INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, July 7. WHILE Chloe Sutton of Mission Viejo pushed the early pace, leading through the bulk of the women's 400 free, Club Wolverine's Allison Schmitt overcame the deficit to top the middle distance event.
Schmitt barreled down the final 100 meters to clinch the national title and a spot on the World Championships team with a 4:06.77. She finished third in the event last year at the U.S. Olympic Trials, and obviously used that as fuel to earn top finish. Her time, however, wound up outside the top 10 in the world this year with China's Chen Qian holding the 10th-best effort with a 4:06.69.
"It feels amazing, I am just really happy," Schmitt said.
Sutton, who surprisingly did not make the open water team for Worlds after making the Olympics last year in the 10K, went out fast and held on for second with a time of 4:07.20. That swim crushed her personal best of 4:08.94, and likely put her on the World Championships team in the pool depending on how the rest of team qualifying plays out the rest of the week.
Gator's Carolina Burckle finished third in 4:09.61, while North Baltimore's Katie Hoff finished a surprising sixth in 4:12.34. Hoff holds the American record with a 4:02.20 set last year, but has been battling an illness since altitude training in Colorado Springs earlier this summer.