Bears Head East For NCAA Championships
BERKELEY – Reigning national champion California will compete at the 2021 NCAA Men's Swimming & Diving Championships this week, March 24-27, at the Greensboro Aquatic Center in Greensboro, North Carolina. The action begins at 3 p.m. (PT) Wednesday.
The Golden Bears have finished in the top two at the previous 10 NCAA Championship meets – including four national titles in 2011, '12, '14 and '19 – and appear poised to make a run at the top spot yet again. A total of 15 Cal swimmers, as well as all five of the Bears' relays, earned invitations to the meet.
Cal most recently captured its fourth consecutive Pac-12 title in Houston, Texas, where the Bears won 17 of 18 swimming events across the four-day championship meet.
HOW TO FOLLOW
All morning and evening sessions from the four-day meet will be broadcast live on ESPN3. Tape-delayed coverage of the meet will air on ESPNU at 4 p.m. (PT) on Tuesday, April 13. Prelims start at 7 a.m. (PT) beginning Thursday, while finals will start at 3 p.m. (PT) each of the four days of competition.
Wednesday, March 24: 3 p.m. PT (finals) – 800 free relay
Thursday, March 25: 7 a.m. PT (prelims)/3 p.m. PT (finals) – 200 free relay, 500 free, 200 IM, 50 free, 400 medley relay
Friday, March 26: 7 a.m. PT (prelims)/3 p.m. PT (finals) – 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back, 200 medley relay
Saturday, March 27: 7 a.m. PT (prelims)/3 p.m. PT (finals) – 1650 free, 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly, 400 free relay
THE NCAA CONTINGENT
Sixteen total swimmers will represent Cal this week in Greensboro. Cal's 15 invitees combined for 32 individual events, while senior Nate Biondi joins the Bears' NCAA squad for relay purposes.
- Daniel Carr – 200 IM, 100 back, 200 back
- Hugo González – 200 IM, 400 IM, 200 breast
- Sean Grieshop – 500 free, 400 IM, 1650 free
- Ryan Hoffer – 50 free, 100 fly, 100 free
- Chris Jhong – 400 IM
- Trenton Julian – 500 free, 200 free, 200 fly
- Tyler Kopp – 400 IM, 1650 free
- Destin Lasco – 100 back, 200 back
- Bryce Mefford – 200 IM, 100 back, 200 back
- Colby Mefford – 200 free, 200 back
- Dare Rose – 200 fly
- Björn Seeliger – 50 free
- Sebastian Somerset – 200 back
- Reece Whitley – 100 breast, 200 breast
- Zach Yeadon – 500 free, 1650 free
NCAA SUCCESS UNDER DURDEN
In addition to the four team national titles and 10 consecutive top-two finishes at NCAAs during David Durden's 14-year tenure as the Cal head coach, the Bears have totaled 43 event wins (29 individual, 14 relay).
Of the 16 swimmers representing Cal in Greensboro, eight have previously competed at the NCAA Championships in 2018 and/or 2019. Five Cal seniors – Daniel Carr, Sean Grieshop, Ryan Hoffer, Trenton Julian and Bryce Mefford – amassed 178 combined individual points at the 2019 meet as sophomores, helping power Cal to its sixth-ever national title. All five also competed at the 2018 meet as freshmen. Hugo González (2018), Reece Whitley (2019) and Zach Yeadon (2018, 2019) round out the Cal swimmers with NCAA scoring experience.
GLANCE AT THE PSYCH SHEET
Cal enters the national meet with 29 swims – 24 individual and five relays – that rank among the top-16 in the country according to the NCAA psych sheet.
- 50 free: Hoffer (2nd, 18.81); Seeliger (3rd, 18.84)
- 100 free: Hoffer (2nd, 41.57);
- 200 free: Julian (8th, 1:32.29)
- 500 free: Julian (4th, 4:09.49); Yeadon (5th, 4:10.61)
- 1650 free: Yeadon (4th, 14:33.69)
- 100 back: Lasco (11th, 45.21); Carr (14th, 45.35); B. Mefford (15th, 45.38)
- 200 back: Lasco (2nd, 1:38.13); Carr (3rd, 1:38.81); B. Mefford (4th, 1:39.85); C. Mefford (10th, 1:40.50); Somerset (11th, 1:40.62)
- 100 breast: Whitley (8th, 51.38)
- 200 breast: Whitley (1st, 1:48.53)
- 100 fly: Hoffer (9th, 45.22)
- 200 fly: Julian (1st, 1:38.53); Rose (13th, 1:42.13)
- 200 IM: González (2nd, 1:41.05); Carr (9th, 1:42.34)
- 400 IM: González (2nd, 3:37.31); Grieshop (9th, 3:41.30)
The Bears are fresh off of winning their fourth consecutive Pac-12 Championship on Feb. 28-March 3 in Houston, where they won a program-record 17 swimming events – 12 individual, five relays – across the four-day championship meet. Hoffer was named the swimmer of the meet for the second consecutive year after sweeping his three individual events (50 free, 100 free, 100 fly) and contributing to four relay wins. González, Julian, Lasco and Whitley also won multiple events at the Pac-12 Championships.
IN THE RANKINGS
Cal is ranked second nationally in the most recent CSCAA TYR Top25 poll (March 11) with 289 points, trailing only Texas (299).
Cal was named a CSCAA Scholar All-America Team for the Fall 2020 semester after posting a 3.31 team GPA. It is the sixth time in the last seven academic semesters that the Bears have earned Scholar All-America Team honors.
For complete coverage of Cal men's swimming and diving, please follow the Bears on Twitter (@CalMenSwim), Instagram (@CalMenSwim) and Facebook (Facebook.com/CalMensSwimmingandDiving).