2015 French Long Course National Championships
- Dates: Tuesday, March 31 – Sunday, April 5, 2015
- Times: prelims 9:00 am, semis/ finals 4:45 pm
- Location: Limoges, France (GMT +1, or 6 hours ahead of N.Y., 9 ahead of L.A.)
- Results: Available
- Championship Central
Women’s 50 Butterfly Final
- French Record: Mélanie Henique (Amiens), 25.86, 2011
- 2014 National Champion: Mélanie Henique (Amiens), 26.29
- Kazan Qualifying Time: 26.54
Marseille’s Béryl Gastaldello added another title, and another event for Kazan, to her collection with a personal-best 25.92 win in the women’s 50 fly. Gastaldello seems to have nailed her taper at this meet. In addition, the fact that she had a week between NCAAs and French Nationals has to have made her transition easier than that of the men. Gastaldello was a rising star in the Marseille group before leaving for Texas A&M, but in her interviews she credits the American collegiate experience with training her to perform at a high level over and over again throughout a season.
Defending champion Mélanie Henique, now training in Marseille, was runner-up in 26.17, a time that will send her to Kazan as well. Marie Wattel of Nice went a personal best for third place, with 26.50.
Justine Bruno of Beauvaisis took fourth in 27.15, ahead of Anaïs Arlandis of Nice (27.37), Marie-Eléna Letang of Paris-INSEP (27.42), Lena Bousquin of Bordeaux (27.49), and Armony Dumur of Fourmies (27.55).
Unlike Gastaldello, Dumur hasn’t seemed to find her rhythm in Limoges. After breaking the NCAA Division II record in the 100 fly, there were high expectations that Dumur would continue her exploits back at French Nationals. Perhaps the extra week between D2 and D1 worked against her taper. It’s a disappointing end to an otherwise extraordinary season.
Men’s 400 Individual Medley Final
- French Record: Anthony Pannier (Braud St-Louis), 4:16.97, 2009
- 2014 National Champion: Quentin Coton (Antibes), 4:20.94
- Kazan Qualifying Time: 4:19.00
The final of the men’s 400 IM was by far the youngest of the meet; only one competitor was out of his teens. Nicolas D’Oriano of Toulouse came home with the title, thanks to a blazing 58.5 freestyle leg on the end that got him to the wall in 4:22.57. It was an impressive swim for the 18-year-old, who entered the meet with 4:28.30. Runner-up Guillaume Laure of Antibes also came home fast (59.3), passing third-place finisher Yannick Chatelain of Nîmes over the last 50. Laure touched in 4:23.57, his best by 2.8 seconds. Chatelain went 4:24.97, a best time for him as well.
Nice’s Ambroise Petit placed fourth in 4:25.85 (PB by 1.4); Théo Berry of Paris-INSEP was fifth in 4:27.22 (best by 7.5); Toulouse’s Mathis Castera, sixth (4:27.59, PB by 4.2); Cyril Chatron of Bron/Font-Romeu, seventh (4:28.78, PB by 2.9); and Geoffrey Renard of Toulouse, eighth (4:29.86).
In the “B” final, Tanguy Lesparre of Cannes lowered his own national age group record for 16-year-old boys yet again, winning the heat in 4:26.56, a 4.5-second improvement over his seed time.
Women’s 200 Backstroke Final
- French Record: Laure Manaudou (Mulhouse), 2:06.64, 2008
- 2014 National Champion: Cloé Credeville (Marseille), 2:12.55
- Kazan Qualifying Time: 2:11.10
Hungary’s Evelyn Verraszto, who trains in Nice, won the women’s 200 back in 2:11.46, about second faster than her seed time. The French national champion was runner-up Camille Gheorghiu of Antibes, whose 2:12.38 was a lifetime best nearly 4 seconds. Teammate Justine Ress placed third with 2:13.17, beating her seed time by 1.7 seconds.
