2019 US Open Day Four Finals: Ledecky Breaks Another 30+Year-Old Janet Evans Meet Record With 15:35 1500 For 8th Fastest Ever

Katie Ledecky broke another Janet Evans meet record in the 1500. Photo Courtesy: Connor Trimble

2019 US Open

Day Four Finals

The 2019 US Open finished from Atlanta on Saturday night with the finals of the 1500, 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast and 200 fly. Meet records fell on the final night from Katie Ledecky in the 1500, Erika Brown and Zach Apple in the 100 free, Cody Miller and Emily Escobedo in the 200 breast, and Luca Urlando in the 200 butterfly.

US Open Details

Women’s 1500 Free

Meet Record: 15:52.10, Janet Evans, 1988

Katie Ledecky continued her winning ways on Saturday night at the US Open in Atlanta as she swam the eighth fastest 1500 freestyler ever with a 15:35.98. Ledecky hasn’t been able to put together a good 1500 since she broke the world record with a 15:20 in May 2018. She was a 15:38 at the 2018 Pan Pacs and was a 15:48 at the World Championships before she pulled out of the final because she wasn’t feeling well. Ledecky put those disappointing swims behind her with a very impressive 15:35 as she took down the US Open meet record of 15:52.10 that Janet Evans set in 1988 months before she became one of the greatest distance swimmers in history. That time by Evans would stand as the world record for 19 years.

Ledecky was also quicker than what Simona Quadarella did to win the World Championships when the Italian won in Ledecky’s absence with a 15:40. Ledecky seems to be on a mission as she is looking to forget all about this summer’s Worlds when she fell ill during the championships and suffered a loss in the 400 free and had to fight for everything she was worth in winning the 800 after she was forced to pull out of the 1500 final and 200 free altogether. She is looking in good shape to claim the inaugural 1500 free gold at the 2020 Olympic Games next summer.

Katie Ledecky was hardly challenged as Australian Kiah Melverton (16:05.95) finished in second, which was not far off the 15:59 she had at the World Championships when she was seventh. She finished ahead of a trio of Open Water swimmers in Erica Sullivan (16:13.49), Haley Anderson (16:18.53) and Hannah Moore (16:19.87), who all swam for the United States at the World Championships this year.


  1. 15:35.98, Katie Ledecky, USA, MR (top time in world for 2019 calendar year)
  2. 16:05.95, Kiah Melverton, AUS
  3. 16:13.49, Erica Sullivan, USA
  4. 16:18.53, Haley Anderson, USA
  5. 16:19.87, Hannah Moore, USA
  6. 16:27.37, Mariah Denigan, USA
  7. 16:28.46, Chase Travis, USA
  8. 16:28.78, Paige McKenna, USA

Men’s 1500 Free

Meet Record: 14:55.46, Daniel Joly, 2017

Guilherme da Costa won his third event of the weekend with a 14:55.49 in the 1500 freestyle to just miss the meet record of 14:55.46 by 0.03, set in 2017 by Damien Joly of France. Da Costa broke his own Brazilian record in the process that was a 14:59.0 set in 2017 to set his third record of the weekend. He took on the best distance freestylers from the US and took no prisoners as Jordan Wilimovsky (15:03.29) finished in second ahead of Bobby Finke (15:05.55).

The race noticeably did not have Zane Grothe, who elected not to swim the 1500 this weekend in Atlanta. He has been one of the top distance swimmers in the US since 2017.

Olympic hopeful Michael Brinegar (15:08.84), who has taken an Olympic redshirt at Indiana, placed fourth ahead of Cal grad Nick Norman (15:12.27).


  1. 14:55.49, Guilherme da Costa, BRA (15th in world for 2019 calendar year)
  2. 15:03.29, Jordan Wilimovsky, USA
  3. 15:05.55, Bobby Finke, USA
  4. 15:08.84, Michael Brinegar, USA
  5. 15:12.27, Nick Norman, USA
  6. 15:13.29, Zhang Ziyang, CHN
  7. 15:18.91, Taylor Abbott, USA
  8. 15:20.22, Diogo Villarinho, BRA

Women’s 200 Back

Meet Record: 2:08.42, Hayley McGregory, 2008

A day after one of the biggest upsets of the meet where Phoebe Bacon took down Regan Smith in the 100 back, Bacon was on the other end of that upset on Saturday night in the 200 as another fellow high school senior Isabelle Stadden ran down Bacon on the final 50 of the 200 back with a 2:08.49.

