USA Swimming Senior Nationals: World Leader for Michael Phelps; U.S. Open Mark for Brendan McHugh

Photo by Griffin Scott

Editorial coverage for U.S. Senior Nationals proudly sponsored by Master Spas!

IRVINE, California, August 8. A motivated Michael Phelps is something every world-class competitor has had to face, and the Phelps looks to have found that part of his nature again after missing the Pan Pacific squad in the 100 free.  This morning in prelims at the USA Swimming Senior Nationals, Phelps jumped to the top of the world in the 100 fly.

Meanwhile, Brendan McHugh set a U.S. Open mark in the 50-meter breaststroke.

Scheduled Events

  • Women’s 400 IM
  • Men’s 400 IM
  • Women’s 100 fly
  • Men’s 100 fly
  • Women’s 50 breast
  • Men’s 50 breast
  • Women’s 50 back
  • Men’s 50 back
  • Women’s 800 free relay




Women’s 400 IM

Photo Courtesy: Griffin Scott

Photo Courtesy: Griffin Scott

BlueFish’s Elizabeth Beisel, looking to shake off the disappointment from her stunning backstroke start slip last night, dominated preliminary qualifying in the distance medley.  Beisel dropped a solid time of 4:36.46 for the top time this year, but she definitely has much more in the tank heading into the finale tonight.  She already ranks fifth this year with a 4:33.52 from the Santa Clara stop of the Arena Grand Prix.  Look for her to make a statement tonight to lock down a spot on the Pan Pacific Championship squad.

Stanford’s Maya DiRado, the defending champion in the event, took second in 4:39.79 to move to 19th in the world.  Last summer, she threw down an epic 4:32.70 for her personal best, and is likely the only swimmer that will challenge Beisel for the win tonight.

Saint Petersburg’s Melanie Margalis grabbed third in 4:41.10, while Aggies’ Sarah Henry took fourth in 4:41.62.  SwimMAC’s Cammile Adams, already the 200 fly winner, placed fifth in 4:41.72.

NBAC’s Becca Mann, the second fastest U.S. swimmer in the world this year with a 4:39.78 from Santa Clara, qualified sixth in 4:41.74.  California’s Caitlin Leverenz (4:42.70) and SwimMAC’s Kate Mills (4:44.30) also made the A final.

Men’s 400 IM

Photo Courtesy: Griffin Scott

Photo Courtesy: Griffin Scott

It will be a two-man race tonight as a pair of long course national champions do battle in the center of the pool this evening in the 400 IM.  SwimMAC’s Tyler Clary rocketed to eighth in the world with a 4:12.51 to lead qualifying as he looks to reclaim his winter long course title from 2011.

NBAC’s Chase Kalisz, however, will be vying for a title defense after cruising in with a 4:13.33 to qualify second.  Kalisz already is sixth in the world with a scorching 4:11.71 from the Santa Clara stop of the Arena Grand Prix. He could be looking to be just the second man under 4:10 this year behind Kosuke Hagino’s remarkable 4:07.88 from Japanese Nationals.

Wisconsin’s Michael Weiss took third in 4:16.17 with California’s Josh Prenot snaring fourth in 4:16.52. Dynamo’s Jay Litherland touched fifth in 4:17.16.

Stanford’s Max Williamson tied NCAP’s Andrew Seliskar with matching 4:17.76s, while PASA’s Curtis Ogren picked up the final transfer spot with a 4:17.78.

Women’s 100 fly

Photo Courtesy: Azaria Basile

Photo Courtesy: Azaria Basile

For the first time in four long course championships, someone other than Dana Vollmer will win the 100-meter fly title, as the world-record holder is on a hiatus from the sport.

Western Kentucky’s Claire Donahue, who suffered a bit of an upset to Kendyl Stewart in the 50 fly last night, turned up the heat in the 100 this morning with a sizzling 58.25.  That performance tied her with Noemie Thomas for 15th in the world, and has her as a strong favorite heading into the final.

Stanford’s Felicia Lee, who is seeing how swimming goes for her this summer before deciding on her future, had a special swim this morning with a 58.44.  That tied her with Jiao Liuyang for 20th in the world.  Lee could find herself on the Pan Pacific Championship squad tonight.

Stewart, the 50 fly winner who already booked her ticket to Kazan for 2015 Worlds with that sprint fly win, took third in the 100 with a 58.86.

Indiana’s Gia Dalesandro (58.99), Mission Viejo’s Katie McLaughlin (59.05), Louisville’s Kelsi Worrell (59.18), Kentucky’s Tina Bechtel (59.37) and Bulldogs’ Shannon Vreeland (59.82) rounded out the top eight headed into the championship heat.

Men’s 100 fly

Photo Courtesy: Griffin Scott

Photo Courtesy: Griffin Scott

After what can only be called a disappointing swim in the men’s 100-meter free on night one, NBAC’s Michael Phelps was not playing around this morning as he blasted a 51.17 in prelims.  That’s the fastest time in the world this year, besting Chad le Clos’ 51.29 from the Commonwealth Games, as the American men put on a clinic in the 100 fly with an unreal amount of speed this morning.  Phelps still needs to secure a spot on the Pan Pacific Championships roster, and will need to replicate this type of swim tonight.

