USA Swimming Winter Nationals: American Record Trifecta For Nick Thoman, Missy Franklin Doubles

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KNOXVILLE, Tennessee, December 6. THE second night of sensational swimming at the USA Swimming Winter Nationals featured a career night for SwimMAC’s Nick Thoman. Meanwhile, Missy Franklin picked up a pair of individual titles as well as a relay victory.

Women’s 200 medley relay
The foursome of Cindy Tran (23.90), Marina Garcia Urzainqui (27.93), Farida Osman (23.07) and Kaylin Bin (22.01) gave the meet record of 1:36.46 a run, but settled just shy of it with a winning time of 1:36.91. That’s still a sizzling-fast time for the Golden Bears as the NCAA A cut time proved to be even faster than the pair of times posted this morning by Cal.

Louisville’s Kristina Brandenburg (24.86), Andrea Cottrell (27.83), Kelsi Worrell (22.87) and Rachael Lewis (22.51) raced to second in 1:38.07, just off the NCAA A cut of 1:38.01, but definitely one of the top times right after the A cut to potentially be selected.

Tennessee’s Erin Gaeckle (26.54), Molly Hannis (25.88), Faith Johnson (23.85) and Lindsay Gendron (22.26) snared third-place honors in 1:38.53, while California’s Stephanie Au (24.16), Rachel Bootsma (28.94), Sophia Batchelor (23.26) and Rachael Acker (22.21) placed fourth in 1:38.57.

Indiana (1:38.61), Arizona State (1:40.72), Columbia (1:41.35) and NCAP (1:41.42) rounded out the top eight in the finale.

Men’s 200 medley relay
SwimMAC blasted through for the first American record of the meet as the foursome of Nick Thoman (20.69), Eric Knight (23.83), Tim Phillips (20.02) and Cullen Jones (18.48) put together the fastest men’s 200-yard medley relay by a foursome of Americans ever. The SwimMAC post-grad group wound up with a blistering time of 1:23.02 led by Thoman, who also posted the fastest 50-yard back ever by an American.

Their swim blasted the meet record of 1:24.84 set by Arizona last year, and clipped the American record set by California’s Tony Coz, Trevor Hoyt, Tom Shields and Seth Stubblefield at the 2013 NCAA Division I Championships.

SwimMAC still has a bit of work to catch the U.S. Open mark set by Michigan at the 2013 NCAAs as well. Michigan’s Miguel Ortiz, Bruno Ortiz, Sean Fletcher and Zach Turk put together a ridiculous time of 1:22.27 this March.

NYAC’s Arkady Vyatchanin (21.61), Dani Malnik (25.06), Josh Schneider (20.67) and Adam Brown (18.85) put together a swift second-place time of 1:25.92, while Louisville’s Grigory Tarasevich (22.08), Kameron Chastain (24.26), Aaron Young (20.97) and Caryle Blondell (19.09) collected third-place honors in 1:26.40.

Michigan (1:26.47), California (1:26.64), Tennessee (1:27.26), Arizona State (1:28.21) and Michigan (1:29.50) rounded out the championship heat.

Women’s 400 IM
California’s Celina Li raced right by her lifetime best in the distance medley to win the event going away in 4:06.54. That performance cleared her personal record of 4:06.94 from 2011, and finished just a second off the NCAA A cut of 4:05.44 in the event.

Kansas’ Chelsie Miller had a breakthrough day, that’s for sure. She finished second in 4:08.86 this evening. That cut her lifetime best down from 4:15.01 set at the 2013 Big 12 Championships. This morning, she first started her remarkable progression with a 4:12.49 in prelims before blasting through the 4:09 barrier.

Michigan’s Marni Oldershaw rounded out the podium with a third-place time of 4:10.31, while Arizona State’s Tristin Baxter placed fourth in 4:12.67.

Michigan’s Courtney Beidler (4:12.89), California’s Kelly Naze (4:13.05), Indiana’s Dorina Szekeres (4:14.50) and Tennessee’s Amanda Carner (4:15.66) also competed in the championship finale, while Air Force’s Kimberly Davis took home the B final in 4:13.84.

Men’s 400 IM
He’s still two seconds behind Chase Kalisz’s 17-8 U.S. National Age Group record of 3:39.82, but NCAP’s Andrew Seliskar was a full two seconds ahead of the rest of the pack in the men’s distance medley as he salted away the victory early and raced his way to a huge personal best in the event.

