Though Tua Tagovailoa’s Crimson Tide and Zion Williamson’s Blue Devils have reigned supreme when discussing collegiate athletics this 12 months, the Cal males’s swim and dive crew should obtain its credit score as one of many NCAA’s most dominant teams in 2018. This week, Cal will journey to the College of Georgia’s Fall Invitational for its last competitors of the calendar 12 months.
The reigning champs of final 12 months’s meet, Cal is coming into the meet ranked because the No. 1 males’s swim and dive crew within the nation. Firstly of the season, the Bears sat within the second slot within the nationwide rankings, however after a few stellar performances early within the 12 months, they had been escalated to the standing of one of the best within the U.S.
The Bears boast a 2-Zero document with wins over Pacific and Utah, they usually additionally handily defeated Cal Poly and Stanford in exhibition matches not listed on the crew’s official document.
One issue that has contributed to Cal’s success this season is that each swimmer and diver on the roster has pulled his weight within the crew’s efforts. Firstly of the season, the crew’s races had been headlined by particular person performances similar to Andrew Seliskar’s “King of the Pool” victory or Connor Callahan’s record-breaking 1-meter dive.
Because the season progressed, nevertheless, the story has been much less targeted on particular person achievements and extra targeted on the accomplishments made as a crew, and the crew’s youthful rivals are starting to step up and play an important function within the group’s success.
Within the Bears’ most up-to-date competitors in opposition to Stanford, junior Zheng Wen Quah rose to the event with a speedy 21.20 within the 50-yard butterfly, profitable by a full second forward of the subsequent competitor. Sophomores Daniel Carr and Bryce Mefford adopted Quah’s victory with a one-two end within the 50-yard backstroke, and Mefford went on to snag first-place finishes within the 100- and 200-yard backstrokes.
Breaststroker Reece Whitley has performed a key function within the Bears’ success this season, because the freshman is but to be overwhelmed within the breaststroke at any distance this 12 months. Fortunately for Whitley, he’ll get a possibility to show his expertise on the large stage in Georgia in each the 100- and 200-yard breaststrokes.
This weekend, followers can anticipate an enormous efficiency from senior Nick Norman, who noticed the rostrum within the 1,650-yard freestyle eventually 12 months’s Georgia Invitational. This season, Norman has been dominant in each long-distance occasion through which he has participated, with a private season-best time of 9:06.42 within the 1,000-yard freestyle.
This weekend’s meet will primarily function a possibility for the Bears to get a really feel for the place they stand heading into the brand new 12 months, as every swimmer will get the prospect to play to their strengths and compete of their main occasions. However with an ideal document, two convention wins and a No. 1 nationwide rating, Cal ought to have already got a way of its standing as one of many NCAA’s most fierce rivals.
The Georgia Fall Invitational will happen from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1 in Athens, Georgia, making it Cal’s furthest highway journey of the season. The chilly air and the lengthy trek throughout the nation gained’t intimidate the Bears, although, as they may come out able to proceed their streak of dominance of their last efficiency of the calendar 12 months.
Joey Patton covers males’s swimming and diving. Contact him at [email protected].
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