2019 Phillips 66 US National Championships Day 5 Finals: Cox and Finke to Add More National Titles to Their Collection

Photo Courtesy: Connor Trimble Elite swimmers look to chase down national titles on the last day of the 2019 Phillips 66 U.S. National Championships

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Grit, resilience, utter determination, and raw hunger to be the “best of the best,” has been exemplified session after session at the 2019 Phillip 66 U.S. National Championships. Athletes have poured their hearts and souls into five days of intense and exciting racing. As the last session of the meet approaches tonight, swimmers continue to hunt down national titles and fend off rivals.

The first event on tonight’s lineup will be the women’s 1500 free. Watch out for Ally McHugh in tonight’s enduring beast of a race. The Penn State graduate is coming off of a strong win from last night’s final session in the women’s 400 free. In addition, she also won the women’s 800 free and was a finalist in the women’s 400 I.M.. University of Michigan swimmer, Sierra Schmidt, will most likely be dancing all the way to the block for the 1500 tonight, but in all seriousness will look to chase down other women in the field as a fierce competitor in the longer events.

Following the lengthy, and exhausting 1500 will be the women’s 200 I.M. Madisyn Cox finished strong in this mornings prelims session and will look to take home another national championship title.

It will then be the men’s turn to dive into the water for the next event, the men’s 200 I.M. 12-time Olympic medalist, and former Florida Gator swimmer, Ryan Lochte will look to defend his first seed ranking at finals tonight. Lochte swam a time of 1:58.77 this morning, and currently holds the world record in the event at 1:54.00.

Male distance swimmers will look to prove their dominance in the 800 free tonight, which will follow after the men’s 200 I.M. The event will be full of familiar faces such as Bobby Finke who won the men’s 1500 free and the men’s 400 I.M., as well as Australian swimmer, Elijah Winnington, who took home a national title last night in the men’s 400 free.

After the men’s distance event of the night concludes, the next race to commence will be the women’s 50 free. French swimmer, Anna Santamans, holds the top seed going into finals with a 24.88.

Following shortly after will be the men’s 50 free. The mad-dash sprint event will feature New York Athletic Club’s Ryan Held, swimming in lane four with the fastest seed. Other guys to lookout for in the event include BYU’s ,Payton Sorenson, who finished just behind Held this morning with a time of 22.23.

Once the sprint event comes to a close, the women’s 4×100 medley relay and the men’s 4×100 medley relay will conclude the last session of the 2019 Phillips 66 U.S. National Championships.


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

Women’s 1500 free

Ally McHugh has had spectacular meet at the 2019 Phillips 66 National Championships. The Penn State graduate has been a powerhouse in multiple events. Taking home yet another gold medal, this is not McHugh’s first, nor second, but third national championship title. At last years nationals McHugh finished in second in the 1500, but now stands proud at the top of the podium tonight. Regarding splits, McHugh was extremely consistent holding mid 32’s throughout the entirety of the race, with exception to the first and last 50 of the event. Posting a time of 16:05.98, The Wisconsin Aquatic Club swimmer was nearly four seconds ahead of second place finisher, Kensey McMahon. 

McMahon took home silver in the event, posting a time of 16:09.80. This finish was a huge step of progress for the University of Alabama swimmer in comparison to her 15th place finish at last years nationals. McMahon, akin to McHugh, was fairly consistent in her splits, holding low to high 32’s for the majority of the 1500.

Sierra Schmidt hit the touch-pad just after McMahon, finishing with a time of 16:10.12, which is also a personal best for the University of Michigan swimmer. Schmidt has had a well seasoned career at this years 2019 national championships, making appearances in multiple finals such as the 800 free, the 400 free and the 200 free. Schmidt was the fastest swimmer at the first 100 mark of the race, splitting a quick 1:02.42, then held mid to high 32’s for the remainder of the event.

Just missing qualifying for podium was Wolfpack Elite swimmer, Hannah Moore. Although Moore did not swim a personal best she started out strong in the race keeping up with Schmidt leading the pack at the very beginning, before settling into comfortable 32 splits. Moore hitting the wall a few hundredths of a second after Schmidt at 16:10.92.

Fifth place went to Amanda Nunan, swimming for Tennessee Aquatics. Nunan swam a time of 16:20.08 as she brought in the back pack of the swimmers in the event. Nunan improved significantly from last years nationals in the women’s 1500 free where she finished in 12th.

