Mefford Wins 200 Back At U.S. Trials Wave I
OMAHA, Neb. – California sophomore Colby Mefford rallied past the field to win the 200-meter backstroke final in 1:59.85 at Wave I of the 2021 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials on Sunday night at the CHI Health Center.
It was Mefford's first win and second Wave II-clinching finish of the meet, as he already punched his ticket to the second week of U.S. Olympic Trials by taking second place in the 200m butterfly on Friday. The win by Mefford concluded Cal's participation in Wave I, as no Golden Bears are entered in events slated for the final day of competition on Monday.
"I was really struggling coming up with a plan, because I was pretty beat after this morning (in prelims)," Mefford said following his win. "After scratching the 400 free, it gave me a little bit more energy and got me more excited. I feel great (with this win); it'll be a little rough swimming (in Wave II) next week after this one, but I'm excited to join the majority of my team."
The El Dorado Hills, California, product was the only swimmer to swim sub-2:00 in the final, and his 1:59.85 stands as the seventh-fastest in the United States this season. Mefford entered the last 50 meters in fourth place before splitting 29.68 for the win.
Mefford entered the finals as the second seed after a 2:01.62 swim in prelims. Two other Golden Bears swam in Sunday's prelims, as Michael Petrides placed 21st in the 400m freestyle (4:08.43) and Matthew Jensen took 25th in the 100m fly (54.76).
The Bears have no entries in the events scheduled for the fourth and final day at Wave I of the U.S. Olympic Trials. Cal now shifts its focus to Wave II on June 13-20 in Omaha, where Mefford and Tyler Kopp will join a group of Bears who previously hit Wave II qualifying times.
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