PHOENIX, Arizona, August 18. JENNY Connolly was the star of the fifth day of competition at the World University Games, setting two meet records in the backstroke events. First, she won the 50 backstroke in 27.92, which would have given her the silver medal at the world championships. She finished just one hundredth of a second ahead of Aliaksandra Herasimenia of Belarus, who swam faster today than she did at world championships, where she finished in a tie for sixth in the 50 back.
Connolly wrapped up her day leading off the medley relay for the United States in 1:00.21, a new personal best and the fastest time swum at the meet. The time is 18th-fastest in the world and fifth fastest among Americans. Connolly’s leadoff wasn’t enough to give the USA the win in the medley relay. China took a slight lead after butterfly and won the gold medal in 3:59.15. The United States was one second behind in 4:00.15 and Japan took third in 4:00.98.
Matt McLean just missed a top 16 world ranking in the 200 free by one place with a gold medal winning time of 1:47.44. Sixteenth place in the world right now is 1:47.37. Clement Lefert of France, a student-athlete at the University of Southern California, was second in 1:47.78. Haley Anderson added to the gold medal tally with a win in the 1500 freestyle. Her time of 16:21.72 is 21st in the world.
Laszlo Cseh won the 400 IM in 4:12.67, which might have offered the Hungarian a little bit of redemption after a poor swim in the event at world championships left him out of the final. A 4:12.6 at worlds would have placed him fourth. Glenn Snyders of New Zealand swam a season best in the 50 breaststroke, a 27.37 that is now seventh in the world.
The World University Games wraps up tomorrow with six finals.
Jacob Pebley was the lone gold medalist for the United States last night at the junior world championships, winning the 100 back in 55.01. The time is a personal best for Pebley and puts the 17-year-old in the top 12 among Americans, a list that includes Michael Phelps, who is not likely to swim the event at Olympic Trials.
Gillian Ryan won the only other medal for the United States on day two with a silver medal in the 800 free. Ryan’s time of 8:33.46 was about six seconds slower than she swam to win her first national title two weeks ago. Bonnie Macdonald of Australia won the 800 in 8:32.30.
Lia Neal set herself up for her first individual international gold medal with a 55.18 in the 100 free semifinals last night. It’s a personal best for Neal and if she breaks 55 seconds in the final she would break into the top 10 among Americans in the event this year.
Moving on now from the young stars of the sport to a longtime legend of the sport. Janet Evans is getting closer to qualifying for the Olympic Trials at age 40. Last weekend at a Masters meet in Mission Viejo, California, she swam a 4:22.87 in the 400 free, which is three and a half seconds slower than the Trials cut, but a second faster than she swam at her first competition since her comeback. Evans also swam a 9:02 in the 800 free, which is a full 12 seconds off the Trials standard. Evans still has plenty of opportunities to qualify for Trials. Her times don’t qualify her for this winter’s nationals, but swimming fans might see her step up at a meet in southern California and swim the times she needs.
The University of Southern California’s men’s water polo is the team to beat this upcoming season, according to a poll of college coaches. The Trojans are ranked ahead of Cal, which finished second at the NCAAs last year. The Trojans will be looking for their fourth-straight national championship title this season.
Today at noon Pacific time, Jamie Patrick will stand at the northernmost point of the Sacramento River and attempt to swim 111 miles to Sacramento, an attempt that is expected to take about 35 hours to complete. If he makes it, Patrick will exceed the record for the longest non-wetsuit swim by about six miles. Patrick had planned to swim from Africa to Italy this year, a swim that would have been about 108 miles, but changed his plans to the Sacramento River earlier this year. You can track his progress by going to jamiepatrick.com.
Editor’s Note: The start date of Jamie Patrick’s swim in the Sacramento River was incorrectly stated in today’s Streamlined News. Patrick begins his swim at noon Friday.
Watch the video of today’s Streamlined News.