2019 Phillips 66 US National Championships Day 4 Finals: Casas enters into FINA top 10 rankings in 100 back and Bilquist has a comeback performance post injury

Photo Courtesy: Connor Trimble

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Hundreds of swimmers continue to battle each other out in the lanes of the Stanford Avery Aquatic Center on day four of the 2019 Phillips 66 U.S. National Championships. This mornings prelims’ consisted of close finishes, intense competition, and both familiar faces and fresh names eager to make their mark.

Tonight’s finals will kicks off with the women’s 400 free. This morning, all the women that finished within the top eight were less than a second-and-a-half apart from each other. Therefore, expect narrow finishes as they compete to get their hand on the touch pad first.

On the men’s side, there also might be close calls as the top three swimmers all finished under 3:50 in prelims this morning. Make sure to also keep an eye out for Bobby Finke — who is seeded seventh in the event — but has already earned two national championship titles, one in the men’s 1500 free and another in the men’s 400 I.M.

Once the 400’s wrap up, the women will enter the water for the 100 breast. New York Athletic Club swimmer, Breeja Larson, is currently seeded in first and looks to fend off other competitors in hopes of taking home gold in the event.

The men look to swim under a minute in the following event, the 100 breast. Top seed, Craig Benson, was very close in prelims, finishing at 1:00.18.

The next individual event of the night will be the women’s 100 back. Top seed, Amy Bilquist, recently came back from a hand injury and looks to beat her prelim time of 1:00.13.

The men’s 100 back will follow shortly after. It should be an exciting race as there were numerous time drops in prelims this morning.

Closing out day four of the 2019 Phillips 66 US National Championships will be the men’s 4×200 medley  relay.


SWIMMING WORLD’S MEET PAGE FOR 2019 Phillips 66 US National Championships

Women’s 400 free

Ally McHugh has been a dominating force at the 2019 Phillips 66 U.S. National Championships. The Wisconsin Aquatics team swimmer already has two national championship titles under her belt — one in the women’s 800 free and another in the women’s 800 free relay, she also took home a bronze medal in the women’s 400 I.M. McHugh now takes home her third gold medal from this years national championships as she finished the women’s 400 free with a time of 4:07.08. While Allison Schmidt led the pack for the beginning of the race, McHugh pushed through the back half of the event, coming home in a strong 29.77 and out-touching the other competitors.

The recent Penn State graduate just out-touched Hailey Anderson who came in second place with a time of 4:07.77, tying the top seed in the B final, TAC Titans swimmer Ashley Twitchell. While Anderson is notoriously known for her endurance and performance in the longer distance events, the 2016 Olympic silver medalist in the women’s open water 10k still dropped nearly three seconds off of her prelims swim.

Sneaking in right behind Anderson for a bronze medal in the event was University of Michigan swimmer Sierra Schmidt, hitting the touch pad at 4:07.79. Schmidt has been a key player for the Wolverines in longer distance events as she finished in 6th place at this past years NCAA’s Division I meet. At the 200 meter mark of the rack Schmidt was in second with a split of 2:02.65. However, Anderson was quicker to the wall than she was and missed silver by just two hundredths of a second.

Fourth place finisher in the event was Clovis Swim Club member Claire Tuggle. Tuggle was yet another swimmer in the event under 4:08 as she hit the wall at 4:07.85. Tuggle shaved about three seconds off from her prelims swim and maintained her fourth place seed in the event.

Another hand eager to get to the wall under that 4:08 mark was Cierra Runge, member of the 2016 Olympic team taking home gold for team USA in the women’s 800 free relay. Having finished within the top eight of other events at this year 2019 Phillips 66 U.S. National Championships, Runge continued to show her competitiveness within the mid distance freestyle event.

Lauren Pitzer finished in sixth place with a time of 4:08.68, dropping one spot below her prelims swim.

