2022-2023 Men's Swimming

2,981 Views | 17 Replies | Last: 5 hrs ago by Schroeder71
swan
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SwimSwam expects Cal to repeat as NCAA champs, despite the loss of Trenton Julian, Daniel Carr, Sean Grieshop and Bryce Mefford , and the possible departure of Hugo Gonzalez. Hugo is apparently training in Spain having graduated, but he has left the door open to rejoin the team in January, like Bryce Mefford did last year.

If Hugo decides to remain in Spain, I figure the meet is a toss-up between Texas and the Bears. The Horns have returning swimmers and divers who scored 378.5 points in last year's championship meet, keeping relay points the same as in 2022. Cal, without Hugo, return 363 on the same relay assumption, but possibly can make up some of the gap in the relays where Texas must replace the contributions of Drew Kibler, Cam Auchinachie and Alvin Jiang. Cal must find relay replacements for Carr and Julian (and possibly Hugo) but they appear to have candidates available to step in. While Texas got a massive boost with the return of 5th year sprinter Dan Krueger, the departures of Kibler and Auchinachie without question weaken the Texas relays.

I also expect increased points from Gabriel Jett, and possible new points from Michigan transfer Patrick Callan, sophomore sprinter Jack Alexy and freshman Matt Chai. Luke Rodarte a 52.7 breaststroker and D3 champ may surprise as his improvement curve could jump as he moves into the Cal training group.

If Hugo Gonzalez does return, and assuming the staff can run the new combined program without major issues, the Bears should be favored to repeat.

While the 2022 recruiting class may be "light" in terms of impact swimmers (currently ranked by SwimSwam as the 15th best class), the 2023 class looks to be top 3or 4 and should help keep the Bears in the NCAA hunt for the foreseeable future.


https://swimswam.com/college-swimming-previews-1-cal-men-seeking-first-repeat-as-champions-since-2012/
OBear073akaSMFan
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Thank you for posting the link to the story and your summary.
Schroeder71
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What happened to #1 rated 2022 recruit, Zach Tan? He is not on Cal's roster this year.
#1 Recruit in Class, Zachary Tan, Verbals to Cal Bears (2022) (swimswam.com)
HBear
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Schroeder71 said:

What happened to #1 rated 2022 recruit, Zach Tan? He is not on Cal's roster this year.
#1 Recruit in Class, Zachary Tan, Verbals to Cal Bears (2022) (swimswam.com)
Believe he is undergoing military training (Singapore), not sure of exactly when he may join the team / school.
coachdeke
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HBear said:

Schroeder71 said:

What happened to #1 rated 2022 recruit, Zach Tan? He is not on Cal's roster this year.
#1 Recruit in Class, Zachary Tan, Verbals to Cal Bears (2022) (swimswam.com)
Believe he is undergoing military training (Singapore), not sure of exactly when he may join the team / school.


Reminds me of former Cal basketball player and Israeli, Amit Tamir, who had to delay his enrollment at Cal due obligatory military duty in Israel.
swimmer19
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I thought the Bears swam well in their dual meet against Utah on Wednesday in the midst of October training and with starting to swim focus events with a couple of "off" events here and there.

Results

Interestingly enough, our 200 back specialists lead off the relays while Bjorn Seeliger and Jack Alexy anchored the relays. Breaststroke group looks very deep, to the point where last year's top breaststroker Liam Bell had the fastest fly split going head to head against fly specialists Dare Rose and Matt Jensen.

Matt Chai with a very solid 9:07 to win the 1000, Gabe Jett's 1:35.58 200 free, Reece's 1:55 200 breast and Bjorn's 19.29 leading off the 200 free relay were several of the many standout swims today.

In the stroke events, Evan Petty swam a 48.52 to finish second behind Lasco (46.54), which is his fastest swim in Cal competition. Jett also swam a 47.65 in the 100 fly, and Jacob Soderlund won the 100 breast in 54.53.
swan
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I had to miss the Men's duel meet versus the Utes, but I also believe there were a couple of nice takeaways from this early season meet. Since the swimmers are in mid-training mode, I am not surprised about "slow" times but I like to compare with last year's times from the same period to get a feel for where the guys are at this point in-season.

