PHOENIX, Arizona, November 19. WORLD records, American records and national high school records. It's not Thanksgiving yet here in the United States, yet swimming fans had plenty to be thankful for this past weekend. We mentioned Yannick Agnel's and Camille Muffat's world records on Friday's Streamlined News, and the two teammates continued to impress in Angers. The two went after the world records in the 200 freestyle, swimming under world record pace in both races through 150 meters before falling off the pace and finishing just a few tenths slower than the records. Was this a ploy to save the world record run for later this week at the European championships? It doesn't appear to be that way, as both said in post-race interviews that they couldn't hold their blistering pace in the final 50 meters where they were no match for the abilities Federica Pellegrini and Paul Biedermann had wearing techsuits in 2009.
Also impressive in France was Laure Manaudou, who appears to be staying in the sport despite talk of retirement. Manaudou won the 50 and 100 backstrokes, as well as the 100 IM. Her brother Florent, who won Olympic gold in the 50 free, won that event in 20.86 and also won the 50 breast as well.
Back here in the United States, many collegiate swimmers rested for a few days with the hope of getting some NCAA qualification times. Breeja Larson of Texas A&M did that and more, breaking the American and NCAA records in both breaststroke events at the Phill Hansel Invite. Larson broke her own 100 breast record with a 57.53 on Friday, then swam a 2:04.48 in the 200 breast on Saturday in prelims. Larson returned in finals and swam a 2:04.48 in finals.
Larson's teammates at Texas A&M were very impressive over the weekend. We told you on Friday's news about Sarah Henry's 500 free, and on Friday night, Olympian Cammile Adams swam an impressive 4:01.56 in the 400 IM. Iliana Ibanez Lopez put up some great freestyle times, including a 1:44.96 in the 200 free.
Louisville's Joao de Lucca is now the fastest swimmer in the country in the 50 and 100 freestyles, posting times of 19.81 and 42.52 at the Purdue Invitational over the weekend. His teammate Caryl Blondell put up a 43.16 in the 100 free, giving Louisville two of the top three 100 freestylers in the country so far this season.
And on the high school level, Olivia Smoliga broke two national high school records at the Illinois state championships in Evanston. Smoliga started things off with a 21.99 in the 50 freestyle, becoming the first high school swimmer to break the 22-second barrier. The former record was held by future Olympian and NCAA champion Kara Lynn Joyce. Smoliga was back later in the meet to set the national record in the 100 backstroke with a 51.43. The old record was 51.53 set by Rachel Bootsma in 2010. Bootsma would later post a 50.7 in the 100 back, but it wasn't done at a high school meet, so it doesn't count for records, but it does stand as the fastest time put up by a high school swimmer in history. Smoliga and her teammates at Glenbrook South tried to go for a couple of relay records, but fell short in the 200 free and 400 free relays.
The Asian swimming championships are wrapping up in Dubai, and we saw some impressive swimming in the past 24 hours, particularly from teenager Xu Danlu. She swam an 8:22.24 in the 800 free, which would have placed fourth at the Olympics, and puts her 16th all time in the event. Xu, by the way, is only 13 years old. China is doing very well at the meet, winning just about every event. Sun Yang didn't break any world records, but did won the 200, 400 and 1500 freestyles with times that would have still impressed at the Olympics.
If you missed any of our recaps from any of the meets taking place around the world last weekend, you can find them by going to any of our channels at swimmingworld.com.
The World Anti-Doping Agency has backed off its plan to include a ban from the Olympics for anyone who fails a drug test to increase the maximum suspension from two to four years. This would appear to satisfy WADA's push to keep drug cheats out of the Olympics following the implementation of their suspension, without overtly stating that.
And finally today, the U.S. Olympic swimming team will reunite at the Marriott Marquis in New York City for the annual Golden Goggles. Awards in eight categories will be determined by fan votes and the votes from a select panel. Swimming World will let you know who wins as it happens on Twitter and swimmingworld.com.
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