USA Swimming Senior Nationals: California Dominates Night One at Seniors

Photo by David Farr

Editorial coverage for U.S. Senior Nationals proudly sponsored by Master Spas!

IRVINE, California, August 6. California had a monster day at the office tonight with three titles out of the six individual events on offer.  On top of a 100 free sweep by way of Nathan Adrian and Missy Franklin, Tom Shields also rocketed his way to victory in the 200 fly.  Cammile Adams defended her title in the 200 fly, while Katie Ledecky and Connor Jaeger just made sure they earned Pan Pacific team spots.

Scheduled Events

  • Women’s 200 fly
  • Men’s 200 fly
  • Women’s 100 free
  • Men’s 100 free
  • Women’s 800 free
  • Men’s 1500 free
  • Women’s 400 free relay
  • Men’s 400 free relay




Women’s 200 fly

Photo Courtesy: Griffin Scott

Photo Courtesy: Griffin Scott

SwimMAC’s Cammile Adams chased down her third straight long course national title with a sizzling time of 2:07.12.  That jumped her up to sixth in the world this year ahead of Jiao Liuyang’s 2:07.28 from the Chinese Nationals Championships, and secured her spot on the Pan Pacific Championships roster to do some more damage.  Her top time is a 2:06.52 from the 2012 Olympic Trials, and puts her in a spot to take on the Pan Pacs field.

Mission Viejo 17-year-old Katie McLaughlin put herself in position for that all-important second spot with a 2:08.74 to get ahead of Bulldogs’ Hali Flickinger’s 2:08.77 in the finale.  McLaughlin moved to 19th in the world with that swim, while Flickinger stands 20th now.  McLaughlin just missed her best time ever of 2:08.72 from World Juniors last summer, while Flickinger smashed her 2:09.31.

Stanford’s Maya DiRado, scratched into the championship finale when Elizabeth Beisel decided not to swim it, took fourth in 2:09.76, while SwimMAC’s Kate Mills took fifth in 2:09.88.  Nova’s Emma Nunn (2:11.13), Flint Y’s Courtney Weaver (2:12.22) and NCAP’s Cassidy Bayer (2:12.30) also competed in the finale.

Kentucky’s Tina Bechtel moved to another stratosphere in the 200 fly with a B final-winning time of 2:09.67.  Her previous best had been a time of 2:11.67 from sectionals just last month, and she moved right on past the 2:10 barrier.  Bruins’ Noelle Tarazona placed second in the event with a 2:10.49 after leading through 150 meters, while Mount Pleasant’s Megan Kingsley took third in 2:11.90.

Crown Point’s Hannah Kukurugya pulled off a C final victory with a time of 2:10.20.  That’s a personal best, clearing the 2:10.64 she set during junior nationals here in Irvine just a week ago.  Tigers’ Kara Kopcso hit the wall in second with a 2:11.06, while Dynamo’s Kylie Stewart finished third in 2:11.40.  That’s a lifetime best for both with Stewart undercutting 2:12 for the first time in her career.

Men’s 200 fly

Photo Courtesy: Griffin Scott

Photo Courtesy: Griffin Scott

California’s Tom Shields caught the field by surprise as he won the finale by nearly a full second in the finale.  He surged his way to a 1:55.09 in a wire-to-wire victory.  That personal best skyrocketed him to third in the world behind only Chad le Clos (1:54.56) and Daiya Seto (1:54.70).  He will definitely take a run at those times at Pan Pacs later this month after cutting more than two seconds from his personal best of 1:57.21.  That’s the fifth different winner in the 200 fly long course since Phelps won three straight from 2008-2010.

SwimMAC’s Tyler Clary (1:56.00) powered his way to second-place honors in the event, and a likely spot on the Pan Pacs roster in the event.  That time cleared the 1:56.11 he posted this morning, but was not enough to leapfrog Viktor Bromer’s 1:55.59 in the world rankings as he remained eighth overall.  NBAC’s Chase Kalisz, who will definitely put a hurting to the 400-meter IM this week, clocked in third with a time of 1:56.50.  That’s his best time ever, now standing 17th in the world.

NCAP’s Andrew Seliskar (1:56.65) and Club Wolverine’s Kyle Whitaker (1:56.67) also beat 1:57, while 2011 champion Bobby Bollier took sixth in 1:57.96.  Last year’s winner, Tom Luchsinger, wound up seventh in 1:58.13 with Longhorn’s John Martens earning eighth in 1:58.27.