Paige McKenna, infamous 15-year-old swimmer from Nation’s Capital,was scratched into the event and finished in sixth with a time of 16:26.49.

It was an extremely close call for seventh and eight place as Emily Hetzer battled Chase Travis. Travis, put up a good fight, but Hetzer came in just a a few hundredths of a second earlier at 16:28.37. Meanwhile, Travis hit the wall at 16:28.96, earning herself an eight place finish.

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Women’s 200 I.M.

Madisyn Cox is on fire at this years 2019 national championships. Cox a.) defended her seed time from this morning, b.) shaved time off her FINA national ranking, and c.) took home her second national championship title. Cox brought home the freestyle leg in a solid 31.15, finishing at 2:10 flat.

Behind Cox was Metroplex Aquatics swimmer, Vanessa Pearl. Pearl sprinted to the wall at the last 50 of the event and got her hand on the wall at 2:12.49.

Taking home a gold medal in the event was Marlins of Raleigh swimmer Julia Poole. Hitting the wall at 2:12.53, Poole was just shy of out-touching Pearl.

University of South Carolina graduate Emma Barksdale posted a time of 2:13.06. Post collegiate retirment, the Gamecock Aquatics swimmer has still specialized in the I.M. and breaststroke events, and was also a finalist in the 400 I..M. at this years national championships.

Evie Pfeifer finished in fifth place with a time of 2:13.17. The outside smoke swimmer in this A-final made waves at competitions earlier this year as well when she took home a silver medal in the women’s 400 I.M. at World University Games. Depsite the fact that Pfeifer was not on top of her best time, she had one of the fastest backstroke splits in the event at 33.46.

Sixth place went to Scottish swimmer and Olympian Hannah Miley, finishing with a time of 2:14.07.

Right behind Miley, representing Australia, was Calypso Sheridan. Sheridan was ahead of Miley for the first three legs of the race, but lost mementoum on the freestlye portion and fell behind posting a time of 2:14.55.

Wrapping up the top eight finalists was 15-year-old Justina Kozan. The Brea Aquatics swimmer finished about three seconds behind Sheridan at 2:17.25.


Men’s 200 I.M.

Nothing’s better than a belated birthday gift such as a national championship title. The now 35-year-old, 12-time Olympic medalist, Lochte, took home gold in the men’s 200 I.M. Lochte’s backstroke split of a speedy 29.47 was instrumental in him for getting ahead. With a final time of  1:57.76, Locthe shaved almost a second off of his prelims swim this morning.

Earning a silver medal in the event was the national champion in the men’s 100 back, Shaine Casas. The Aggie Swim Club member’s butterfly leg of the race was one of the faster splits with a 25.19. Overall, Casas hit the wall at 1:58.83.

Jake Foster swam a time of 1:59.15 and finished in third. The bronze medalist made huge strides of improvement as he finished 19th in the event at last years nationals.

Fourth place went to John Shebat. The New York Athletic Club swimmer was seeded second going into finals, however he still shaved time off of his prelims swim and went a personal best.

Hitting the touch-pad at 2:00.14 was not one, but two swimmers. Tying for fifth place was Ridgefield Aquatic Club swimmer Kieran Smith, and Saint Petersburg Aquatics swimmer Grant Sanders. Smith was ahead for the front half of the race, while Sanders caught up on the back half. Both of them were neck and neck at the flags as they hit the wall at the exact same time.

Seventh place went to University of Michigan swimmer, Tommy Cope. Cope maintained his seventh place seed and swam a personal best with a time of 2:00.40.

The final swimmer to come into the wall and wrap up the A final was Longhorn Aquatics swimmer, Matthew Willenbring, posting a time of 2:00.83.


Men’s 800 Free

Bobby Finke is racking up national championship titles this week. In addition to his gold medals in the men’s 1500 free and the men’s 400 I.M., Finke adds another one to the collection. Posting a time of 7:47.58, Finke earned himself his third national title as he won the men’s 800 free tonight. Finke held solid 29’s throughout the race, and swam a personal best, dropping nearly four seconds.

Silver place went to Boulder City Henderson Swim, Zane Grothe. Groth started the race of quick before settling into his pace and hitting the touch-pad at 7:50.47, nearly three seconds behind Finke.

Michael Brinegar, a Mission Viejo Nadadores swimmer, finished in third with a time of 7:54.56. The Indiana University junior split mainly 30’s and scattered 29’s throughout the race in order to solidify a spot on the podium tonight.

