An update from Irvine, California, at the 2010 ConocoPhillips National Championships:
Dagny Knutson has scratched the final of the 200 IM (she was seeded 7th, 1.28 seconds off the pace headed into finals) to focus on the 400 free, where she is also seeded 7th, 2.9 seconds off top-seeded Hoff.
While Hoff appears to have the 400 free locked up (she has the top seeded time by over a second, despite having appeared to let off the gas in prelims), Knutsons chances of finishing in the top 3 (giving her a realistic shot at the Pan-Pac team) is probably better in the 400 free than the 200 IM, where the lead pack all fell within a tenth of a second.
This bumps Liz Pelton up into the A-final of the 200 IM. She was expected by many to medal in the 200 IM, so this is a huge second chance for her.
As David Rieder relays in his blog, this could be a bit of good karma for Pelton. Last year, at the US World Championship Trials, Pelton finished second in the 200 IM, but scratched the event for the World Championships. As a result, Ariana Kukors slid in, and went on to win the World Title and set a World Record in 2:06.15.
Kukors is the top seed headed into tonight’s finals.