2017 U.S. Winter Nationals: Day 2 Finals Live Recap


The 2017 U.S. Winter Nationals continues tonight in Columbus, Ohio with finals of the 500 free, 200 IM, 50 free, and 4×100 medley relay. Louisville standout Mallory Comerford will show off her range tonight in both the 50 free and 500 free. Comerford’s challengers in the 50 include fellow Louisville-based star Kelsi Worrell and former U.S. National teamer Margo Geer, who both broke 22 this morning. In the 200 IM, Olympian Melanie Margalis is slated to make a run at the title.

On the men’s side, Olympic champion Nathan Adrian will take on the 50 free. That field will also feature junior standout Michael Andrew. After prelims, Andrew was set up to swim back-to-back races with the 200 IM just before the 50 free, but he scratched out of the 200 to focus on the sprint tonight. The 200 IM brings plenty of top talent between junior star Reece Whitley, Cal teammates Josh Prenot and Ryan Murphy, and IM World Champion Chase Kalisz. In the 500 free, we’ll see U.S. National teamers Zane Grothe and Mitch D’Arrigo go head-to-head.


  • American Record: 4:24.06, Katie Ledecky, 2017
  • U.S. Open Record: 4:24.06, Katie Ledecky, 2017
  • Meet Record: 4:29.54, Katie Ledecky, 2014
  • Pool Record: 4:26.46, Katie Ledecky, 2016
  1. GOLD: Ashley Neidigh, Indiana, 4:34.47
  2. SILVER: Mallory Comerford, Louisville, 4:35.78
  3. BRONZE: Erica Sullivan, SAND, 4:38.13

Indiana postgrad swimmer Ashley Neidigh took off with the early lead in the 500 free, extending her lead over Sandpipers of Nevada’s Erica Sulivan after the 100 mark. Neidigh held on to her lead throughout the race, posting a huge best time of 4:34.47 to win it. That beat her former best 4:39.91 by over 5 seconds.

Louisville All-American Mallory Comerford overtook Sullivan for the 2nd place spot with 100 yards to go. She started to close the gap on Neidigh with a 54.17 across the final 100, but wound up 2nd in a quick 4:35.78. Comerford finished well under the NCAA ‘A’ cut of 4:36.30. That marked her first sub-4:36 swim as she came into the meet with a lifetime best 4:36.16 from the 2017 NCAA meet.

Sullivan held on for 3rd behind Comerford in 4:38.13, while Louisville’s Sophie Cattermole was just off the podium in 4:40.99. That time for Sullivan was a new best by over a second. Cattermole was just half a second shy of her personal best 4:40.47 from prelims. She’s a second faster than what it took to qualify for last season’s NCAA meet.


  • American Record: 4:08.42, Clark Smith, 2017
  • U.S. Open Record: 4:08.42, Clark Smith, 2017
  • Meet Record: 4:10.75, Peter Vanderkaay, 2007
  • Pool Record: 4:13.19, Anton Ipsen, 2017
  1. GOLD: Zane Grothe, Indiana, 4:07.25
  2. SILVER: Mitch D’Arrigo, Florida, 4:10.78
  3. BRONZE: Marwan El Kamash, Indiana, 4:16.10

It was Indiana on top again in the next event, as Zane Grothe charged to a new American and U.S. Open Record to win the 500 free. He battled closely with Florida’s Mitch D’Arrigo through the first 350 yards, but really stormed through the final 150 for a dominant final outcome in 4:07.25.

Grothe’s final 100 split was a blistering 49.18. That came on the heels of a 49.68 split on the 4th 100. His final time shattered Clark Smith’s old American and U.S. Open Record of 4:08.42 by over a second. It was also a lifetime best by over 5 seconds, as his former best in the USA Swimming database was a 4:12.98 from 2015. D’Arrigo wound up 2nd in 4:10.78, coming within a second of his personal best 4:09.98 from 2016 NCAAs.

The Hoosiers got 2 on the podium, as Marwan El Kamash held off Louisville’s Marcelo Acosta (4:16.35) on the final 50 to round out the podium in 4:16.10. Both El Kamash and Acosta were slightly under the 2017 NCAA invite time of 4:16.67.


