Tom Shields Matches Meet Record During Day Two Prelims in Austin

AUSTIN, Texas, November 30. CALIFORNIA's Tom Shields provided the highlight of the morning with a sizzling meet-record tying in the men's 100 fly at the U.S. Short Course Nationals during day two in Austin. Meanwhile, U.S. National Age Group records fell, and a U.S. Masters Swimming national mark also took a tumble.

Women's 200 medley relay
A pair of NCAA A cuts went up on the board to start the morning. USC's Joan Christel Simms (25.12), Kasey Carlson (26.57), Kendyl Stewart (23.36) and Katazryna Wilk (22.35) topped qualifying in 1:37.40, while Arizona's Lauren Smart (24.72), Chelsey Salli (27.11), Megan Lafferty (23.52) and Briana Wilford (22.51) posted a second-seeded 1:37.86, both under the NCAA A cut of 1:38.42.

Texas' Sarah Denninghoff (25.18), Laura Sogar (27.29), Kelsey Amundsen (23.98) and Ellen Lobb (22.02) qualified third in 1:38.47, just missing the A standard. The Longhorns will likely rectify that during finals. Arizona B (1:39.80), Texas B (1:40.80), USC B (1:40.81), Indiana (1:41.25) and West Virginia (1:42.96) rounded out the championship heat.

Men's 200 medley relay
Arizona's Mitchell Friedemann (21.10), Kevin Cordes (23.84), Giles Smith (20.42) and Jeffrey Amlee (19.80) just missed the meet record with a time of 1:25.16, but managed to blast the NCAA A cut of 1:26.38 to clinch the event at NCAAs for the Wildcats. SwimMAC's championship mark of 1:25.12 from 2010 is still on the board.

USC's Luca Spinazzola (21.65), Sergio Lujan-Rivera (24.18), Chase Bloch (21.28) and John Wagner (19.52) placed second in 1:26.63, just off the NCAA A cut. Arizona's B team of Michael Sheppard (22.10), Carl Mickelson (23.81), Ellis Miller (21.40) and Nicholas Popov (19.76) touched third in 1:27.07. USC B (1:28.88), Indiana (1:29.11), Texas (1:31.02), NYAC (1:31.13) and NCAP (1:31.98) also made the finale.

Women's 400 IM
Celina Li, the 200 IM champion last night, could pull off an IM sweep after throwing down a 4:11.33 in prelims for the top seed. She has plenty in her tank, as her lifetime best is a 4:06.94 from 2011 Sectionals. She topped Olympic star Missy Franklin and Stina Gardell in the 200 IM last night with a 1:55.28.

USC's Gardell placed second in 4:11.67 for the only other sub 4:12 of the morning, as she lead a boatload of Trojans into the championship heat. USC's Jessica Schmitt (4:12.05), Andrea Kropp (4:12.32) and Olympic silver medalist Haley Anderson (4:12.83) also made the A final with 4:12s.

Texas' Kaitlin Pawlowicz (4:12.63), UCLA's Anna Senko (4:12.86) and Indiana's Dorina Szekeres (4:13.33) also made the big final. While the collegiate swimmers will be gunning for the national title, they will also be looking to clear the NCAA A cut of 4:05.98.

Men's 400 IM
NBAC's Chase Kalisz took the top seed into the finale with a 3:45.51, bettering his lifetime best of 3:45.78 set at the 2011 NBAC Christmas Meet a year ago. Dynamo's Gunnar Bentz joined him under 3:46 with a 3:45.80 for the second seed. That swim smashed his previous top time of 3:48.87 clocked at the 2011 Short Course Junior Nationals last December. Bentz had a strong day yesterday besting the 15-16 U.S. National Age Group record in the 200 IM with a 1:45.17 in prelims. He has a long way to go to take down Michael Phelps' age division standard in this event, which stands at a 3:42.08 from 2002.

Tucson Ford's Austen Thompson (3:46.69), NCAP's Andrew Seliskar (3:47.03), Trojan's Alexander Tikhonov (3:47.18), Matt Thompson (3:47.84), Tucson Ford's Samuel Rowan (3:49.12) and Max Williamson (3:49.62) earned the rest of the transfer spots into the finale.

