Ricky Berens Posts Unorthodox American Record

AUSTIN, Texas, March 7. AT the American Short Course Championships tonight in Austin, Texas, Ricky Berens decided to pull off an unorthodox American record in the 200-yard free — DURING his 500-yard free swim.

Berens raced out ahead of the championship final pack, splitting a 21.43, 44.80 (23.37), 1:08.06 (23.26) and 1:31.31 (23.25) for the American record, before dropping back in a 300-yard warmdown with splits ranging from 34.28 to 41.25 before finishing eighth in 5:05.36. That swim bettered fellow Longhorn David Walters' 2009 record of 1:31.72 set as a relay leadoff in College Station, Texas.

Video courtesy Charles Logan:

Berens previously had a lifetime best of 1:31.96 from the Winter Nationals last year. His time tonight vaulted him to second all-time in the event's history. Only Simon Burnett has been faster with a sizzling 1:31.20 at the 2006 NCAA Championships. Berens not only jumped Walters, he cleared Shaune Fraser (1:31.70) and Conor Dwyer (1:31.73) in the rankings.

Missouri's Eegan Groome won the overall 500 free with a 4:19.65, while QDD's Henry Campball (4:19.93) and NCA's Andrew Brady (4:24.71) took second and third.

In other action, The Armada's Taylor Ault topped the women's 500-yard free in 4:49.25 at just 14 years old. Jenna Bauer swam to second in 4:50.73, while NOVA's Michaela Merlihan earned third in 4:53.99. NCA's Kelsey Kafka took the women's 200-yard IM title in 2:03.13, while Bauer claimed her second silver in as many events with a 2:03.93. Brea's Ashley Tse touched third in 2:04.01.

CANY's Nikita Denisyako topped the men's 200-yard IM in 1:46.51. Yaniv Schnaider (1:47.09) and Conor Swanson (1:48.21) completed the top three in the event. Denisyako's 16-year-old teammate Abbey Weitzeil captured the women's 50-yard free in 22.72. NOVA's Rebecca Millard (23.30) and The Dolphins' Brie Balsbrough (23.40) placed second and third in the splash-and-dash. Longhorn's Jimmy Feigen dropped a 19.62 to win the men's 50-yard free, while Charlie Moore (20.00) and Kyle Troskot (20.03) touched second and third.

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