Although Olympic medalist Allison Schmitt started the race of strong and held onto the leader board for a good portion of the event, other swimmers such as McHugh demonstrated that they simply had more left in the tank. The Michigan native representing Sun Devil Swimming, finished in seventh with a time of 4:08.81.

Rounding off the top eight of the event was Kensey McMahon. The University of Alabama swimmer finished with a time of 4:10.62.

400 free w

Men’s 400 free

The top of the leader board in the men’s 400 free was filled with some youngsters as 19-year-old Australian swimmer, Elijah Winnington, took home his first 2019 national championship title. The Aussie beat 18-year-old, Carmel Swim Club member, Jake Mitchell. Winnington held strong splits throughout the race and maintained a steady lead for the entirety of the 400, finishing with a time of 3:47.39.

Mitchell, who finished in fifth place in the 200 free at this years Phillips 66 National Championships, was seeded at sixth going into the final. However, his determination to keep up with Winnington showed as he trailed behind the Australian lap after lap. Finishing with a time of 3:48.09, Mitchell earned himself a silver medal in the men’s 400 free.

National champ in the men’s 1500 free, Bobby Finke, took home a bronze medal in the men’s 400 free. Finke not only dropped more than two seconds off of his prelims swim, but also leap-frogged ahead from seventh to third place with a time of 3:48.17.

Eric Knowles followed just behind Finke, touching the wall at 3:48.34. The Wolf Pack Elite swimmer made other final appearances at this years national championships in the 200 free and 1500 free as well.

Fifth place finisher was Trenton Julian. The Cal-Berkeley swimmer is well known in the NCAA for his performances in 400 I.M. and 200 fly. Julian dropped about a second from his prelims time, hitting the touchpad at 3:49.47

Patrick Callan finished in sixth place with a time of 3:50.37.

Battling out the last two places within the A final were Mitch D’Arrigo representing Gator Swim Club and Zach Yeadon swimming for Irish Aquatics. D’Arrigo was seeded third going into the event, but added a little over a second from his prelims swim, putting him in seventh place with a time of 3:50.37. Meanwhile, Yeadon maintained his eighth place seed, finishing with a time of 3:51.16 which matched his time from his prelims.

Women’s 100 breast

Just missing qualifications for the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Breeja Larson, the 2012 Olympian who helped team USA take home gold in the women’s 400 medley relay, proved to be even hungrier for the rapidly approaching 2020 Tokyo games. Defending her prelim top seed from this morning, Larson is your 2019 national champion in the women’s 100 breast with a time of 1:06.78. Larson was the fastest one of the blocks splitting a 31.18 her first 50, and then taking home the remainder of the race in a 35.60.

At just 16 years old, Kaitlyn Dobler earned herself a silver medal in the women’s 100 breast. The up-and-coming youngster from Dolphins Portland Swimming was originally seeded fourth going into the event and dropped nearly a second as she hit the wall at 1:07.23.

Taking home a bronze medal in the event was University of Michigan swimmer, Miranda Tucker. The Three-time CSCAA All-American swimmer maintained her third place seed and shaved some time off from her prelims swim, finishing with a time of 1:07.33. After transferring from Indiana University to University of Michigan in 2018, Tucker’s training style under new coaching may have changed, however she still remained a powerhouse within the Big 10 conference. At last year’s national championships Tucker finished ninth in the 100 breast, hence a third place finish at this year’s meet is a big improvement.

Zoie Hartman was originally sitting in second place, right behind Larson before finals. Hartmann still dropped some milliseconds from her prelims swim, but others in the pack such as Tucker, Dobler and Larson pulled ahead of her. The Crow Canyon Country Club Sharks swimmer finished with a time of 1:07.37.

The national champion in the women’s 200 breast, Madisyn Cox, finished in fifth place in the 100 breast with a time of 1:07.51. While Cox started off with the second slowest 50 split in the race at 31.77, she gained some momentum in the back half and was able to out touch sixth place finisher Emily Weiss.

