California swims near-perfect meet, wins fourth consecutive Pac-12 Men's Swimming & Diving Championship
HOUSTON, TX. - The reigning NCAA champions came out and dominated over four days, as CALIFORNIA emerged victorious as the 2021 Pac-12 Men’s Swimming & Diving Champions at the University of Houston’s CRWC Natatorium. The Bears won their fourth consecutive Pac-12 Men’s Swimming and Diving Championship, and looked sensational while taking first in 17 of the 18 swimming events in this year's Championship, managing to come out 182 points ahead of runner-up STANFORD.
For the meet, CALIFORNIA finished with 970 points, while runner-up STANFORD (788) and ARIZONA (644) took second and third, respectively.
With the Conference championships moved from their typical home in Federal Way, Wash., swimmers and divers were separated by two states. This year’s competition also did not include Arizona State, which opted to redshirt its swimmers and divers for the abbreviated 2021 season.
Despite the unique circumstances, the Bears extended their string of dominance atop the Pac-12. CALIFORNIA’s 17 Pac-12 individual/relay event wins set a Pac-12 program record, while its 970 points fell one point shy of tying the 2018 Golden Bears men’s swim school record (971).
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) March 4, 2021
The CALIFORNIA Relay team began the competition strong behind a dominating performance from (senior) Trenton Julian, who managed to push Cal to take the lead in the third leg of the 800 free relay. The race came down to the wire but the Bears came away with their sixth straight title in the event with a time of 6:11.98, the third-fastest time in the nation. The Bears also surpassed their 400-yard Medley 2009 relay record time of 3:03.30 with a new Pac-12 Championship record mark of 03:02.60, the second-fastest time in the nation.
The blue and gold continued its dominating performance on day 2 of the Pac-12 Men’s Swimming & Diving Championship, winning all three individual races and the 200-yard freestyle relay. Julian kicked off Monday’s competition with a second career Pac-12 individual title by setting a Pac-12 Championship and school record with a finish of 4:09.49 in the 500 freestyle event. Cal’s first individual win was followed up with another for the Bears in the 400 yard Individual Medley, as Hugo González held his 2020 Pac-12 Championship title with a time of 03:37.31, the second fastest time in the nation this year.
2021 Pac-12 Swimmer of The Meet Ryan Hoffer defended his title in the 50 yard freestyle with a time of 18.84, the second-fastest time in the nation. Freshman teammate Björn Seeliger finished close behind him with the third-fastest time in the nation (18.84). The night wrapped up with another win for the Golden Bears in the 200 yard freestyle relay for the fifth straight year. The quartet of Nate Biondi, Björn Seeliger, Ryan Hoffer and Daniel Carr, just missed the meet record (01:15.54), as Carr brought it home for The Bears with a time of 01:15.80. Hugo González and Ryan Hoffer opened Tuesday's finals session by defending their respective titles in the 400 individual medley and the 100 butterfly. Gonzalez touched in 3:37.31 while Hoffer finished in 45.22. Two events later, Reece Whitley repeated as the 100 breaststroke champion (51.38) before Destin Lasco beat out a pair of teammates to win the 100 backstroke in 45.30. The night concluded with Daniel Carr, Reece Whitley, Ryan Hoffer and Björn Seeliger clocking 1:22.74 to claim the 200 medley relay.
CALIFORNIA continued its impressive performance on day three, as González and Hoffer opened Tuesday's finals session by bringing home Cal's seventh and eighth consecutive victory at the 2021 championship meet. The two swimmers defended their respective titles in the 400 individual medley (03:37.31) and the 100 butterfly (45.22).
PAC-12 CHAMPS! 🏆🏆🏆🏆
— Cal Men's Swim & Dive (@calmenswim) March 4, 2021
USC was able to get ahead of undefeated CALIFORNIA to take the title in the 200 yard freestyle event. Junior Alexei Sancov earned his first Pac-12 swimming title in the event with a winning time of 01:32.20, giving the Trojans 22 conference 200-yard freestyle titles. It did not take long before the Bears were back atop the podium in the final three events of the evening starting with the 100 yard breaststroke, for which CALIFORNIA’s Whitley, made easy work in his 100 breast victory, posting a season-best time of 51.38, which also stands as the fifth-fastest in the nation. The two events that followed to mark the end of day three of the Pac-12 swimming and diving championships brought home two more wins for CALIFORNIA, as freshman Destin Lasco took home his first career Pac-12 individual title, winning the 100 yard backstroke event in a time of 45.30. CALIFORNIA then beat the field by nearly 1.5 seconds to win its fifth straight 200 medley relay title with a time of 01:22.74, while UTAH and ARIZONA received second and third in the event.
