Cal vs. Stanford (men only)
- February 18, 2023
- Spieker Aquatic Center, Berkeley, CA
- Short course (25 yards)
- Full match results (PDF)
- Final team scores:
- Cal M def. Stanford M 156-142
While most of the country has settled into championship season, the Pac-12 men are still two weeks away from their big show. That means the teams are wrapping up the season of doubleheaders, including the mega showdown between Cal and Stanford on Saturday afternoon.
The Golden Bears adapted for the 200 EQ relay and sporadically throughout the competition, while the Cardinal remained adapted throughout the day; defending NCAA champions Cal won the day by 14 points – reversing last year’s result, where Stanford won by 8.
Both teams acquitted themselves in the competition, including Cal firing back at any doubts about their ability to defend their title after the Florida Gators (once again) dominated the SEC Championships.
Cal, known for his sprinters, is getting a big boost this semester from a grad student Lucas Henveaux, a Belgian who made his debut for the team when they last met against USC. He broke the school and pool 1000 free records with an 8:45.39 to win four and a half seconds clear of his freshman teammate. Matthew Chai (8:49.82).
The previous school record was 8:46.45 set in 2019 by Nick Norman. It’s Henveaux’s second official freestyle 1,000 yards, after a time of 8:57.64 against USC. As a grad student, Henveaux looks set for a very short but potentially impactful career for Cal.
Chai now ranks 4th in the program’s history.
Stanford Jr. Preston Forest won the 500 free in 4:16.79, which beat Henveaux by 0.22 seconds. Henveaux closed a gap in the last 50, by four tenths of a second, but Forst’s third and fourth hundreds gave him enough cushion to take the win.
Cal also exploded in the relays. Their men’s medley swam 1:23.15 to win (Stanford wasn’t far behind in 1:24.00). Cal’s time was just three-tenths off their midseason invite time and included a 20.76 starting split from Destiny Lascoa breaststroke of 23.67 Forrest Fraziera flight of 20.32 from Give rosesand a free share of 18.40 from Jack Alexis. Alexy, the second, seems to have dethroned the junior Bjorn Seeliger from the A relay – Seeliger shared 18.74 to anchor the “B” relay, and Alexy anchored both here and at midseason. This split for Alexy was a few tenths better than his mid-season anchor on the same stint.
It’s notable because Seeliger is the third-fastest player in flat-start 50-yard history.
Stanford swam a new season best, including a 23.35 electric breaststroke split from Ron Polonsky.
Alexy (42.09) and Seeliger (40.65) swam the first heats of the Cal 400 freestyle relay, which finished in 2:47.07. This stint is 1.56 seconds ahead of what they swam mid-season. Gabe Jett (41.56) and Robin Hansson (42.77) completed this stint.
Stanford finished 2nd in 2:48.40, including an anchor split of 41.30 for the second year Andrei Minakovwho joined the Cardinal for the spring semester.
Minakov swam only three of the four events allowed in the competition, but he won his only individual race, the 100 freestyle. He swam 42.20 to just pass Alexy (42.26). This is the exact same time he swam in that meet last season en route to a 3rd place finish at the NCAA Championships.
In the other sprint event, the 50 free, Alexy swam 19.14 to win, while Seeliger finished 2nd in 19.24.
The entire encounter was full of conference-championship caliber time. In the men’s 200 butterfly, Gabe Jett won in 1:39.95, later adding victory in the 100 butterfly in 45.21.
This 200 flight time is the 2nd all-time only for Arizona State Leon Marchand this season, and would have won titles this week at the ACC and SEC championships.
Stanford sophomore Ron Polonsky continued his relay split with a 51.77 win in the 100m individual breaststroke, leading a Cardinal 1-2 final with his freshman teammate Zhier fan (52.66).
In the 200 IM, Polonsky swam 1:42.08 for 2nd place. The winner of this race was Cal junior Destiny Lasco in 1:41.28. Lasco won three individual events that day. In addition to that 200 IM, he won the 100 backstroke in 44.73 and the 200 backstroke in 1:38.23.
This 200 back is another time that would have won the ACC and SEC titles.
by Cal Reece Whitley won the 200 breaststroke by almost five seconds with a time of 1:51.02.
The other swimming event of the day was the 200 freestyle, won by Stanford junior Luc Maurer in 1:34.04. He just outplayed his junior teammate Preston Forest in 1:34.16. The finish was thrilling, with the top five separated by just seven tenths of a second.
For Maurer, it was his best time this season at seven tenths of a second, and two and a half seconds better than he has been in any other doubles encounter this season.
Maurer was also quick in that dual meet last season, where he swam 1:33.39 in that 200 freestyle.
Both teams will now finalize preparations for the 2023 Pac-12 Championships to be held Feb. 22-25 at Federal Way. Cal’s men have won the last five Pac-12 conference titles.