US Olympic Trials: Colby Mefford Enters National Top Ten, Sophie Brison Takes 200 Back Win at Wave I

Colby Mefford Cal
Photo Courtesy: Colby Mefford

US Olympic Trials: Colby Mefford, Sophie Brison Take 200 Back Wins at Wave I

16-year-old Sophie Brison of Dynamo Swim Club won the 200 backstroke on Sunday night at the US Olympic Trials Wave I with a 2:13.21, holding off a hard charging Bayley Stewart of Notre Dame (2:13.25). Brison lowered her own best time by a full second and moved up to 58th all-time in the 15-16 age group in this event to punch her ticket to Wave II next week.

Brison led at the halfway point, flipping at 1:04.83 while Stewart was in eighth place at 1:06.65. Stewart nearly negative split her race, swimming a 1:06.70 on the back half as she nearly ran down Brison. Stewart was the only one in the field to split under 34 on both the last two 50s while Brison split a 1:08.3.

Wisconsin’s Margaret Guanci finished in third at 2:14.51 after being in the top two for the first 150, but her final 50 of 35.09 was not enough for her to hang on for a spot in Wave II. She was able to hold of Washington State’s Taylor McCoy (2:14.82) and Kentucky’s Jodi Ogle (2:14.95). 16-year-old North Carolina commit Aislin Farris (2:14.96) finished in sixth as her best time was a 2:13.8.

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Results:

  1. Sophie Brison, 2:13.21
  2. Bayley Stewart, 2:13.25
  3. Margaret Guanci, 2:14.51
  4. Taylor McCoy, 2:14.82
  5. Jodi Ogle, 2:14.95
  6. Aislin Farris, 2:14.96
  7. Annie Behm, 2:16.60
  8. Rosie Murphy, 2:17.39

In the men’s race, Cal’s Colby Mefford came from off the pace to win the race and clinch a spot in Wave II Olympic Trials as he split a 29.68 on the final 50. Mefford was the only one under 30 seconds the entire race as he won at 1:59.85 to put himself seventh in the United States this season. His best entering today was a 2:01.8 as his time puts him within contention of getting a second swim at Wave II if he can keep his taper going. Mefford flipped eighth at the 50, sixth at halfway, and fourth at the 150 before running everyone down to win at the finish.

He will be joined at next week’s Olympic Trials by Cincinnati’s Blake Hanna who had a best time of 2:02.2 entering today and nearly broke 2:00 and is now eighth nationally this season. Hanna was in second the entire race and had the fastest last 50 behind Mefford with a 30.4, passing early leader Jacob Steele of Indiana who won the 100 back earlier in the meet on Friday. Steele faded to fourth at 2:01.05 after flipping at 57.98 ahead of Hanna (58.40).

Georgia’s Bradley Dunham finished in third at 2:00.96 with Bluefish’s Caleb Maldari (2:01.27) finishing in fifth. Maldari came into tonight as the top seed and only added a tenth on his prelims time as he remains 19th all-time in the 15-16 age group.

Results:

  1. Colby Mefford, 1:59.85
  2. Blake Hanna, 2:00.11
  3. Bradley Dunham, 2:00.96
  4. Jacob Steele, 2:01.05
  5. Caleb Maldari, 2:01.27
  6. Landon Driggers, 2:02.48
  7. Sam O’Brien, 2:03.29
  8. Hunter Gubeno, 2:03.76