No. 2 Cal hosts Pitt for the first dual meet of the 2023-24 season.
Cal Ranked No. 2 In Preliminary CSCAA Top-25
BERKELEY – The No. 2 California men’s swimming & diving program makes its debut at Spieker Aquatics Complex on Saturday when it hosts the Pitt Panthers for a dual meet. The competition between the Golden Bears and Panthers will also feature the women’s programs and is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. PT, with diving taking place down the street at Legends Aquatic Center at 10 a.m. PT.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 14
Cal vs. Pitt | 11 a.m. PT | Spieker Aquatics Complex | Berkeley
Live Stream: Cal Livestream
Live Results: MeetMobile
LAST TIME IN THE POOL
Cal began the 2023-23 campaign at the annual King of the Pool hosted by Cal Poly on September 22. Destin Lasco became the first Cal swimmer since Marcin Tarczynski to win back-to-back King of the Pool honors. Lasco finished the five events (100-yard events of the fly, back, breast, free, and IM) with a combined time of 4:03.91 – three seconds ahead of runner-up Gabriel Jett.
IN THE RANKINGS
The inaugural CSCAA Top-25 poll was released Thursday and Cal opens the year ranked No. 2 with 289 points. Arizona State is ranked No. 1 with 299 points. Rounding out the top-5 is Florida, N.C. State, and Indiana. The Bears began last season ranked No. 1 and were never lower than No. 3. They finished the 2022-23 dual season ranked No. 2.
DUALING WITH DURDEN
Under director of swimming & diving David Durden, the Golden Bears are 89-13 in dual meets. Cal went 6-1 in duals in 2022-23 with the lone loss coming at Arizona State on January 21. Cal has not lost more than one dual meet under Durden since 2012 when Cal went 4-2 in dual meets. Saturday will be the first-ever meeting between Cal and Pitt. All-time the Bears are 4-0 against teams currently in the ACC.
Pitt is led by second-year head coach Chase Kreitler, who served as Cal’s assistant from 2019-22. During his tenure in Berkeley, he helped guide the Bears to NCAA championships in 2019 and 2022. In his first season at Pitt, the Panthers recorded one of the most successful campaigns in the last two decades during his first year at the helm of the program. Throughout the 2022-23 season, the Panthers saw 31 program records broken, 15 student-athletes qualify for the 2023 NCAA championships, five individuals earn All-American honors, and two divers qualify for the 2024 U.S. Olympic trials.
Cal returns 11 student-athletes who have earned All-American honors during their careers. The list includes Jack Alexy, Liam Bell, Robin Hanson, Matthew Jensen, Gabriel Jett, Destin Lasco, Jason Louser, Colby Mefford, Dare Rose, Bjorn Seeliger, and Sebastian Somerset.
Durden and his staff continue to reload the talent pipeline. The Bears welcomed eight swimmers for the 2023-24 season – five of the seven were named top-20 recruits for the 2023 recruiting class by SwimSwam.com. Joining the Bears are Rob Alexy (Mendham, NJ), Nikolas Antoniou (Limassol, Cyprus), Andrew Hallett (Walnut Creek, Calif.), Keaton Jones (Gilbert, Ariz.) Roman Jones (Chatham Township, NJ), Humberto Najera (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.), Samuel Quarles (Coronado, Calif.), and Aaron Shackell (Carmel, Ind.)
The Bears have a new look on deck this season with the addition of associate head coach Josh Huger and assistant coaches Kim Williams and Noah Yanchulis. Huger spent the past four seasons at Tennessee, whose women’s program finished in the top 10 nationally every year he was there. Last year, he helped the Vols’ men’s program achieve a seventh-place finish – its best in seven years. Huger also helped coach Tennessee’s Jordan Crooks, the 2023 SEC Swimmer of the Year, to the 2023 NCAA championship in the 50 free. Williams was a three-time NCAA champion and six-time All-American as a swimmer at Stanford who spent last season as a volunteer assistant coach at Northwestern. Yanchulis spent the past five years on the coaching staff at Division II Oklahoma Christian and was a two-time Big East Most Outstanding Swimmer as a student-athlete at Seton Hall.
Six Cal swimmers earned spots on the 2023-24 United States National Team roster, which was announced by USA Swimming last week. Alums Ryan Murphy and Trenton Julian earned their 12th and fifth career selections, respectively. Current Golden Bears Lasco and Rose earned their third and second career selections while Alexy and Shackell both earned their first career selection.
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