In addition to the observations noted by S19, a couple of other swims/dives caught my attention.

Colby Mefford won the 200 Back in 1:43.44, which compares favorably to the 1:46.40 he swam last year in Cal's opening duel meet against Virginia. Colby scored in the B final at last year's NCAAs , and it would be great if he can move into the A finals.

Bjorn Seeliger looks in form, posting a 42.79 in the 100 Free (compared to 43.89 vs Virginia) and anchored the 200 free relay in 18.9.

Gabriel Jett won two races, the 100 Fly and 200 Free continuing his mid-summer success where he swam personal long course bests in the 200 Fly and 200 Free at the Phillips 66 National Championships. Jett could be a three event scorer at NCAAs this year if he can hone his taper.

Freshman Colby Hatton popped a nice 19.96 relay leg in the 200 free relay.

Freshman diver Josh Thai won the 1 meter springboard for our new diving coach Pei Lin.
swan
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https://calbears.com/news/2022/10/27/mens-swimming-diving-bears-take-care-of-business-against-pacific.aspx

The men competed against a game but woefully undermanned Pacific squad yesterday afternoon at Spieker on a gorgeous autumn day. MIA for this meet included Patrick Callan, Dave Chai, Kai Crews, Jason Louser, Evan Petty, Reece Whitley and Hugo Gonzalez (who is training in Spain this semester).

The staff used meet to give extra swim to mid-roster athletes and to inject competition by have our top guys swim non-specialty events. For example, free sprinters Bjorn Seeliger and Jack Alexy swam the 500 free, and finished fourth and third respectively. The 500 had the most exciting finish with Jack Meehan outsprinting Michael Petrides to win with a nice early season time of 4:28.2 with Patrides posting a 4:28.44.

Some other highlights for me:

Tyler Kopp won the 1,000 free, then came back later in the day to post 2nd in the 100 free, behind mid/long distance specialist Trent Frandson.

Colby Mefford who won the 200 back, his primary event against Utah two weeks ago, won the 200 fly.

Gabriel Jett continues to impress with wins in the 100 back and 400 IM. His 3:54.29 in 400 IM is close to top 10 in the event, albeit very early in the season. Would the staff be looking to see if Jett compete in the 400 IM versus the 200 free on Day three at NCAAs?

As he did in the Utah duel meet, Liam Bell posted the quickest fly leg on the 200 medley relay. Bjorn Seeliger also had an impressive relay day, opening both the 200 medley relay with a 21.22 back leg and 200 free relay in 19.29. The staff has some interesting options for their medley relay lineups.



swimmer19
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NCAA CHAMPION HUGO GONZALEZ RETURNING TO CAL FOR SECOND SEMESTER

This puts Cal in a very good position heading to Minneapolis in March. With Texas and Cal avg. the same returning points, then a mass exodus of important returning swimmers from Texas' roster, Bears are in the driver's seat for the NCAA title.
Schroeder71
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Great news! Cal should have a shot at a NCAA repeat if the team can stay healthy. GO BEARS!
swan
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The Minnesota Invite began this evening with finals in the 200 Medley Relay and the 800 Free Relay. The Invite is IMHO the first real test to gauge where our athletes stand regarding NCAA qualification. The hope here is to post times that if not automatic qualifying times (A cuts), are low enough B cuts to be inside the top 35 times or so by the end of conference finals and last chance meets.


Last year, Texas dominated the Invite, starting with a 1/2 finish in the 200 Medley Relay and 1/3 in the 800 Free Relay. This evening the Cal 200 Medley team (Seeliger, Bell, Rose, Alexy) won in 1:22.84, an A cut, and the 2nd fastest time in the current college season.
Texas managed to repeat as champs in the 800 Free Relay where they swam the fastest time in the current college season, and will likely be favored to repeat as NCAA champs.
Cal (Callan, Jett, Hanson, Lasco) finished in 6:10.35 to the Horns 6:08.79, which was also an A cut and is the 3rd best time at this point in college.

