Team USA Dominates Last Morning of Pan Pacific Swimming Championships

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

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The final morning of the 2018 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships was dominated by the Americans as they have five of the six top seeds for finals tonight. Regan SmithRyan MurphyMichael AndrewLilly King and Josh Prenot will have lane four for tonight’s finals. Australia’s Cate Campbell is the lone non-American top seed as the Aussie leads the 50 free.

A couple meet records also fell to the way of Murphy and Prenot in their respective events.


Women’s 200 Back

American Regan Smith cruised to the top time in the 200 back with a 2:07.86 on Sunday morning in Tokyo on the final morning of the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships. Smith just missed the meet record of 2:07.48 by Elizabeth Pelton from 2010.

Smith is ahead of a pretty stacked field with Canada’s Taylor Ruck (2:08.37) and Kylie Masse (2:08.45) both advancing to the final as well as American Kathleen Baker (2:08.38) and Australian Emily Seebohm (2:09.26).

Seebohm is the reigning World Champion in the event as five swimmers from last year’s World Championships will swim in the final here at the Pan Pacs in Tokyo.

Seebohm (1st), Baker (3rd), Kaylee McKeown (4th), Masse (5th) and Smith (8th) all swam in the final in Budapest last year.

McKeown is the sixth seed at 2:09.27.

Japan’s Natsumi Sakai (2:09.48) and New Zealand’s Ali Galyer (2:10.11) also advanced to the final.

American Olivia Smoliga was sixth in the prelims tied with McKeown at 2:09.27.


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Men’s 200 Back

Ryan Murphy has quietly had a really good meet at the 2018 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Tokyo. He swam his second best time ever in the 100 back, and became the first man to break 52 seconds more than once. Murphy followed that up with a solid time of 1:54.07 on Sunday morning in Tokyo for a new meet record.

Murphy broke the old record of 1:54.12 by Ryan Lochte from the 2010 meet in Irvine. Murphy is well ahead of the rest of the field as he could challenge a 1:52, which would be his best time.

Murphy won’t be joined in the final by his Cal teammate Jacob Pebley, who finished third in the heats behind Austin Katz. Katz ran down Pebley on the last 50 and swam a 1:55.69 to get the second spot in the final. Pebley was a 1:55.68 at Nationals and the second spot will be up for grabs tonight in the 200 back final. Pebley was third this morning at 1:55.95.

Japan’s Ryosuke Irie (1:56.83) and Keita Sunama (1:57.18) will represent Japan in the final while Australia will have Mitch Larkin (1:58.15) and Bradley Woodward (1:58.24).

Canada’s Javier Acevedo (1:58.74) and Brazil’s Leonardo De Deus (1:59.59) will also swim in the final.


Women’s 50 Free

Australia’s Cate Campbell has had a very successful week in Tokyo at the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships. On the last day of competition, Campbell posted a strong 24.41 for the 50 free top seed on Sunday morning. Campbell is seeded first ahead of fellow Aussie Emma McKeon (24.47) and American Simone Manuel (24.56).

Canada’s Taylor Ruck (24.70) is the fourth seed, not too long after swimming the 200 back. It is unclear if she will swim that double again since she is going to be on Canada’s 4×100 medley relay tonight, but we will have to wait and see.

Japan’s Rikako Ikee (24.76) and American Abbey Weitzeil (24.91) were the other two swimmers to break 25 in the heats, along with Australia’s Shayna Jack (24.91), but she will not advance to the final.

Canada’s Kayla Sanchez (25.11) and Brazil’s Larissa Oliveira (25.23) will also swim in the final.


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Men’s 50 Free

Michael Andrew was the only swimmer to break 22 seconds in the 50 free heats on the last day of the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Tokyo. Andrew sprinted to a 21.83 in the 50 as he is ahead of Caeleb Dressel (22.17) and Japan’s Katsumi Nakamura (22.21).

Andrew and Dressel qualified for the final for the Americans as a big surprise came from Nathan Adrian, who did not swim in his heat. Zach Apple was the next highest American placing tied for ninth at 22.51.

Canada’s Yuri Kisil (22.28) and Japan’s Shinri Shioura (22.30) also qualified for the final.

Brazil, fresh off a win in the 4×100 free relay, had three swimmers place back to back in the heats as Pedro Spajari (22.32) and Marcelo Chierighini (22.34) finished just ahead of Gabriel Santos (22.49).

New Zealand’s Daniel Hunter (22.51) will have lane eight in the final.


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Women’s 200 Breast

Americans Lilly King and Micah Sumrall had the top two times in the 200 breast heats with King leading the way at 2:22.41 to Sumrall’s 2:22.62. The Americans have had a pretty solid Sunday morning session in Tokyo as they have taken every top seed except for one thus far.

Sumrall seems to be a swimmer reborn after not competing in 2017 and not making the Olympic Team in 2016. Sumrall openly talked about her comeback at the US Nationals, where she found her love again in the sport.

The third American was Bethany Galat, who placed in fourth in the heats at 2:23.78. Both King and Sumrall swam faster than Galat’s time from Nationals (2:23.32) so it is up to Galat to swim faster in the B-Final if she is to make the World Championship team.

Japan’s Satomi Suzuki, who won the silver medal in this event six years ago in the London Olympics, is the third seed at 2:23.57. Suzuki will be joined in the final by teammate Reona Aoki (2:25.78) who placed sixth.

Canada will have Kelsey Wog (2:25.13) and Sydney Pickrem (2:25.48) in the final. Argentina’s Julia Sebastian (2:26.73) and Australia’s Jessica Hansen (2:27.10) also placed for the final tonight.


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Men’s 200 Breast

The Americans closed the last morning of the 2018 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships with Josh Prenot breaking the meet record in the 200 breast. The old record was held by Kosuke Kitajima from the 2010 meet in California at 2:08.36. Prenot swam a 2:08.02 to break the record.

The Americans will have five of the six top seeds tonight on the last night of finals at the Pan Pacs. The only event they won’t have lane four is the women’s 50 free with Australian Cate Campbell on top.

Prenot is ahead of fellow American Andrew Wilson who is second at 2:08.66. Those two were the only ones under 2:09, but the pace tonight could be much faster.

Australia’s Matthew Wilson (2:09.26), Japan’s Yasuhiro Koseki (2:09.27) and Ippei Watanabe (2:12.15) are all capable of going much faster in the final, and a 2:07 could be in order, maybe more than one.

Australia’s Zac Stubblety-Cook (2:11.52), Canada’s Eli Wall (2:13.44) and China’s Lin Yunsong (2:14.29) also placed in the top eight.

Notably, Chase Kalisz scratched the heats after winning golds already in the 200 and 400 IM.