SwimmingDestin Lasco Swims Sub-45 in 100 Back

Destin Lasco Swims Sub-45 in 100 Back

Minnesota Invitational: Destin Lasco Swims Sub-45 in 100 Back; Elendt, Jacoby Post 57s in 100 Breast

The reigning national-champion Cal men continued to post impressive results at the Minnesota Invitational, and during Friday night’s finals session, junior Destin Lasco swam the fastest time in the country this season in the 100 backstroke while fifth-year swimmer Reece Whitley tied defending NCAA champion Max McHugh in the 100 breaststroke. On the women’s side, the Texas women continued their strong performances as Anna Elendt and Lydia Jacoby went head-to-head with a pair of quick times in the 100 breast.

Men’s Results

Lasco became the first man to dip under 45 seconds so far this college season as he went 44.88 to claim a win over Cal teammate Bjorn Seeliger. Lasco, who was fourth in the event at last year’s national championships in 44.36, overtook 2022 national champion Kacper Stokowski (45.02) for the top mark in the country. Seeliger came in second at 45.23, good for No. 3 in the country behind Lasco and Stokowski, and Texas’ Chris O’Connor placed third in 46.31.

In the 100 breast, McHugh and Whitley both posted times of 51.51. That moved them into a three-way tie for No. 3 in the country with Virginia’s Noah Nichols. They rank behind Auburn’s Reid Mikuta and Texas’ Caspar Corbeau, who is absent this week while preparing for the Short Course World Championships. Pitt’s Cooper Van Der Laan touched third in 52.14.

Speaking of Short Course Worlds, Texas swimmers Carson Foster, David Johnston and Jake Foster are all scheduled to represent the United States in Melbourne beginning Dec. 13, and all three were done for the meet after posting the top times in the 400 IM in prelims. Carson Foster went 3:38.95, just off his third-ranked season-best time of 3:38.79, while Johnston was second in 3:39.36 (good for fifth-best nationally) and Jake Foster third in 3:44.70. In their absence, Longhorns freshman Alec Enyeart won the final in 3:47.40 ahead of Minnesota’s William Christenson (3:48.39) and Arizona’s Jake Hand (3:49.05).

In the 200 freestyle, Texas’ Peter Larson had a substantial lead with 50 meters to go while Cal’s Gabriel Jett was in fourth place and a second off the pace, but Jett stormed home in 22.94 to overtake Larson and score the win in 1:32.41. Jett almost negative split the race, going out in 46.10 and finishing in 46.31. Larson ended up second in 1:32.84, and Wisconsin’s Jake Newmark took third in 1:33.14. The most decorated 200 freestyle swimmers in the field finished at the back of the back with Texas’ Coby Carrozza sixth (1:34.03), Cal’s Patrick Callan seventh (1:34.12) and Texas’ Luke Hobson eighth (1:34.55).

Cal’s Dare Rose moved into the top eight nationally with his win in the 100 butterfly. He clocked 45.30, while the Texas duo of Cole Crane (45.61) and Sam Artmann (46.20) placed second and third, respectively.

The 400 medley relay was a runaway for Cal as the team of Lasco (45.07), Whitley (50.74), Rose (45.26) and Seeliger (40.74) swam the country’s fastest time by more than a second at 3:01.81. Texas was no match for the Golden Bears’ speed, although it is worth noting that Texas was missing the first half of its typical squad (Carson Foster on back and Corbeau on breast). The team of Chris O’Connor, Will Chan, Crane and Danny Krueger finished in 3:06.20, while Cal’s B-team of Evan Petty, Luke Rodarte, Jett and Jack Alexy took third in 3:07.79.

Women’s Results

As the Texas women seek to match last season’s second-place finish at the national level, they will rely on having two of the country’s best breaststrokers on their roster. The Longhorns showed off that depth in Minnesota. Anna Elendt, the World Championships silver medalist in the 100-meter breast, took the win in the 100-yard race in 57.48, just six hundredths ahead of teammate Lydia Jacoby, who went 57.54. Third went to Minnesota’s Emma Lezer in 59.96.

Jacoby joined Texas this year after winning Olympic gold in the 100-meter breast in 2021. Jacoby’s time was a lifetime best to move her to No. 14 all-time in the event, and the times rank second and third in the country, respectively, behind defending NCAA champion Kaitlyn Dobler of USC (59.64).

Also climbing the national ranks for the Longhorns was Kelly Pash, who posted a time of 1:43.40 to move to second in the country behind Stanford’s Taylor Ruck (1:43.11). Cal went 2-3 with Mia Motekaitis (1:44.74) and Ayla Spitz (1:45.06). Pash scratched the 100 fly final after posting a time of 51.01 to lead the way in prelims, and in her absence, teammate Emma Sticklen won the event in 50.91 over Cal’s Mia Kragh (51.80) and Arizona’s Maddy Burt (52.20). Sticklen and Pash moved to six and seventh in the country, respectively.

With all of the impressive performances by Texas in the 100-yard races, the stage was set for a big performance in the 400 medley relay, and the Longhorns delivered. Olivia Bray (50.92), Elendt (57.08), Sticklen (50.82) and Pash (47.14) combined for a time of 3:25.96, crushing the previous top time in the country (held by Stanford) by more than a second. The same four swimmers in the same order finished fourth in the event at last season’s NCAAs, but they swam four tenths faster here.

Cal’s team of Isabelle StaddenJade Neser, Kragh and Eloise Riley finished second in 3:30.96, and the Texas B-team of Meghan DiMartile, Jacoby, Dakota Luther and Grace Cooper placed third in 3:32.54.

Stadden won the 100 back in 50.88 after her prelims time of 50.81 moved her to fourth-fastest in the country. Bray took second in the final in 50.97, with Wisconsin’s Phoebe Bacon in third (51.40). Both rank among the top-eight competitors nationally. In the 400 IM, Minnesota’s Megan Van Berkom took the win in 4:05.81, which moved her to third in the country, while Cal’s Leah Polonsky (4:08.91) and Wisconsin’s Katie McClintock (4:12.06) rounded out the top three.

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