Distance fireworks: Ledecky and Jaeger break American mile records on day 4 of 2014 Winter Nats

The final session of U.S. Winter Nationals gets underway from Greensboro, NC this afternoon, with 12 more National Championships to be awarded, including 10 in individual events and 2 in 400 free relays.

The day will start out with star power, as Connor Jaeger and Katie Ledecky lead the way in the final heats of the 1650 freestyle events; Ledecky will be on task for a new American Record in the event, with a target of 15:15.17.

Other potential stars of the day include Louisville’s Kelsi Worrell, the top qualifier in the 100 free and 200 fly, and a great 200 breaststroke that had 5 swimmers all go 2:09’s in prelims.

Keep refreshing this page for event-by-event updates from Greensboro.


Women’s 1650 Free – TIMED FINALS

  • American: 15:15.17 – Katie Ledecky, 2013
  • U.S. Open: 15:15.17 – Katie Ledecky, 2013
  • NCAA “A” cut: 15:56.18

Winter Nationals had so far been without the typical Katie Ledecky fireworks – she put up the second-fastest 500 free in history, but couldn’t quite get to her own American record, and was dominant in the 200 free without being earth-shattering. But in the 1650, that all changed as Ledecky unleashed her full arsenal, breaking her own American and U.S. Open records with a 15:13.30.

Ledecky was under American record pace practically the entire time, and the crowd continued to build to a fever pitch, as it tends to do when Ledecky is in the water. She took just under two seconds off her national records, and also sets the 17-18 National Age Group record in the event.

The only real distance free record Ledecky still doesn’t hold is the American 1000 free record. She was just off of Katie Hoff’s 9:10.77 on her 1000 split here – no doubt Ledecky could have had that record if she wanted it, pushing her pace through the middle of the race, but she had a bigger target in mind, and chose to put together a great 1650 instead. It makes sense that Ledecky would really go after the mile as compared to her other races – she’ll still get shots at the 200 and 500 frees during her high school season, but this is the last major meet she’ll swim the 1650 at for some time now.

Second came from the early heats – Michigan freshman Gillian Ryan had already broken the School Records in the 200 and 500 yard freestyles at this meet, but couldn’t quite add another in the mile. She swam a 15:54.31 – easily the best swim out of the early heats – to miss that mark by three seconds. That also missed her own personal best time in the event by five seconds. It still gave her second place nationally, as she beat out the second-place finisher in Ledecky’s heat, Sarasota YMCA’s Danielle Valley (15:54.57).

Fourth went to Katy Campbell out of UCLA in 16:04.96 – the Bruins are leading the team scores for college women, and Campbell’s finish should help add to that total.

Men’s 1650 Free – TIMED FINALS

  • American: 14:24.35 – Chad La Tourette, 2012
  • U.S. Open: 14:24.08 – Martin Grodzki, 2012
  • NCAA “A” cut: 14:46.26

The records kept right on falling in the men’s 1650. Olympian and Club Wolverine pro Connor Jaeger followed Ledecky’s race in the only way possible: with his own American and U.S. Open record.

Jaeger, last year’s NCAA Champ in the event, crushed a 14:23.52, eight tenths under Chad La Tourette’s American record and a half second under Martin Grodzki‘s U.S. Open record. Jaeger was 4:21.22 to the 500 and 8:44.94 to the 1000, blowing out the field with an outstanding swim. You could tell Jaeger was in good position after his great 1000 at the Michigan Quad meet earlier this fall, and on Saturday, he proved that that early swim was just the beginning of a fantastic short course season.

Second went to his former Michigan teammate Ryan Feeley, who now competes for Badger Swim Club. Feeley was 14:44.75.

17-year old Gator Swim Club athlete True Sweetser continues to be the breakout performer of this meet, and on Saturday he improved more than 17 seconds on his 1650 free to be the fastest swimmer coming out of the early heats. He swam in that 6th heat against junior star Townley Haas and beat him 14:49.43-14:49.49. Those two times were fast enough to hold up for 3rd and 4th place overall.

Northwestern’s Jordan Wilimovsky was 14:51.10, a great swim for the Wildcat, and NCAP 16-year-old Matthew Hirschberger went 14:51.81 to break a 22-year-old Jeff Kostoff National Age Group record. Kostoff’s mark was 14:52.39, set back in 1982.

