U.S. Nationals: Breeja Larson defends prelims top seed and takes home gold in 100 breast

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Photo Courtesy: Connor Trimble

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Women’s 100 Breast (Breeja Larson)

Just missing qualifications for the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Breeja Larson, the 2012 Olympian who helped team USA take home gold in the women’s 400 medley relay, proved to be even hungrier for the rapidly approaching 2020 Tokyo games. Defending her prelim top seed from this morning, Larson is your 2019 national champion in the women’s 100 breast with a time of 1:06.78. Larson was the fastest one of the blocks splitting a 31.18 her first 50, and then taking home the remainder of the race in a 35.60.

At just 16 years old, Kaitlyn Dobler earned herself a silver medal in the women’s 100 breast. The up-and-coming youngster from Dolphins Portland Swimming was originally seeded fourth going into the event and dropped nearly a second as she hit the wall at 1:07.23.

Taking home a bronze medal in the event was University of Michigan swimmer, Miranda Tucker. The three-time CSCAA All-American swimmer maintained her third place seed and shaved some time off from her prelims swim, finishing with a time of 1:07.33. After transferring from Indiana University to University of Michigan in 2018, Tucker’s training style under new coaching may have changed, however she still remained a powerhouse within the Big 10 conference. At last year’s national championships Tucker finished ninth in the 100 breast, hence a third place finish at this year’s meet is a big improvement.

Zoie Hartman was originally sitting in second place, right behind Larson before finals. Hartmann still dropped some milliseconds from her prelims swim, but others in the pack such as Tucker, Dobler and Larson pulled ahead of her. The Crow Canyon Country Club Sharks swimmer finished with a time of 1:07.37.

The national champion in the women’s 200 breast, Madisyn Cox, finished in fifth place in the 100 breast with a time of 1:07.51. While Cox started off with the second slowest 50 split in the race at 31.77, she gained some momentum in the back half and was able to out touch sixth place finisher Emily Weiss.

While the battle between Cox and Indiana University swimmer, Weiss, came down to the last strokes of the race, Weiss still dropped time from her prelims swim despite falling one spot below her original seed.

Another 16-year-old competing in the A final of the women’s 100 breast was Ellie Andrews. Andrews finished in seventh place with a time of 1:08.37.

Your eighth place qualifier in the women’s 100 breast was Tennessee Aquatics swimmer Nikol Popov. Popov hit the touch pad at 1:08.93, adding a few milliseconds from her prelims swim.

Prior to the A final taking place, Jenna Strauch won the B final with a time of 1:08.49 jumping ahead from 15th to 9th place.100 b

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