Cal's Andrew Seliskar on training with Bears: 'Probably one of the best opportunities I've ever had'
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. - He may only be a freshman, but Andrew Seliskar is already making a *splash* at Cal.
With three days of the 2016 Pac-12 Swimming (M) Championships finished, Seliskar has three wins under his belt. He took home the 200 Individual Medley on Thursday night with a time of 1:43.26.
He followed that up on Friday with a win in perhaps his strongest race – the 400 IM. His finishing time of 3:39.78 was good enough for the Pac-12 title and the second-fastest time in the country.
“I was just really excited to have an opportunity to race in the final. There’s a big team battle going on right now, so I just really wanted to get my hand on the wall first for my team. And I had two other Bears in the heat with me, which was awesome.”
He’ll be representing the United States National Team in some of these events this year, and says that the tough competition in the Pac-12 has helped to prepare him.
“I think training at Cal is probably one of the best opportunities that I’ve ever had. There’s so many guys on the roster that are above-and-beyond what I’m capable of, and I think that being able to train with them and trying to hang with them every day in practice is really bringing me up a level.”
The level definitely seemed raised on Friday. Seliskar’s strong performance helped move the Bears from fourth to third place on Friday night, headed into the final day of competition.
In all, Cal finished first in four of the six events on Day three, including a win in the men’s 4x100 medley relay to close out the night.
Starting off the relay with the backstroke isn’t an everyday thing for Seliskar, who stepped up in the absence of some of his teammates.
“We have a few guys missing on backstroke, just with other opportunities, so coach had asked me to swim backstroke on that first leg. It’s definitely not my primary event. It was pretty tough, but I just tried to hang on with that heat and give my guys a chance.
I was just really pumped that the last three guys in that relay could get their hands on the wall.”
The Bears scored 192 points on Friday evening, third-most of the pack. Seliskar likes where his team is at headed into Saturday.
“Based on the team standings and just points-wise, I think our group gets better and better with each session of the meet. I think [Thursday] night was probably our hardest night, events-wise, so we’re just getting stronger through the meet.”