Gabby DeLoof Leads Stacked 200 Free Heats at Phillips 66 Nationals

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

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There were four total swimmers under 1:57 in the heats of the 200 free on Thursday morning at the Phillips 66 National Championships in Irvine, California. Surprisingly it was not the reigning Olympic Champion Katie Ledecky. Nor was it veteran distance swimmer Leah Smith. Was it Melanie Margalis, who has made it on a number of 4×200 free relays? American record holder Allison Schmitt?

Nope, it was Michigan’s Gabby DeLoof, who swam a 1:56.76 to lead the 200 free heats on the second morning of the Phillips 66 Nationals.

DeLoof is ahead of three other swimmers who swam 1:56’s. Smith(1:56.78), Ledecky (1:56.83) and Margalis (1:56.84) follow her and will be vying for a spot on the 4×200 free relay for Pan Pacs tonight. The top four in the 100 and 200 free automatically qualify for Tokyo.

The rest of the field is stacked as the American Record holder Schmitt is in fifth at 1:57.12. Simone Manuel (1:57.20), Mallory Comerford (1:57.92) and Virginia’s Paige Madden (1:58.50) will also swim in tonight’s A-Final.

Notable A-Final misses came from Katie McLaughlin (1:58.61) in 13th, Katie Drabot (1:58.68) in 14th and Missy Franklin (1:59.56) in 18th. Olympian and World Championship team member Cierra Runge placed 20th at 1:59.63.

Also notable was 14-year-old Claire Tuggle who swam a 1:58.59 to qualify tied for 11th with Meaghan Raab. Tuggle moved ahead of Franklin in the all-time 13-14 NAG rankings and sits just behind Sippy Woodhead (1:58.53) from 1978. Woodhead was the silver medalist in the 200 free at the 1984 Olympics.

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  1. avatar

    Way to go, Gabby!!!! Pure Michigan!!!

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