AUSTIN, Texas, March 7. AT the American Short Course Championships tonight in Austin, Texas, Ricky Berens decided to pull off an unorthodox American record in the 200-yard free — DURING his 500-yard free swim.
Berens raced out ahead of the championship final pack, splitting a 21.43, 44.80 (23.37), 1:08.06 (23.26) and 1:31.31 (23.25) for the American record, before dropping back in a 300-yard warmdown with splits ranging from 34.28 to 41.25 before finishing eighth in 5:05.36. That swim bettered fellow Longhorn David Walters' 2009 record of 1:31.72 set as a relay leadoff in College Station, Texas.
Video courtesy Charles Logan:
Berens previously had a lifetime best of 1:31.96 from the Winter Nationals last year. His time tonight vaulted him to second all-time in the event's history. Only Simon Burnett has been faster with a sizzling 1:31.20 at the 2006 NCAA Championships. Berens not only jumped Walters, he cleared Shaune Fraser (1:31.70) and Conor Dwyer (1:31.73) in the rankings.
Missouri's Eegan Groome won the overall 500 free with a 4:19.65, while QDD's Henry Campball (4:19.93) and NCA's Andrew Brady (4:24.71) took second and third.
In other action, The Armada's Taylor Ault topped the women's 500-yard free in 4:49.25 at just 14 years old. Jenna Bauer swam to second in 4:50.73, while NOVA's Michaela Merlihan earned third in 4:53.99. NCA's Kelsey Kafka took the women's 200-yard IM title in 2:03.13, while Bauer claimed her second silver in as many events with a 2:03.93. Brea's Ashley Tse touched third in 2:04.01.
CANY's Nikita Denisyako topped the men's 200-yard IM in 1:46.51. Yaniv Schnaider (1:47.09) and Conor Swanson (1:48.21) completed the top three in the event. Denisyako's 16-year-old teammate Abbey Weitzeil captured the women's 50-yard free in 22.72. NOVA's Rebecca Millard (23.30) and The Dolphins' Brie Balsbrough (23.40) placed second and third in the splash-and-dash. Longhorn's Jimmy Feigen dropped a 19.62 to win the men's 50-yard free, while Charlie Moore (20.00) and Kyle Troskot (20.03) touched second and third.