Photo by Azaria Basile
Editorial coverage for U.S. Senior Nationals proudly sponsored by Master Spas!
IRVINE, California, August 6.
California’s Tom Shields caught the field by surprise as he won the finale by nearly a full second in the finale. He surged his way to a 1:55.09 in a wire-to-wire victory. That personal best skyrocketed him to third in the world behind only Chad le Clos (1:54.56) and Daiya Seto (1:54.70). He will definitely take a run at those times at Pan Pacs later this month after cutting more than two seconds from his personal best of 1:57.21. That’s the fifth different winner in the 200 fly long course since Phelps won three straight from 2008-2010.
SwimMAC’s Tyler Clary (1:56.00) powered his way to second-place honors in the event, and a likely spot on the Pan Pacs roster in the event. That time cleared the 1:56.11 he posted this morning, but was not enough to leapfrog Viktor Bromer’s 1:55.59 in the world rankings as he remained eighth overall. NBAC’s Chase Kalisz, who will definitely put a hurting to the 400-meter IM this week, clocked in third with a time of 1:56.50. That’s his best time ever, now standing 17th in the world.
NCAP’s Andrew Seliskar (1:56.65) and Club Wolverine’s Kyle Whitaker (1:56.67) also beat 1:57, while 2011 champion Bobby Bollier took sixth in 1:57.96. Last year’s winner, Tom Luchsinger, wound up seventh in 1:58.13 with Longhorn’s John Martens earning eighth in 1:58.27.
North Carolina’s Ben Colley, who missed the A final by just .01, demolished the consolation heat with a 1:56.54. That time vaulted him to 18th in the world rankings, ahead of Kosuke Hagino’s 1:56.57 from the Japan Open. He cut his personal best down from 1:57.81. Colley played basketball in high school, and is a late blooming world-class gem in the sport. Indiana’s Steve Schmuhl touched second in the heat with a 1:58.64, his first time under 1:59, while Bulldogs’ Pace Clark took third in 1:58.68. That’s also Clark’s first sub-1:59 time.
Terrapins’ Justin Lynch beat 2:00 in the C final for the win with a 1:59.26, but has been in the 1:57 range in his career. Buenaventura’s Alex Valente, who starred at junior nationals last week, took second in 2:00.61, while NCAP’s Ben Southern rounded out the top three in 2:01.23.