Women’s 200 Back – FINALS

  • American: 1:47.84 – Elizabeth Pelton, 2013
  • U.S. Open: 1:47.84 – Elizabeth Pelton, 2013
  • NCAA “A” cut: 1:52.52

The women’s 200 back had shaped up to be a showdown between Big Ten rivals Brooklynn Snodgrass and Clara Smiddy. But two high school swimmers actually snuck in between the two in a great 200 back finish.

Snodgrass, the reigning NCAA champ, rode a big back half split to take the win, going 1:51.22 and coming from third place at the 100-mark to the runaway winner by the finish. It was actually her Indiana teammate Kennedy Goss who led early, going out in 54.52, but Goss faded over the back half in a big way and wound up 5th.

Smiddy was running second with 50 yards to go, but when Snodgrass went by her, so did 16-year-olds Claire Adams and Erin Voss. Adams, out of Carmel Swim Club in Indiana, went 1:51.87, and Voss, our of Holyoke YMCA, was 1:51.95 for third.

Smiddy wound up fourth at 1:52.24, still seven tenths faster than her prelim swim, and Goss was fifth in 1:52.41. That makes NCAA A cuts for Snodgrass, Smiddy and Goss.

UCLA also kept up its trend of fast swimming, as Madison White won the B final in 1:53.68, the sixth-fastest time of the whole field.

Men’s 200 Back – FINALS

  • American: 1:36.81 – Ryan Lochte, 2007
  • U.S. Open: 1:36.81 – Ryan Lochte, 2007
  • NCAA “A” cut: 1:40.88

Louisville’s Grigory Tarasevich punched his ticket to the NCAA Championships by hitting the NCAA’s “A” cut while winning the 200 back. Tarasevich was 1:40.71, easily beating the field for the Winter National title. Tarasevich checks in at #2 in the NCAA behind only Jack Conger, pending results of other invites this weekend.

It was actually a 1-2 sweep for the Cardinals, as Aaron Young went 1:42.56 for second place. That just snuck in before former Indiana standout and current Santa Clara pro Eric Ress, who was 1:42.65. Another Hoosier alum, James Wells, took fourth at 1:42.98.

Michigan freshman Tristan Sanders went 1:43.26 for fifth, just ahead of Louisville duo Pedro Oliveira (1:43.48) and Nolan Tesone (1:44.13), and Ohio State’s Rowan Williams rounded out the A final in 1:44.79.

The B final went to another Buckeye, Steven Zimmerman, who was 1:43.21, the fifth-best time of finals overall.

Women’s 100 Free – FINALS

  • American: 46.62 – Simone Manuel, 2014
  • U.S. Open: 46.61 – Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, 2012
  • NCAA “A” cut: 47.85

Some great sprint freestylers filled the A final of the women’s 100 free, but it was versatile SwimMAC pro Katie Meili who took home the national title. A lot of swim fans would probably know Meili’s name, but wouldn’t have predicted her to win the 100 free here, especially considering the other big names in the field. But Meili was on the ball Saturday night, going a lifetime-best by about half a second to win in 48.18. Coming into this weekend, her lifetime-best was 48.77.

She was about four tenths up on Tennessee’s Faith Johnson, who went 48.53, a half-second faster than her prelims swim. Holding onto her third-place seed was Katie Ledecky, who went .01 faster than this morning despite coming off the 1650. Ledecky was a 48.60, a new lifetime-best for her. That she could swim that fast just a few events removed from the mile is a good sign; Stanford may ask her to swim the mile and the 400 free relay on the same night at future NCAA Championships.

The top couple seeds dropped off some from prelims. Second-seeded Linnea Mack went 48.66, about two tenths off her prelims swim, to take 4th. Top-seeded Kelsi Worrell fell about a half-second off her pace to go 49.03 for sixth. In between them was Michigan’s Ali Deloof (48.85).

Men’s 100 Free – FINALS

  • American: 41.08 – Nathan Adrian, 2009
  • U.S. Open: 40.76 – Vlad Morozov, 2013
  • NCAA “A” cut: 42.51

The of the shorter freestyle events (counting the 200) went pretty much the same way the first two did: it was all Nathan Adrian. The Olympic champ proved his prelims swim was nothing more than a warm-up, going two seconds faster at night with a 41.31. Adrian was out in 19.49 to his feet at the 50 wall and never seemed in danger at any point. That’s his third win this week and gives him a clean sweep of the 50, 100 and 200 frees at this year’s Winter Nationals.