Although this should hardly really count as an upset since Bacon set a new best time. Bacon was second at 2:08.82 as Stadden just missed the US Open meet record of 2:08.42 set by Hayley McGregory in 2008. World Short Course champ Lisa Bratton finished in third at 2:09.16.

Stadden was just off her best time of 2:08.1 from the Pro Swim Series earlier this year in Greensboro as she has also put herself into the talks of making the Olympic team next year in this event. This final notably did not have world record holder Regan Smith, who will be in the 200 fly later, nor did it have Kathleen Baker, who will be swimming in the ISL Las Vegas final later this month.

Stadden will be a freshman at Cal Berkeley next fall.

The time for Bacon was also the first time she had been under 2:09 as she also had a best time in the 100 back last night.

Another high school senior placed in fourth with Alex Walsh in the top four at 2:10.90. Amy Bilquist was fifth at 2:11.28.


  1. 2:08.49, Isabelle Stadden, USA
  2. 2:08.82, Phoebe Bacon, USA
  3. 2:09.16, Lisa Bratton, USA
  4. 2:10.90, Alex Walsh, USA
  5. 2:11.28, Amy Bilquist, USA
  6. 2:11.56, Ugne Mazuttaityte, LTU
  7. 2:12.15, Gabby DeLoof, USA
  8. 2:12.36, Jade Hannah, CAN

Men’s 200 Back

Meet Record: 1:54.59, Nick Thoman, 2009

Christopher Reid, training postgrad at NC State, had an incredible last 50 to run down Jacob Pebley in the 200 back final on Saturday night in Atlanta. Reid swam collegiately at the University of Alabama and the South African native improved on his personal best with a 1:57.04, lowering his 1:57.1 from earlier this year at South African Nationals. He swam at the World Championships but did not make it out of the heats with a 1:58.4 for 20th. Reid officially qualified for the 2020 Olympic Games with his swim.

Pebley was second at 1:57.73 as he was only a second off his World Championships time of 1:56.7 from when he was sixth. He has been the number two 200 backstroker behind fellow Cal Bear Ryan Murphy the last four years and is pushing to make his second Olympic team in 2020.

Florida Gators Clark Beach (1:59.42) and Kieran Smith (2:00.83) finished in third and fourth as the Gators were just here two weeks ago at the Georgia Tech Invite but did not bring a full team, resting some of their better swimmers for this US Open.


  1. 1:57.04, Christopher Reid, RSA
  2. 1:57.73, Jacob Pebley, USA
  3. 1:59.42, Clark Beach, USA
  4. 2:00.83, Kieran Smith, USA
  5. 2:00.64, Mau Martos Bacarizo, ESP
  6. 2:01.55, Harry Homans, USA
  7. 2:01.84, Yeziel Morales, PUR
  8. 2:01.92, Zachary Poti, USA

Women’s 100 Free

Meet Record: 53.92, Megan Romano, 2012

Tennessee senior Erika Brown has added to the upset list at the 2019 US Open with a win in the 100 free over two-time reigning World Champ Simone Manuel with a 53.42 to Manuel’s 53.72. Brown was the third big upset of the meet after Torri Huske won the 100 fly over Kelsi Dahlia, and Phoebe Bacon won the 100 back over Regan Smith last night.

But Huske and Bacon are both still in high school with Huske in her junior year and Bacon in her senior year. Brown is in her senior year at the University of Tennessee where he is searching for her first individual NCAA title in her career. Brown has emerged as an Olympic spoiler the last few years due to her short course success but didn’t seem to figure out long course until this year, winning a national title in August in the 50 free. She swam a personal best in the 100 free this morning in breaking 54 for the first time and went even faster tonight with a 53.4, moving herself up to 19th in the world for the 2019 calendar year and fourth in the US behind Manuel, Mallory Comerford and Abbey Weitzeil.

Brown also broke the meet record of 53.92 by Megan Romano set in 2012.

Hong Kong native Siobhan Haughey finished in third with a strong swim of her own at 53.87, which was not far off her 53.4 from the World Championships when she did not make it out of the semi finals.

National team veterans Olivia Smoliga (54.15) and Allison Schmitt (54.32) finished fourth and fifth while Mallory Comerford, who has been the second best 100 freestyler for the US the last couple of years, placed seventh at 54.74 in a tie with Margo Geer.