Seliskar finished with a 3:41.19, blasting his lifetime best of 3:44.44 set this morning. Now he has Kalisz’s time in site as a 17 and 18 year old, in what would be a big pick up for the NCAP program that continues to rule the bulk of the U.S. National Age Group record books.

California’s Josh Prenot picked up second-place honors in 3:43.86, just missing the NCAA A cut of 3:43.48. Michigan’s Dylan Bosch wound up third overall in 3:45.31.

Cal’s Adam Hinshaw (3:48.67), Michigan’s Kyle Whitaker (3:48.76), Michigan’s Connor Jaeger (3:50.28), Pittsburgh’s Zach Lierley (3:50.37) and Louisville’s Nolan Tesone (3:50.49) also competed in the top eight. Pitt’s Martin Vogel clipped Arizona State’s Zac Dalby in the B final, 3:51.35 to 3:51.73.

Women’s 100 fly
Olympian Claire Donahue of Western Kentucky nearly cracked her lifetime best with a winning time of 51.69 this evening. That just missed her 51.68 that put her on the map at the 2011 NCAA Division I Championships. That’s also her first national championship and is in front of her home town fans as a Knoxville native.

NCAP’s Janet Hu, 17, who took down the 50 free 17-18 U.S. National Age Group record yesterday, raced her way to second in 51.76. That time beat her preliminary effort of 51.95 that briefly stood as her personal record, and put her even closer to Natalie Coughlin’s 2001 17-18 NAG of 51.18 in the event.

Louisville’s Kelsi Worrell put up a third-place time of 51.94, her fifth time under the 52-second barrier. California’s Celina Li finished a tough double with a fourth-place 52.52 after winning the 400 IM to start the night.

Beata Nelson, 15, finished fifth in 52.70, just off Hu’s 15-16 U.S. NAG in the event, while Indiana’s Gia Dalesandro took sixth in 52.93. SwimAtlanta’s Amanda Weir rounded out the championship finishers with a 53.44 for seventh, while Cal’s Cindy Tran drew a disqualification. Sophia Batchelor beat Cal teammate Farida Osman for the B final win, 52.51 to 53.24.

Men’s 100 fly
Tucson Ford’s Matt Grevers broke the 45-second barrier for the first time as he threw down a lifetime best 44.94 to win the finale. The 6-8 giant of a man nearly beat Tom Shields’ meet mark of 44.88 from last year, while clearing his previous personal record of 45.07 from the 2010 Short Course Nationals.

SwimMAC’s Tim Phillips, fresh off an American record in the 200 medley relay, picked up second in 45.61, a personal best as well. That swim beat the 45.85 he clocked at the 2013 Big Ten Championships in February of this year.

Arizona State’s Alex Coci tracked down the final spot on the podium with a third-place time of 46.41.

Michigan’s John Wojciechowski (46.72), Club Wolverine’s Sean Fletcher (46.81), Louisville’s Aaron Young (46.87), Queens’ Matt Josa (46.95) and NYAC’s Adam Brown (47.56) posted the rest of the times in the championship finale. Michigan’s Dylan Bosch posted a 46.57 to win the B final.

Women’s 200 free
In a flip from the finish of the women’s 500 free, California’s Missy Franklin went out fast and would not be caught by NCAP’s Katie Ledecky in the shorter distance freestyle.

Franklin blitzed the meet record with a top time of 1:41.40, just missing Megan Roman’s American and U.S. Open record of 1:41.21 from March 2012. That’s the second time under 1:42 for Franklin as the 2012 World Swimmer of the Year took down her lifetime best of 1:41.81 from March this year.

Ledecky, this year’s World Swimmer of the Year, took down the 15-16 U.S. National Age Group record with a second-place 1:42.03. That nearly moved her right through the 1:42s as her previous best had been a 1:42.96 from February of this year. Her time tonight undercut Dagny Knutson’s sizzling 1:42.81 15-16 U.S. NAG set back in 2008 as Ledecky is just 16 years old herself.

California’s Elizabeth Pelton had her own race going on for third against Tennessee’s Lindsay Gendron, as she picked up third, 1:44.71 to 1:44.79.

