Cal-Stanford Triple Distance Meet
Friday, November 5th, 2021
Spieker Aquatics Complex, Berkeley, CA
The Cal and Stanford men met in Berkeley for one of the more frequent and unique meets in swimming, the two teams’ Triple Distance Meet. The meet is unscored, in terms of team competition, but the Cal Golden Bears won in five of the six individual disciplines, while the two teams split the relays.
Freshmen led the way for the Golden Bears, with Robin Hanson and Gabriel Jett collectively swept the freestyles. The format — simply adding up the times from each of the three distances — gives greater weight to the longer distances, where the margins of victory tend to be relatively larger. Hanson took full advantage of that fact, as he relatively cruised in the 50 free (20.35) and the 100 free (44.30) before dropping the hammer with a 1:35.70 in the sprinters’ 200 free. Stanford’s Andrei Minakov won the 50 free in 19.76, while Cal’s Bjorn Seeliger won the 100 free in 43.29 after finishing just 0.03s behind Minakov in the 50 free.
Jett, meanwhile, swept all three events in the distance freestyle. He started strong with a 1:35.30 in the distance group’s 200 free, then went 4:23.48 in the 500 free and 9:13.19 in the 1000 free. Those are pretty solid times at any dual meet, but especially at one with this sort of format.
Fifth year Trenton Julian swept the butterfly races for Cal, starting with a 21.44 in the 50, then going 47.48 in the 100 before wrapping up with a strong 1:42.51. Julian has traditionally been more distance oriented, but right now he’s looking like he may fill in the hole left by Ryan Hoffer on Cal’s medley relays.
Cal breaststroker Reece Whitley has previously been the headliner at this meet, and he kept rolling this year, once again sweeping the discipline. He won the 50 breast by the better part of a second over Stanford’s Ethan Dang (24.50 to 25.22), then beat Dang by a full second in the 100 (53.26 to 54.43), and finally beat teammate Jason Louser by nearly four seconds in the 200 (1:54.96 to 1:58.82). It’s worth noting that Liam Bell did not compete for the Bears.
It wasn’t surprising to see Hugo Gonzalez win the IM group, as he’s one of the fastest men in history in both the 200 and the 400 IM, although the manner in which he earned his win was a little counterintuitive. He actually lost the longest race, the 400 IM, to teammate Will Roberts, 3:52.28 to 3:53.14. However, Gonzalez had previously won both the 100 IM by a second (48.61) and the 200 IM by over three seconds (1:45.92), with Stanford’s Jonny Affeld taking 2nd in both instances. Thus, Gonzalez had plenty of margin, and actually won the overall IM tally crown by nearly 7 seconds.
It was arguably surprising to see the backstroke title go to Cardinal junior Leon MacAlister, who was responsible for Stanford’s only individual discipline win of the day. MacAlsiter, an Australian native, was relatively quiet last season, but he had a banner day, sweeping all three distances against Cal’s vaunted backstroke crew. His meet started by out dueling Cal’s Daniel Carr in the 50 back, 22.20 to 22.32. That time was only 0.03s slower than his official lifetime best, which he recorded leading off Stanford’s medley relay against Cal last February. He then clipped his own lifetime best in the 100, putting up a 47.29 to beat Destin Lasco by exactly a quarter of a second. MacAlister’s previous best time was 47.41. He closed out the backstrokes by once against holding off Lasco, one of the fastest men in history in this event, 1:44.09 to 1:44.37.
The Bay Area rivals split the two relays. In the medley, Cal got a strong start from Carr, whose 22.04 leadoff would’ve won the individual 50 free. Whitley split 24.52 on breast, Julian split 21.12 on fly, and Marcos Rico Peng anchored in 19.66 for a total of 1:27.44. Stanford was actually leading by 0.02s heading into the anchor leg, after a 22.47 leadoff by MacAlister, then Dang’s 24.64 and Minakov’s 20.65 fly leg, but Mason Gonzalez’s 20.00 anchor wasn’t enough to hold onto the lead
The Cardinal got their revenge in the 200 free relay, though. This time, Cal built a solid lead thread the first three legs. Seeliger led off in 20.03, followed by Jack Alexy (20.24) and Hanson (20.23). Meanwhile, Stanford got a 20.68 leadoff by Affeld, followed by Rick Mihm (20.49) and Preston Forst (19.91). This time, though, the Stanford anchor leg prevailed, as Luke Maurer dropped a 19.61 against Gonzalez’s 20.29, giving Stanford the win 1:20.69 to 1:20.79.