Mulhouse’s Fantine Lesaffre went 2:16.01 for fourth. She was followed by two 15-year-olds: Pauline Mahieu of St-André/FontRomeu (2:16.16) and Lisa Pou of Monaco (2:17.94, best by 3.3). Anaïs Podevin of Colomiers (2:18.31) and Charlotte van Andringa (2:18.47) rounded out the “A” final.
Men’s 200 Backstroke Final
- French Record: Benjamin Stasiulis (Amiens), 1:56.39, 2012
- 2014 National Champion: Eric Ress (Antibes), 1:58.61
- Kazan Qualifying Time: 1:58.50
Men’s backstroke races are always a crowd-pleaser in France, and usually because the popular Jérémy Stravius, in his red cap from Amiens, is in one of the middle lanes. Saturday night’s 200 was no exception. Stravius had put up the best time in prelims to earn the rights to lane 4, while Marseille’s Benjamin Stasiulis, France’s record-holder in the event, was in lane 5. Stravius took it out first, building nearly a body-length lead at the 50. Stasiulis moved up on the leader over the second 50 and the two turned together, in 57.50, at the 100. Stasiulis’ back half was the stronger of the two and he got the win, 1:58.45 to 1:59.07. Having failed to qualify for Kazan in the 100 back, Stasiulis was relieved to come in under the cut in the 200 by .05.
Oleg Garasymovytch of Avignon went 2:01.12 for fourth, just ahead of Florian Joly of Toulouse (2:01.42) and Geoffroy Mathieu of Clermont (2:01.77). Seventh and eighth went to Christophe Brun of Toulouse (2:04.77) and Alexandre Derache of Amiens (2:04.94).
Women’s 100 Freestyle Final
- French Record: Malia Matella (Toulouse), 53.49, 2009
- 2014 National Champion: Camille Muffat (Nice), 54.08
- Kazan Qualifying Time: 54.90
In an impressive burst of speed at the end, Charlotte Bonnet of Nice picked up her fourth title, winning the 100 free in a lifetime-best 53.94. That beats her previous best, from the Golden Tour’s Marseille leg, by .35. Even more impressive was Marseille’s Gastaldello, who picked up her fifth event for Kazan with a second-place 53.98. In her second final of the day, Gastaldello still managed to go a personal best by 1.7 seconds. Coming into the meet her top time was 55.63. After a 55.07 in prelims, Gastaldello went straight past all the 54s and landed on 53.98, jumping into the world’s top-10 so far this year.
Gastaldello is five-for-five in personal bests at this meet so far, with the 50 free left to swim on Sunday.
Nice’s Cloé Hache took the third step of the podium, lowering her previous personal best by .1 with 55.27. Margaux Fabre of Montauban was fourth in 55.50, a .16 improvement over her seed time. Anouchka Martin from Marseille went 55.62 for fifth, just a tick better than her previous best. Toulouse’s Lauriane Haag was just .05 back in sixth with a PB of 55.67. Teammate Assia Touati placed seventh in 56.38, and Isabelle Mabboux of Boulougne-Billancourt rounded out the final in 56.48.
Each of the eight “A” finalists achieved either season or lifetime bests during the final.
Men’s 200 Breaststroke Final
- French Record: Hugues Duboscq (Le Havre), 2:08.94, 2008
- 2014 National Champion: Thomas Dahlia (Antibes), 2:11.43
- Kazan Qualifying Time: 2:11.71
Teammates Thomas Dahlia and Quentin Coton of Antibes went 1-2 in the final of the men’s 200 breast, but only Dahlia made the cut for Kazan; the pair finished in 2:11.49-2:12.98. The Belgian Jonas Coreelman, who trains with Lille, finished third in 2:13.36.
William Debourges of Antibes took fourth, touching in 2:15.31. Marseille’s Theo Bussiere went a personal-best 2:15.38 for fifth, just out-touching Quentin Callais of Canet 66/Font-Romeu (2:15.46).
In his second national age group record of the night, Cannes’ Tanguy Lesparre lowered the boys’ 16-year-old mark of 2:17.04 that he set in prelims, with 2:16.86 in finals. Yann Quiertant of Courbevoie placed eighth with 2:18.09.