Many thanks to swimswam contributor Anne Lepesant for producing this interview.
400 IM as reported by swimswam:
After seeing the girls open up the night with a bang, the male version of the 400 IM had a lot to live up for. They didn’t disappoint. Four swimmers broke 4:20 (and that doesn’t include Andrew Seliskar,a likely fifth sub-4:20 swimmer who was DQed in prelims), a barrier only two other swimmers (Kyle Whitaker in 2009 and Adam Hinshaw in 2011) have ever broken at Junior Nationals.
After watching Jay Litherland of Dynamo break Whitaker’s meet record this morning, Gunnar Bentz (also of Dynamo) knew he would have to swim a lifetime best to beat his teammate. Bentz stepped up to the challenge, setting his second meet record in as many days to win in 4:14.51.
The field was pretty tight at the halfway mark, with seven swimmers all within a second of one another. Bentz, the 200 breaststroke champion from last night, made a big move on the third 100, splitting 1:11.56 to open up a lead. Curtis Ogren of Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics (PASA) tried to stay close, but ultimately settled for second, posting a lifetime best 4:17.79. Litherland was a bit slower than this morning, but finished a respectable third in 4:18.87. Corey Okubo, fourth place finisher in the 100 fly last night, was fourth again in 4:19.31.
Notably, Jay Litherland’s brothers Kevin (4:24.20) and Mick (4:26.39) won the B and C finals, respectively.