U.S. Nationals: Matt Fallon Tops 200 Breast Heats With 2:09.0; Mackenzie Looze First in Women’s

Matt Fallon -- Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

U.S. Nationals: Matt Fallon Tops 200 Breast Heats With 2:09.0; Mackenzie Looze First in Women’s

At the U.S. Olympic Trials, Matt Fallon burst onto the scene as a legitimate contender in the men’s 200 breaststroke before even beginning college. Fallon was the top qualifier out of semifinals as he broke 2:09 for the first time, and even though he was eighth in the final, he was marked as one for the future in the event. Fallon then finished third in the 200-yard breast at his first NCAA Championships for Penn, and after skipping the U.S. International Team Trials in April to focus on final exams, Fallon returned to the national stage by posting the top qualifying mark in the 200 breast in prelims.

Fallon, now representing Athens Bulldog Swim Club, swam a mark of 2:09.08 in prelims. The 19-year-old’s time was just off the 2:08.84 that Nic Fink and Charlie Swanson each swam at International Team Trials to tie for the win. Fallson will contend with a pair of Texas veterans in the final as Will Licon, third at last year’s Olympic Trials, qualified second in 2:09.86 and Caspar Corbeau, a finalist in the event for the Netherlands at last month’s World Championships, took third in 2:09.92.

Indiana’s Josh Matheny placed fourth in prelims in 2:10.19, just ahead of Virginia Tech’s AJ Pouch (2:10.21), while Jake Foster, a Texas senior-to-be representing the Mason Manta Rays, was sixth in 2:10.52. Foster placed third at the International Team Trials in April. Maxwell Reich (2:11.58) and Colin Feehery (2:12.29) also made the final.


The Nationals field in the women’s 200 breast was missing the top three Americans in the event right now, world champion Lilly King, Worlds bronze medalist Kate Douglass and 2021 Olympic bronze medalist Annie Lazor, so the battle in the final should come between a pair of Virginia swimmers and Indiana’s Mackenzie Looze, who recorded the top-qualifying mark in prelims at 2:27.49. The swim was a tenth under Looze’s previous best time, which she recorded on the way to a sixth-place finish at the U.S. International Team Trials in April, and it put her just ahead of Virginia’s Anna Keating (2:27.59). Keating previously was fourth at the International Team Trials with a swift mark of 2:24.62.

Virginia’s Ella Nelson, fourth at the NCAA Championships this year in the 200-yard breast and second last year, took third in 2:28.21. Also getting into the A-final were Kentucky’s Gillian Davey (2:28.39), Indiana’s Noelle Peplowski (2:28.44), Ohio State’s Josei Panitz (2:28.71), Louisville’s Abby Hay (2:29.38) and Australia’s Matilda Smith (2:29.39).


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