  • American Record: 1:51.65, Ella Eastin, 2016
  • U.S. Open Record: 1:51.65, Ella Eastin, 2016
  • Meet Record: 1:53.16, Melanie Margalis, 2016
  • Pool Record: 1:53.47, Katinka Hosszu, 2010
  1. GOLD: Melanie Margalis, Georgia, 1:52.63
  2. SILVER: Isabel Ivey, GSC, 1:55.77
  3. BRONZE: Mariia Astashkina, Louisville, 1:57.06

U.S. Olympian Melanie Margalis blew away the field, taking down her own former Meet Record and Katinka Hosszu’s Pool Record in the process. Margalis led from start to finish in 1:52.63, clipping her lifetimes best by a hundredth. That was her first best time in the yards version of the event since the 2014 NCAA championships.

Gator Swim Club’s junior standout Isabel Ivey had a big swim behind her. Ivey knocked over a second off her former best time of 1:57.04 to pick up the silver in a blistering 1:55.77. Fellow junior star Emma Muzzy of the Gators of Virginia also threw down a best time with her 1:57.45 for 4th.

Muzzy just missed the podium, as Louisville’s Mariia Astashkina secured the bronze in 1:57.06. That puts her half a second under the 2017 NCAA invite time (1:57.66). Teammate Rachael Bradford-Feldman also snuck under the 2017 invite mark with a 1:57.63 for 5th place.


  • American Record: 1:39.38, David Nolan, 2015
  • U.S. Open Record: 1:39.38, David Nolan, 2015
  • Meet Record: 1:40.08, Ryan Lochte, 2007
  • Pool Record: 1:41.59, Vini Lanza, 2017
  1. GOLD: Chase Kalisz, Georgia, 1:41.79
  2. SILVER: Ryan Murphy, Cal, 1:42.29
  3. BRONZE: Josh Prenot, Cal, 1:42.84

The lead changed hands a few times through the men’s 200 IM, but it was Georgia’s Chase Kalisz taking the win and giving the Bulldogs a sweep of the IMs. Cal’s Josh Prenot took the early lead through fly, but Olympic champion Ryan Murphy battled back to take the lead at the halfway mark. Kalisz made his move to take the lead on the breast leg and never looked back, touching in 1:41.79 ahead of Murphy (1:42.29) and Prenot (1:42.84).

Junior standout Reece Whitley rocked a personal best 1:43.55 to land a spot in the top 5. He was in the hunt for 4th after the breaststroke leg, but Georgia’s Nic Fink ran him down on the free leg to out-touch Whitley in 1:43.45.


  • American Record: 21.12, Abbey Weitzeil, 2016
  • U.S. Open Record: 21.12, Abbey Weitzeil, 2016
  • Meet Record: 21.46, Natalie Coughlin, 2007
  • Pool Record: 21.69, Lara Jackson, 2008
  1. GOLD: Olivia Smoliga, Georgia, 21.70
  2. SILVER: Margo Geer, Indiana, 21.72
  3. BRONZE: Mallory Comerford, Louisville, 21.88 

Georgia’s Olivia Smoliga kept up the winning streak for the Bulldogs in the 50 free, clipping Margo Geer 21.70 to 21.72 at the wall. Geer, a former Arizona All-American who now trains with Indiana, had her fastest swim in the event since 2014. Louisville’s Mallory Comerford picked up another medal with a 21.88 for bronze, marking her first swim under the 22-barrier.

Comerford’s teammate Kelsi Worrell, an Olympic medalist, was also under 22 to take 4th in a quick 21.98. Another pair of Louisville swimmers came in at 5th and 6th. Casey Fanz clipped her best with a 22.04 for 5th place. Lainey Visscher was 6th in 22.22. Both were under the 2017 NCAA invite time of 22.23.