Courtesy of Cal Athletics
BERKELEY – Swimming the unique-formatted Triple Distance Meet against rival Stanford, the Cal men’s swimming & diving team continued its upward trajectory through the fall months of the 2021-22 season on Friday afternoon at Spieker Aquatics Complex.
A non-team-scoring meet, the Triple Distance Meet splits swimmers into event groups (butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, sprint freestyle, distance free and individual medley) and requires swims at three different distances within the event: 50, 100 and 200 yards in the fly, breast, back and sprint free; 200, 500, 1,000 in the distance free; 100, 200 and 400 in the IM.
Cal won five of the six overall titles, including sweeps from Trenton Julian in the fly (50: 21.44; 100: 47.48; 200: 1:42.51; Total: 2:51.43), Reece Whitley in the breast (50: 24.50; 100: 53.26; 200: 1:54.96; Total: 3:12.72), Gabriel Jett in the distance free (200: 1:35.30; 500: 4:23.48; 1000: 9:13.19; Total: 15:11.97) and Hugo González in the IM (100: 48.61; 200: 1:45.92; 400: 3:53.14; Total: 6:27.67).
Robin Hanson was victorious in the sprint free group with a total time of 2:39.35, outpacing fellow Swedish Golden Bear Björn Seeliger (2:39.36) and Stanford’s Luke Maurer (2:39.97). Hanson was just fifth in the 50 free (20.35) and fourth in the 100 free (44.30) but bested the field by 0.70 seconds in the 200 free with a 1:35.70 win to seal the overall title.
Other individual wins by Cal throughout the afternoon came from Seeliger in the 100 free (43.29) and Will Roberts in the 400 IM (3:52.28).
The lone event group Cal did not win was the backstroke, which was swept by Stanford’s Leon MacAlister.
The meet concluded with Cal and Stanford splitting two relay events. The Bears’ quartet of Daniel Carr (22.04), Reece Whitley (24.62), Trenton Julian (21.12) and Marcos Rico Peng (19.66) won the 200 medley relay in 1:27.44. Stanford finished the meet with a 1:20.69 win in the 200 free relay, besting Cal’s Seeliger, Jack Alexy, Hanson and González by 0.10 seconds.
Cal will have nearly a month off from competition before it heads to Minneapolis for the Minnesota Invite on Dec. 1-4.
Courtesy of Stanford Athletics
BERKELEY, Calif. – Stanford competed across the bay at Pac-12 rival California today in the Triple Distance Meet.
The Triple Distance Meet requires both teams to swim three distances of one stroke, with individuals racing at 50, 100 and 200 yards in each event. Distance freestyle swimmers race the 200, 500 and 1,000 while individual medley specialists swim the 100, 200 and 400 IM. Both teams also compete in the 200 yard medley and freestyle relays.
Andrei Minakov took home the individual event title in the 50 freestyle with a time of 19.76. Minakov’s effort secured an NCAA B standard time, the first qualifier of the season for the Cardinal.
Leon MacAlister swept the backstroke events, with times of 22.2, 47.29, and 1:44.09 in the 50, 100, and 200 backstroke respectively. MacAlister’s times in the 100 and 200 backstrokes both secure him the NCAA B Standard qualifying mark.
Preston Forst earned second place in each of his events other than the relay, clocking a 1:36.68 in the 200 freestyle, a 4:25.98 in the 500 freestyle, and a 9:14.53 in the 1000 freestyle.
Ethan Hu chipped in a second place in the 50 butterfly at 21.80 and a second place in the 100 with 47.96.
Ethan Dang added a second place in the 50 breaststroke at 25.22, another second in the 100 with 54.43, and a third place finish in the 200 with a time of 1:59.00
Hu and Dang combined with MacAlister and Minakov to take second overall in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:27.76.
Stanford will be back in action on November 18th in Greensboro, N.C. for the NC State/GAC Invite. The divers will head to Austin to take part in the Texas Invite that same weekend.
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