Photo by Griffin Scott
Editorial coverage for U.S. Senior Nationals proudly sponsored by Master Spas!
IRVINE, California, August 7. Some shocking outcomes occurred during the second evening of the USA Swimming Senior Nationals, including a big time backstroke start slip by Elizabeth Beisel. Meanwhile, most of the rest of the winners played it safe as they focused on making the Pan Pacific Championships.
- Women’s 200 free
- Men’s 200 free
- Women’s 200 breast
- Men’s 200 breast
- Women’s 200 back
- Men’s 200 back
- Women’s 50 fly
- Men’s 50 fly
- Men’s 800 free relay
Women’s 200 free
NCAP’s Katie Ledecky is incredibly scary across every distance in the freestyle stroke. Ledecky, who already is the best distance freestyler in the world having put the 800 and 1500 free world rankings into another stratosphere, beat the defending champion Missy Franklin in the 200-meter freestyle tonight, even leading by the 100-meter mark before pulling away down the stretch. Ledecky crushed the field by more than a second in 1:55.16 to move to second in the world rankings. Only Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom has been faster with a 1:55.04 from the Eindhoven Swim Cup. It also stands as a World Junior Record, although Franklin still holds the fastest age group swim ever with a 17-18 age group record of 1:54.81. FINA just had not recognized World Junior Records at the time.
Franklin, meanwhile, made sure she hit the wall second with a time of 1:56.40. That’s her best time this year, moving her to 10th in the world rankings as Team USA now has two of the top 10 200 freestylers in the world. Cavalier’s Leah Smith took third in 1:57.57, her first time under 1:58, while Bulldogs’ Shannon Vreeland checked in with a fourth-place 1:57.73 to earn the fourth spot on the 800 freestyle relay headed to the Pan Pacific Championships.
Terrapins’ Chelsea Chenault (1:58.60), NBAC’s Cierra Runge (1:58.70), First Colony’s Simone Manuel (1:58.79) and Aggie’s Sarah Henry (1:59.05) also competed in the championship heat .
NBAC’s Allison Schmitt, who was disappointed not to make the A final, topped the B final tonight with a 1:58.36. She has been much faster this year with a 10th-ranked season best of 1:56.39 from the Charlotte stop of the Arena Grand Prix, and just could not put it together in the 200 this week. She’ll be refocusing on the 400 free later this week. Longhorn’s Madisyn Cox took second in 1:59.22 to down her personal best of 1:59.93, while Bulldogs’ Amber McDermott placed third in 1:59.59 – her first time under 2:00.
North Mecklenburg’s Emily Allen cleared 2:00 for the first time with a 1:59.35 to win the C final out of lane 8. That’s a huge drop from her previous best of 2:02.71 from this morning. Ozaukee’s Katie Drabot hit the wall second in 2:00.13 with York Y’s Courtney Harnish picking up third in 2:00.46.
Men’s 200 free
NBAC’s Matt McLean held close to teammate Conor Dwyer through the first 100 meters before McLean turned on the jets down the stretch to race his way to a national title with a time of 1:46.93 in the finale. That’s just off his 14th-ranked season best of 1:46.90 set during prelims, but he’ll take it as he’s now locked down another national team as the Pan Pacific Championship 200 free representative.
Dwyer grabbed second in the finale with a time of 1:47.35, which is slower than his 19th-ranked 1:47.18 from prelims. Those two, however, should push each other in Australia as Team USA heads to Pan Pacs.
Also headed to Australia as part of the 800 freestyle relay is Reed Malone (1:47.41) and Wisconsin’s Michael Weiss (1:47.87). That’s a huge swim for Malone, who entered today with a personal best in the 1:50 range, but earned his spot on the national squad with a pair of 1:47s. Weiss is a World University Games gold medalist and is now headed to yet another national team berth.
Longhorn’s Clay Youngquist (1:48.08), Club Wolverine’s Michael Klueh (1:48.30), Club Wolverine’s Michael Wynalda (1:48.66) and Stanford’s Drew Cosgarea (1:48.73) also swam in the A final.
NBAC’s Frank Dyer clipped Club Wolverine’s Connor Jaeger for the B final win, 1:48.38 to 1:48.41. That’s a best for Dyer, down from his 1:48.64 previous record, while Jaeger had been in the 1:47 range in his career. Metroplex’s John Lewis, who had lead through 150 meters, wound up third in 1:48.72 to edge his lifetime best of 1:48.95.
NOVA of Virginia’s Townley Haas, the king of junior nationals with four titles last week, topped the C final tonight in 1:48.75. That matched his lifetime best set last week. Indiana’s Blake Pieroni took second in the bonus heat with a 1:49.26, while NCAP’s Andrew Seliskar finished third in 1:50.22.