California’s Caroline Piehl (1:45.26), Ohio State’s Sam Cheverton (1:45.44), California’s Camille Cheng (1:45.67) and California’s Rachael Acker (1:48.60) comprised the rest of the Golden Bear-filled finale. Indiana’s Haley Lips pocketed the B final win in 1:45.96.

Men’s 200 free
Out under U.S. Open record pace, Louisville’s Joao De Lucca just missed the record in the men’s 200-yard free finale.

De Lucca, who is widely known for his amazing celebration after winning the event at NCAAs last season, threw down a sterling time of 1:31.65. He went out in 20.92, 43.54 and 1:06.70 before clocking a 24.95 down the stretch. That means Simon Burnett’s U.S. Open standard of 1:31.20 still stands from back in 2006.

Darian Townsend put up a fight with a 24.55 final split en route to a 1:31.93 for second-place honors. That’s his first time under 1:32, blasting his lifetime best of 1:32.85 from the 2008 NCAA Division I Championships.

SwimMAC’s Dax Hill turned in a third-place time of 1:32.77, just off his best of 1:32.51 from the 2012 NCAA Division I Championships.

Michigan’s Michael Wynalda (1:32.91), Club Wolverine’s Michael Klueh (1:34.97), Michigan’s Anders Nielsen (1:35.49), Louisville’s Trevor Carroll (1:35.72) and Michigan’s Connor Jaeger (1:37.52) also vied for the national title in the finale. Long Gutierrez of California snatched the B final with a 1:36.08.

Women’s 100 breast
SoFlo’s Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson just can’t be stopped this fall. After a lucrative FINA World Cup circuit, Atkinson put a charge into the U.S. Open record of fellow Aggie Breeja Larson before settling for the meet standard with a 57.62. That swim beat Laura Sogar’s championship mark of 58.32 from a year ago, with Atkinson’s first time under 58 nearly taking down Larson’s 57.43 from February of this year.

SwimMAC’s Katie Meili finished well behind Atkinson with a 59.03, while Tennessee’s Molly Hannis claimed third in 59.18. SwimMAC’s Micah Lawrence rounded out the sub-1:00s with a fourth-place 59.77.

Indiana’s Bronwyn Pasloski (1:00.20), Michigan’s Angela Chokran (1:00.52), Utah’s Nicole Ligeza (1:00.72) and Minnesota’s Haley Spencer (1:00.76) finished fifth through eighth in the finale. Louisville’s Andrea Cottrell took home the B final win in 1:00.96.

Men’s 100 breast
California’s Damir Dugonjic used some outside smoke from lane 8 to capture the national title this evening. Dugonjic, who was ahead of his time with a sizzling 50.86 at the 2009 NCAA Division I Championships as well as a 50.94 at the 2011 NCAA meet, put up a swift effort in 51.93 tonight for the win.

Grand Canyon’s Eetu Karvonen, who will appear in the January issue of Swimming World Magazine, nearly cleared 52 for the first time with a scorching 52.13. That swim obliterated his previous lifetime best of 52.65 from the NCAA Division II Championships this year.

Tennessee’s Brad Craig was the top American in the heat with a 52.18 for third. That lowered his personal best of 52.30 from last year’s Winter Nationals.

Trojan’s Mike Alexandrov (52.62), NCAP’s Chuck Katis (52.74), Michigan’s Richard Funk (52.89), NCAP’s Andrew Seliskar (53.31) and Louisville’s Kameron Chastain (53.41) finished fourth through eighth in the finale. Louisville’s Addison Bray picked up the B final win in 53.32.

Women’s 100 back
Teri McKeever’s backstroke crew is just ridiculous. Even with 17-year-old Janet Hu of NCAP trying to wreck California’s plans with a scorching 25.02 50-yard split, the Golden Bears still went 1-2-3-4 at the wall.

Missy Franklin doubled up tonight with an easy time of 51.59 as she put down a 26.00 on the way back in what looked to be a California morning session. Elizabeth Pelton took second for Cal with a 51.70, while Rachel Bootsma tracked down third in 51.86. Those are definitely the Backstroke Triumvirate for McKeever, but most NCAA coaches would take McKeever’s second string in a heartbeat as Melanie Klaren took fourth in 52.21 and Stephanie Au placed sixth in 52.47.

