Lilly King, Kevin Cordes Rattle American Records on Thursday Morning in Indy

Photo Courtesy: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

The third morning of action from the 2017 Phillips 66 USA Swimming National Championship featured eight prelim events with plenty of action in them. Leah Smith grabbed the top seed in an unconventional 400 IM race while veteran Elizabeth Beisel has a chance to make her sixth World Championships. Chase Kalisz will be looking for his third straight World Championship team in the 400 IM tonight as his Georgia teammates Gunnar Bentz and Jay Litherland will be vying for their first Worlds team.

Kelsi Worrell will be looking for her first World Championship berth in the 100 fly as she leads a number of girls searching for their first team including Hellen Moffitt and Sarah Gibson. Jack Conger and Caeleb Dressel will battle it out in the men’s race as Tom Shields and Tim Phillips are looking for return trips to Worlds. Conger and Dressel are already on the team after swims they had Tuesday night.

Lilly King, Kevin Cordes, Ali DeLoof and Matt Grevers are all top seeds in their respective 50 strokes as a couple American Records could fall down in those events tonight.

Live Results

Today’s Events:

  • Women’s 400 IM
  • Men’s 400 IM
  • Women’s 100 Fly
  • Men’s 100 Fly
  • Women’s 50 Breast
  • Men’s 50 Breast
  • Women’s 50 Back
  • Men’s 50 Back

Women’s 400 IM

Leah Smith grabbed the top seed spot in an unconventional event on Wednesday morning at the Phillips 66 USA Swimming National Championships. The new postgrad swimmer Smith swam a 4:36.90 in the 400 IM prelims, an event she is not known to swim at the national level. That time puts her ninth in the world for 2017.

Smith was followed by veteran Elizabeth Beisel in second at 4:38.78. Beisel is looking to make her sixth World Championship team dating all the way back to 2007. Beisel has indicated this is her last World Trials and has not stated any plans beyond 2017. NCAA champion Ella Eastin is seeded third at 4:40.56.

Brooke Forde (4:42.32), Brooke Zeiger (4:43.09), Ally McHugh (4:43.75), Bethany Galat (4:43.81) and Madisyn Cox (4:44.63) will also swim in the A-final. Galat is already on the team for Budapest after her second place finish in the 200 breast last night. Everyone else in the field is not on the Worlds team yet with the exception of Leah Smith.Screen Shot 2017-06-29 at 10.04.44 AM

Men’s 400 IM

Chase Kalisz cruised in the 400 IM prelim heats to a comfortable 4:13.34 to have the top seed ahead of Georgia teammates Jay Litherland (4:16.76) and Gunnar Bentz (4:17.22). Kalisz is in a good spot to make his third straight World Championship team as he will look to improve on his silver in 2013 and bronze in 2015.

Sean Grieshop (4:18.40), Charlie Swanson (4:19.14), Kieran Smith (4:19.89), Curtis Ogren (4:20.44) and Jonathan Roberts (4:20.48) will all swim in the A-Final tonight.

No one in the field has punched a ticket to Budapest yet as Kalisz was third in the 200 fly and Litherland was seventh in the 200 free. No one in the top eight besides Kalisz has made a World Championships either so there will be some urgency in the final tonight.

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Women’s 100 Fly

Kelsi Worrell had a very strong swim on Wednesday morning in the Phillips 66 USA Swimming National Championships with a 57.40 in the 100 fly. Worrell looks to be in good shape to pick up her first individual spot on a World Championship team as she is already on the team for the 4×100 free relay. Worrell was followed in the prelims by North Carolina’s Hellen Moffitt (58.24) and Texas A&M’s Sarah Gibson (58.41).

Moffitt is in line to make her first Worlds team after she competed for the USA at the short course worlds in December. Gibson also has a good chance to get on the team after she narrowly missed making it in the 200 fly Tuesday night.

One of the big surprises of the morning was Mallory Comerford getting into the final here. She placed fourth at 58.61 and could play spoiler to Moffitt and Gibson. Comerford already won the 100 free at this meet. Cal’s Katie McLaughlin (58.80), Canyon’s Amanda Kendall (58.97), Trojan’s Kendyl Stewart (59.03) and Minnesota’s Danielle Nack (59.11) will all swim in the A-final.