Indiana’s Anze Tavcar cut a little from prelims, going 43.03 and just touching out Big Ten rival Josh Fleagle of Ohio State. Fleagle was 43.09.

Next were a bunch of pro swimmers. Daniel Kanorr, an Indiana alum who competes for the Counsilman Center Swim Team, went 43.14 with 50/100 back champ Junya Koga, a pro with Club Wolverine, just behind in 43.28. SwimMAC’s Mark Weber took 6th in 43.48.

Women’s 200 Breast – FINALS

  • American: 2:04.06 – Emma Reaney, 2014
  • U.S. Open: 2:04.06 – Emma Reaney, 2014
  • NCAA “A” cut: 2:07.70

Olympian Micah Lawrence is very tough to beat in a 200 breast, so her win in Greensboro wasn’t a huge surprise. What was: she was actually pushed fairly hard over the final 50 yards by Tennessee’s Molly Hannis. Lawrence rolled out to a sizable lead at the 100-mark, going 1:00.83 on that split. Hannis trailed by a little more than a second at that point, but hung tough on the 3rd 50 and then made a huge run over the final leg. Hannis split 32.17 to Lawrence’s 33.16 and just ran out of pool before she could run down the SwimMAC pro.

Lawrence wound up finishing in 2:06.59; Hannis went 2:06.98. They were well ahead of the rest of the field. 100 free champ Katie Meili, a SwimMAC training partner of Lawrence’s, was 2:09.23 for third place.

Indiana commit Lilly King was 4th for the Newburgh Sea Creatures (2:09.28) and Indiana alum Bronwyn Pasloski went 2:10.21 to take fifth for Badger. Another swimmer with Indiana ties, commit Miranda Tucker, was DQ’d in that A final.

Clovis Swim Club’s Danielle Herrmann went 2:10.27 and Amanda Rutqvist was 2:10.47 in rounding out the A final.

Michigan freshman Emily Kopas went 2:09.70 to win the B final, followed by Louisville’s Andee Cottrell (2:09.97). That time for Kopas is a new Michigan school record.

Men’s 200 Breast – FINALS

  • American: 1:48.66 – Kevin Cordes, 2014
  • U.S. Open: 1:48.66 – Kevin Cordes, 2014
  • NCAA “A” cut: 1:53.68

It was a Louisville 1-2-3 in the men’s 200 breast. Current senior Thomas Dahlia, a Frenchman, went 1:53.83 to defend his top seed and win the national title. Dahlia now ranks #2 in the NCAA this year, pending results of other weekend meets, and he’s just two tenths off an NCAA “A” cut, meaning he should be in good shape to make the NCAA Championships as it is.

Alum Carlos Almeida was second in 1:54.32. Like Dahlia, Almeida is also a foreign swimmer – he competes for Portugal internationally. Behind him was yet another international Cardinal, Venezuelan Carlos Claverie, who is a freshman at Louisville this year. Claverie was 1:54.17.

Purdue’s Marat Amaltdinov went 1:55.17. He’s also a freshman, and hails from Russia. The top American swimmer was Trevor Hoyt, a Cal alum who competes for the Yucaipa Swim Team of California. Hoyt went 1:55.82. Michigan’s Richard Funk took home sixth, going 1:56.36, followed by Louisville’s Addison Bray (1:56.36) and pro Mike Alexandrov (1:56.58).

Women’s 200 Fly – FINALS

  • American: 1:49.92 – Elaine Breeden, 2009
  • U.S. Open: 1:49.92 – Elaine Breeden, 2009
  • NCAA “A” cut: 1:54.45

Kelsi Worrell went backwards a little in the 100 free, but she made up for it with a great 200 fly to win the national title. The Louisville junior went 1:54.29 to pick up the win, a season-best. That time is just a tenth slower than she was in this event last year. In 2013, she entered Winter Nationals as a sprinter, without many 200 fly races on her resume, and her 1:54.12 launched her to the top of the NCAA. She eventually picked up the race for the post-season and wound up taking 4th at NCAAs. This year, the 200 fly also seems to be the long-term plan, especially considering how she swam her compared to her 100 free. Her 200 fly now ranks 2nd in the NCAA.

