Even though the Stanford triple distance meet did not count toward the overall dual meet record of both teams, the highly-touted swimmers of Stanford and Cal competed to be champions of six different categories.
This meet counted individual winners instead of a single team score. The swimmers of the two juggernaut programs collided on Wednesday at 2 p.m. to compete in an unorthodox triple distance meet. At the Avery Aquatics Center in Stanford, Calif., Cal won four of the six triple distance categories and one of the two relays against the Cardinals.
Senior Trevor Hoyt, junior Marcin Tarczynski, junior Jeremy Bagshaw and freshman Josh Prenot won breaststroke, backstroke, distance freestyle and IM races, respectively.
The six categories consisted of fly, back, breast, sprint free, distance free and individual medley. Each of the categories included 50, 100 and 200 meter races — except distance free and individual medley races, which featured longer distances.
The aggregate time of three races from each category was used to determine the champion of that category. The meet then was capped off with 200 medley relay and 200 free relay at the end. The swimmers were unaccustomed to the structure of the meet, which was taxing on their bodies.
“I believe this format is more difficult than a dual meet for the swimmers,” Cal coach David Durden said. “It values the longer races more and ultimately is determined by the longer races.”
That did not deter the senior Hoyt as he took advantage of Stanford’s lack of breaststroke specialists and swept the category in all three races. He finished with an aggregate time of 3:23.03, a full two seconds ahead of second-place Mason Shaw of Stanford.
In the IM category, Prenot continued to be a bright spot for Cal, battling Stanford freshman Gray Umbach. In the 100 and 200 IM, Umbach and Prenot went back and forth for first place, and Prenot finished about half a second ahead of Umbach.
But Prenot was able to pull away in the 400 IM and won with a time of 3:53.88, which increased his lead to two seconds ahead of Umbach’s time.
“I was happy with my performance today,” Prenot said. “Stanford is always competitive, and all my races came down to the last 25 or 50 yards. I still need to work on the little things such as my breakouts and turns.”
As expected before the meet, Tarczynski won the backstroke category with a time of 2:58:28. Fellow junior Bagshaw was also impressive as he finished the 1000 freestyle decisively ahead of the field, timing in at 9:11.74.
Cal finished the meet by taking home 200 freestyle relay. This group — which consisted of junior Shayne Fleming, freshmen Nick Dillinger, senior Ben Hinshaw and sophomore Fabio Gimondi — outdueled Stanford’s group led by freshman Sean Duggan, capping off with a time of 1:20.71.
“All the individual category winners did well and they were consistent through all three of their races,” Durden said. “Stanford was a great team and they challenged us in every race. Most races came down to the last 50, no matter win or lose.”
Hunter He covers men’s swim. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org