Close Battles In 400 Freestyle Relays Close Out USA Swimming Nationals

Relay Exchange

Photo by Peter H. Bick

GREENSBORO – The women’s 400 freestyle relay put a perfect cap on an exciting night of racing at the USA Swimming short course nationals, as three teams were in the hunt for the win.

At the halfway point, Michigan and Louisville were the two teams in the hunt, but SwimMAC Carolina and Indiana joined the race after that. Louisville couldn’t hold on to the lead pack, and it was Michigan who eked out the win with a 3:17.13 to get the gold medal over a tie for second between SwimMAC and Indiana. Both teams will share second with a 3:17.38.

Michigan splits:
Clara Smiddy: 49.52
Zoe Mattingly: 49.71
Ali Deloof: 48.93
Gillian Ryan: 48.97

Louisville (3:18.67), UCLA (3:18.80), Nation’s Capital (3:21.36), Villanova (3:25.44), Queens University of Charlotte (3:25.52) and Air Force (3:25.91) rounded out the top eight in the timed final event.

Louisville and Ohio State had just as close of a battle in the men’s 400 free relay. Swimming in lane one, Ohio State tried to take the win in the outside lane, but Louisville wasn’t to be denied as the two teams split virtually even for most of the race. The Buckeyes posted an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 2:53.04. Louisville tied the automatic qualifying time with a 2:53.11 to mark the second- and third-fastest college relays of the season.

Ohio State splits:
Josh Fleagle: 43.62
Michael Disalle: 42.78
Matt McHugh: 43.47
Steffen Hillmer: 43.17

Louisville splits:
Thomas Dahlia: 43.83
Matthias Lindenbauer: 42.95
Aaron Young: 43.49
Trevor Carroll: 42.84

As they have done all week, the postgrad team from Club Wolverine raced in the slower timed final heat, and nearly topped Ohio State’s swim from the fastest heat. But the that Geoffrey Cheah (42.90), Junya Koga (43.21), Hassaan Abdel Khalik (43.45) and Zach Hayden (43.55) could do was tie Louisville with a 2:53.11 to give us another silver medal tie in the free relay.

SwimMAC Carolina (2:54.53), Michigan’s B team (2:54.85), Indiana (2:55.62), Grand Canyon (2:56.67) and Louisville’s B team (2:57.09) rounded out the top eight.