  1. GOLD: Nathan Adrian, Cal, 18.77
  2. SILVER: Michael Andrew, RPC, 19.17
  3. BRONZE: Andrej Barna, Louisville, 19.44

Olympic champ Nathan Adrian topped the field with an 18.77, shaving 4 hundredths off his former Meet Record and matching Caeleb Dressel’s Pool Record. Behind him, fellow U.S. National teamer Michael Andrew picked up a new best time with his 19.17 for the silver. Louisville’s Andrej Barna rounded out the medals in 19.44. Barna’s time puts him just a hundredth shy of the 2017 NCAA invite time and clipped his former best by a few hundredths.


  • American Record: 3:25.60, USA, 2016
  • U.S. Open Record: 3:25.60, USA, 2016
  • Meet Record: 3:29.91, Cal, 2013
  • Pool Record: 3:29.06, Arizona, 2008
  1. GOLD: Louisville (A), 3:31.97
  2. SILVER: Louisville (B), 3:33.94
  3. BRONZE: Ohio State, 3:36.95

Louisville swam to a 1-2 finish in the 400 medley relay, with the A team taking gold in an NCAA ‘A’ cut time of 3:31.97. Alina Kendzior got things started with a 53.26 back leg and handed off the breaststroker Mariia Astashkina (1:00.32). Grace Oglesby rolled through the fly leg in 51.83, while Mallory Comerford secured the win with her 46.51 free leg.

Fastest splits of the field:


  • American Record: 3:01.51, Cal, 2017
  • U.S. Open Record: 2:59.22, Texas, 2017
  • Meet Record: 3:05.69, Arizona, 2012
  • Pool Record: 3:02.83, Cal, 2010
  1. GOLD: Cal, 3:06.69
  2. SILVER: Louisville, 3:08.73
  3. BRONZE: Ohio State, 3:10.40

The Golden Bears picked up another relay title, winning out of heat 1 in 3:06.69. Cal fielded Ryan Murphy in a position we don’t usually see him in. Murphy took on the fly leg with a 45.63 split. Taking on the backstroke leg was Jacob Pebley (46.27). Josh Prenot turned in a 52.18 as their breaststroker, while Nathan Adrian contributed a 42.61 free split to their win.

Fastest splits of the field:

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4 years ago


Spotted Zebra
Reply to  Ervin
4 years ago

I enjoyed the succinctness of your post, but I also can’t help but think that it was a missed opportunity for: “That’s In-Zane!” 😛

4 years ago

4:07.25 for Zane Grothe, Wow!! 49.1 coming home. Incredible swim

Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  DMacNCheez
4 years ago

And someone actually down voted?

Caeleb Dressel Will Get 7 golds in Tokyo
Reply to  Coach Mike 1952
4 years ago

Looks like some kids down voted you too

4 years ago

Go head on Lauren sister. Very nice swim. ?

4 years ago

Both Auburn turned Indiana distance swimmers did great.

4 years ago

Wow. I was way more stoked to watch the 2 IM and 50 free, guess I missed the big fireworks. About time someone took an ax to that 500 free record.

Reply to  joe
4 years ago

That 500 free Record was from March…

Reply to  PVSFree
4 years ago

Yeah. Didn’t take an ax to it though

4 years ago

lol what was that face Kalisz made when he looked up and saw his time

4 years ago

Last year when Smith broke the 500 record he said it was soft.

Reply to  Swimmer
4 years ago

I was honestly thinking there was a good shot someone would take it down this weekend. I was thinking Smith would do it not Grothe.

Reply to  Eggnog
4 years ago

It’s not too late for Smith too!

Reply to  Swimmy
4 years ago

Smith scratched?!?!

j pine
Reply to  Lauren Neidigh
4 years ago

the Texas Men’s Swimming and Diving twitter confirmed he scratched

Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  Swimmer1
4 years ago

Read the SwimSwam article about his multi-year, lingering heart condition. Atrial fibrillation is no joke!

Reply to  Eggnog
4 years ago

I’m hoping Smith sees Grothe’s time and gets fired up to lower it even more…

Reply to  DMacNCheez
4 years ago

It seems he scratched earlier this morning after the prelims… odd

4 years ago

The pool record in the men’s 200IM should be 1:41.59 by Vini Lanza from IU. Big 10s was at Ohio last year.

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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