Photo by Griffin Scott
Editorial coverage for U.S. Senior Nationals proudly sponsored by Master Spas!
IRVINE, California, August 6.
In a heat that featured seven Olympians and nearly 50 Olympic medals, California’s Nathan Adrian reminded the world that he’s the fastest American sprinter by far with his sixth long course national title in the past seven swims. He still didn’t match his third-ranked season best of 48.08 from the Barcelona stop of the Mare Nostrum, but it was enough to lock down a spot at the Pan Pacific Championships and hold off any potential upsets.
SwimMAC’s Ryan Lochte showed that his keen is definitely 100 percent by clinching that second spot in the event with a 48.96, while NYAC’s Jimmy Feigen snared third with a 48.98. NBAC’s Conor Dwyer raced his way into fourth with a 49.06 as the top four swimmers secured spots on the Pan Pacs 400 freestyle relay squad.
California’s Anthony Ervin, the second fastest American in the world so far with a 48.71 from prelims, wound up falling to fifth in 49.08, while Tucson Ford’s Matt Grevers posted a sixth-place 49.12.
In one of the biggest surprises so far this meet, the Greatest of All Time suffered his first major hiccup on his comeback trail as Michael Phelps finished just seventh with a 49.17 after turning eighth and not showing that trademark back-end speed. It was certainly a bit of a brain-rattler to see Phelps on the podium in the seventh spot. California’s Seth Stubblefield, the only non-Olympian in the event, finished eighth in 49.34.
Machine’s Jack Conger lowered his personal best in the B final with a winning effort of 49.28. That beat the 49.40 that had been his best. NYAC Olympian Darian Townsend, the newly-minted American who gave up his South African roots to pledge allegiance to the U.S. just last month, took second in 49.53. American Olympian Cullen Jones snared third in 49.53.
Indiana University’s Blake Pieroni managed to tie 4-time junior national champion Townley Haas of NOVA of Virginia in the C final with 49.69s. SwimMAC’s Paul Powers, who led through most of the swim, took third in 49.74.