Women’s 200 breast
Trailing Breeja Larson by half-a-second at the 150-meter mark, SwimMAC’s Micah Lawrence hit the afterburners down the final 50 meters to win by more than a second with a sizzling 2:23.05. That performance pushed her from seventh in the world (2:23.71) to sixth ahead of 2:23.33 from Sally Hunter at the Commonwealth Games. Even though she has been much faster with a 2:21 personal best, Lawrence is just happy to lock down her spot on the Pan Pacific Championships.
Larson, who went out fast, would up having to settle for second in 2:14.16. That moved her up to 10th in the world as she will be headed to Australia as well.
Saint Petersburg’s Melanie Margalis (2:25.27), Tennessee’s Molly Hannis (2:29.06), Louisville’s Andee Cottrell (2:29.15), SwimMAC’s Emma Reaney (2:29.27), Alabama’s Kaylin Burchell (2:29.29) and Auburn’s Annie Lazor (2:30.30) claimed the rest of the finishes in the A final.
NBAC’s Annie Zhu held off Canyons’ Andrea Kropp, 2:27.83 to 2:27.97, for the B final win. Meanwhile, Minnesota’s Haley Spencer started closing the distance, but ran out of room with a third-place 2:28.12.
Swim Fort Lauderdale’s Emily Kopas dominated the C final with a winning time of 2:29.63, just off her 2:29.53 personal best from junior nationals. Y-Sparta’s Savanna Faulconer touched second in 2:31.61 with York Y’s Meghan Small picking up third in 2:31.70.
Men’s 200 breast
Although the swimming community had dreams of a world-record attempt tonight after Tucson Ford’s Kevin Cordes blasted a 2:07.86 for third in the world this morning to set the U.S. Open mark, Cordes played it safe tonight to make sure that he earned a spot on the Pan Pacific Championship roster. He cruised home in a time of 2:09.48, having to hold off a big surge by Bulldogs’ Nic Fink. Fink managed to take second in 2:09.62 to move to ninth in the world, and could help Cordes do some special things in Australia later this month.
California’s Josh Prenot overtook PASA’s BJ Johnson down the final 50, 2:10.43 to 2:10.77. Johnson had started a charge at Cordes at the 100-meter mark, but faded down the stretch.
Ohio State’s DJ MacDonald (2:11.27), Badger’s Cody Miller (2:11.41), Nitro’s Will Licon (2:11.68) and Peoria Area’s Matt Elliott (2:12.05) also competed for the national title.
Donner’s Cody Taylor packed a wallop in the final 50 meters to win the B final in 2:12.73, while Tennessee’s Brad Craig finished second in 2:12.78. Both were big personal bests for the swimmers as neither had broken 2:13 before. Yucaipa’s Trevor Hoyt earned third-place honors with a time of 2:13.19.
Powel Crosley’s Jonathan Rutter managed to pick up a C final win in 2:14.45, even with Dynamo’s Gunnar Bentz roaring home down the stretch. Bentz ran out of real estate to overhaul Rutter, and settled for second in 2:14.93. Empire’s Shane McNamara wound up third in 2:15.70.
Women’s 200 back
California’s Missy Franklin captured her second national title of the meet after winning the 100 free earlier in the meet as Franklin topped the finale tonight in 2:08.38. That pushed her to fifth in the world rankings, ahead of Hilary Caldwell’s 2:08.55 from the Commonwealth Games. It was an easy title defense as she won her third-straight long course title in the 200-meter backstroke as co-favorite Elizabeth Beisel fell victim to a horribly bad slip on the start.
Beisel, who along with Franklin, represents now the last seven national titles in the event, slipped badly on the start and could not recover as she took sixth overall in 2:12.37. Considering she scratched the 200 free to focus on this event, that’s a heart-breaking situation for Beisel. The calls for mandatory installation of the backstroke ledges will obviously grow louder.
SwimMAC’s Kathleen Baker ran right through that open door with a 2:10.42 to make the Pan Pacific squad in the event from out in lane 1. Tri-City’s Lisa Bratton earned third in 2:11.57.
California’s Melanie Klaren (2:11.58) and Elizabeth Pelton (2:11.99) took fourth and fifth, while Dynamo’s Kylie Stewart (2:12.42) and Cavalier’s Courtney Bartholomew (2:13.49) made up the rest of the finale.
Bulldogs’ Hali Flickinger broke 2:12 for the first time as she surged home for a 2:11.55 to win the B final. Longhorn’s Sarah Denninghoff moved in for second with a time of 2:12.99, while Aquakids’ Clara Smiddy took third in 2:13.07 after leading through 150 meters.
Y-Sparta’s Danielle Galyer won the C final from lane 8 with a time of 2:12.25, beating her personal best of 2:12.96 from last week at juniors. York Y went 2-3 in the bonus heat with Courtney Harnish (2:13.53) and Kacey Oberlander (2:13.66) finishing second and third.