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Men’s 100 Fly

In the post-Phelps era, Jack Conger posted a very quick time in the 200 fly on Tuesday night with a 1:54.47. He came back Thursday morning to have another good swim in the 100 fly heats with a 51.37 to swim the fourth fastest of 2017. Conger now sits behind South Africa’s Chad Le Clos (51.29), China’s Li Zhuhao (51.34) and France’s Mehdy Metella (51.36). Conger just out-touched 50 fly champ Caeleb Dressel in his heat at 51.38.

Tom Shields (51.73) and Tim Phillips (51.76) both have legitimate chances to make return trips to the World Championships as those four swimmers are head and shoulders ahead of the rest of the seeds.

Matthew Josa (52.33), Justin Lynch (52.63) and Andrew Liang (53.08) will swim in the A-final tonight. There was a tie for eighth as Michigan’s Miles Smachlo and Louisville’s Zach Harting tied for eighth at 53.16. Harting won the swim-off with a 52.63 to Smachlo’s 53.08. Harting will take lane 8 in the final now.

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Women’s 50 Breast

Indiana’s Lilly King broke the meet record in the 50 breast on Thursday morning at the Phillips 66 USA Swimming National Championships with a 29.96. The time broke the meet record held by Jessica Hardy at 30.12 set in 2014. King also just missed Hardy’s American Record at 29.80 set in 2009. She now sits second in the world rankings behind Russia’s Yulia Efimova (29.88).

King is the top seed into tonight’s A-final ahead of Katie Meili (30.47), Molly Hannis (30.67), Jorie Caneta (30.85), Andrea Cottrell (31.13), Breeja Larson (31.14), Natalie Pierce (31.22) and Katharine Ross (31.25).

King can elect to swim the 50 breast in Budapest if she wins tonight because of the World Championship qualification rules. King could challenge the World Record held by Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte (29.43), something she has said she wants to achieve this year. If she doesn’t get the record this year, she will for sure be shooting for the number one time in the world that Efimova has.

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Men’s 50 Breast

Kevin Cordes continued his momentum after a huge 200 breast win last night with a US Open Record in the 50 breast on Thursday morning at the Phillips 66 USA Swimming National Championships. Cordes swam a 26.89 to break Brendan McHugh’s US Open and meet record at 27.10 from 2014. Cordes now sits second in the world behind Great Britain’s Adam Peaty (26.48).

Cordes also narrowly missed his own American Record from 2015 at 26.76. Cordes leads Andrew Wilson (27.29), Cody Miller (27.39), Nic Fink (27.41), Michael Andrew (27.45), Ian Finnerty (27.54), Connor Hoppe (27.78) and Matthew Anderson (27.79) into the A-final. This was the first appearance of the meet for Olympic bronze medalist Miller.

Cordes could have the option to swim the 50 in Budapest since he is already on the team. See the qualification rules here.

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Women’s 50 Back

Ali DeLoof of Club Wolverine has been on a roll since becoming a postgrad at Club Wolverine. She has been swimming very well across the Arena Pro Swim Series meets and has showed she is not messing around at the Phillips 66 USA Swimming Nationals. DeLoof snagged the top seed of the 50 back with a 27.82 to just miss the meet record held by Rachel Bootsma at 27.68 from 2013. DeLoof was just ahead of Missouri’s Hannah Stevens at 27.94.

Kathleen Baker (28.09), Courtney Caldwell (28.39), Grace Ariola (28.51), Caroline Baldwin (28.51), Amy Bilquist (28.64) and Katharine Berkoff (28.74) will also swim in the A-final tonight.

The big story of the morning was Olivia Smoliga who slipped on the start. She fell to 32nd at 29.25 but will still have a chance to make the team in the 100 back tomorrow. Smoliga swam a 28.08 in a time trial later on in the session, which would have placed her in the A-final.

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Men’s 50 Back

Matt Grevers is still as strong as he has ever been. The 32-year-old swam the fastest time of the morning in the 50 back with a 24.75 to lead the qualifiers into tonight. Grevers is searching for his fifth World Championship berth and he is looking good for a spot tomorrow in the 100 back.

Grevers is seeded just ahead of Michael Andrew and Justin Ress at 24.96. Luke Kaliszak (25.06), Taylor Dale (25.12), John Shebat (25.14), Ryan Murphy (25.24) and Daniel Carr (25.30) will swim in the A-final. Carr won a swim-off ahead of Indiana’s Bob Glover after Jacob Pebley dropped out.

The qualification rules for the 50 stroke events can be viewed here.

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Author: Andy Ross

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Andy Ross is the new man on board at Swimming World. He is based out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida at the International Swimming Hall of Fame. He is a 2017 graduate of Southern Illinois University where he graduated cum laude.

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