Stage is set for 2019 Pac-12 Men's Swimming Championships
SAN FRANCISCO - The 2019 Pac-12 Men’s Swimming Championships are shaping up to be as competitive as ever as the meet continues to showcase some of the top swimmers in the world. The Conference Championships will be held March 6-9 at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash. California looks to defend its Pac-12 title after it collected its fifth team title at last year’s Conference Championships by the largest margin of victory since 2007.
Measured by national championships, national awards and Olympics success, the Pac-12 Conference has one of the most impressive legacies in collegiate swimming. Pac-12 schools own nearly a third of all NCAA Division I titles, with 24 NCAA team titles, and lead the nation with the most members to have won a team NCAA title with five (California, Arizona, Stanford, UCLA and USC).
California has held the top spot in the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Top 25 Poll throughout the season. All six league programs are ranked in the top 20 in the poll. Stanford comes in at seventh, USC is 10th, Arizona State lands at 15, Arizona is right behind at 16 and rounding out the poll is Utah ranked 20th.
Arizona State has taken an early lead in the race for the Pac-12 Championship with wins in the one-meter and platform from Pac-12 Men’s Diver of the Meet Youssef Selim. Stanford comes in at second with a victory from freshman Conor Casey on the three-meter and three second-place finishes from teammate and fellow freshman Noah Vigran.
Selim topped the podium with a score of 402.00 on the one-meter, beating out second place by nearly 70 points, the largest margin of victory in the event at the Pac-12 Championships since 2005. He is now the two-time reigning Pac-12 Champion after collecting his first win in the event last year. Stanford’s Vigran finished second with a score of 331.95 and in third place was another Sun Devil, David Hoffer (317.15). Five total divers recorded an NCAA qualifying standard of 300 points with the additions of Cardinal diver Connor Callahan (316.35) and Arizona’s Eric Correa (301.50).
Stanford’s freshman took the top two podium spots in the three-meter with Conor Casey taking first with a score of 382.40 and his teammate Noah Vigran coming in second with a score of 378.75. ASU’s David Hoffer rounded out third with a score of 373.70.
On Friday, Selim became the first diver in four years to take home two men’s Pac-12 Diving Championships with a victory in the platform with a score of 339.10. Stanford’s Vigran earned his third-consecutive second-place finish and ASU’s Hoffer also claimed his third-consecutive third-place finish.
ARIZONA: The 16th-ranked Wildcats (1-5, 0-4 Pac-12) started the season on a high note with a dominant 172-125 dual meet victory at Grand Canyon in October. 16 student-athletes have earned NCAA “B” cuts and sophomore Brooks Fail has automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships with his time of 4:11.84 in the 500-yard freestyle at the Texas Invitational. His time is currently the second-fastest in the nation this season. Chatham Dobbs also looks to impress in his final Pac-12 Championships, as the senior currently holds the fastest time on the team this season in the 50-yard freestyle (19.47), 100-yard butterfly (45.85) and 100-yard backstroke (45.85). He swam all of these “B” Cut times at the Texas Invitational.
ARIZONA STATE: The Sun Devils (2-3, 1-3 Pac-12) have earned its No. 15 ranking largely behind the help of its freshman class. Listed as the fifth-best incoming class by SwimSwam earlier this year, four different freshmen have combined to secure seven “B” Cuts heading into the Pac-12 Championships in Cody Bybee (200-yard freestyle, 500-yard freestyle, 200-yard butterfly), Liam Bresette (200-yard freestyle, 500-yard freestyle), Khalil Fonder (100-yard backstroke) and Jack Edgemond (200-yard butterfly). Two Sun Devils currently hold marks good for top-11 in Division I in Grant House (11th in 200-yard freestyle at 1:33.34) and Zach Poti (11th in 200-yard backstroke at 1:40.48). ASU performed well against prestigious competition at the Indiana Invitational, which included No. 2 Indiana, No. 3 NC State and No. 8 Louisville. Senior Danny Comforti won the 200-yard breaststroke while Poti won the 100-yard backstroke.
