gonzalez (CAL) – 1:38.84
- Owen McDonald (ASU) – 1:39.62
- Aaron Sequeira (STAN) – 1:40.16
- Sebastian Somerset (CAL) – 1:40.44
- Leon MacAlister (STAN) – 1:40.60
- Hubert Kos (ASU) – 1:40.63
- Josh Zuchowski (STAN) – 1:40.81
In the final heat, defending champion Destin Lasco cruised to the morning’s top time of 1:38.66. It’s a new season best for the junior, and moves him up to second in the NCAA just behind Brendan Burns. Cal qualified three swimmers for the ‘A’ finals, with Hugo Gonzalez and Sebastian Somerset joins Lasco.
1:38.84 is a new lifetime best for Gonzalez, his second best time at the meet. It’s his first best time in the event since 2017, when he swam 1:39.05 at the Georgia Invitational while competing for Auburn.
Stanford joined Cal by getting three men into the ‘A’ final. Aaron Sequeira led the way for the Cardinal by qualifying fourth in a lifetime-best 1:40.16. Others have had a strong event so far, with two personal bests and a podium finish on Day 3 of the event. Senior Leon MacAlister and first-year student Josh Zuchowski qualified sixth and eighth. Zuchowski’s 1:40.81 is a personal best for him by 0.39 seconds, giving him a best time in his third meet.
Owen McDonald followed up his 100 back second place by qualifying for the final in third place. He blasted 1:39.62, besting his best time from the NC State Invite by 1.66 seconds. His teammate Hubert Kos went through in seventh with a new personal best as well.
100 Freestyle — PRELIMS
- NCAA Record: 39.90, Caeleb Dressel (Florida) – 2018 NCAA Championships
- PAC-12 record: 40.75, Bjørn Seeliger (Cal) — 2022 NCAA Championships
PAC-12 Championship Record: 41.38, Vlad Morozov (USC) — 2013 PAC-12 Championship
- Champion 2022: Bjørn Seeliger (Cal) — 41.51
- NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 41.64
- 2022 NCAA Invitational Time: 42.34
Top 8 qualifiers:
- Bjørn Seeliger (CAL) – 41.30 (Meet record)
- Jack Alexy (CAL) – 41.80
- Jack Dolan (ASU) – 41.84
- Matthew Jensen (CAL) – 42.01
- Andrei Minakov (STAN) – 42.03
- Grant House (ASU) – 42.21
- Jonny Kulow (ASU) – 42.25
- Patrick Sammon (ASU) – 42.32
Dylan Hawk (CAL) – 42.40
Note: Heat 3 of 100 freestyle was re-swim, in motion Grant House into the ‘A’ final in 42.21. It runs into Cal Dylan Hawk to ninth and the B final. At the other end, Stanford second Avery Voss was dumped out of the scoring final and into the ‘C’.
Bjorn Seeliger wasted no time this morning, blazing 41.30 to clear Vlad Morozovhis meeting record which had stood since 2013. The junior opened in 19.25, and brought it home in 22.05. Time moves Seeliger forward Youssef Ramadan for third in the NCAA this season, trailing only Jordan Crooks and Josh Liendo.
His teammate Jack Alexy was just off his lifetime best of 41.80 to qualify for the final in second place and move him up to 10th in the league this season. Coming into the meet, Seeliger was the only swimmer seeded below 42, but both Alexy and Jack Dolan joined him under that mark. This swim, Dolan’s first under the barrier, cut 0.69 seconds off his mid-season best of 42.53.
Cal put four swimmers into the championship heat, with Matthew Jensen and Dylan Hawk along with Seeliger and Alexy. ASU has three, with Dolan, Jonny Kulowand Patrick Sammon. Kulow took half a second off the best time he posted at ASU’s February dual with Arizona. Jensen posted a huge personal best of 42.01 to just miss out on making the top three sub-42 qualifiers. He gets another crack at that mark tonight; Entering the meet, his personal best was 42.39 from the 2022 PAC-12s.
