BERKELEY – Senior Marcin Tarczynski will be going for his fourth straight title of “King of the Pool” as the Cal men’s swimming program travels to the Cal Poly Invitational, Sept. 20-21, in its first competition of the 2013-14 campaign. For the fourth year in a row coach David Durden’s Golden Bears will participate in a pair of non-traditional exhibition competitions at the Anderson Aquatic Center in San Luis Obispo.
On Friday, there will be a pentathlon with each of the school's swimmers competing in the 100-yard butterfly, the 100 backstroke, the 100 breaststroke the 100 freestyle and the 100 individual medley. The swimmer with the lowest aggregate time will be crowned the "King of the Pool." Cal's Tarczynski, the 2012 NCAA champion in the 200 IM and a 2012 Olympian for his native Poland, has earned the King of the Pool honors every year since 2010.
Last season, the standout from Warsaw, Poland, had the lowest aggregate time of 4:12.39 at the meet, edging junior teammate Will Hamilton’s overall mark of 4:14.18.
Tarczynski captured the 2012 "King of the Pool" honor by placing first in the 100 fly (48.29), 100 back (49.22) and 100 IM (50.20). He also had the fourth fastest time in the 100 breast (58.03) and the sixth fastest time in the 100 free (46.65). He had competed in the 100-meter back at the 2012 Olympics, placing seventh in his heat with a time of 55.06, after capturing the NCAA title in the 200 IM in a time of 1:41.97.
Besides Hamilton, another Cal returnee who will challenge Tarczynski’s “King of the Pool” reign is sophomore Josh Prenot, who was the 2013 Pac-12 champion in the 400 IM and was named the conference’s Newcomer of the Year.
On Sept. 21, the Cal men will team up with the Bear women for co-ed races in the 200-yard medley relay and 200 freestyle relay.
The Bears will again vie for an NCAA crown in 2014 after winning national championships in 2011 and 2012 and finishing as the runners-up in 2013. Leading Cal will be two individual champions from 2012 – senior Tarczynski (200 individual medley) and junior Hamilton (200 butterfly) – plus four members (senior Shayne Fleming, juniors Seth Stubblefield and Fabio Gimondi, sophomore Tyler Messerschmidt) of title-winning relays. Additionally, Cal features standout sophomores Prenot and Jacob Pebley (third in the NCAAs in the 200 backstroke), plus star recruit Ryan Murphy, one of the nation’s top young backstrokers who was third in the 200 back at this summer’s U.S. national championships.