While the battle between Cox and Indiana University swimmer, Weiss, came down to the last strokes of the race, Weiss still dropped time from her prelims swim despite falling one spot below her original seed.

Another 16-year-old competing in the A final of the women’s 100 breast was Ellie Andrews. Andrews finished in seventh place with a time of 1:08.37.

Your eighth place qualifier in the women’s 100 breast was Tennessee Aquatics swimmer Nikol Popov. Popov hit the touch pad at 1:08.93, adding a few milliseconds from her prelims swim.

Prior to the A final taking place, Jenna Strauch won the B final with a time of 1:08.49 jumping ahead from 15th to 9th place.100 b

Men’s 100 breast

Many “Michiganders” seem to be making appearances at tonight’s final session on day four of the 2019 Phillips 66 National Championships. From Schmitt to Tucker and others, Devon Nowicki adds onto that list that as he takes home a gold medal in the men’s 100 breast. The Michigan Lakeshore Aquatics Swimmer was only one of two men to go under a minute in the event. Splitting a strong 27.75 in the first 50, Nowicki brought it home with a time of 59.69.

The other individual who broke a minute in the event was the original top seed going into finals, Craig Benson. Native to Great Britain, Benson also proved to be a strong competitor in the men’s 200 breast at this years nationals as he finished in fifth place in that event. Benson hit the wall at 59.79, just ten hundredths of a second behind Nowicki.

Taking home bronze in the event was your 2019 national champion in the men’s 200 breast, Reece Whitley. The Cal-Berkeley swimmer is a notorious NCAA Division I breaststroker who placed within the top eight at this past years collegiate nationals. Whitley dropped one spot below his original seed going into finals, but still shaved some time off of his prelim swim posting a final time of 1:00.05.

French swimmer, Theo Bussiere swam a time of 1:00.08, finishing in fourth place right behind Whitley.

Another international swimmer in the A final was Australian, Daniel Cave, who finished in fifth with a time of 1:00.30. Cave maintained his fifth place seed from his prelims swim and shaved some time off as well.

Fellow Australian teammate, Samuel Willamson, was right behind Cave finishing in sixth place with a time of 1:00.61.

Only two hundredths of a second separated seventh place finisher, Caspar Corbeau from eighth place finisher, Trent Pellini. Netherlands swimmer Corbeau,  had a slower first 50 split than Pellini, but came home faster with a time of 1:00.68, just ahead of Pellini who finished at 1:00.70.

Before competitors entered the pool for the A final, ninth place finisher who won the B final was Ian Finnerty with a time of 1:00.15.

100 bmWomen’s 100 back

Defending her top seed from her prelims swim this morning, Scottsdale Aquatic Club swimmer Amy Bilquist is the 2019 national champion in the women’s 100 back with a time of 59.64. After coming back from a recent hand injury, the Cal-Berkeley swimmer demonstrated resilience as she not only earned herself a first place finish, but also shaved a little less than half a second off of her prelim swim. Bilquist was the only one to split under a 29 in the first 50 of the race. She came back just as strong as she also had the fastest split of the second half of the race, splitting a 30.73.

At only 15-years-old, TAC Titans swimmer Claire Curzan earned a silver medal in the event, finishing with a time of 1:00.39. That time marked a new personal best for Curzan and she also maintained her second place seed.

Taking home a bronze medal in the event was Caitlin Brooks. The University of Kentucky swimmer also swam a best time in the event, hitting the touchpad at 1:00.46.

Finishing behind Brooks was Tennessee Aquatics swimmer, Erika Brown. Brown was the slowest off the blocks splitting a 29.50, but came strong in a 31.14 to cop fourth place with a time of 1:00.64.

Kylee Alons, Wolfpack Elite swimmer, hit the wall at 1:00.71, finishing in fifth place. The NC State sophomore not only swam a personal best, but also moved up one spot from her seed going into finals.