Notes:

Up until this meet, breaststroke ace Liam Bell had posted the fastest fly leg in the 200 Medley Relay (20.77 versus Paxcific). Dare Rose swam a very quick 20.06 which compares favorably to the 20.12 swam by Trenton Julian at NCAAs last year. Bell swam the breaststroke leg in 23.20 which was only topped by Minnesota's Max McHugh, although I expect both to be faster in March. If Bjorn swims the backstroke leg at NCAAs, I expect Jack Alexy to be swimming the free anchor leg.

The 6:08.79 time posted by Cal's 800 Free Relay was almost 9 seconds faster than the time swam in 2021 with the only change being Patrick Callan replacing sprinter Bjorn Seeliger. Last year's NCAA relay line-up was Julian, Hanson, Jett and Lasco, so it appears the recent grad transfer Callan will be the 4th member of the 800 free relay.

MIA for Cal includes freshman distant free star Matt Chai who is recovering from illness (non-Covid) and Jason Louser. Hugo Gonzalez is training in Spain but is expected back for winter semester.

https://swimswam.com/2022-minnesota-invite-day-1-finals-live-recap/
solobear
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Today Jensen got personal best for his 100y breaststroke by almost 2 secs. It seems Jensen should try 200 IM again since he's great at all strokes.

Jensen, Matthew - 52.57 (previous best was 54.29)
solobear
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Winning championship is not a sure shot as several teams in the country have gotten really fast. The Bears need his individual and relay swims.

Hugo Gonzlez
Quote:

Back home for one last dance
https://instagr.am/p/Cnc2I2ByNLP
swan
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Certainly good news to hear from Hugo that he is back to help the Bears retain their championship at NCAAs in March. The team has been pretty busy following the Minnesota Invitational with finals, Xmas break and their annual winter training in Colorado Springs. A subset of swimmers competed in a long course meet in Knoxville this past week, but I would assume the full team is back in Berkeley as winter semester begins this coming Tuesday. I will be keeping an eye on the roster to see if Durden has added any additional swimmers .

The team is dealing with a couple of injuries/illnesses that prevented All-American Jason Louser and our top distance recruit Matt Chai from competing in Minnesota, but hopefully both athletes can be healthy enough to get in 5-6 weeks of hard training prior to Pac 12 s.

As Solobear noted, many teams, including ASU, Florida, Tennessee, Stanford and Texas are swimming fast, but Cal's deep roster of high end talent should make them favorites if we can avoid injuries/illness down the stretch.
swimmer19
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Midseason addition - Spencer Daily from UCSD has joined the Bears this semester while enrolled in a graduate program. Both Spencer and Hugo joined the team at OTC for training camp several weeks prior.

He is the 2020 D2 National Champ in the 50 free (19.58), having also split 18.84 at the 2020 MPSF conference meet.

"I was drawn to Cal because of the excellence of their program and their performance at NCAAs last year. I want to be surrounded by talented and hard-working athletes who share the same goals and push each other to be the best team and individual they can be."
Schroeder71
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Spencer Daily (from the UCSD Tritons) sounds like a great addition for depth and relays. GO BEARS!
swimmer19
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Interesting mid-year addition - Lucas Henveaux from the Belgian national team is on the roster and pursuing a master's degree at Cal. According to the Belgian national team's social media, he arrived in Berkeley after the team competed at the Arizona duals.

Best times of 1:48/3:51/8:06 in the long course 200/400/800 frees from the Belgian Open in 2022, he swam a 4:21/8:57 in the distance events against USC today for his yards debut. His best times convert to around a 1:34.4/4:18.9/9:04 for reference.
Schroeder71
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I noticed Spencer Daily on the third leg of the winning medley relay.

Now that McKeever has been terminated as women' s HC, does anyone know if they'll hire a new women's coach or leave a consolidated swim program under the direction of David Durden, men's HC. Just curious.
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