U.S. Open Championships: Kevin Cordes Lowers Breaststroke National Age Group Record, Stephanie Peacock Struts

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, August 8. THIS morning's preliminary results foreshadow incredible races tonight. The fifth session re-wrote the record books with a new National Age Group mark in the men's 200 breaststroke.

400 Freestyle:
Stephanie Peacock of Swim Florida dominated the 400 freestyle in this morning's preliminary session, earning the middle lane in tonight's finals. Peacock was the 800 freestyle champion in last night's finals, capturing the event's 24-year-old meet record from Janet Evans. Peacock is seeded at a 4:10.57 tonight, over a second ahead of second-place qualifier and 200 freestyle Olympic Trials finalist Chelsea Chenault of the Terrapins (4:11.64). Ashley Steenvoorden of Minnesota Aquatics held the top preliminary seed time, at a 4:07.63, and qualified fifth for tonight's finals at a 4:12.91. Sarah Henry of Aggie Swim Club qualified third for finals at a 4:12.02, and 14-year-old Rebecca Mann of Clearwater Aquatics takes lane six with a 4:12.59.

Michael Kleuh of FAST is the top finals qualifier in the men's 400 freestyle finals. At a 3:49.74, he is seeded over three seconds ahead of last night's 1500 freestyle winner Michael McBroom (4:53.00) of the Woodlands. Qualifying third is Adam Hinshaw of Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics, at a 3:54.32. Australia's Robert Hurley, 200 freestyle finalist at the Australian Olympic Trials, was seeded second (3:48.60) going into prelims, but failed to crack the top-eight when he swam a 3:56.31 this morning.

200 Breaststroke:
Laura Sogar, 200 breaststroke top finals qualifier (2:25.81), of the Bluefish Swim Club finished fourth in the 200 breaststroke at Olympic Trials. Second-place finalist Andrea Kropp (2:27.29) of the Rattler Swim Club was even closer to London at Trials, finishing third in the 200 breaststroke behind Rebecca Soni and Micah Lawrence. Lane three in finals goes to Haley Spencer of Minnesota, who clocked a 2:29.59 in prelims. 16-year-old Molly Renshaw of Great Britain takes lane 8 in tonight's finals (2:32.29), notable for her Olympic selection appeal after earning the FINA “A” cut and placing second in the 200 breaststroke at the British Trials in March with a 2:26.81.

Kevin Cordes of the University of Arizona took the 17-18 200 breaststroke National Age Group Record under the 2:12 mark, clocking a 2:11.88 in prelims. Earlier this year, Joshua Prenot set the previous 17-18 record at a 2:12.21. Cordes qualified first for tonight's finals, with Bernard Johnson of Palo Alto qualifying second at a 2:12.28. Matthew Elliott of Una GSC is seeded third with a 2:12.97. Other finals notables to look for include 100 breaststroke SCM American Record holder Mihail Alexandrov, in lane 7 and British 100 and 200 breaststroke Trials finalist Richard Webb in lane 8.

200 Backstroke:
Britain's Karley Mann, third-place 200 backstroke finalist at the British Olympic Trials, qualified first for tonight's 200 backstroke finals with a 2:11.69. Genevieve Cantin of Canada goes in second at a 2:11.71. Lane three goes to Ellen Williamson of the University of Virginia (2:12.04). Last night's 100 freestyle winner and new US Open meet record holder Megan Romano of the Athens Bulldogs earned a finals swim in the 200 backstroke after clocking a 2:12.73 this morning. She will race out of lane one.

The men's 200 backstroke concluded the morning session. Cory Chitwood of Northern Kentucky took the top spot after taking over a second and a half off his seed time (1:59.04) with a 1:57.41. Jacob Pebley of Corvallis Aquatics qualified second at a 1:59.06. John Conger of Rockville Montgomery earned lane three in finals with a 1:59.28 morning swim. Andrew Teduits from Wisconsin had an impressive morning swim, dropping over four seconds from his seed time (2:04.03) to qualify fourth for finals at a 1:59.69.

Check out more of Peter Bick's photos from the US Open Championships Photo Gallery, like the one below:

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