USA Swimming Winter Nationals: Caitlin Leverenz Cracks Top 5 With Scorching 200 IM; Rattles U.S. Open Record

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ATLANTA, Georgia, December 1. CAITLIN Leverenz scorched the pool with a sterling time of 2:09.39 in the women's 200 IM at the USA Swimming Winter Nationals. That swim just missed the U.S. Open record of 2:09.34 set by Julia Smit in 2009, and moved Leverenz to fourth in the world rankings.

Only Ye Shiwen (2:08.90), Alicia Coutts (2:09.00) and Ariana Kukors (2:09.12) have been faster this year. Leverenz broke her lifetime best of 2:10.40 to move to 10th all time in the event's history.

T2's Elizabeth Pelton placed second tonight in 2:10.02 to jump to sixth in the rankings, while Smit earned third-place honors with a 2:11.55. Pelton's time is a 17-18 U.S. National Age Group record, clipping the 2:10.05 set by Katie Hoff when she won the 2006 national title.

Smit improved her once 13th-ranked season best of 2:11.79, but did not jump in front of Kirsty Coventry's 2:11.24 for 13th in the rankings. Hoff (2:12.55) and Kathleen Hersey (2:12.65) both posted top-25 worthy times as well.

Julia Wilkinson (2:13.78), Jasmine Tosky (2:17.30), Elizabeth Beisel (2:17.69) and Morgan Scroggy (2:18.92) finished sixth through ninth, while Celina Li drew a disqualification

Kate Dwelley picked up the B final win in 2:15.24, while Whitney Burnett finished second in 2:16.10. Kaitlyn Jones (2:16.25) and Elaine Breeden (2:16.82) cleared 2:17, while Hanna Pierse (2:17.12), Andrea Kropp (2:17.12), Hilary Caldwell (2:17.24), Ashlee Linn (2:18.06), Stephanie Horner (2:19.67) and Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson (2:19.71) made up the rest of the B final swims.

Teresa Crippen won the C final in 2:17.18, while Alexa Komarnycky took second in the bonus heat with a 2:17.34 in her second swim of the night. Lyndsay De Paul placed third in 2:17.39, while Hali Flickinger earned fourth in 2:17.44. Sarah Haase (2:18.65), Katherine Mills (2:19.14), Ally Howe (2:19.61), Danielle Herrmann (2:20.00), Kelly Nelson (2:20.05) and Allison Brown (2:21.32) also swam in the bonus heat.

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