U.S. Olympic Trials: Katie Trace Wins Wave I 200 Butterfly By Smallest Margin; Carl Bloebaum Surges

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Photo Courtesy: NCAA Media

U.S. Olympic Trials: Katie Trace Wins Wave I 200 Butterfly By Smallest Margin; Carl Bloebaum Surges

It didn’t take long for the U.S. Olympic Trials to produce a spectacular finish, as Katie Trace and Emma Sticklen were separated by the slimmest of margins at the CHI Health Center in Omaha on Friday night.

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On the opening night of Wave I action, Trace and Sticklen raced to within .01 of each other in the 200-meter butterfly, with Ohio State’s Trace claiming the narrow victory in 2:12.57. Sticklen was right behind with an effort of 2:12.58, and both women have qualified to compete in the Wave II competition that will begin on June 13.

Trace touched first at the 50-meter mark (29.23) and at the midway point (1:02.56), but slipped back to fourth at the third turn. Rather than fade, though, Trace dug deep and finished strong, splitting 35.19 for her last lap. As for Sticklen, a standout for the University of Texas, she fended off third-place finisher Martina Peroni, who recorded a time of 2:12.61. Sticklen was the seventh-place finisher in the 200-yard butterfly at March’s NCAA Championships.

Results:

  1. Katie Trace, 2:12.57
  2. Emma Sticklen, 2:12.58
  3. Martina Peroni, 2:12.61
  4. Kate McCarville, 2:13.05
  5. Casey Cullen, 2:13.38
  6. Caroline Sheble, 2:13.59
  7. Mackenzie McConagh, 2:13.81
  8. Alex Massey, 2:14.21

On the men’s side, Virginia Tech recruit Carl Bloebaum backed up his top seed in the final by taking top honors in 1:58.90, an effort that was comfortably ahead of the 1:59.63 of Colby Mefford. Bloebaum and Mefford were the only swimmers to crack the two-minute barrier. Representing the Mason Manta Rays, Bloebaum sat third after the opening 50, moved into second at the haldway point and led the last half o the race.

Bloebaum was considerably faster than the morning, when he qualified as the top seed in 1:59.57. As for Mefford, he was the fifth seed after the morning prelims, but brought his best performance when it mattered most. Mefford was followed in third place by the pair of Sebastien Sergile and Micah Slaton, who produced matching times of 2:00.17.

Results:

  1. Carl Bloebaum, 1:58.90
  2. Colby Mefford, 1:59.63
  3. Sebastien Sergile, 2:00.17
  4. Micah Slaton, 2:00.17
  5. Sam Artmann, 2:00.35
  6. Noah Henderson, 2:00.79
  7. Sam Folger, 2:01.52
  8. Jacob Pishko, 2:02.96