North Carolina’s Ben Colley, who missed the A final by just .01, demolished the consolation heat with a 1:56.54.  That time vaulted him to 18th in the world rankings, ahead of Kosuke Hagino’s 1:56.57 from the Japan Open.  He cut his personal best down from 1:57.81. Colley played basketball in high school, and is a late blooming world-class gem in the sport.  Indiana’s Steve Schmuhl touched second in the heat with a 1:58.64, his first time under 1:59, while Bulldogs’ Pace Clark took third in 1:58.68.  That’s also Clark’s first sub-1:59 time.

Terrapins’ Justin Lynch beat 2:00 in the C final for the win with a 1:59.26, but has been in the 1:57 range in his career.  Buenaventura’s Alex Valente, who starred at junior nationals last week, took second in 2:00.61, while NCAP’s Ben Southern rounded out the top three in 2:01.23.

Women’s 100 free

Photo Courtesy: Griffin Scott

Photo Courtesy: Griffin Scott

California’s Missy Franklin defended her long course title with a meet-record time of 53.43 in the finale.  That swim tied the 53.43 she set a year ago, and moved up to a fifth-ranked tie with Emma McKeon in the world.  Her next target is going to be breaking 53 seconds for the first time as her best swim ever is a 53.36.  First Colony’s Simone Manuel checked in with a sizzling 53.66 for second, just off her best of 53.60 from this morning that ranks her seventh in the world now.

Bulldogs’ Shannon Vreeland raced her way to third in 54.14 for 17th in the world, while Canyons’ Abbey Weitzeil fought off a nasty cold she developed after junior nationals for a fourth-place 54.38.  That’s a best for Weitzeil, clearing her previous record of 54.41.  Those top four swimmers were added to the Pan Pacific Championship squad to make up the 400-meter freestyle relay contingent.

The final four finishers were some pretty big names.  AGUA’s Lia Neal (54.47), Tucson Ford’s Margo Geer (54.51), California’s Natalie Coughlin (54.52) and SwimAtlanta’s Amanda Weir (54.80) all were part of an incredibly fast finale.

In an amazingly-stacked consolation heat, NBAC’s Allison Schmitt took the B final with a 54.74.  SwimMAC’s Madison Kennedy took second in 54.86 with Stanford’s Maddy Schaefer placing third in 54.96.  Stanford’s Felicia Lee (55.10) and Andi Murez (55.16) wound up fourth and fifth in a Cardinal-laden field.

Roadrunner’s Stanzi Moseley, a darling of the junior national meet last week, won the C final in 55.28.  Ozaukee’s Katie Drabot finished second in 55.78 with Carmel’s Amy Bilquist tying with Bruins’ Linnea Mack for third with 55.87s.

Men’s 100 free

Photo Courtesy: David Farr

Photo Courtesy: David Farr

In a heat that featured seven Olympians and nearly 50 Olympic medals, California’s Nathan Adrian reminded the world that he’s the fastest American sprinter by far with his sixth long course national title in the past seven swims. He still didn’t match his third-ranked season best of 48.08 from the Barcelona stop of the Mare Nostrum, but it was enough to lock down a spot at the Pan Pacific Championships and hold off any potential upsets.

SwimMAC’s Ryan Lochte showed that his keen is definitely 100 percent by clinching that second spot in the event with a 48.96, while NYAC’s Jimmy Feigen snared third with a 48.98.  NBAC’s Conor Dwyer raced his way into fourth with a 49.06 as the top four swimmers secured spots on the Pan Pacs 400 freestyle relay squad.

California’s Anthony Ervin, the second fastest American in the world so far with a 48.71 from prelims, wound up falling to fifth in 49.08, while Tucson Ford’s Matt Grevers posted a sixth-place 49.12.

In one of the biggest surprises so far this meet, the Greatest of All Time suffered his first major hiccup on his comeback trail as Michael Phelps finished just seventh with a 49.17 after turning eighth and not showing that trademark back-end speed.  It was certainly a bit of a brain-rattler to see Phelps on the podium in the seventh spot.  California’s Seth Stubblefield, the only non-Olympian in the event, finished eighth in 49.34.

Machine’s Jack Conger lowered his personal best in the B final with a winning effort of 49.28.  That beat the 49.40 that had been his best.  NYAC Olympian Darian Townsend, the newly-minted American who gave up his South African roots to pledge allegiance to the U.S. just last month, took second in 49.53.  American Olympian Cullen Jones snared third in 49.53.

Indiana University’s Blake Pieroni managed to tie 4-time junior national champion Townley Haas of NOVA of Virginia in the C final with 49.69s. SwimMAC’s Paul Powers, who led through most of the swim, took third in 49.74.