  1. 53.42, Erika Brown, USA, MR (19th in the world for 2019 calendar year)
  2. 53.72, Simone Manuel, USA
  3. 53.87, Siobhan Haughey, HKG
  4. 54.15, Olivia Smoliga, USA
  5. 54.32, Allison Schmitt, USA
  6. 54.41, Catie DeLoof, USA
  7. 54.74, Mallory Comerford, USA
  8. 54.74, Margo Geer, USA


Men’s 100 Free

Meet Record: 48.52, Nicholas Brunelli, 2009

Just when you thought the men’s 100 free field in the United States couldn’t get any more insane, Zach Apple swam a 47.69 on Saturday night at the US Open in Atlanta to improve on his season best of 47.79 from the World University Games as he remained seventh in the world for the 2019 calendar year. Apple is one of six Americans under 48 seconds this year. Apple confirmed what we already believed: that the men’s 100 free at the 2020 Olympic Trials will be one of the toughest events to try and make the Olympic team in.

Apple also crushed the US Open meet record

Apple had a solid 200 free last night when he placed second with a 1:46.7. He swam at the World University Games this summer and also was on relay-only duty at the World Championships where he swam on four relays for the Americans, swimming the third leg of the 4×100 free relay that won the gold medal and was also on the mixed free relay final that won gold over Australia. Zach Apple has proved to be a valuable relay asset for the Americans and showed he is in very good shape at the moment with a 47.6. He did not get the opportunity to swim alongside two-time reigning World champ Caeleb Dressel, who elected to not swim his best events this weekend in favor of the 200 IM, 200 free and 200 fly the last few days.

Zach Apple finished ahead of Dean Farris (48.45), who had a solid swim in second. The Harvard student who is taking the year off of school to train at the University of Texas is the seventh fastest American this year with a 48.0 as he is a part of the insane depth in this country in that event.

Croatian Bruno Blaskovic, who trains with Apple at Indiana, placed third at 48.93 ahead of Olympic hopefuls Tate Jackson (49.07), Robert Howard (49.14) and Michael Chadwick (49.30).


  1. 47.69, Zach Apple, USA, MR (seventh in world for 2019 calendar year)
  2. 48.45, Dean Farris, USA
  3. 48.93, Bruno Blaskovic, CRO
  4. 49.07, Tate Jackson, USA
  5. 49.14, Robert Howard, USA
  6. 49.30, Michael Chadwick, USA
  7. 49.48, Christian Quintero, VEN
  8. 49.72, Marco Ferreira, BRA

Women’s 200 Breast

Meet Record: 2:22.51, Kaitlin Freeman, 2009

Emily Escobedo scored yet another upset at the 2019 US Open with a win in the 200 breaststroke over Lilly King with a 2:22.00, lowering her own best time of 2:22.8 from this summer’s World University Games.

Escobedo also broke the US Open meet record of 2:22.51 set by Kaitlin Freeman in 2009.

Escobedo moved herself up to seventh in the world rankings for the 200 breast and fourth in the United States. Emily Escobedo graduated from UMBC in the spring of 2017 and has been quietly becoming one of the best breaststrokers in the United States. She was second at the World University Games in this event this summer and is a dark horse to make the Olympic Team in 2020, competing alongside King, Annie Lazor and Bethany Galat.

King finished in second here with a 2:22.63 ahead of Annie Lazor (2:23.25) as those two were the top swimmers in the US in 2019 in the 200 breaststroke, with Lazor winning the Pan American Games. King was the favorite to win at the World Championships but was disqualified for a non-simultaneous touch in the heats, losing an opportunity to win her first medal in the 200 at either the Worlds or Olympics. She remains fourth in the world for the 2019 calendar year while Lazor is in second.

Melanie Margalis had a successful meet in Atlanta with a 2:25.92 for fourth here. She swam a new best time in the 200 IM on Thursday night and also won the 400 IM on Friday night. She finished ahead of 2018 national champ Micah Sumrall (2:27.61) and Indiana’s Laura Morley (2:28.38).


