Chase Kalisz Blasts 400 IM, Also Wins 100 Breast at Georgia Invite

Photo Courtesy: Taylor Brien

Night two at the Georgia Fall Invite in Athens featured fast swims across the board from the Georgia and Cal swimmers in attendance, but Chase Kalisz was the top swimmer of the evening, as he challenged his American record in the men’s 400 IM before coming back to also win the 100 breast.Kalisz’ busy night also included a breaststroke leg on Cal’s 200 medley relay.

Cal captured first in the women’s 200 medley relay to open the night as the squad of Amy BilquistAbbey WeitzeilNoemie Thomas and Farida Osman clocked 1:35.19. Osman dove in with a three tenths’ advantage on Georgia’s Chantal van Landeghem, but Osman came home in 21.10, to van Landeghem’s 21.48. The Bulldogs, propelled by Olivia Smoliga’s 23.65 leadoff leg, came in second in 1:35.89, and Virginia finished third in 1:36.45.

The Golden Bear men crushed the field in the men’s 200 medley relay. Ryan Murphy led off in 20.96, Connor Hoppe built the lead on the breaststroke leg, and freshmen Pawel Sendyk and Michael Jensen held the lead, with Jensen anchoring in a quick 18.93. Cal’s final time was 1:23.76, by far the top time in the country this season. (Arizona previously paced the nation at 1:24.39.)

Florida State placed second in 1:25.63 on the strength of Chad Mylin’s 19.14 anchor leg, and Auburn was third in 1:25.88.

Virginia’s Kaitlyn Jones led for the first 275 meters in the women’s 400 IM, but she fell victim to a strong breaststroke leg by Georgia’s Emily Cameron, who then pulled away on the freestyle. Cameron came in at 4:05.09, which ranks sixth in the country this year. Jones battled Cal’s Celina Li on the freestyle leg but ended up holding on for second, touching in 4:07.15, to Li’s 4:07.50.

Kalisz put his own American record on notice in the men’s 400 IM. He fell off the pace over the back half of the race, but he still posted a quick time of 3:36.98 to take the win. The time is the seventh-fastest performance in history, and only Kalisz himself, Josh PrenotTyler ClaryMichael Phelps and Will Licon have swum quicker.

Georgia’s Jay Litherland rocketed home over the final 100 yards with a 49.02 split to pull into second place. Litherland finished in 3:38.19, and Cal’s Andrew Seliskar finished third in 3:39.54. Those are the first three sub-3:40 performances recorded this season. U.S. Olympian Gunnar Bentz finished fourth in 3:42.89.

The Golden Bears swept three of the top four spots in the women’s 100 fly as Thomas won the race in 50.67, the first performance under 51 seconds this season. Osman finished in 51.05 for second, and Georgia’s Veronica Burchill touched out Cal’s Kathleen Baker for third, 51.79 to 51.85.

Cal’s Justin Lynch cruised to first in the men’s 100 fly,coming in at 45.85. Auburn’s Luis Martinez came in second at 46.20, and Georgia’s Taylor Dale finished third in 46.48.

Michigan’s Siobhan Haughney had to come from behind on the final 100 to catch early leader Kristen Vredeveld, but she still pulled out a win in the women’s 200 free. Haugney recorded a time of 1:43.63, while Georgia’s Meghan Raab took second in 1:$4.47. Michigan’s Gabby Deloof came in third in 1:45.29, just ahead of Vredeveld (1:45.32).

Jensen held off a strong finishing charge from Jay Litherland to win the men’s 200 free. The Cal freshman touched in 1:33.76, while Litherland came in at 1:34.04. Virginia’s John Whiteside came in third at 1:35.37.

Virginia’s Laura Simon used a strong last turn and pullout to pass Florida State’s Natalie Pierce and take the win in the women’s 100 breast. Simon posted a 58.41, and Pierce came in next at 59.16. Pierce had previously clocked a 58.37 in the prelims that ranks second in the country this season behind Lilly King (57.30), and Simon’s time from this evening ranks third. Pierce’s teammate Christina Loh Yen Ling was third in 1:00.47.

Kalisz won his second event of the night in the men’s 100 breast as he posted a 52.31 to touch out Hoppe, 52.31 to 52.44. Third place went to Cal’s Carson Sand in 52.61.

Bilquist touched out Smoliga in a tight dual in the women’s 100 back. Bilquist posted a time of 51.12, and Smoliga came in just behind at 51.24. Third went to Cal’s Keaton Blovad in 52.42.

Murphy dominated the men’s 100 back to finish off the night’s individual events. The Olympic gold medalists in both backstrokes in Rio clocked a 44.61 as he prepares to go after his fourth-straight NCAA title in both the 100 and 200-yard distances. Georgia’s Taylor Dale finished second in 46.28, and Auburn’s Joe Patching came in third in 47.03.

In diving, UCLA’s Maria Polyakova won the women’s one-meter event with a score of 301.50. Auburn’s Alison Maillard (277.75) and UCLA’s Eloise Belanger (276.60) completed the top three.

Auburn’s Scott Lazeroff finished first in the men’s three-meter diving, scoring 354.05. Florida State’s Tyler Roberge finished second with 347.90, and just behind was Virginia’s Bryce Shelton at 344.30.

Cal held off a challenge from Michigan to win the women’s 800 free relay. McLaughlin, Baker and Bilquist gave Weitzeil a slight lead over the Wolverines, and Weitzeil initially extended that lead. But she had to fight hard the last 50 to get to the wall first, finally holding off G Ryan at the wall, 6:58.83 to 6:59.46. Virginia, sparked by Kaitlyn Jones’ 1:45.11 leadoff split, finished third in 7:04.80.

The final event of the night, the men’s 800 free relay, featured a tight race between Cal and Georgia. Kevin Litherland of the Bulldogs touched the wall on the third leg just behind Cal’s ‘aukai Lileikis, but Murphy pulled away from Bentz to win in 6:16.22. Andrew Seliskar and Jensen provided the first two legs for the Golden Bears. UGA’s Jay Litherland, Kalisz, Kevin Litherland and Bentz finished second in 6:18.31, and Virginia grabbed third in 6:23.71.

The Cal women maintain the lead in the team race with 638 points, ahead of Georgia at 565 and Virginia at 491. On the men’s side, Cal’s lead over Georgia is 574 to 520, with Auburn hanging around in third with 472.

 

Results from the meet can be here.

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Author: David Rieder

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David Rieder is a staff writer for Swimming World. He has contributed to the magazine and website since 2009, and he has covered the NCAA Championships, U.S. Nationals, Olympic Trials as well as the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and the 2017 World Championships in Budapest. He is a native of Charleston, S.C., and a 2016 graduate of Duke University.

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