Phelps’ time this morning was faster than the 51.21 he used to win the 2012 gold medal in London.  He did go faster in earlier heats with a 50.86 at the Olympics.

Phelps’ coach Bob Bowman said after the race that his swim this morning was “by far” his best performance since coming back from retirement in April.

SwimMAC’s Tim Phillips chased down second in 51.49 to move to third in the world, while 200-meter fly winner Tom Shields clocked a 51.55 to stand fourth in the world and third in prelims.

The speed continued further down the qualifying list as Nitro’s Matt Ellis uncorked a 51.77 to place fourth, and move to seventh in the world rankings.  SwimMAC’s Ryan Lochte rounded out the sub-52s with a fifth-place 51.91 to take 13th in the world.

Phoenix Swim Club’s Giles Smith (52.02), SwimMAC’s Matt Josa (52.24) and Santo Condorelli (52.50) will also swim for the national title tonight.

Women’s 50 breast

Photo Courtesy: Mike Comer/

Photo Courtesy: Mike Comer/

Trojan’s Jessica Hardy, who has a shoulder injury that is hampering her freestyle stroke, did not seem troubled in the sprint breaststroke with a meet-record time of 30.21 in the 50 this morning.  That performance clipped her record of 30.24 from last summer, and thrust her to third in the world this year.  Only Ruta Meilutyte (29.90) and Alia Atkinson (30.17) have been faster.  Tonight, Hardy will be vying to become the top US-based swimmer as Atkinson trains out of SoFlo in Florida.

Aggie’ Breeja Larson blitzed her way to a 30.58 for the second seed, and sixth in the world rankings, while SwimMAC’s Katie Meili picked up third in 31.01.  That made her 13th in the world this year.  SwimMAC’s Micah Lawrence, already the winner in the 200, demonstrated some of that backend speed as she turned that into a strong sprint with a 31.03 for fourth.  She is now 14th in the world with that swim.

Alabama’s Kaylin Burchell moved into the top 15 in the world with a fifth-place 31.05, while Walnut Creek’s Kasey Carlson touched sixth in 31.10 to break into the top 20.

Tennessee’s Molly Hannis (31.41) and Bethany Galat (31.45) also made their way into the A final tonight.

Men’s 50 breast

Photo Courtesy: Mike Comer/

Photo Courtesy: Mike Comer/

Greater Philadelphia’s Brendan McHugh, who has a great back story, blasted the U.S. Open and meet record in the sprint breast with a sterling 27.10 this morning.  That performance downed the 27.26 set by Kevin Steel last year at this meet, and pushed McHugh up to sixth in the world rankings.  He could challenge the American record of 26.86 held by Mark Gangloff tonight.

Tucson Ford’s Kevin Cordes, who already won the 200 breast last night with an easy-speed effort, took second in prelims with a 27.39.  That jumped him to 14th in the world rankings.  Tucson Ford’s Marcus Titus, one of the top deaf swimmers in the world, raced his way to 27.86 to stand just outside the top 20 in the world.

NYAC’s Mike Alexandrov (27.88), Cardinals’ Kameron Chastain (27.92), Minnesota’s Jared Anderson (27.94), Bulldogs’ Nic Fink (27.98) and Tennessee’s Brad Craig (28.05) will look to compete with the top swimmers tonight in the A final.

Women’s 50 back

Rachel Bootsma places third in the prelims of the 100 backstroke.

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Two of the top 20 times in the world went up on the board in the women’s sprint backstroke as American record holder Rachel Bootsma and Bulldogs’ Olivia Smoliga will look to put on a show tonight after clocking a 28.46 and 28.50, respectively. Bootsma, who trains with the backstroke-laden Golden Bears in California, holds the national record with a 27.68 from this meet last summer.

Club Wolverine’s Ali Deloof (28.53) and Fresno’s Cheyenne Coffman (28.55) also clocked in with 28.5s for third and fourth, while California’s Elizabeth Pelton took fifth in 28.89.

A trio of swimmers tied for sixth as Cavalier’s Courtney Bartholomew, Missouri’s Hannah Stevens and Maddy Schaefer each clocked in with 29.17s to comprise the rest of the A final.

Men’s 50 back

Photo Courtesy: Mike Comer/

Photo Courtesy: Mike Comer/

NYAC’s David Plummer put up a scorching time in prelims with a 24.74 to lead the field.  That catapulted him to seventh in the world rankings, as Plummer will be looking for his U.S. Open mark of 24.52 tonight and potentially even more.

Tucson Ford’s Matt Grevers, already on the 2015 Worlds roster with a 50 fly win, could double up his sprint load in Kazan after a second-seeded time of 24.90.  That moved him to 13th in the world.  Shane Ryan also broke 25 with a third-seeded time of 24.99 to earn 15th in the world.

SwimMAC’s Nick Thoman (25.11), Stanford’s Eugene Godsoe (25.27), California’s Ryan Murphy (25.43), Schroeder Y’s Adam Mania (25.55) and California’s Jacob Pebley (25.57) grabbed the other transfer spots into the championship heat.

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Author: Jason Marsteller

Jason Marsteller is the general manager of digital properties at Swimming World. He joined Swimming World in June 2006 as the managing editor after previous stints as a media relations professional at Indiana University, the University of Tennessee, Southern Utah University and the Utah Summer Games.

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