  1. 2:22.00, Emily Escobedo, USA, MR
  2. 2:22.63, Lilly King, USA
  3. 2:23.25, Annie Lazor, USA
  4. 2:25.92, Melanie Margalis, USA
  5. 2:27.61, Micah Sumrall, USA
  6. 2:28.38, Laura Morley, BAH
  7. 2:29.05, Mariia Astashkina, RUS
  8. 2:30.71, Rachel Bernhardt, USA

Men’s 200 Breast

Meet Record: 2:09.73, Andrew Wilson, 2016

Cody Miller took down the reigning Olympic champion Dmitriy Balandin in the 200 breast on Saturday night in Atlanta with a 2:09.67 to Balandin’s 2:09.71. Miller was also under the meet record of 2:09.73 set by Andrew Wilson in 2016 as Miller was a little off his 2:08.9 best time from earlier this year at the TYR Pro Swim Series in Bloomington. Balandin was the first swimmer from Kazakhstan to ever win a medal at the Olympics when he won the 200 breast in Rio. He was seventh at the World Championships this year with a 2:08 as he will look to defend that crown in Tokyo.

Former meet record holder Wilson finished in third at 2:10.10 as he was just ahead of Stanford sophomore Daniel Roy, who was actually leading at the 150. Roy won the bronze medal this summer at the World University Games as he was a 2:09.6 this summer.

Former NCAA champions Will Licon (2:10.82) and Kevin Cordes (2:11.42) placed fifth and sixth.


  1. 2:09.67, Cody Miller, USA,  MR
  2. 2:09.71, Dmitriy Balandin, KAZ
  3. 2:10.10, Andrew Wilson, USA
  4. 2:10.17, Daniel Roy, USA
  5. 2:10.82, Will Licon, USA
  6. 2:11.42, Kevin Cordes, USA
  7. 2:11.71, Carlos Claverie, VEN
  8. 2:12.33, Alex Evdokimov, USA

Women’s 200 Fly

Meet Record: 2:07.20, Susie O’Neill, 1999

Stanford senior Katie Drabot won the 200 butterfly final with a 2:08.34 as she was able to just get by Michigan transfer Olivia Carter (2:08.58). Drabot won the bronze at the World Championships this summer and has been the #2 200 butterflyer the last two years for the United States. She will be chasing her first Olympic berth next summer but Carter has moved up as a contender. She was a 2:08.2 at US Nationals this summer and will soon be making a training change to Ann Arbor where she has transferred to the University of Michigan after a year at the University of Georgia.

Former Georgia swimmer Megan Kingsley (2:09.87) finished in third ahead of reigning national champion Regan Smith (2:10.16) and three-time US Open finalist Kathrin Demler (2:10.56)

This was a talented young field with 2017 Worlds team member Dakota Luther (2:11.27), finishing in sixth ahead of World Juniors team members Charlotte Hook (2:11.34) and Lillie Nordmann (2:11.45).


  1. 2:08.34, Katie Drabot, USA
  2. 2:08.58, Olivia Carter, USA
  3. 2:09.87, Megan Kingsley, USA
  4. 2:10.16, Regan Smith, USA
  5. 2:10.56, Kathrin Demler, GER
  6. 2:11.27, Dakota Luther, USA
  7. 2:11.34, Charlotte Hook, USA
  8. 2:11.45, Lillie Nordmann, USA

Men’s 200 Fly

Meet Record: 1:55.64, Sebastien Rousseau, 2013

17-year-old Luca Urlando closed out the 2019 US Open with a meet record in the 200 butterfly with a 1:55.60, lowering the 1:55.64 from Sebastien Rousseau set in 2013. Urlando is coming off a good summer where he won his first national title and also took gold at the World Juniors. He will be a freshman at the University of Georgia next fall but before that will have a chance to be the first high school male swimmer to make the US Olympic team since 2000.

Urlando was in a good race with Taiwan native Eddie-Kuan Huang Wang (1:55.82) as the two 17-year-olds got under 1:56 in the final.

Colombia native Jonathan Gomez (1:56.90) placed third ahead of Georgia grads Chase Kalisz (1:57.29) and Jay Litherland (1:58.05), who both swam at Worlds this summer in the 400 IM.

Canadian Olympian Mack Darragh (1:58.60) finished in sixth ahead of high school seniors Carson Foster (1:59.67) and Dare Rose (1:59.93) committed to Texas and Cal respectively.


  1. 1:55.60, Luca Urlando, USA, MR
  2. 1:55.82, Eddie-Kuan Huang Wang, TPE
  3. 1:56.90, Jonathan Gomez, COL
  4. 1:57.29, Chase Kalisz, USA
  5. 1:58.05, Jay Litherland, USA
  6. 1:58.60, Mack Darragh, CAN
  7. 1:59.67, Carson Foster, USA
  8. 1:59.93, Dare Rose, USA

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