OMAHA, Nebraska, June 10. THE third and final night of the Mutual of Omaha Swimvitational is in the books after another exciting finals session. Darian Townsend won his second event of the meet while Whitney Burnett and David Plummer won their first.
In the first event of the evening, Wisconsin's Rebecka Palm and Fort Collins' Bailey Nero put on a great race in the women's 200 fly. Palm led at the halfway point before Nero took the lead on the final turn. Palm fought back on the last 50, however, touching first in 2:16.38. Nero hit the Olympic Trials qualifying standard on the nose in finishing second in 2:16.49. Lincoln Select's Brooke Balogh finished third in 2:18.59.
Wildcat Aquatics' Kevin Quinn earned top honors in the men's 200 fly with a 2:03.55, the only Trials cut of the day in the event. NASA Wildcat's Stephen Yemm hit the pads second in 2:04.33, followed by La Mirada Armada's Ryan Kao in 2:04.91.
Another exciting race went down in the women's 100 breast as the top four swimmers were within half a second of each other. Ashley Wanland of Wisconsin clawed her way into first after touching third at the halfway point and held on to win in 1:08.74. Tucson Ford's Amanda Beard, who was disqualified in the 200 breast on Friday, touched second in 1:08.86. Annie Chandler, also of Tucson Ford, finished third in 1:09.01.
Arizona's Kevin Cordes, the American record-holder and NCAA champion in the 100-yard breast, proved he is just as tough in long course with a winning time of 1:01.23 in the men's race. Tucson Ford's Clark Burckle swam a 1:02.60 for second, ahead of Greater Philadelphia's Brendan McHugh (1:03.11).
Wyoming's Kelsey Conci, the top qualifier in the women's 100 back, scratched tonight's final, leaving the door open for Glenview Titans' Olivia Smoliga. Smoliga took advantage, winning by more than two seconds in 1:01.15. Keaton Blovad of Phoenix Swim Club (1:03.20) and Hailey Campbell of UVRA (1:03.52) finished second and third.
Two of the top US backstrokers who will be battling for a spot on the Olympic team in two weeks went head to head in the men's 100 back. Olympic silver medalist Matt Grevers flipped first at the 50, but David Plummer had enough back-half speed to out-touch him at the finish, 54.61 to 54.64. Arizona's Mitchell Friedemann swam a 56.20 for third.
Tucson Ford's Whitney Burnett, a former NCAA champion in the 200 IM at Arizona, won the event easily tonight in 2:16.43. Katherine Drabot of Ozaukee Aquatics posted an Olympic Trials qualifying mark of 2:19.31 to finish second, while Tera Bradham placed third in 2:20.17.
South African Olympian Darian Townsend earned his second win of the meet with a time of 2:01.35 in the men's 200 IM, more than five seconds in front of second place finisher Michael Weiss of Wisconsin (2:06.97). Oakland University's Joe Rodgers slipped in for third at 2:07.93.
In distance freestyle action, Leah Stevens of Lakeside won the women's 800 free in 8:44.97, while Loveland's Alexander Nickell dominated the men's 1500 free, winning by more than 20 seconds with an Olympic Trials standard of 15:50.38. Marcus Guttman of Wisconsin finished second in 16:10.91 and La Mirada Armada's Cory Mayfield was third in 16:11.23.
In relay action, Phoenix Swim Club captured the men's 4×100 medley relay with Kyle Shores (59.48), Michael Nelson (1:04.93), Roland Schoeman (52.94) and Jason Lawson (51.49) finished in a time of 3:48.84. Results from the women's relay were not available.