Hu paid for her early speed by fading to fifth in 52.43. Indiana’s Brooklyn Snodgrass (52.79) and SwimMAC’s Kathleen Baker (53.17) took seventh and eighth. California also won the B final as NCAA titlist Cindy Tran posted a 52.38.

Men’s 100 back
Fresh off an American record in the 200 medley relay this morning as well as the fastest 50-yard backstroke time ever to start the night, SwimMAC’s Nick Thoman made history with a blazing backhalf to nearly break 44 seconds in the finale.

Thoman, out under 21.60 behind Grevers at the 50-yard mark, hit the nitrous down the stretch as he turned in a blistering 22.47 backhalf en route to an American and U.S. Open record of 44.07. There’s little doubt he’ll find a way to become the first man under 44-seconds with that type of speed. He had nearly broken Grevers’ American record of 44.55 last night with a 44.56 leadoff in SwimMAC’s 400 medley relay, but saved his best for the individual swim.

Grevers, meanwhile, went from a 21.48 at the 50 to a 44.49 (23.01) to close the night with a personal best as the now second-fastest swimmer ever in the event.

California’s Ryan Murphy completed what was truly a remarkable podium with a third-place time of 45.77.

NYAC’s Arkady Vyatchanin (45.88), Club Wolverine’s Junya Koga (46.34), California’s Jacob Pebley (46.76), Louisville’s Grigory Tarasevich (47.10) and Indiana’s James Wells (47.77) also competed in the finale. Indiana’s Eric Ress topped the B final in a 47.53.

Women’s 800 free relay
Although Cal’s 100 backstroke looks truly scary, it also has a remarkably deep 200 free group as well as the Golden Bears went 1-2 in the finale with both teams under the meet record.

Missy Franklin (1:42.93), Caroline Piehl (1:45.33), Camille Cheng (1:46.30) and Elizabeth Pelton (1:44.55) wrapped up a truly swift time of 6:59.11 to crush the previous meet mark of 7:05.69 set by Southern California a year ago.

Cal’s Celina Li (1:46.27), Rachael Acker (1:46.57), Melanie Klaren (1:46.26) and Catherine Breed (1:45.39) took second in 7:04.49, under the previous meet record as well.

Tennessee’s Mary Griffith (1:48.31), Faith Johnson (1:46.73), Mary Kate McNeilis (1:48.33) and Lindsay Gendron (1:45.06) turned in a third-place time of 7:08.43. Indiana’s Haley Lips (1:46.70), Cynthia Pammett (1:48.36), Lindsay Vrooman (1:46.79) and Brooklyn Snodgrass (1:46.72) wound up fourth in 7:08.57.

Nation’s Capital picked up another U.S. National Age Group record as the NCAP squad is wreaking havoc all over the NAG record books. The foursome of Robyn Dryer (1:49.54), Katie Ledecky (1:44.17), Megan Byrnes (1:50.15) and Janet Hu (1:46.03) put together a scorching fast fifth-place 7:09.89, just three seconds off the meet record of 7:05.69 in the 800-yard free relay.

That swim demolished the previous National Age Group record previously set by North Baltimore in 2010. Elizabeth Pelton, Willa Wang, Natalie Beale and Camryne Morris put together a 7:13.03 for the 15-18 U.S. National Age Group record in the event.

That’s the fifth National Age Group record for Nation’s Capital this meet already.

Louisville (7:13.95), Arizona State (7:16.98) and SwimMAC (7:17.42) made up the rest of the top eight in the timed final event.

Men’s 800 free relay
Michigan topped the final event of the night as Michael Wynalda (1:33.49), Connor Jaeger (1:34.84), Jack Mangan (1:36.93) and Justin Glanda (1:36.44) posted a 6:21.70 for the win in the men’s distance relay.

California’s Tyler Messerschmidt (1:36.33), Long Gutierrez (1:36.04), Trenton Williams (1:36.05) and Jeremy Bagshaw (1:36.01) placed second in 6:24.43, while Louisville’s Trevor Carroll (1:35.92), Matthias Lindenbauer (1:36.70), Joao De Lucca (1:34.28) and Ruben Izarra (1:37.83) finished third in 6:24.73.

Utah (6:25.08), SwimMAC (6:31.06), Cal (6:31.97), Indiana (6:35.06) and Pittsburgh (6:35.77) tallied the rest of the top eight timed final finishes, while Michigan’s B squad, that had finished second, drew a disqualification.