INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, August 11. THE final day of preliminary qualifying of the U.S. Open at the IU Natatorium in Indianapolis is in the books.
Saint Petersburg's Melanie Margalis topped the preliminary rounds of the women's 200 IM with a 2:13.85. That swim is just two-and-a-half seconds off the meet record of 2:11.46 set by Justine Mueller of SwimMAC in 2009, which is in jeopardy heading into the finale tonight. Rattler's Meghan Hawthorne (2:14.42) and Great Britain's Sophie Smith (2:15.56) finished second and third, while Aggie's Sarah Henry (2:15.45) and T2's Erika Erndl (2:15.76) are also in the mix with fourth and fifth-seeded efforts.
Australia's Kenneth To, who already won the 100 fly earlier in the meet, edged Northern Kentucky Clipper Cory Chitwood, 2:01.21 to 2:01.47, for the top seed in the men's 200 IM. Palo Alto Stanford's Adam Hinshaw (2:01.83) and Indiana's Cody Miller (2:01.96) also cleared 2:02 for the top four seeds heading into tonight. Michael Phelps' 2006 meet record of 1:59.26 is the target this evening.
California's Liv Jensen raced to the top seed in the women's 50 free with a 25.44, while Australia's Olivia Halicek checked in with a second-seeded 25.48. Athens Bulldogs' Megan Romano, who has had a remarkable meet thus far including a double last night, qualified third in 25.55. Australia's Shayna Jack (25.73) and Lara Jackson (25.77) qualified fourth and fifth with Erndl earning a second swim tonight as well with a sixth-seeded 25.90.
Australia went 1-2 in the men's 50 free with Matt Abood (22.35) and Andrew Abood (22.65) earning the top two seeds. The brothers will be shooting for Nick Brunelli's meet record of 21.73 from 2009 during tonight's competition in the splash-and-dash. Minnesota's Derek Toomey (22.74), Ohio State's Jason Schnur (22.78) and SwimMAC's Brunelli (22.80) also qualified among the top five.
Check out more of Peter Bick's photos from the US Open Championships Photo Gallery, like the one below: