Zach Apple, Maxime Rooney Lead 100 Free Heats at Phillips 66 Nationals

Photo Courtesy: Andy Ross

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Much like last year, Zach Apple posted the number one time in the 100 free at the Phillips 66 USA National Championships. Apple broke out last year at the 2017 Nationals and put his name on the map and he returned this year with a 48.06 to lead the 100 free heats on Wednesday morning.

Apple is now eighth in the world rankings for 2018 with his swim. Russia’s Vlad Morozov sits in first at 47.75.

Apple is ahead of a stacked final but the big surprise is 20-year-old Maxime Rooney posting the second fastest time at 48.27. Rooney was a big favorite to make the 2016 Olympic Team but missed the final in the 200 free. Rooney has not been the same swimmer since he went to the University of Florida in the fall of 2016, but he showed glimpses of his potential on Wednesday morning with that 100 free swim.

The top four tonight automatically advance to the Pan Pacs for the 4×100 free relay. Any of the eight swimmers could make the team tonight.

Nathan Adrian (48.42), Blake Pieroni (48.44), Michael Chadwick (48.60), Townley Haas (48.62), Caeleb Dressel (48.70) and Ryan Held (48.78) all placed in the A-Final for tonight as it will be tough to get on the top four for the relay tonight.

There weren’t many big A-Final misses as all the big dogs made it to the A-Final, but there are going to be some notable swimmers in the B-Final tonight.

Justin Ress (48.89), Conor Dwyer (48.93) and Ryan Murphy (48.98) placed 12th, 13th and 15th respectively this morning.

Matt Grevers (49.51) and Michael Andrew (49.87) placed 19th and 26th respectively.

Also notable from the heats was Destin Lasco (49.66) and Adam Chaney (49.95). The 16-year-olds moved up to second and third in the all-time 15-16 NAG rankings to sit just behind Dressel (49.28). Chaney will swim in the D-Final tonight and Lasco will swim in the C. Both swimmers were the second and third 15-16 year olds to break 50 seconds in the 100 free.

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