Double dual meet victories for Bears in SoCal

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The Trojan War is one of the most notable events to occur in Greek mythology. Waged against the city of Troy by the Greeks, the war culminated with the Greeks gifting a large wooden horse to the Trojans. The Trojan Horse, as it’s been named, was filled with a select force of Greek soldiers who snuck out and massacred the sleeping population of Troy in the middle of the night.

On Friday, the USC Trojans were sacked by the Cal men’s swim and dive team.

Senior Zheng Wen Quah and sophomore Reece Whitley dominated the pool in their events, taking home two wins apiece. Quah swept the 100 and 200-yard butterfly, touching the wall at 46.76 and 1:43.95, respectively. Whitley held down the fort in the breaststroke, finishing the 100-yard in 53.22 and the 200-yard in 1:54.64, significantly ahead of his peers.

Juniors Sean Grieshop, Ryan Hoffer, Trenton Julian and Bryce Mefford also scored victories over the Trojans. Hoffer, the reigning NCAA champ in the 50-yard freestyle, took that event, touching the wall at 19.64 ahead of senior Pawel Sendyk. Julian, who put out an impressive performance in his off events, including the 500 and 1000-yard freestyle two weeks ago, repeated those results —  winning the 100 free around five seconds ahead of USC’s Victor Johansson.

With their victory over USC, the Bears improved to 3-0 in the Pac-12 conference meets.

Going into this meet, the team was split up for a double dual meet held the same day in two separate locations. How they would perform while missing key members of the roster was unknown, but needless to say, the blue and gold exceeded any and all expectations.

Over in San Diego, the Bears battled the Tritons and emerged triumphant, winning 166-90.

Freshman Michael Petrides and senior Ethan Young took home two wins each as well, with Petrides taking the 100 and 200-yard freestyle, and Young claiming the backstroke events. Sophomore Chris Jhong and freshman Calvin David also scored two victories each — Jhong in the 200-yard breast and 200 individual medley, and David in the 500-yard and 1000 freestyle.

Young’s performance of 48.51 in the 100-yard backstroke set a new pool record. Petrides also set a pool best in the 100-yard free, finishing at 44.85 ahead of junior Nate Biondi. In the 1000-yard freestyle, David turned in a breakout performance, touching the wall close to 13 seconds ahead of UCSD senior Jack Spitser.

On Saturday, the Bears regrouped in Chula Vista, California for a nonscoring long course meet, where they put out a solid performance. Since it is an Olympic year, the team is working on balancing training for the NCAA Championships, where they swim 25-yard laps, and the Olympics, where they swim 50-meter laps. This can be tricky, because according to Whitley, the two are essentially two different sports.

“Training for a yards 200-breast, where I’m only taking three to four strokes a lap is a whole lot different than a long course 200 breast, where I’m taking upwards of 15. And … those vast differences are the same across all four strokes,” Whitley said.

Next, Cal will face Stanford at their Avery Aquatic Center on Feb. 22.

Amber Fang covers men’s swim & dive. Contact her at [email protected].