2017 U.S. Open Day 5 Finals LIVE RECAP


It’s an abbreviated finals session on the last night of the 2017 U.S. Open Championships, as the Nassau County Aquatics Center prepares to switch over to the Junior National Championships that start next week.

There are still plenty of intriguing story lines for Sunday evening, though, not the least of which is the 4th swim for Ryan Lochte at this meet, which is his first back from a 10 month suspension. He’s the top qualifier in the 200 IM, and in finals will be chasing a 1:58.54 that would tentatively earn him a spot on the U.S. National Team for next season, which he says is his big goal for the meet.

South African Brad Tandy, who missed the World Championships, due to what he called “bad timing with visas.” After a 21.95 in the morning, he’ll be looking to prove in finals of what could have been in Budapest last week.

Women’s 1500 Free – TIMED FINAL

  • American: 15:25.48 8/4/2015 Katie Ledecky
  • U.S. Open: 15:34,23 6/19/2014 Katie Ledecky
  1. GOLD- Erica Sullivan, Sandpipers of Nevada 16:05.83
  2. SILVER- Ashley Twichell, North Carolina Aquatic Club 16:10.99
  3. BRONZE- Cassy Jernberg, Schroeder YMCA/Indiana 16:29.76

The three heats leading up to the finals session produced quite a few strong performances, the fastest of which belonged to the Kowal twins, Molly Kowal of Ohio State (16:40.05) and Grace Kowal of  H2okie Aquatics (16:43.54). Both finished on the podium with their swims, placing 6th and 8th, respectively.

In the timed final, 16-year-old Erica Sullivan of Sandpipers of Nevada and North Carolina Aquatic Club’s Ashley Twichell took it out fast from the get-go, and never let up. They traded leads several times, but Sullivan took off at about the 1100 and left Twichell in her wake. She turned out 32-lows over the final 300 meters and finished with 16:05.83, the third-fastest time in history for 15-16 girls. Twichell touched second in 16:10.99. Cassy Jernberg of Schroeder YMCA and Indiana University picked up the bronze medal from the outside lane, going 16:29.76.


  • American: 2:06.15 7/27/2009 Ariana Kukors
  • U.S. Open: 2:08.66 5/17/2015 Katinka Hosszu
  • U.S. Open Meet: 2:11.06 8/3/2013 Justine Mueller
  1. GOLD- Meaghan Raab, Nashville Aquatic Club/Georgia 2:12.56
  2. SILVER- Margaret Aroesty, Long Island Aquatic Club 2:12.83
  3. BRONZE- Fantine Lesaffre, France 2:14.58

Lisa Bratton of Texas A&M led the field after a very fast backstroke leg (33.23). The breaststrokers narrowed the gap over the next 50 meters, with Margaret Aroesty of Long Island Aquatic Club and Meaghan Raab of Nashville Aquatic Club and University of Georgia taking the lead heading into the freestyle. Raab brought it home nearly a second faster though, and eked out the win, 2:12.56 to 2:12.83. Third place went to France’s Fantine Lesaffre in 2:14.58.


  • American: 1:54.00 7/28/2011 Ryan Lochte
  • U.S. Open: 1:54.56 7/10/2009 Ryan Lochte
  • U.S. Open Meet: 1:59.26 11/30/2006 Michael F Phelps
  1. GOLD- Ryan Lochte, Trojan Swim Club 1:59.24
  2. SILVER- Xavier Mohammed, Swim Wales 2:00.47
  3. BRONZE- Sam Stewart, Longhorn Aquatics 2:01.51

The field was bunched at the fly wall, but Texas A&M’s Brock Bonetti turned just ahead of Trojan Swim Club’s Ryan Lochte. Lochte had a smooth backstroke leg and pulled ahead of the field, although Swim Wales’ Xavier Mohammed stayed with him. The pair had the clear lead heading into the breaststroke, where Lochte broke away and led by about 3/4 of a body heading into the freestyle. Lochte increased his lead over the final 50 meters and touched in a new U.S. Open meet record of 1:59.24, taking 2/100 off Michael Phelps’ 2006 meet mark.

Mohammed finished second with 2:00.47. Third place went to Sam Stewart of Longhorn Aquatics in 2:01.51.

