2018 USA Winter Nationals: Cox, Manuel Punch Olympic Trials Tickets

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

After Katie Ledecky and Jordan Wilimovsky earned the first wins and Olympic Trials cuts of the 2018 USA Winter Nationals, more swimmers will dive into action on the first day of prelims competition.

Ledecky will be back in the first event as the top seed in the 400 Freestyle. Alto Swim Club teammate Simone Manuel is also the top seed in the 50 free.

Making her return to the competition pool was Madisyn Cox, who punched her Olympic Trials ticket in the 200 IM as she returns as the top seed.

Michael ChadwickSean Conway and Wilimovsky also will return tonight as the top seeds in their respective events.

2018 USA Winter Nationals Day 2 Order of Events:

  • Women’s 400 Freestyle
  • Men’s 400 Freestyle
  • Women’s 200 IM
  • Men’s 200 IM
  • Women’s 50 Freestyle
  • Men’s 50 Freestyle

Women’s 400 Freestyle

Trials Cut: 4:16.89

Ledecky led a quartet of professional swimmers at the top of the women’s 400 Freestyle qualifiers. She cruised to the top seed at 4:03.49 and was followed by Hali Flickinger at 4:10.23 and Kaersten Meitz at 4:11.07. Ashley Twichell was next in 4:12.26.

16-year-old Emma Weyant did likewise with a quartet of teens coming in at a lifetime best 4:12.62 for fifth. The time is now the second-fastest in the country this year for 15-16 year olds, just three one hundredths behind Mariah Denigan. She was followed by Erica Sullivan (4:15.50), Chase Travis (4:16.82) and Paige McKenna (4:18.57). Weyant was the only swimmer in the top eight who swam a personal best, so the heat should be much faster in tonight’s final.

The top seven swimmers all got under the Olympic Trial cut.

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Men’s 400 Freestyle

Trial Cut: 3:57.29

A similar pattern was presented in the men’s race, with Wilimovsky swimming a personal best 3:51.29 to take the top seed. Gator Swim Club’s Mitch D’Arrigo was second in 3:51.39 and was followed by Kevin (3:56.83) and Jay (3:57.32) Litherland. The top three swimmers all got under the 2020 Olympic Trial standard.

Rockville Montgomery’s Ryan Vipavetz came in at 3:57.70 for fifth. Also at seventeen years old, Pleasanton Seahawk’s Calvin David took sixth in 3:58.26. Scarlet’s Dare Rose was the youngest qualifier at 3:58.28. The University of Calgary’s Tristan Cote will round out the heat after posting a 3:59.09.

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Women’s 200 IM

Trials Cut: 2:17.39

Cox returned to the pool with a 2:12.56 prelims win in the 200 IM. Kelsey Wog of the Manitoba Bisons was second in 2:14.55 and was followed by High Performance Center Vancouver’s Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson in 2:15.99.

Cox is swimming in her first meet since being cleared from a doping suspension that kept her out of Nationals this summer.

Condors Swim Club’s Emily Escobedo used a strong breaststroke leg to take the fourth seed in 2:16.24. Meg Bailey (2:16.39) and Annika Wagner (2:16.81) were fifth and sixth, respectively, while Weyant was back in the water for a two-second drop of 2:16.85. 15-year-old Torri Huske of Arlington Aquatics grabbed the last spot in a best time of 2:16.99. The swim is the second-fastest in the country for 15-year olds so far this year.

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Men’s 200 IM

Trials Cut: 2:04.09

Nation’s Capital’s Sean Conway is on top of a closely packed field that does not have a big star, with the exception of three-time World Championship team member Nic Fink. But Fink is better known as a breaststroker, as he is the sixth seed in the 200 IM with a 2:04.25.

Conway is on top of the field with a 2:03.70, just ahead of Jonathan Rutter (2:03.81), Dom Polling (2:03.86) and Jonathan Tybur (2:03.90). All four of those swimmers were under the 2020 Olympic Trials standard.

Christopher Reid (2:04.13), Harry Homans (2:04.34) and Scott Piper (2:04.45) will have another chance at the cut tonight as it is anyone’s game in the A-Final. The A-Final is separated by less than a second from this morning’s times.

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Women’s 50 Free

Trials Cut: 25.99

Simone Manuel cranked out the top seed in the 50 free as she posted a 24.60 in the heats of the 50 free on Thursday morning in Greensboro. Manuel was the only one under 25 seconds in the heats as Margo Geer is the second seed at 25.03. She is just ahead of Anna Hopkin, who has lit up the collegiate ranks this season. Hopkin is the third seed at 25.05.

Hopkin trains at the University of Arkansas and hails from Great Britain.

The 50 free will be a stacked final with the likes of Madison Kennedy (25.13) and Amanda Kendall (25.30) added to the mix.

Grace Cooper (25.56), Claire Curzan (25.64) and Ky-Lee Perry (25.65) also qualified for the A-Final. All eight swimmers in tonight’s final qualified for the Olympic Trials.

Curzan also moved up to sixth in the 13-14 NAG Rankings with her swim. The NAG record in that event is a 25.23 by Missy Franklin from 2009.

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Men’s 50 Free

Trials Cut: 23.19

Michael Chadwick posted the top time in the 50 free heats with a 22.52 on Thursday morning in Greensboro, North Carolina. Chadwick is just ahead of Erik Risolvato (22.55) and Nathan Adrian (22.64).

Chadwick recently made the move to San Diego to train with Team Elite and David Marsh. He punched his ticket this morning to the 2020 Olympic Trials with his swim here in the 50. He is searching for his first Olympic berth.

Nyls Korstanje (22.68), Aaron Greenberg (22.72), Payton Sorenson (22.77), Cameron Kidd (23.05) and Payton Woods (23.05) also swam in this morning’s prelims, qualifying for the A-Final.

Everyone who was eligible (Korstanje and Kidd were not) qualified for the 2020 Olympic Trials.

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