Day 2 Finals Live Recap

2022 MINNESOTA INVITE

SCORES AFTER DAY ONE:

Women:

  1. Texas — 286
  2. Cal — 278
  3. Wisconsin — 182
  4. Minnesota — 172
  5. Arizona — 160
  6. Harvard — 128
  7. Pitt — 120
  8. UNLV — 26

Men:

  1. Cal — 264
  2. Arizona — 220
  3. Texas — 202
  4. Minnesota — 166
  5. Wisconsin — 160
  6. Harvard — 130
  7. Pitt — 120
  8. UNLV — 90

Tonight we’ll get to see the first full finals session of one of the marquee matchups of the fall semester, the 2022 Minnesota Invite.

Tonight’s action will open with the 500 free, where Longhorns Erica Sullivan and David Johnston hold the top seeds after their performances this morning. Texas swimmers also led prelims in the 200 IM, where Kelly Pash qualified first on the women’s side and Braden Vines on the men’s. Yet another Texas swimmer, Grace Cooperwill swim in lane 4 in the women’s 50 free, while Cal’s bjorn Seeliger, one of the fastest men ever, took the top seed on the men’s side. The session will conclude with timed finals of the 200 free relay relay.

There should be plenty of other great storylines, however, and we’ll try to unpack some of them as the action unfolds this evening.

Women’s 500 FREESTYLE – Finals

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut – 4:35.76
  • 2022 Invite Cut – 4:43.08
  • NCAA ‘B’ Cut – 4:47.20

Top 3:

  1. Erica Sullivan (Texas) – 4:39.26
  2. Rachel Klinker (Cal) — 4:40.30
  3. Ayla Spitz (Cal) — 4:40.47

Longhorn Erica Sullivan successfully defended her top seed from this morning. She earned the first win of the session tonight with a 4:39.26, about 3.5s off of her 3rd-place time from last year’s NCAAs. That appears to move her up to #2 in the nation so far this season, behind only UVA’s Alex Walsh, who went 4:38.24 at the Tennessee Invite two weeks ago.

A pair of Cal seniors, Rachel Klinker and Ayla Spitz, swam side-by-side for essentially the entire race, never being separated by more than two-tenths of a second. Klinker got her hand on the wall first with a 4:40.30 to Spitz’s 4:40.47. Both women were well under last year’s NCAA invite time, and they were also much faster than they were in the prelims at the 2022 NCAAs. Both of their times tonight would’ve qualified for the B-final in March.

Sullivan’s teammate Olivia McMurray finished 4th in 4:42.72, also getting under last year’s invite time. Wisconsin’s Paige McKennawho made the A-final in this event at last season’s NCAAs as a freshman, won the B-final tonight with a 4:43.98.

MEN’S 500 FREESTYLE – Finals

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut – 4:11.40
  • 2022 Invite Cut – 4:14.97
  • NCAA ‘B’ Cut – 4:22.35

Top 3:

  1. Carson Foster (Texas) – 4:10.31
  2. David Johnston (Texas) – 4:10.95
  3. Coby Carrozza (Texas) – 4:14.90

Longhorns, Longhorns everywhere here, as the Texas men swept the top five spots in the A-final. Of course, the winner wasn’t any of the Texas men who’ve scored in this event at the NCAAs, but rather Carson Foster, who up until this season would generally swim the 200 IM at big meets. Foster went out in 2:03, and continued to hold off his teammate David Johnston to win 4:10.31 to 4:10.95.

Officially, only Jake Magahey has been faster than either one of those two Longhorns this season, with a 4:09.83 from the Georgia Invite. Unofficially, Foster has already been faster this season after he went 4:09.43 less than two weeks ago at a Texas “Fast Friday” practice. Johnston’s previous season-best was a 4:14.54 from the Texas-UVA dual meet early last month. Both swimmers will be departing in a matter of days to represent the USA at Short Course Worlds.

Coby Carrozza took 3rd in 4:14.90, followed by freshman Alec Ennert at 4:15.76, and last year’s freshman sensation, Luke Hobson (4:15.90).

Women’s 200 IM – Finals

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut – 1:53.66
  • 2022 Invite Cut – 1:56.85
  • NCAA ‘B’ Cut – 1:59.56

Top 3:

  1. Kelly Pash (Texas) – 1:54.26
  2. Phoebe Bacon (Wisconsin) – 1:55.13
  3. Leah Polonsky (Cal) — 1:55.16

Kelly Pash made it three in a row for the Longhorns with a 1:54.26 win in this event. Pash, who finished 5th in this event at the 2022 NCAA Championships, now looks to be tied with Georgia’s Zoie Hartman for the 2nd-fastest time in the country. Only Stanford’s Torri Huske has been faster, at 1:53.37.

A pair of 2022 NCAA B-finalists took the next two spots. Wisconsin’s Phoebe Bacon got out to a fast start and held on, getting her hand on the wall just ahead of Cal’s Leah Polonsky, 1:55.13 to 1:55.16. Longhorn Emma Sticklen (1:56.07) and Golden Bear Isabelle Stadden (1:56.53) were also under last year’s NCAA invite time.

MEN’S 200 IM – Finals

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut – 1:41.22
  • 2022 Invite Cut – 1:43.36
  • NCAA ‘B’ Cut – 1:46.52

Top 3:

  1. Destin Lasco (Cal) — 1:41.52
  2. Jake Foster (Texas) – 1:43.64
  3. Kaiser Neverman (Minnesota) – 1:43.91

Cal’s Destin Lasco snapped Texas’ winning streak tonight. Lasco, the 2022 NCAA runner-up in this event, led wire-to-wire, touching in 1:41.52. That’s the 2nd-fastest time in the nation this season, behind only 2022 NCAA champ Leon Marchand, the fastest man ever in this event.