Sixth place finisher with a time of 1:00.71 was Lucie Nordmann, representing Alto Swim Club. The Stanford University swimmer also finished in 5th in the 200 back at this years 2019 national championships.

It was a close race between California Aquatics swimmer Isabel Ivey and Lakeside Swim Team member Annabel Crush. Despite, Crush being ahead of Ivey within the first 50 of the event, Ivey pulled ahead towards the final stretches of the race, out-touching Crush with a time of 1:00.85. Crush followed behind in eighth with a time if 1:00.88.

Let it be noted that Gretchen Walsh finished first in the B final of the women’s 100 back with a time of 1:00.26.


w100bkMen’s 100 back

Shaine Casas defended his prelims time in the men’s 100 back, won the event and took home gold, got a personal best, and swam the fifth fastest time this year so far in the event according to FINA rankings. Hitting the touch pad at a speedy 52.72, the Aggie Swim Club member swam a personal best and dropped nearly a second. Casa bumped Matt Grievers out of fifth and into into sixth for the FINA rankings thus so far this year.

Top 10 Performers This Year (2019 Calendar Year)

1. 51.97 Evgeny Rylov, RUS, 7/24/2019
2. 52.17 Xu Jiayu, CHN, 7/22/2019
3. 52.38 Mitch Larkin, AUS, 6/9/2019
4. 52.44 Ryan Murphy, USA, 7/22/2019
5. 52.72 Shaine Casas, USA, 8/4/2019
6. 52.95 Guilherme Guido, BRA, 7/22/2019
7. 53.03 Kliment Kolesnikov, RUS, 4/8/2019
8. 53.13 Ryosuke Irie, JPN, 7/22/2019
9. 53.26 Shaine Casas, USA, 8/3/2019
10. 53.29 Grigory Tarasevich, RUS, 4/8/2019

Finishing behind Casas was french swimmer Yohann Ndoye Brouard, posting a time of 53.80. Brouard moved up one spot from his seed going into finals due to Austin Katz scratching the event.

Earning a bronze medal in the event was Clark Beach. Representing Quest Swimming, Beach split the second fastest first 50 split with a time of 25.97. He came back and finished in a strong 53.95.

Finishing in fourth place was Great Britain swimmer Craig McNally. Posting a time of 54.48, McNally just missed his personal best.

University of Louisville  swimmer Nicolas Albiero swam a time of 54.64 and finished in fifth. Although Albiero was just shy of his personal best, he still improved upon his performance in the event from last years nationals in which he finished 11th in the men’s 100 abck.

Sixth place went to Bryce Meeford. The California Aquatics swimmer went out in a strong 26.72 to come back and hit the touchpad at 54.79.

Finishing just seven hundredths of a second ahead of eighth place was Matthew Klotz, posting a time of 55.00. The Tiger Aquatics swimmer just out-touched Carmel Swim Club member Wyatt David who posted a time of 55.07.


Men’s 4×200 medley relay

Australian star Elijah Winnington had a strong meet in the U.S. as an individual, and that continued with a stellar relay performance.

Winnington led off the 4×200 relay in 1:48.46 to jumpstart the Australian squad, who went on to win in 7:14.61.

Louis Townsend (1:47.75), Matthew Temple (1:49.48) and Brendon Smith (1:48.92), followed to team up for the victory.

Ohio State’s Ruslan Gaziev, Andrew Loy, Daniel Gloude and Paul Delakis took second in 7:16.40.

Finishing third was Aggie Swim Club’s Steven Richardson, Mark Theall, Adam Koster and Shaine Casas, who put together a strong race to finish in 7:22.17 — just one hundredth of a second ahead of Indiana’s Jakub Karl, Mikey Calvillo, Van Mathias and Corey Cambardella (7:12.18).

The Pleasanton Seahawks were fifth as Tyler Lu, Calvin David, Maxime Rooney and Paige DaCosta finished in 7:22.47.

1 comment

  1. avatar

    Trenton Julian finished 5th not 6th.