Comerford Takes Down Haughey in Quick 200 Free at SMU Classic

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The SMU Classic typically produces some exceptional times at a point in the season — mid-October — when such efforts are scarce, and Friday evening was no exception. At the women’s-only meet in Dallas, Mallory Comerford picked up a win over Siobhan Haughey in the 200 free with the two recording the best efforts in the country so far this season.

Louisville’s Comerford won the event in 1:41.70, ahead of Michigan’s Haughey’s 1:42.44. Finishing third was USC’s Tatum Wade in 1:46.99, while Michigan’s Gabby Deloof actually had the day’s No. 3 time in the B-final, with her 1:45.59.

Only six teams are competing at the meet, Louisville, Michigan, USC, UCLA, Miami and host SMU, and only eight total swimmers and one diver per team may attend. The meet is finals-only, with each team selecting one swimmer per event to swim in the A-final and one for the B-final. Swimmers typically don tech suits at SMU for the first time in the season.

Prior to her swim in the 200 free, Comerford swam the fly leg of Louisville’s 400 medley relay, splitting a 50.73. She was joined on the squad by Alina KendziorMariia Astashkina and Lainey Visscher on the way to a final time of 3:32.65.

Michigan’s Clara SmiddyMiranda TuckerVanessa Krause and Haughey took second in 3:33.17, as Haughey anchored in 46.76, and USC’s Hannah WeissRiley ScottMaddie Wright and Marta Ciesla were third in 3:36.34.

Maggie Aroesty made her debut in a USC Trojan swim cap when she won the 400 IM, recording a time of 4:10.18. Michigan’s Rose Bi took second in 4:11.15, and Louisville’s Rachael Bradford-Feldman grabbed third in 4:11.86.

Ciesla touched out Visscher to win the 50 free, 22.63 to 22.68, while Michigan’s Catie Deloof was third in 22.81. Louisville’s Casey Fanz also had a strong swim, winning the B-final in 22.64.

In one-meter diving, Louisville’s Molly Fears won with 260.00 points, just ahead of Miami’s Wally Layland (259.15) and UCLA’s Ciara Monahan (258.55).

USC’s Louise Hansson, who took third in the 100 fly at the 2017 NCAA championships, won that event Friday evening in 51.56, more than a second ahead of Louisville’s Grace Ogelsby (52.66) and UCLA’s Katie Glover (52.90).

Hansson again competed in the very next event, the 100 back, but Smiddy touched her out for the win, 52.55 to 52.79. Louisville’s Alina Kendzior took third in 53.02.

Scott won the 100 breast for USC in 59.56, making her the only swimmer to break the 1:00-barrier. Tucker (1:00.35) and Astashkina (1:01.25) rounded out the top three, while Aroesty won the B-final in 1:00.46.

In the evening’s final event, Michigan dominated the 800 free relay with a team of Gabby Deloof, Catie Deloof, Bi and Haughey. The quartet checked in at 7:00.71.

Louisville finished second in 7:06.36. Comerford led off in 1:43.33 — not as fast as her swim from earlier in the night but impressive nonetheless — and she was followed by Arina Openysheva, Fanz and Bradford-Feldman. USC’s Wade, Lexie Malazdrewicz, Wright and Hansson took third in 7:09.92.

After one day of action, USC led Louisville in the points race, 168-163.5, while Michigan was close behind at 161. UCLA (129.5), Miami (109) and SMU (106) were fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.

Competition resumes with a Saturday evening session beginning at 6:30 p.m. central time.

Full results