TYR Pro Championships: Jake Foster, Dakota Luther Record World Top-10 Times in Irvine

Jake Foster -- Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

TYR Pro Championships: Jake Foster, Dakota Luther Record World Top-10 Times in Irvine

On the final evening of racing at the TYR Pro Championships in Irvine, Calif., two swimmers recorded times that would have been quick enough to qualify for the U.S. World Championships team. In the men’s 200 breaststroke, Jake Foster of the University of Texas and Mason Manta Rays swam a time of 2:08.23 while another Longhorn, Dakota Luther, went 2:06.79 in the women’s 200 butterfly.

Foster, whose younger brother Carson Foster is currently racing after the World Championships. moved to ninth in the world in his signature event, just clear of the 2:08.32 that Josh Matheny swam to finish second at U.S. Nationals. Foster’s time would have ranked him fifth overall in the World Championships final. Also swimming under 2:10 in Irvine was Foster’s Texas training partner Will Licon, who went 2:09.51, with Indiana’s Max Reich taking third in 2:11.35.

With her 200 fly swim, Luther became the seventh-fastest swimmer in the world this year, well clear of the 2:07.35 that Lindsay Looney swam to earn the second spot on the Worlds team behind Regan Smith last month. The time would have placed her fourth behind Canada’s Summer McIntosh, Australia’s Elizabeth Dekkers and Smith in the Fukuoka final. Luther led a Longhorn Aquatics sweep in the event as Kelly Pash took second (2:08.00) and Emma Sticklen placed third (2:09.96).

In other events, New York Athletic Club’s Catie Deloof held off 2016 co-Olympic champion and two-time world champion Simone Manuel for the win in the women’s 100 freestyle, with Deloof clocking 54.06 after going 53.98 in prelims. Manuel hit the wall in 54.21, followed by Longhorn’s Grace Cooper (54.86). In the men’s 100 free, Australia’s Maximillian Giuliani overtook LSU’s Brooks Curry for the win, 48.21 to 48.36, with Sun Devil’s Jonny Kulow placing third (48.61) ahead of returning two-time Olympian Blake Pieroni (48.70).

In the longest race on the program, Longhorn’s Erica Sullivan worked hard to track down Wisconsin’s Paige McKenna around the 1300-meter mark of the 1500 free. Sullivan ended up winning in 16:21.47, beating McKenna (16:23.92) and Jersey Wahoos’ Maggie Wagoner (16:25.77). The men’s mile went to Australia’s Matthew Galea, who added to his earlier wins in the 400 and 800 free with his time of 14:57.19. The Swim Team’s Michael Brinegar took second (14.59.52) with Sun Devil’s Daniel Matheson third (1:01.95).

Wisconsin’s Phoebe Bacon, the 2022 World Championships runnerup in the women’s 200 backstroke, won her best event in 2:09.30 over Australia’s Hannah Fredericks (2:09.87) and Tennessee’s Josephine Fuller (2:11.81). SwimAtlanta’s Jack Aikins pulled away from Athens Bulldog’s Ian Grum and held off Australia’s Ty Hartwell to win the men’s 200 back. Aikins clocked 1:57.82, ahead of Hartwell (1:58.05) and Grum (1:58.52).

Mission Viejo’s Trenton Julian faded down the stretch of the men’s 200 butterfly but held on to win in 1:56.91, with Cal’s Colby Mefford (1:58.01) and Sun Devil’s Jay Litherland (1:58.31) rounding out the top three. Australia went 1-2 in the women’s 200 breast with Ella Ramsey (2:27.41) and Mikayla Smith (2:27.63) finishing ahead of Trojan’s Isabelle Odgers (2:28.15).

The meet concluded with the 400 freestyle relays, and with the Aussies’ Mia O’Leary leading off for her women’s team beforeAlexandria PerkinsLilly Price and Brittany Casteuzzo finished the race in 3:41.40. Alto Swim Club, fueled by a 54.79 split from Lillie Nordmann, took second in 3:42.38, with Wisconsin third in 3:46.20.

Indiana Swim Club’s Luke Barr, Pieroni, Gavin Wight and Brendon Burns achieved a time of 3:17.08 in the men’s 400 free relay to take the win. Giuliani anchored for the Aussies in 48.77, but he could not keep pace with Burns as Australia ended up second in 3:17.23. Wisconsin took third in 3:19.85,

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