CALIFORNIA: Head coach David Durden, who was named head coach of the men’s U.S. team for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics last fall, led the No. 1-ranked Bears to an undefeated season with a 6-0 overall and 5-0 Conference record. The reigning Pac-12 Champions are anchored by senior Andrew Seliskar, who currently holds the top times in Division I and “A” cuts in the 200-yard freestyle (1:30.86), 200-yard breaststroke (1:15.85) and the 200-yard individual medley (1:40.55). Seliskar was named the Pac-12 Swimmer of the Meet after winning two individual titles and setting Pac-12 Championships records in both the 400-yard individual medley (3:38.65) and 200-yard breaststroke (1:51.30) last year. Teammates Reece Whitley and Zheng Quah have also automatically qualified for NCAA’s, Whitley doing so in both the 100-yard breaststroke (51.49) and 200-yard breaststroke (1:52.47) while Quah holds the fastest time in Division I in the 200-yard butterfly (1:39.29). The 400-yard freestyle relay team also holds the top time and an “A” cut with a time of 2:48.44.
STANFORD: The Cardinal had a strong dual meet season, boasting a 5-1 record and 4-1 in the Pac-12. Defending Pac-12 Swimmer of the Year and NCAA 400-yard individual medley champion, Abrahm DeVine enters his final postseason prepared to make an impact. He set a personal-best in the 50-yard backstroke (21.98) against Arizona State in January and has the second-fastest time in the Pac-12 for the 200-yard individual medley, a “B” cut time of 1:42.71. Despite the loss of Grant Shoults to injury, Stanford boasts one of the best distance freestyle groups in the nation with True Sweetser, James Murphy, Matthew Hirschberger and Johannes Calloni. Each of them have secured “B” cuts in the 1650-yard freestyle and hold three of the top five times in the league this year.
USC: The Trojans (5-2, 3-2 Pac-12) look to have another strong showing at the Pac-12 Championships behind its standout seniors Patrick Mulcare and Carsten Vissering. Both currently hold a top time and “A” cut in Division I, Mulcare doing so in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:38.91 and Vissering swimming the 100-yard breaststroke in 50.88 seconds, which also set a program-record. Both Mulcare and Vissering also race a leg on the impressive 200-yard medley and 400-yard medley relays that have qualified for the NCAA Championships. A newcomer to watch out for is freshman Victor Johansson, a skilled distance freestyler, who holds “B” cuts in the 500-yard freestyle (4:17.06) and the 1650-yard freestyle (15.17.22).
UTAH: It has been a season of broken records for the Utes (4-3, 0-3 Pac-12). Senior captain Daniel McArthur set the school record in the 200-yard backstroke (1:41.38) and the 200-yard individual medley (1:44.68) at the Minnesota Invitational back in November. Freshman Andrew Britton also set a new program mark in the 100-yard breaststroke at the invitational with a time of 53.30. McArthur and Britton each swam a leg on the 200-yard medley relay team that broke a school record with a time of 1:24.39. Utah’s 200-yard freestyle relay team is also one to look out for, as they posted the second-best time in the Conference at 1:17.36.
TELEVISION AND LIVE STREAM COVERAGE:
Expanded live coverage of the Pac-12 Men’s Swimming Finals will air live on Pac-12 Washington and other regional networks and will be available to authenticated users on Pac-12.com and the Pac-12 Now app on Friday, March 8 and Saturday, March 9, starting at 6:30 p.m. PT/7:30 p.m. MT on both nights.
Highlights of the prelims and earlier finals will appear on Pac-12 digital platforms as well as in live programming airing on Pac-12 Networks.
HOW TO WATCH:
Friday, March 8
6:30 p.m. - 2019 Men’s Swimming Championships (Day 3) (LIVE)
Pac-12 Arizona, Pac-12 Los Angeles, Pac-12 Mountain & Pac-12 Washington
Saturday, March 9
6:30 p.m. - 2019 Men’s Swimming Championships (Day 4) (LIVE)
Pac-12 Bay Area & Pac-12 Washington