Women’s 800 free

Photo Courtesy: Azaria Basile

Photo Courtesy: Azaria Basile

Out under world-record pace at the 400-meter mark, world-record holder Katie Ledecky of NCAP started shutting it down as she held almost a double-digit lead at the 400.  Ledecky, who just needed to get herself securely on the Pan Pacifics Championships squad, put up an easy-speed effort of 8:18.47. That’s almost the second-fastest swim of the year behind only her world-record effort of 8:11.00 from The Woodlands Senior Invite.  Her time tonight almost cleared the 8:18.11 clocked by Jazmin Carlin at the Commonwealth Games. The win gave Ledecky a third-straight national title in the event, and she isn’t even a senior in college yet.

NBAC’s Cierra Runge picked up second with an 8:24.69 for a spot on the Pan Pacs squad. That bettered her personal best of 8:26.71 and pushed her to seventh in the world rankings.  Runge’s NBAC teammate Becca Mann, already on the Pan Pacs team in open water, took third in 8:26.64 for 13th in the world rankings.

Badger’s Lindsay Vrooman (8:29.06) led a strong contingent out of heat 7 of 8 this afternoon as she took fourth.  PASA’s Katy Campbell (8:30.46) and Cavalier’s Leah Smith (8:30.86) took fifth and sixth overall, also out of heat 7.  York Y’s Courtney Harnish powered her way to the podium with a seventh-place 8:31.88 from heat 6, while Texas A&M’s Sarah Henry snagged eighth overall in 8:32.42.

Men’s 1500 free

Photo Courtesy: David Farr

Photo Courtesy: David Farr

After initially having Michael McBroom on his hip through about 900 meters, Club Wolverine’s Connor Jaeger started pulling ahead and he wound up winning by more than five seconds with a 14:51.06.  That performance jumped him to fifth in the world behind only Ryan Cochrane (14:44.03), Gregorio Paltrinieri (14:44.50) and Mack Horton (14:48.76). Jaeger will now be able to look forward as part of the Pan Pacifics Championship roster.

McBroom, meanwhile, had to hold off a hard-charging Jordan Wilimovsky of Team Santa Monica, 14:56.17 to 14:56.34 as both moved to eighth and ninth in the men’s metric mile. Club Wolverine’s Sean Ryan (15:07.49) finished fourth overall, just ahead of Andrew Gemmell’s 15:07.82 from the earlier heats.

Mission Viejo’s Janardan Burns had a strong swim in heat 6 of 8 with a 15:11.35 to take sixth, while Club Wolverine’s Michael Klueh was another early heat swimmer with a seventh-place 15:11.37.  Badger’s Ryan Feeley rounded out the podium with a 15:14.18.

Women’s 400 free relay

Photo Courtesy: Mike Comer/

Photo Courtesy: Mike Comer/

By the slimmest of margins, SwimMAC managed to down California for the title.  SwimMAC’s Katie Meili (55.96), Madison Kennedy (55.81), Melissa Gates (56.62) and Nora McCullagh (55.92) put up a 3:44.31 to win the national title.  California’s Rachael Acker (56.34), Kelly Naze (56.36), Rachel Bootsma (56.11) and Kaylin Bing (55.51) touched home second with a time of 3:44.32 in what was a fun-filled second heat of the timed final event.

Wisconsin’s Aja Van Hout (56.51), Ivy Martin (55.95), Annie Tamblyn (57.19) and Chase Kinney (56.37) rounded out the top three with a time of 3:46.02.

Longhorn (3:47.05), Team Bruin (3:47.81), Tennessee (3:48.78), Missouri (3:50.01) and Purdue (3:51.44) also made the podium in the event.

Men’s 400 free relay

KNOXVILLE, TN - December 5, 2013 - Dax Hill prepares to swim in the 50 Yard Freestyle during the USA Swimming AT&T Winter National Championships at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center in Knoxville, Tennessee

Photo Courtesy: Tia Patron/Tennessee Athletics

SwimMAC swept the relays tonight as Dax Hill (49.91), Paul Powers (50.90), Michael Chadwick (50.06) and Mark Weber (50.44) posted a 3:21.31 for the win.  They had just enough in the tank to down Stanford as the Cardinal foursome of Thomas Stephens (50.35), Drew Cosgarea (49.60), Jeff Garnier (50.80) and Sean Duggan (50.63) finished second in 3:21.38.

Ohio State’s Michael Disalle (49.82), Josh Fleagle (50.36), Garrett Trebilcock (50.86) and Matt McHugh (50.93) placed a close third in 3:21.97.

Tennessee (3:22.32), Wisconsin (3:22.41), Louisville (3:25.80), Club Wolverine (3:26.28) and Dynamo (3:26.34) picked up the rest of the hardware on the podium.

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Author: Jason Marsteller

Jason Marsteller is the general manager of digital properties at Swimming World. He joined Swimming World in June 2006 as the managing editor after previous stints as a media relations professional at Indiana University, the University of Tennessee, Southern Utah University and the Utah Summer Games.

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