One Night, Two Titles
GREENSBORO, N.C. – California captured two titles in the 200-yard freestyle relay and the 50 free while vaulting into first place on day two of the 2021 NCAA Men's Swimming & Diving Championships Thursday at the Greensboro Aquatic Center.
The quartet of Björn Seeliger, Ryan Hoffer, Daniel Carr and Nate Biondi powered Cal to school- and pool-records of 1:14.36 in the 200 free relay, the opening event of Thursday's finals session. Hoffer later clinched the Golden Bears' second title of the night by defending his crown in the 50 free with a blazing 18.33, which stands as the 10th fastest swim ever in the event.
Cal leads the field with 230 points after seven events in Greensboro. Texas (203), Florida (161), Georgia (116) and Texas A&M (88) round out the top five at this point in the meet. The Bears put 10 swimmers into individual finals – six in A-Finals and four in B-Finals – after excelling throughout the morning prelims.
Seeliger (18.72) and Hoffer (18:06) pushed Cal out to an early lead before Carr (18:51) and Biondi (19.07) finished off the victory in the 200 free relay. It was Cal's sixth all-time victory in the 200 free relay, and fourth under head coach David Durden since 2010. Hoffer was a member of the quartet that won the 2019 relay title.
In the first individual event of the evening, Trenton Julian (4:09.78) and Sean Grieshop (4:11.82) placed fourth and seventh in the 500 free. They were backed with a critical win from Zach Yeadon (4:11.37) in the consolation final, rounding out 36 total points in the event.
Hugo González and Destin Lasco went 2-3 for 33 points in the 200 IM while Bryce Mefford (1:41.86), Daniel Carr (1:42.73) and Reece Whitley (1:43.30) took ninth, 13th and 14th, respectively, in the event's consolation final. González touched in a school-record 1:39.99 – he was one of two swimmers to go sub-1:40 – with Lasco just behind at 1:40.01. Lasco provided some fireworks during morning prelims, setting a short-lived pool record of 1:40.61 to take the top seed. The pool record was later rewritten by Texas A&M senior Shaine Casas (1:39.53), who won the title.
Hoffer (18.33) and Seeliger (18.71) made it a Cal 1-2 punch in the 50 free for the second consecutive NCAA meet, claiming 37 points between the two of them. After becoming the second-fastest 50-yard free performer all-time with an 18.43 in prelims, Hoffer shaved .10 seconds off en route to his second straight NCAA title in the event. The two swims by Hoffer lowered his own school record. Seeliger bested the rest of the field by .17 seconds for his runner-up finish.
Lasco, Whitley, Hoffer and Seeliger closed the night with a school-record 3:00.73 in the 200 medley relay and placed second in the event.
Day three of the NCAA Championships gets underway at 7 a.m. PT with morning qualifying for the 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast and 100 back events. Finals for all five individual events, as well as the 200 medley relay, will start at 3 p.m. PT. All sessions will be broadcast on ESPN3.