Women's 100 fly
Two-time Olympic silver medalist form the 2008 Beijing Games, Christine Magnuson is still training even after missing out on 2012. This morning, she checked in with a swift 52.13 after allegedly not even training fly recently as she's focused on her freestyle. She definitely has the potential for much more in finals, as she is the fifth-ranked swimmer all time with a 50.70 from the 2008 NCAA Division I Championships.

USC's Jasmine Tosky is the top collegian in the field with a 52.19, just missing the NCAA A cut of 52.11. She also has potential for a faster time, having a 51.92 to her credit from May 2011. Olympian Kathleen Hersey of Longhorn qualified third in 52.30, while USC's Kendyl Stewart clocked a 52.44 for fourth. NCAP's Janet Hu is just off the 15-16 U.S. National Age Group of Stewart, when she set a 52.43 in 2010. Hu qualified this morning in 52.61.

Arizona's Lauren Smart (53.03) and Megan Lafferty (53.24) placed sixth and seventh, while Texas' Kelsey Amundsen completed the top eight with a 53.36.

Men's 100 fly
Tom Shields, fresh off swimming the bulk of the FINA World Cup tour but turning down all race winnings to remain NCAA eligible, blitzed the 100 fly this morning with a meet-record tying 45.07. That performance matched the time Matt Grevers clocked back in 2010, and finished up a bit shy of Shields' fifth-ranked lifetime best of 44.76 from last year's NCAA Championships. The time easily cleared the NCAA A cut of 45.94, and put him in distance of dropping Austin Staab's American record of 44.18 from 2009.

Olympian Davis Tarwater, who is back training with Tennessee Aquatics, is having a strong meet. After taking second in the 50 free last night, he cleared 46 seconds for the first time in this event with a 45.94. That swim eclipsed his previous personal best of 46.16 from the 2006 NCAA Division I Championships and nearly moved him into the top 30 all time in the event's history.

MSU's Jacob Jarzen (46.65), Stanford's Eugene Godsoe (46.65), Arizona's Giles Smith (47.28), Texas' Tripp Cooper (47.43) and USC's Chase Bloch (47.46) qualified third through seventh, while NYAC's Tyler McGill and UCSB's Wade Allen set up a swimoff with matching 47.52s. McGill went on to scratch the swimoff.

Women's 200 free
Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky crushed her lifetime best with a top-seeded 1:44.58 in prelims. That swim cut more than two seconds off her 1:46.75 from her high school championships in February 2012, and moved her closer to taking down the 15-16 U.S. National Age Group record of 1:42.81 owned by Dagny Knutson.

T2's Erika Erndl, meanwhile, smashed the U.S. Master Swimming 30-34 age division national record with a second-seeded 1:44.92. Dawn Heckman owned the previous record with a 1:50.13 from April of this year. Erndl now owns the 50, 100 and 200 free short course yard records in the division.

Quinn Carrozza had an early time of 1:44.94 from heat two, which stood up to the rest of the heats to earn her the third seed, and cut time from her previous best of 1:46.21 from March 2011. Meanwhile, Olympic superstar Missy Franklin cruised into finals with a fourth-ranked 1:45.73. She definitely has more in the tank, as she is ranked in the top five all time with a 1:42.28 from the Minneapolis Grand Prix earlier this month.

Longhorn's Karlee Bispo (1:45.77), FCST's Simone Manuel (1:45.99), Dynamo's Kylie Stewart (1:46.04) and AGUA Olympian Lia Neal (1:46.11) also earned spots into the championship finale.

Men's 200 free
Olympian Ricky Berens, who briefly announced his retirement after the 2012 London Games but changed his mind quickly, led the way this morning with a 1:33.21. He's not that far off his lifetime best of 1:32.01 from the 2009 Big 12 Championships as a relay leadoff that has him in the top five all time in the event's history.

Olympic stud Ryan Lochte, fresh off a near American record swim last night, took second with a 1:34.59. His top time ever in yards is a 1:32.40 from back in 2008 at short course nationals. Texas' Clay Youngquist took third in 1:34.62, and has a second to clear tonight to make the NCAA A cut of 1:33.63 to automatically qualify for NCAAs in March. Louisville's Joao De Lucca qualified fourth tonight in 1:34.81.