Men’s 200 back
SwimMAC’s Tyler Clary won his first title of the meet as he threw down a 1:54.73 to move to third in the world rankings. That swim returns the long course national title to Clary, who previously won the winter title in 2011 before watching Ryan Lochte win in 2012 and 2013. Clary is just the third swimmer in the 1:54s this year, behind Ryosuke Irie (1:53.91) and Kosuke Hagino (1:54.23) from the Japanese Nationals.
California’s Ryan Murphy earned second tonight in 1:55.99, just off his personal best of 1:55.87, but more than enough to skyrocket to seventh in the world rankings as the second-fastest American. Ryan Lochte, who scratched the 200 free to focus on this event had led through 150 meters, but fell apart down the stretch with a 1:56.47 for third. That still moved him to 12th in the world rankings, and after already making the Pan Pacs squad, will have another chance at the swim later this month.
California’s Jacob Pebley (1:56.68), BlueFish’s Connor Green (1:57.60), TOPS’ Carter Griffin (1:58.87), Tennessee’s Sean Lehane (1:59.01) and North Texas’ Jonathan Roberts (1:59.78) comprised the rest of the A final.
Crimson’s Robert Owen emerged from a trio of 1:59s to win the B final in 1:59.78. Machine’s Jack Conger (1:59.90) and Wisconsin’s Drew teDuits (1:59.96) also broke the 2:00 barrier in the consolation heat.
In an exciting battle, PASA’s Curtis Ogren overtook Aquazot’s Corey Okubo, 2:00.86 to 2:00.97, for the C final win. FAST’s Joey Reilman wound up third in 2:01.99.
Women’s 50 fly
North Coast’s Kendyl Stewart punched her ticket to the 2015 World Championships in the sprint fly with a 25.99 for the win. That swim vaulted her to eighth in the world as she overcame a pretty legitimate set of sprint flyers in the finale.
Western Kentucky’s Claire Donahue, one of the top sprint flyers in the country, took second in 26.11 as she just missed her 10th-ranked season best of 26.09 from prelims. Louisville’s Kelsi Worrell raced to third in 26.35.
Wisconsin’s Ivy Martin (26.37), First Colony’s Madeline Locus (26.41), Stanford’s Felicia Lee (26.54), Kentucky’s Tina Bechtel (26.72) and Academy Bullets’ Mimi Schneider (26.98) also swam in the championship heat.
City of Midland’s Natalie Hinds had a close call against Southwest’s Beata Nelson, 26.85 to 26.88, in the B final. Missouri’s Dani Barbiea wound up third in 26.96.
Flint Y’s Courtney Weaver touched out SwimMAC’s Alyssa Marsh and NCAP’s Janet Hu, 27.25 to 27.27 (tied) for the C final win in the sprint fly.
Men’s 50 fly
Tucson Ford’s Matt Grevers, who missed out on Worlds in 2011 due to a poor performance at the 2010 selection meet, made sure he was headed to Kazan in 2015 by winning the 50 fly tonight in 23.50. That jumped him to 15th in the world. He has more in the tank with a 23.29 personal best, so he should do some damage once he competes in the event at Pan Pacs and at Worlds.
SwimMAC’s Tim Phillips took second in 23.58, off his 23.57 from prelims, while Stanford’s Connor Black raced to third in 23.64. SwimMAC’s Matt Josa, who made the finale out of a swimoff, took fourth in 23.67.
Stanford’s Eugene Godsoe (23.76), Phoenix Swim Club’s Giles Smith (23.88), Santo Condorelli (24.01) and NYAC’s Josh Schneider (24.34) finished fifth through eighth tonight.
Nashville’s Paul Davis just missed the top 20 in the world with a 23.77 to win the B final of the sprint fly tonight. NCAP’s Andrew Seliskar finished second in 23.96 with Alamo Area’s John Murray tying Tucson Ford’s Renny Richmond for third with 24.07s.
Michael Andrew, the 15-year-old pro swimmer, picked up a relatively big win in the C final with a 24.44. This is fresh off his first junior national title last week. Bolles’ Caeleb Dressel finished second in 24.49 with Ohio State’s Matt McHugh winding up third in 24.58.
Men’s 800 free relay
NBAC’s Frank Dyer (1:50.02), Tom Luchsinger (1:50.87), Thomas Duvall (1:50.97) and Austin Surhoff (1:52.63) won the event in a close battle as NBAC clocked a 7:24.49. Wisconsin’s Nicholas Caldwell (1:50.65), Brett Pinfold (1:50.85), Cannon Clifton (1:50.12) and Damon Zito (1:53.37) finished just behind with a second-place time of 7:24.99.
Stanford’s Thomas Stephens (1:52.26), Drew Cosgarea (1:52.45), Jeff Garnier (1:51.30) and Sean Duggan (1:52.00) rounded out the top three in 7:28.01.
Club Wolverine (7:32.34), Tennessee (7:36.07), Ohio State (7:37.19), Indiana (7:37.61) and Aquazot (7:45.72) made up the rest of the top eight in the timed final event.
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