AUSTIN, Texas, December 1. TWO breaststroke American records were put on notice this evening as Laura Sogar and Kevin Cordes turned in some epic preliminary swims at the U.S. Winter Short Course Nationals.
Women's 200 back
It looks like a Colorado high school state championship at the top of the seeds in the distance dorsal as newly-minted World Swimmer of the Year Missy Franklin and Arizona's Bonnie Brandon are atop the leaderboard in the morning with a 1:52.29 and 1:53.60 respectively.
The two have done battle the previous few years in Colorado with Brandon graduating last season. Franklin definitely has more in the tank, as her top time ever is a blazing 1:50.10 from the Minneapolis Grand Prix last month. Brandon, meanwhile, clipped her lifetime best of 1:53.82 from the 2010 short course nationals.
Dynamo's Kylie Stewart (1:53.81), Indiana's Brooklyn Snodgrass (1:54.51), USC's Henriette Stenkvist (1:55.00), USC's Kendyl Stewart (1:55.66), NCAP's Janet Hu (1:55.70) and Indiana's Cynthia Pammett (1:55.90) also earned their way into the championship heat. No collegiate swimmer beat the NCAA A cut of 1:53.17 this morning.
Men's 200 back
Olympic superstar Ryan Lochte, who scratched the rest of the meet after this swim, crushed the field with a sizzling time of 1:40.69 in the morning. He's definitely been faster with the American record of 1:36.81 at the 2007 short course nationals, but this effort proved to be smooth for Lochte.
Olympic gold medalist Josh Davis was definitely impressed with Lochte's swim, as evidenced by this tweet.
— Josh Davis (@JoshDavis_USA) December 1, 2012
Gator's Arkady Vyatchanin raced to second in 1:41.27, while Bolles' Ryan Murphy checked in with a third-seeded time of 1:42.05. Murphy will be gunning for Jack Conger's 17-18 U.S. National Age Group record of 1:40.41 during finals.
MSU's Jacob Jarzen (1:42.66), USC's Alex Lendrum (1:43.00), Arizona's Ellis Miller (1:43.64) and Indiana's Eric Ress (1:43.72) qualified fourth through seventh, while Texas' Austin Surhoff and Matt Thompson had set up a swimoff with eighth-place 1:43.81s. However, with Lochte's scratch in the finale, both Surhoff and Thompson are safely into finals. No collegiate swimmer beat the NCAA A cut of 1:41.31.
Women's 100 free
The final heat of qualifying produced a pair of sub-48 swims as Arizona's Margo Geer (47.59) and Colorado Stars' Missy Franklin (47.95) blistered the field. Geer punched her ticket to NCAAs in the event, breaking the NCAA A cut of 48.03. She has some more potential in the event, especially in this pool, as her lifetime best is a 47.32 from the Texas Invite last year — a top-10 all time performance. Franklin, meanwhile, just missed her lifetime best of 47.94 set in 2010. GTAC's Olivia Smoliga earned third-place honors with a time of 48.37.
Notably, T2's Erika Erndl lowered her own U.S. Masters Swimming 30-34 age division national record with a sterling 48.42 in the morning. That swim beat her previous record of 49.07 from December 2008. With her 200 free USMS records yesterday, she now owns the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle records in the 30-34 division.
FCST's Simone Manuel (48.47), AGUA Olympian Lia Neal (48.56), Tucson Ford's Christine Magnuson (48.80) and NCAP's Janet Hu (48.91) comprised the rest of the championship heat. Magnuson, however, scratched the finale moving Jessica Hardy (49.08) into the A final.
Men's 100 free
Arizona's Giles Smith has had one of the top meets of his life so far in Austin, and today is no different. He clocked a blazing time of 42.86 to lead all of prelims. The swim represented Smith's first sub 43-second effort, breaking his lifetime best of 43.20 from the 2012 NCAA Championships in March. Olympians Matt Grevers (42.90) and Ricky Berens (42.92) also cleared 43 seconds in the morning to round out the top three.
Louisville's Joao De Lucca (43.03), SwimFlorida's Pavel Babaev (43.07), Trojan's Alexander Sukhorukov (43.18), Trojan's Nikita Lobintsev (43.20) and Longhorn's Garrett Weber-Gale (43.37) also earned their way into the finale.
Women's 200 breast
Texas' Laura Sogar woke the fans up this morning with a blistering time of 2:05.04 in the distance breaststroke event. That swim clipped Rebecca Soni's meet record of 2:05.12 from 2009, and moved Sogar into the top five all time. Sogar whacked two seconds off her previous top time of 2:07.43 from the 2010 Texas Invitational, and will now have a partisan crowd at night to help push her to history in the event.
USC's Andrea Kropp had been considered fast this morning with an NCAA A cut time of 2:08.65 before Sogar dropped the bomb in the final heat for the Longhorns. USC's Jessica Schmitt placed third in 2:10.05, a second-and-a-half off the NCAA A cut of 2:08.70.
Arizona's Emma Schoettmer (2:11.73), USC's Kasey Carlson (2:11.84), Arizona's Chelsey Salli (2:12.09), USC's Meghan Hawthorne (2:12.32) and Arizona's Ellyn Baumgardner (2:13.07) rounded out the championship eight.
Men's 200 breast
A day after breaking the American record in the men's 100 breast, Arizona's Kevin Cordes nearly picked off another national mark with a sizzling time of 1:51.93 this morning. That swim cleared Cordes' previous lifetime best of 1:51.97 from last year's NCAAs. Cordes will be vying for Neil Versfeld's U.S. Open record of 1:51.40 and Mike Alexandrov's American record of 1:51.73.
Tucson Ford's Clark Burckle placed second in 1:52.76, while Trojan's Mike Alexandrov touched third in 1:54.85. Tucson Ford's Austen Thompson (1:55.32), NBAC's Chase Kalisz (1:56.35), Arizona's Carl Mickelson (1:56.64), Indiana's Cody Miller (1:56.74) and Tennessee's Brad Craig (1:56.76) all made the finale as well. The college swimmers will be gunning for the NCAA A cut of 1:54.31.
Women's 200 fly
USC's Jasmine Tosky blazed prelims with a sterling time of 1:53.98. That swim punched her ticket to NCAAs in the event, bettering the 1:54.60 NCAA A cut. That swim bettered her lifetime best of 1:54.63 set in May 2011. NYAC's Kim Vandenberg qualified second in 1:57.64 out of the first heat. UCLA's Noelle Tarazona (1:57.79) and USC's Kendyl Stewart (1:57.85) also cleared 1:58 in qualifying.
Indiana's Brenna Maclean (1:58.14), Arizona's Ashley Evans (1:58.21), UCLA's Anna Senko (1:58.24) and West Virginia's Amanda Nugent (1:58.80) also made the finale.
Men's 200 fly
Tom Shields cruised to the top seed in prelims with a time of 1:45.03, while USC's Dakota Hodgson touched second in 1:45.49. Shields could make a run at his lifetime best of 1:40.31, or even Michael Phelps' American record of 1:39.65, this evening.
USC's Justin Difederico (1:45.64), Arizona's Matt Barber (1:45.66), DSA's Clark Smith (1:45.71), Clevelan's Justin Kermack (1:46.50), NCAP's Andrew Seliskar (1:46.67) and Texas' Tripp Cooper (1:46.82) also made the finale this evening.