Last year, Andrei Minakov had some mistakes in the run-up and missed qualifying for the A final. He didn’t make that mistake again, going through in a season-best 42.03.
200 Breast — PRELIMS
- NCAA Record: 1:47.91, Will Licon (Texas) – 2017 NCAA Championships
- PAC-12 Record: 1:48.20, Leon Marchand (Arizona State) — 2022 NCAA Championships
- PAC-12 Championship Record: 1:48.86, Reece Whitley (Cal) — 2019 PAC-12 Championships
- 2022 champion: Leon Marchand (Arizona State) — 1:50.39
- NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:51.54
- 2022 NCAA Invitational Time: 1:53.23
Top 8 qualifiers:
- Jason Louser (CAL) – 1:50.99
- Leon Marchand (ASU) – 1:52.34
- Reece Whitley (CAL) – 1:52.54
- David Schlicht (ASU) – 1:52.92
- Chris O’Grady (USC) – 1:53.72
- Ron Polonsky (STAN) – 1:54.43
- Jacob Soderlund (CAL) – 1:54.45
- Ben Dillard (USC) – 1:54.52
In a rematch of the 400 IM prelims on Day 3, Cal’s Jason Louser took the top seed in the 200 breast ahead Leon Marchand. Louser’s time of 1:50.99 is a personal best by nearly a second, cutting a full ten seconds off his seed time of 2:01.10. For his part, Marchand was in cruise mode, adding 3.5 seconds off his season best to qualify comfortably in second place. As we have seen throughout the meeting, he saves his best for the final.
Four-time 100 breast champion Reece Whitley also added from his season best, clocking 1:52.54 to claim the third seed for the final. In addition to Louser and Whitley, Cal also had Jacob Soderlund qualify for the A final. Soderlund’s 1:54.45 is a big swim for the sophomore, as his previous best was 1:56.04 from the 2022 PAC-12.
USC had what was easily their best event of the meet so far, placing both Chris O’Grady and Ben Dillard into the top 8.
200 Butterfly — PREPARATION
- NCAA Record: 1:37.35, Jack Conger (Texas) – 2017 NCAA Championships
- PAC-12 Record: 1:38.53, Trenton Julian (Cal) — 2021 PAC-12 Championship
- PAC-12 Championship Record: 1:38.53, Trenton Julian (Cal) — 2021 PAC-12 Championships
- 2022 Champion: Trenton Julian (Cal) — 1:39.95
- NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:40.20
- 2022 NCAA Invitational Time: 1:42.42
Top 8 qualifiers:
- Gabriel Jett (CAL) – 1:40.46
- Dare Rose (CAL) – 1:41.82
- Alex Colson (ASU) – 1:42.43
- Haakon Naughton (ARIZ) – 1:43.11
- Andrew Gray (ASU) – 1:43.15
- Jonny Affeld (STAN) – 1:43.26
- Ethan Hu (STAN) – 1:43.58
- Harry Homans (USC) – 1:43.94
Gabriel Jett and Dare Rose claimed the top two seeds in the 200 fly for the Golden Bears. In the final heat, Jett cruised to the heat win by almost three seconds, clocking 1:40.46 to Andrew Gray‘s 1:43.15. After winning the 500 free on Day 2, Jett looked like he had a little error in the 200 free to finish eighth, but seemed back in form here. His 1:40.46 moves him up to fifth in the NCAA at the front Alex Colson. For his part, Colson looked in control this morning, adding 1.65 seconds to get safely through to third.
Like Cal, both ASU and Stanford entered two swimmers in the ‘A’ final. Stanford will be represented by juniors Jonny Affeld (1:43.26) and Ethan Hu (1:43.58) who qualified sixth and seventh. Both have been faster in their careers, but shaved off their season bests.
Freshman in Arizona Haakon Naughton qualified for the final in the fourth of the unseeded heats. Naughton posted a 1:43.11, which is a personal best by four tenths.