Trojan's Nikita Lobintsev (1:35.15), USC's Chad Brobrosky (1:35.67), Texas' Dax Hill (1:35.75) and Bolles' Ryan Murphy (1:35.76) rounded out the top eight.

Women's 100 breast
Texas' Laura Sogar (59.18), USC's Kasey Carlson (59.29) and Arizona's Ellyn Baumgardner (59.31) all made short work of the NCAA A cut time of 59.51 with strong swims in prelims. Meanwhile, 50 free champ Jessica Hardy cleared 1:00 as well with a fourth-ranked 59.62. Sogar (58.83), Carlson (58.46) and Hardy (58.41) have all been faster in their careers, while Baumgardner eclipsed her previous best of 59.58 from the 2010 Texas Invitational.

Hardy is operating with some external stress as she tweeted out today that her cab driver is holding her cell phone hostage.

Arizona's Chelsey Salli (1:00.01), Columbia's Catherine Meili (1:00.15), Minnesota's Jillian Tyler (1:00.23) and USC's Andrea Kropp (1:00.66) earned spots in the finale as well.

Men's 100 breast
Arizona-based swimmers took home the top two seeds as Kevin Cordes qualified for the NCAA Championships collegiately with a blistering 51.86, while Clark Burckle posted a near lifetime best with a 51.98 for Tucson Ford. Cordes nearly bettered his 51.76 from the 2011 Texas Invite, while Burckle has a 51.89 to his credit form the 2010 Short Course Nationals.

Trojan's Mike Alexandrov qualified third in 52.11, while Arizona's Carl Mickelson also qualified for NCAAs with a fourth-place 52.19 to clear the NCAA A cut of 52.60. Mickelson bettered his lifetime best of 52.62 from the 2011 Texas Invitational. Tennessee's Brad Craig just missed his NCAA cut with a fifth-place 52.67.

Arizona's Kevin Steel (53.24), Imri Ganiel (53.38) and UCSB's Tim Freeman (53.60) also will vie for the national title with top eight qualifying times.

Meanwhile, NCAP's Andrew Seliskar qualified 14th with a 54.11. That swim eclipsed the 15-16 U.S. National Age Group record of 54.38 clocked by current Indiana Hoosier Cody Miller in 2008.

Women's 100 back
Missy Franklin of the Colorado Stars blitzed the field in prelims with a stunning 52.28, half-a-second better than Arizona's Lauren Smart (52.70) and Longhorn's Kathleen Hersey (52.78). Franklin could have a special swim tonight, as she's ranked in the top five all time with a 50.97. Smart neared her lifetime best of 52.30, while Hersey's best is a 51.78 from 2009 Big 12s.

GTAC's Olivia Smoliga, who set the national high school record with a 51.43 two weeks ago in Illinois, qualified fourth in 52.90 to comprise the rest of the sub 53 second times. USC's Kendyl Stewart (53.00) and Dynamo's Kylie Stewart (53.30) qualified fifth and sixth, while NCAP's Janet Hu (53.43) and Texas' Sarah Denninghoff (53.55) also made the finale.

Men's 100 back
Tucson Ford's Matt Grevers, after winning the 50 free last night with a lifetime best, took the top seed this evening with a 45.87. He definitely can go faster, as evidenced by his third-ranked top time of 44.82 that is the meet record. Arizona's Mitchell Friedemann just missed the NCAA A cut of 46.02 with a second-seeded 46.04. Friedemann's top time is a 45.86 from the 2011 Texas Invitational.

Stanford's Eugene Godsoe took third in 46.11, while Bolles' Ryan Murphy (46.18) and fan favorite Ryan Lochte (46.26) qualified fourth and fifth. All three have been faster in their careers with Lochte owning the fastest time with a 44.60 from the 2006 NCAA Championships.

Tom Shields grabbed sixth in 46.59 after matching the meet record in the 100 fly, while Gator's Arkady Vyatchanin took seventh in 46.68. USC's Nick Karpov rounded out the championship field with a 46.98.

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