Former Division III standout Hannah Saiz was the runner-up, going 1:55.46. Saiz swam for Division III powerhouse Kenyon and now serves as SwimSwam’s Division III expert. Just a tick behind Saiz was Noelle Tarazona of UCLA in 1:55.20.

Chattahoochee Gold’s Lauren Case was 1:56.31 before another UCLA Bruin came in, this one Anna Quinn (1:57.25).

Out of the B final, Indiana’s Gia Dalesandro was 1:56.33, the fifth-fastest time overall.

Men’s 200 Fly – FINALS

  • American: 1:39.65 – Michael Phelps, 2010
  • U.S. Open: 1:39.33 – Dylan Bosch, 2014
  • NCAA “A” cut: 1:42.85

Following the Louisville sweep of the 200 breast, the Michigan men put together a 1-2 sweep of the men’s 200 fly. Leading the way was U.S. Open record-holder Dylan Bosch, who went 1:41.65, an “A” cut and the fastest time in the nation this year, pending the results of this weekend’s slate of meets. Bosch was out in 48.40 at the 100-mark, and was a 22.83 at the 50, really pushing the front half of his race.

Second went to Club Wolverine pro Kyle Whitaker, who went 1:43.33. That beat out Ohio State’s Tamas Gercsak (1:44.45) as well as Navy’s Jonathan Debaugh (1:44.54).

From there, things dropped off a little to Louisville’s Josh Quallen (1:45.59) and NOVA of Virginia’s Ted Schubert (1:45.72). Michigan freshman Evan White was 7th in 1:46.12.

Women’s 400 Free Relay

  • American: 3:10.63 – Arizona, 2013
  • U.S. Open: 3:09.40 – Georgia, 2013
  • NCAA “A” cut: 3:16.41

The women’s 400 free relay was an outstanding three-way battle that ended off the weekend on a dramatic note. Michigan tore out to a lead on freshman Clara Smiddy‘s 49.52 leadoff split with SwimMAC and Indiana in hot pursuit. Things tightened up over the middle legs until Michigan’s Gillian Ryan, another freshman, split a 48.97 to seal the win in 3:17.13. SwimMAC and Indiana tied for second place just behind at 3:17.38.

Michigan’s championship relay also featured Zoe Mattingly and Ali Deloof, who put up the team’s fastest split at 48.93. SwimMAC still made up ground on that leg, though, getting a 48.83 from 100 free champ Katie Meili.

Fourth place went to Louisville, which went 3:18.67 and got a 48.61 from Kelsi Worrell. That’s the fastest split of the field, according to live results (though the Indiana relay splits don’t appear correctly), and is extra impressive considering she swam three races tonight – the 100 free, 200 fly and this relay.

UCLA went 3:18.80 to take fifth. Their best split came from Linnea Mack, who continues her breakout meet with a 48.83.

Men’s 400 Free Relay

  • American: 2:47.02 – Texas, 2009
  • U.S. Open: 2:46.03 – Auburn, 2009
  • NCAA “A” cut: 2:52.11

The men’s relay went to Ohio State University in 2:53.04. That’s just hundredths behind Stanford’s time, which led the nation heading into this weekend. In a crazy twist, a college program tied a club for second place for the second-straight event, as both Louisville and Club Wolverine went 2:53.11.

The early lead went to Club Wolverine on Geoff Cheah‘s 42.90, but Ohio State (Josh Fleagle, 43.62) and Louisville (Thomas Dahlia, 43.83) were right in the hunt. Michael DiSalle stepped up for OSU, though, splitting 42.78, and Matt McHugh and Steffen Hillmer closed out the relay to take the win.

Louisville, meanwhile, got a 42.95 from Matthias Lindenbauer and a 42.84 from Trevor Carroll to claim a share of second place, while Club Wolverine saw Junya Koga split 43.21 for their best split outside of Cheah’s leadoff leg.

SwimMAC took 4th overall in 2:54.53, getting a 42.56 from Mark Weber and a 42.76 from Eric Knight. Fifth went to Michigan at 2:54.85, with Bruno Ortiz anchoring in 42.83.

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bobo gigi
6 years ago

Ready for the Ledecky show. 😎

bobo gigi
6 years ago

And she did it again!


Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

Wow . Just wow.

bobo gigi
6 years ago

Also new US Open record, new meet record and new 17/18 NAG record.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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