— Mike Bohn (@USC_mikebohn) March 3, 2021
The final day in Houston finished the same way it started as CALIFORNIA concluded the competition with five individual victories, including a conference record in the 200 fly and two conference championship records in the 1650 free and 200 breast and one relay win. Zach Yeadon started the evening by getting his first Pac-12 individual title while setting a Pac-12 Championship-record performance and in the 1650 free (14:33.69). CALIFORNIA flexed their dominance in the events that followed, as the Bears took first place in the 200 back, which was led by freshman Destin Lasco (01:38.13). Hoffer followed with his performance in the 100 yard freestyle event finishing with the second-fastest time in the nation, 41.57. Whitley sealed his breaststroke sweep with a new Pac-12 Championship record in the 200 breast, touching in 1:48.86. Trenton Julian topped off the last of the meet’s individual events finishing the 200 fly in 1:38.53 to set a new Pac-12 record and a new school record. The night concluded as Cal managed to complete the Bear’s relay sweep, winning the 400 yard freestyle and final relay with a time of 02:48.66. Cal became the second team in the last quarter century to sweep all five relay events, joining the 2019 Bears as the only squads to do so.
2021 Pac-12 Men’s Swimmer of the Meet
CALIFORNIA’s Ryan Hoffer was named the Pac-12 Swimmer of the Meet for the second consecutive year after sweeping his three individual events and contributing to three relay wins for the Golden Bears. The senior won the 50 free, 100 fly, and 100 free defending all three of his individual titles from the previous year at the 2020 championship meet. He also swam on Cal’s winning relay squads in the 400 medley, 200 free, and 200 medley. Hoffer has won 18 Pac-12 titles throughout his career and has played a key role in each of Cal’s four straight Pac-12 team titles dating back to 2018.
2021 Pac-12 Men’s Diver of the Meet
STANFORD’s Noah Vigran was named The Pac-12 2021 Diver of The meet. The junior from Cincinnati, OH was a mainstay on the podium at the diving championships, taking the top spot on the 3-meter with a final score of 393.55 for his first career conference title. He also had a podium finish on the platform, taking third with a score of 365.90, and took fourth on the 1-meter with a score of 331.35.
For a full list of event winners — including NCAA Cut Times — across the 2021 Pac-12 Men’s Swimming Championships, see below:
800-yard Freestyle Relay
- CALIFORNIA: 06:11.98 (NCAA A)
- Destin Lasco, Daniel Carr, Trenton Julian, Zach Yeadon
400-yard Medley Relay
- CALIFORNIA: 03:02.60 (NCAA A)
- Bryce Mefford, Reece Whitley, Ryan Hoffer, Bjorn Seeliger
- Trenton Julian, CALIFORNIA: 04:09.49 (NCAA A)
200-yard Individual Medley
- Hugo González, CALIFORNIA: 01:41.05 (NCAA A)
- Ryan Hoffer, CALIFORNIA: 18.81 (NCAA A)
200-yard Freestyle Relay
- CALIFORNIA: 01:15:80 (NCAA A)
- Nate Biondi, Bjorn Seeliger, Ryan Hoffer, Daniel Carr
400-yard Individual Medley
- Hugo González, CALIFORNIA: 03:37.31 (NCAA A)
- Ryan Hoffer, CALIFORNIA: 45.22 (NCAA B)
- Alexei Sancov, USC: 01:32.20 (NCAA B)
- Reece Whitley, CALIFORNIA: 51.38 (NCAA A)
- Destin Lasco, CALIFORNIA: 45.30 (NCAA B)
200-yard Medley Relay
- CALIFORNIA: 01:22.74 (NCAA A)
- Daniel Carr, Reece Whitley, Ryan Hoffer, Bjorn Seeliger
- Zach Yeadon, CALIFORNIA: 14:33.69 (NCAA A)
- Destin Lasco, CALIFORNIA: 1:38.13 (NCAA A)
- Ryan Hoffer, CALIFORNIA: 41.57 (NCAA A)
- Reece Whitley, CALIFORNIA: 01:48.86 (NCAA A)
- Trenton Julian, CALIFORNIA: 01:38.53 (NCAA A)
400-yard Freestyle Relay
- CALIFORNIA: 02:48.66 (NCAA A)
- Daniel Carr, Bjorn Seeliger, Destin Lasco, Ryan Hoffer
2021 Pac-12 Men’s Swimming & Diving Final Totals
1. California, 970
2. Stanford, 788
3. Arizona, 644
4. Utah, 420
5. USC, 414