Just shy off qualifying for the podium was Australian swimmer, Elijah Winnington,. Finishing in fourth place, Winnington hit the wall at 7:55.11. Winnington has two national titles so far from this years competition; one of which he swam last night in the A final of the men’s 400 free.

Finishing in fifth place was Ross Dant. Dant, a NC State swimmer, split strong 29’s in the beginning of the race, but lost endurance and dropped into the 30’s for the majority of the remaining 50’s. Coming in at the wall at 7:56.03, Dant was right behind Brinegar.

After being scratched into the event, Eric Knowles finished in sixth place with a time of 7:57 flat.

Italian swimmer, Johannes Calloni, swam a time of 7:58.76, finishing in seventh place. Despite not swimming a personal best, Calloni was very consistent with his splitting as he maintained mid 30’s throughout.

Another individual thrown into the ring of fire after scratches form prelims was Jake Mitchell. Mitchell held his own and finished in eighth with a time of 7:59.15.



Women’s 50 free

Tennessee Aquatics swimmer, Erika Brown, moved up one spot from her seed going into finals and overcame the top seed, Anna Santamans. The University of Tennessee senior swam a speedy 24.71, earning herself both a gold medal and a personal best.

Following behind Brown and earning silver in the event was Gretchen Walsh. The 15-year-old from Nashville Aquatic Club, hit the wall at 24.85 and bumped up two spot from her original seed going into finals.

Anna Santamans was originally the top seed going into the event, however Walsh and Brown defeated her in the mad-dash to get the wall. Adding a few hundredths of a second from her prelims swim, Santamans finished with a time of 24.92.

Fourth place went to Auburn University graduate, Aly Tetzloff. Tetzloff had the fastest reaction time coming off the block and hit the touch-pad at 24.97.

Coming into the wall shortly after Tetzloff, and finishing in fifth place with a time of 25.02 was Athens Bulldog Swim Club member, Natalie Hinds. 

Catie DeLoof finished in sixth place with a time of 25.11. The University of Michigan graduate is one of four sisters from the Deloof family to be competing at an elite level. Prior to finaling in the 50 free, Deloof also finaled in the 100 free at this years nationals.

Seventh place in the A final went to Chelsea Piers Aquatic Club member Maxine Parker. The 16-year-old finished with a time of 25.21, this was her first final appearance at this years nationals.

Wrapping up the top eight was another 16-year-old, Grace Cooper. The Delta Aquatics swimmer came into the wall at 25.33.


Men’s 50 free

Defending his top seed from this mornings prelims session and taking home a national title in the men’s 50 free was 2016 Olympian Ryan Held. Held swam a quick time of 21.87, dropping one hundredth of a second off of his personal best.

Two swimmers will be sharing the podium tonight for silver. ]Mission Viejo Nadadores swimmer, Robert Howard tied with Bowe Becker.  Becker had a faster reaction time off the block, but Howard powered through at the flag as the two both hit the touch-pad at 22 seconds flat. Let it be noted that both of them swam personal bests.

Finishing in fourth place was Payton Sorenson. This was the  BYU swimmers debut appearance in any final session at this years nationals. Sorenson swam a personal best with a time of 22.18.

Hitting the wall at 22.25 was David Curtiss, finishing in fifth place.

Erik Risolvato moved up one seed, finishing in sixth place, the Athletes In Action swimmer posted a time of 22.32.

Seventh place finisher in the A final of the men’s 50 free was Gus Borges. The Brazilian Native and University of Michigan swimmer had one of the fastest reactions off the blocks, but lost speed at the flipturn, coming in at 22.46.

Jack Thorpe wrapped up the A final of the sprint event coming in eighth place with a time of 22.56.



Women’s 4×100 medley relay

Taking home gold in one of the last relays to close out the 2019 Phillips 66 U.S. National Championships was the Tennessee Aquatics, posting a time of 4:03.62. Taking home silver in the event was Kentucky Aquatics, swimming a time of 4:05.59. Bronze went to VICN with a time of 4:05.66

Men’s 4×100 medley relay

Australia won the men’s 4×100 medley relay with a time of 3:36.84, with swimmers Gough, Cave, Temple and Townsend. Coming in second place was Michigan Lakeshore Aquatics with a time of 3:38.13, and taking home a bronze medal in the event was University Of Stirling with a time of 3:39 flat.