Men 800 LC Meter Free

  • American: 7:43.60 7/28/2013 Michael McBroom
  • U.S. Open: 7:46.78 6/25/2013 Connor Jaeger
  1. GOLD- Damien Joly, France 7:53.26
  2. SILVER- Logan Houck, Sandpipers of Nevada 7:56.05
  3. BRONZE- Matt Hutchins, Wisconsin Aquatics 7:56.14

Sandpiper of Nevada’s Logan Houck had set the pace in the morning heats with a best-by-9.9-seconds 7:56.05. In the timed final, France’s Damien Joly went out right away, building up more than a body length lead over teammate Joris Bouchaut and Wisconsin Aquatics’ Matt Hutchins by the 200. As Joly continued to dominate the field, Bouchaut and Hutchins were battling for second in the middle lanes.

Joly finished comfortably ahead, winning in 7:53.26. Eventually Hutchins pulled away, but Bouchaut fought back hard over the final 50 meters. Bouchaut made up nearly a body length but Hutchins got the touch, 7:56.14 to 7:56.22, for second in the heat. France’s Mathis Castera was fourth in the heat with 8:01.74.

Hutchins finished third overall after Joly and Houck; Bouchaut was fourth and his teammate Castera, fifth.


  • American: 23.97 7/30/2017 Simone Manuel
  • U.S. Open: 24.13 5/18/2008 Cate Campbell
  • U.S. Open Meet: 24.90 8/8/2009 Jessica Hardy
  1. GOLD- Madison Kennedy, SwimMAC Carolina, 24.92
  2. SILVER- Marie Wattel, France 25.06
  3. BRONZE- Rebecca Millard, Longhorn Aquatics 25.52

Top qualifier Madison Kennedy of SwimMAC Carolina got off to a fast start and looked dominant throughout the 50 meters. Next to her, France’s Marie Wattel gained momentum as the race went on but she wasn’t able to catch Kennedy, who won in 24.92, a mere 2/100 off the meet mark set by Jessica Hardy in 2009.

Kennedy was the only sub-25 in the field. Wattel took second with 25.06, her best by 0.40, and the second-fastest French performance of the year. The race for third was tight, with Rebecca Millard of Longhorn Aquatics getting the nod with 25.52 from the outside lane.

14-year-old Gretchen Walsh of Nashville Aquatic Club was just 5/100 behind Millard, but it was her best time by another 16/100. She had already taken 10/100 off her PB in prelims, and now moves from #5 all-time to #4 all-time in the 13-14 age category.


  • American: 21.15 7/29/2017 Caeleb Dressel
  • U.S. Open: 21.14 7/9/2009 Cesar Cielo
  • US Open Meet: 21.73 8/8/2009 Nicholas Brunelli
  1. GOLD- Brad Tandy, Unattached 21.70
  2. SILVER- Cullen Jones, Wolfpack Elite 22.03
  3. BRONZE- Michael Andrew, Race Pace Club 22.22

Brad Tandy and Wolfpack Elite’s Cullen Jones, swimming in the middle lanes, were a half body length ahead of the field from the outset. Over the last 15 meters Tandy surged ahead and got the win with 21.70, taking down Nicholas Brunelli’s meet record from 2009. Jones took second in 22.03. Michael Andrew pulled clear of the rest of the field to win the bronze in 22.22, while Longhorn Aquatics’ Tate Jackson touched out Alabama’s Robert Howard, 22.40 to 22.46, for fourth.

South Africa’s Tandy was .03 off Roland Schoeman’s national record of 21.67.


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Becky D
3 years ago

I’m trying to figure out if Erica Sullivan’s speed in the 1500 was, in part, *because* of the way she breathes (looking behind), or if it’s in *spite* of it.

3 years ago

Great swim by Sullivan. Are they including the women’s 1500 and men’s 800 for National team consideration this year? In the past they haven’t.

Reply to  don
3 years ago

The announcer said Erica was 3rd all-time in the 15-16 girls 1500 behind Ledecky and J. Evans.

16:05 would have been second behind Leah Smith at the WC trials in June.

Reply to  don
3 years ago

It says the top 6 in Olympic events, so I would assume so.

Becky D
Reply to  Ger
3 years ago

Women’s 1500 and men’s 800 are still not Olympic events, though, right?

Reply to  Becky D
3 years ago

They are Olympic events now.

Reply to  don
3 years ago

Yes it counts for national team this year

Becky D
3 years ago

My computer is acting up tonight, and I’ve gotten mouse-click-happy. I’ve mistakenly watched the women’s 200 free A final more times than I’d like to admit.

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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