2016 Georgia Invite: FSU’s Pierce Cranks 58.2 100 Breast in Day 2 Prelims


  • Friday, December 2nd-Sunday, December 4th
  • Hosted by University of Georgia
  • 25 yards
  • Invite format
  • Live results

Day 2 prelims of the 2016 Georgia Fall Invitational set up another loaded IM final, with Georgia’s Chase Kalisz leading the 400 IM heats. Kalisz, the American Record holder in this event, cruised to a 3:41.16 this morning. He could have a very fast swim in store for tonight, especially after we saw him bust out a 1:41.2 in the 200 IM last night. Kalisz also swam the 100 breast this morning, taking 2nd seed in 52.88. Top seed honors went to Cal sophomore Carson Sand, who broke 53 for the first time with a 52.82.

Kalisz won’t be the only star in the 400 IM tonight. He’ll be up against Cal’s Andrew Seliskar (3:47.00), the Pac-12 champ in this race, and Auburn’s Joe Patching (3:46.14), an IM gold medalist at 2016 SECs. Also in the mix will be fellow Bulldogs and U.S. Olympians Jay Litherland (3:47.17) and Gunnar Bentz (3:46.01).

Litherland and Bentz took on a double this morning, as they swam the 200 free as well. Leading the way through prelims was Cal freshman Michael Jensen in 1:34.91, followed by Litherland (1:35.60) and Bentz (1:35.98).

On the women’s side, 3 swimmers put up times in the 51-range in the 100 back. After Cal’s Amy Bilquist blasted a 50.8 on the backstroke leg of the medley relay last night, she came back with a 51.54 to top the field in the individual race this morning. Her teammate Kathleen Baker, the 2016 Olympic silver medalist in this race, finished 2nd this morning in 51.83, touching just ahead of Georgia’s Olivia Smoliga (51.89).

Cal freshman Abbey Weitzeil took a crack at the 100 breast this morning, which she hadn’t swum a best time in since she put up a 1:03.81 2012. She obliterated that this morning, qualifying for the championship final with a 1:00.86.

The big story in that race, though, was Florida State’s Natalie Pierce picking up an NCAA ‘A’ time with her 58.25, which sits as the 2nd fastest time in the NCAA this season behind only Olympic champ Lilly King. Before today, her best time was a 1:00.70 from 2016 ACCs. The Seminoles have been looking very good at this meet in their first season with Head Coach Neal Studd.

Also picking up an NCAA A cut time this morning was Cal’s Noemie Thomas with a speedy 51.00 in the 100 fly. Virgnia’s Kaitlyn Jones narrowly missed the A standard on the back half of her double, clocking a 51.58 for 2nd seed.

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4 years ago


4 years ago

Kalisz 4:41.1 in prelims. I think he’ll drop a very fast time at finals, especially looking at that 1:41 in the 200 IM.

bobo gigi
Reply to  Person
4 years ago

You meant 3.41.
Yes, he looked great in the 200 IM.
A time around 3.36 looks plausible in final. It would be crazy to see him close to his American record in December.

bobo gigi
4 years ago

Who is Natalie Pierce? That’s the time drop of the season so far! From 1.00.70 to 58.25! On the other hand it’s not surprising after a 57.91 split in the medley relay yesterday. I presume she has changed something in her training or in her diet. Or maybe she was injured before. Weirdly I didn’t find any trace of performances from her this season in the USA swimming database. Is it her first meet of the season? Monster men’s 400 IM in perspective. Too bad we can’t watch that. Kalisz looks unbeatable. Weitzeil in the 100 breast…. Ok I know Cal struggles to find a decent breaststroker but was it really necessary? 🙄 Katie McLaughlin pretty encouraging in the 100… Read more »

Reply to  bobo gigi
4 years ago

She’s competed this year in duel meets. The big change is the FSU coaching staff. 2 individual qualifiers for NCAAs last year & already they’ve qualified relays and multiple A cuts!
The new coaching staff is turning this team around.

Reply to  bobo gigi
4 years ago

I believe that Bilquist and Baker can both swim under 50.

bobo gigi
Reply to  Hswimmer
4 years ago

You’re right. The race will be close at NCAAs. But the schedule is at Baker’s disadvantage as she usually swims the 100 fly before in the same session. You can tell me that Bootsma swam 50.03 in 2015 after swimming the 100 fly so anything is possible but we can also think that maybe she missed the record that day because of the fatigue. We’ll never know. Anyway Bilquist or Baker, Natalie Coughlin probably wants to see that record stay at Cal. 🙂 I forgot to mention Ali Deloof. She improves at a very fast pace and already had a great last summer in long course. With Bilquist, Baker, Smoliga, Deloof plus hopefully Missy Franklin back at her best plus… Read more »

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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