Jake Fosterwho finished 8th at NCAA’s last season, took 2nd in 1:43.63. Kaiser Neverman of Minnesota had a strong back half, including a 24.83 freestyle leg, to take 3rd in 1:43.91, which appears to have set a new Minnesota school record. Neverman touched just ahead of Texas’ Braden Vineswho had a strong middle 100, but closed in 25.73 to finish in 1:43.92.

WOMEN’S 50 FREESTYLE – Finals

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut – 21.66
  • 2022 Invite Cut – 22.16
  • NCAA ‘B’ Cut – 22.71

Top 3:

  1. Grace Cooper (Texas) – 22.11
  2. Kyla Leibel – 22.28
  3. Sophie Yendell (Pitt) – 22.34

Grace Cooper was a bit off of her time of 21.89 from this morning’s prelims, but tonight’s 22.11 was more than enough to earn the win here, giving the Longhorn women the sweep of the individual events tonight.

Her teammates Kyla Leibel shaved nearly two-tenths of a second off her prelims time to take 2nd in 22.28. The Pittsburgh Panthers earned a top three finish for the first time tonight courtesy of Sophie Yendellwho matched her prelims time with a 22.34 tonight.

Other than Cooper, no other woman was under last year’s NCAA invite time.

MEN’S 50 FREESTYLE – Finals

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut – 18.88
  • 2022 Invite Cut – 19.28
  • NCAA ‘B’ Cut – 19.82

Top 3:

  1. Bjorn Seeliger (Cal) – 18.87
  2. Ryan Perham (Arizona) – 19.39
  3. Daniel Krueger (Texas) – 19:47

Cal’s Bjorn Seeliger, who’s tied as the 2nd-fastest man in history in this event, took the win tonight with a 18.87, the only man under last year’s NCAA invite time. His teammates Jack Alexy took 4th in 19.49.

The Arizona Wildcats had a bit of a surprisingly strong showing in this event. Senior Ryan Perham took 2nd in 19.39, which appears to his second new lifetime best today. The Wildcats had a pair of freshmen, Tommy Palmer (19.55) and Billy Oates (19.63) finish 6th and 7th, while Marin Ercegovic also made the A-final, but was DQ’d.

Wisconsin’s Andrew Benson won the B-final in 19.47, which would’ve tied him with Texas’ Daniel Krueger for 3rd in the A-final.

The Longhorns, who are looking for some sprint talent to emerge this season, got a lifetime best of 19.54 from freshman. Charlie Crosby to finish 2nd in the B-final. Peter Pauluswho transferred to Texas after swimming club at Colorado, finished 8th in the B-final, but this morning hit a bit lifetime best with a 19.76, the same time as teammate Cole Crane swam to win the C-final tonight. Peter Larsonwho’s primarily focused on mid-distance freestyle and backstroke in previous years, hit a new lifetime best of 19.41 in prelims before finishing 5th in 19.52.

All that to say, the 200 free relay later this evening should be interesting. Cal is a perennial power in the event, Texas has a lot of questions marks they’re trying to figure out, and Arizona had a strong showing in the individual 50 free today.

Women’s 200 Free Relay – Timed Finals

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut – 1:28.43
  • NCAA ‘B’ Cut – 1:29.21

Top 3:

  1. Cal – 1:28.51
  2. Texas – 1:28.64
  3. Arizona – 1:29.01

The live results indicate that Cal’s top individual 50 free finishers all ended up on the ‘C’ relay, which finished 10th. But, it looks like the names for the ‘A’ and ‘C’ relays may be swapped in live results and Meet Mobile, and we’ll try to verify that information.

Regardless of who exactly swam on the relay, the Golden Bears capped off the night with a 0.13s victory over the Longhorns, 1:28.61 to 1:28.64. The Arizona women also got on the podium with a 1:29.01 finish. All three of those times were under the NCAA ‘B’ cut.

The fastest split in the field appears to be a 21.71 on Cal’s ‘B’ relay, credited to Isabelle Stadden.

Men’s 200 Free Relay – Timed Finals

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut – 1:16.80
  • NCAA ‘B’ Cut – 1:17.58

Top 3:

  1. Cal – 1:16.46
  2. Arizona – 1:17.18
  3. Texas – 1:17.32

As we expected, this was a bit of a wild ride. Cal lagged behind several other teams after Jack Alexy led off in 20.04, but Bjorn Seeliger put the Bears into the lead with an 18.47 split on the second leg. Robin Hanson split 19.06, then Destin Lasco anchored at 18.89 to stop the clock at 1:16.46.

Arizona took 2nd in 1:17.18. One of their swimmers, listed as distance freestyler Beck Parnham in the results (but possibly 50 free runner-up Ryan Purdy?) split 19.01 on the 2nd leg.

The Longhorns followed at 1:17.32, getting a 18.88 split from Peter Larson, but a 19.50 split from Peter Paulus. Notably, Cole Crane, Carson Fosterand Sam Artmann all split 19.3 on other Texas relays from earlier heats.

Wisconsin put up a good showing as well, including a 19.00 split from Jake Newmarkto take 4th in 1:17.55.

SCORES AFTER DAY TWO:

Women:

  1. Texas — 718
  2. Cal — 717.50
  3. Wisconsin — 468
  4. Minnesota — 398
  5. Arizona — 315.50
  6. Pitt — 269
  7. Harvard — 222
  8. UNLV — 34

Men:

  1. Texas — 577
  2. Arizona — 541
  3. Cal — 527
  4. Minnesota — 373
  5. Wisconsin — 281
  6. Harvard — 236
  7. Pitt — 187
  8. UNLV — 149

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