ATLANTA, Georgia, December 1. THE initial day of qualifying at the USA Swimming Winter Nationals is in the books. The meet is taking place in long course meters in Atlanta, Ga.
Women's 400 free
France's Camille Muffat easily cruised to the top seed in the finale with a 4:10.03. She ranks third this year in the world rankings with a 4:03.23 from the Paris Open in June. Jewish Community's Leah Smith, 16, posted a second-seeded 4:11.51, while Canada's Barbara Jardin qualified third in 4:11.77.
Nina Rangelova (4:13.81), Chelsea Chenault (4:14.29), Brittany MacLean (4:14.31), Alex Komarnycky (4:14.47), Samantha Cheverton (4:14.52), Elizabeth Beisel (4:14.69) and Rachael Burnett (4:15.13) made up the top 10.
Other notables qualifying for various consolation finals this evening include former Swimming World World Swimmer of the Year Laure Manaudou (15th/4:16.60), and reigning Swimming World Female High School Co-Swimmer of the Year Jasmine Tosky (16th/4:16.96).
Men's 400 free
France's Yannick Agnel and Tucson Ford's Jean Basson posted matching 3:52.27s for the top seed in the middle distance finale. Agnel's top time this year is a 3:43.85 from French Nationals in March that ranks him third in the world. Basson will be looking to crack the top 25. FAST's Michael Klueh (3:52.70) and Sebastian Rouault (3:52.86) placed third and fourth.
Clement Lefert (3:52.96), Ryan Cochrane (3:52.99), Robert Renwick (3:53.97), Charlie Houchin (3:54.59), Matias Koski (3:54.92) and Matt McLean (3:55.10) comprised what will largely be an international-filled finale with only three out of 10 spots slated for Americans.
Women's 200 IM
The finale in the women's 200 IM should feature some serious fireworks as several top-25 ranked swimmers made their way into the championship heat.
T2's Elizabeth Pelton nearly clocked a season best in the medley event with a top seed of 2:12.41. That swim just missed her 17th-ranked 2:12.23 from the Minnesota Grand Prix. FAST's Katie Hoff, who stands 11th in the world with a 2:11.26, qualified second in 2:13.20, while California's Caitlin Leverenz finished third in the morning with a 2:13.65. Leverenz currently stands sixth in the rankings with a 2:10.40.
Longhorn's Kathleen Hersey qualified fourth in 2:13.89, while Elizabeth Beisel will continue her torturous schedule with a fifth-ranked 2:14.95. Beisel ranks seventh in the world with a 2:10.75 from U.S. Nationals during the summer.
Canada's Julia Wilkinson (2:14.99), Julia Smit (2:15.29), Palo Alto's Jasmine Tosky (2:15.69), Pleasanton's Celina Li (2:15.87) and Bulldog's Morgan Scroggy (2:16.45) picked up the rest of the top 10. Wilkinson ranks 14th in the world this year with a 2:11.92 from Worlds.
Men's 200 IM
Daytona Beach's Ryan Lochte, who was just named Swimming World World Swimmer of the Year for the second straight year today, qualified eighth in the morning with a 2:02.67.
Sebastian Rousseau cruised to the top of the preliminary qualifying heats with a 2:00.57, while Jack Brown turned in a second-seeded 2:01.16. Trojan's Eric Shanteau (2:01.76) and FAST's Tyler Clary (2:02.01) finished third and fourth in qualifying.
Trojan's William Harris (2:02.05), Tucson Ford's Darian Townsend (2:02.07), FAST's Robert Margalis (2:02.53), Tucson Ford's Clark Burckle (2:02.73) and Tucson Ford's Adam Ritter (2:03.54) rounded out the rest of the finale.
Women's 50 free
Trojan's Jessica Hardy, ranked 11th in the world with a 24.80 from Brazil this year, posted the fastest time in the morning with a 25.31. Tucson Ford's Christine Magnuson (25.44) and Lara Jackson (25.45) qualified second and third in the splash-and-dash, while South Florida's Dara Torres, now 44 and looking for another Olympic bid next summer after swimming at the 1984, 1988, 1992, 2000 and 2008 Olympics, qualified fourth in 25.50.
T2's Erika Erndl, 33, qualified fifth in 25.72, while California's Dana Vollmer earned sixth in 25.74. SwimAtlanta's Amanda Weir (25.75), LSU's Jane Trepp (25.81) and Maryland's Ann Fittin (25.86) also picked up top 10 spots, while the only teenager to make the finale proved to be Chantal Vanlandeghem, 17, with a ninth-seeded 25.82.
Men's 50 free
California's Nathan Adrian closed out the first day of qualifying with a 22.21 in the men's splash-and-dash for the top seed. Adrian will be looking to better his fourth-ranked season best of 21.84 from Summer Nationals. Phoenix Swim Club's Roland Schoeman raced into second with a 22.29, while SwimMAC's Josh Schneider qualified third in 22.63.
Tucson Ford's Matt Grevers (22.66), Auburn's Fred Bousquet (22.72), Alex Coville (22.76), Swim Florida's Pavel Babaev (22.76), Auburn's Gideon Louw (22.79), Longhorn's Garrett Weber-Gale (22.79) and Tucson Ford's Adam Small (22.81) also made their way into the top 10.
The B final has some big names as well as David Dunford (22.84), Jason Dunford (22.87), Cullen Jones (22.89) and Nick Brunelli (22.91) jumped into the top 20.