Led by an early victory from senior Adam Hinshaw in the 1,000-yard freestyle, the Cal men’s swim team (6-0, 3-0 Pac-12) defeated visiting USC, 173-127, at Spieker Aquatics Complex on Friday afternoon. The win marked the Bears’ 21st consecutive dual-meet victory dating back to the 2012-13 season.
The Trojans (4-2, 4-1 Pac-12) opened the afternoon’s meet with a win in the 200-yard medley relay with the group of Luca Spinazzola, Morten Klarskov, Dylan Carter and anchor Cristian Quintero coming in at 1:27.93 to Cal’s 1:28.05. Hinshaw answered by posting a 9:11.55 in the 1,000-yard freestyle, more than two seconds faster than second-place finisher Trojan Pawel Furtek. Hinshaw was one of four Bears to claim two events Friday, winning the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:28.07.
“We were hoping for a better result in the 200 medley relay, and that kind of woke us up,” Cal head coach David Durden said to Cal Athletics. “Then, Adam (Hinshaw) led us like a senior and swam just a great 1000 free. He also had a great time in the 500 free. Adam was definitely our inspiration today.”
Quintero tallied another win for the Trojans in the third event of the meet, recording a 1:36.99 in the 200-yard freestyle to Cal’s Trent Williams’ 1:37.44. Quintero holds USC’s record in the event at 1:32.28. Quintero, a five-time NCAA finalist who had three top-three finishes at last year’s NCAAs, fell just short of a second win in the 100-yard freestyle. Cal sophomore backstroke specialist Ryan Murphy out-touched Quintero by the slimmest of margins in the event, clocking a 43.98 in the event — .01 seconds faster than Quintero.
Murphy also won the 100-yard backstroke against the Trojans with a time of 46.53. Murphy, last season’s Pac-12 Newcomer of the Year, won the same event at the 2014 NCAAs, along with the 200-yard backstroke. Fellow sophomore Long Gutierrez also had a solid showing Friday, taking both the 100- and 200-yard butterfly events at 47.64 and 1:45.79, respectively.
Junior Josh Prenot, named the Pac-12 Men’s Swimmer of the Month for January, also won two events, winning the 200-yard breaststroke at 1:59.12 and the 200-yard IM with a time of 1:46.19. Other winners for the Bears included senior Chuck Katis in the 100-yard breaststroke (53.97) and junior Jacob Pebley (1:44.44) in the 200-yard backstroke.
Cal also won the final event of the afternoon, the 400-yard free relay, behind the swims of Murphy, junior Tyler Messerschmidt and seniors Seth Stubblefield and Fabio Gimondi.
The Bears also earned points from the performances of their freshmen, with Connor Hoppe placing third in the 100-yard breaststroke, Ryan Kao placing fourth in the 1,000-yard free and Justin Lynch taking third in the 100-yard butterfly.
“There’s a familiarity that these guys have with each other, swimming against each other and competing,” Durden said. “A lot has been thrown at them, from the weight room to the water. We’re starting to see them be a little more comfortable with the rhythm of everything.”