A Preview of USA Men’s 200 Breaststroke at the 2018 Summer National Championships

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

By Kevin Donnelly, Swimming World College Intern.

As the summer begins to heat up and taper season edges closer and closer, many American swimmers will be setting their sights on the 2018 Summer National Championships, which will serve as the qualifying meet for the Pan Pacific Championships later in the summer.

One of the more competitive events for Pan Pacs is looking to be the men’s 200 breaststroke, as a plethora of men have been challenging for the top spots throughout the Pro Swim Series and across all competition.

The Returning Favorites


Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Last summer at the 2017 World Championships, Nic Fink and Kevin Cordes represented the U.S. internationally in the 200 breaststroke, with both of them advancing to the final. Fink took fifth with a strong 2:08.56, while Cordes was just behind in sixth at 2:08.68. Cordes also represented the U.S. at the 2016 Olympic Games, where he took eighth in a 2:08.34.

At those Olympic Games, Josh Prenot won the silver medal, just seven one-hundredths behind gold medalist Dmitriy Balandin of Kazakhstan, with a time of 2:07.53. Prenot is the current American record holder, with his best time being 2:07.17.

Will Licon – who narrowly missed out on a spot on the US Olympic Team in 2016 in the 200 breast – also looks to be in the mix once again. Licon is the current American record holder in the 200-yard breaststroke and holds the second-fastest time in the country this year with a 2:09.47.

The New Faces


Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Andrew Wilson isn’t exactly a new face to the sport of swimming, but he is definitely an unconventional one. The former Emory University star and current Division III record-holder in the 200-yard breast now trains with the post-graduate program at Texas under coach Eddie Reese. Wilson won gold in both the 100 and 200 breast last summer at the World University Games and holds the fastest time in the country this year, clocking a 2:08.52 at the Arena Pro Swim Series at Atlanta.

Daniel Royan 18-year-old Washington native, broke the 17-18 NAG in the 200-meter breaststroke at the Indianapolis stop on the Pro Swim Series tour, beating out a strong field and cracking the 2:10 barrier for the first time with a time of 2:09.73.

Roy narrowly beat Chase Kalisz at the Indy Pro Swim Series, with Kalisz swimming a 2:09.90 to also crack the 2:10 barrier. Kalisz is better known for his prowess in the IM events but has a strong 200 breast that can compete with the country’s best; he may look to compete in this event at Nationals to potentially steal a spot for Pan Pacs.

The men’s 200 breast is one of the strongest events America has to offer; look for a great battle for gold at Nationals come July!

Commentary: All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.