2017 U.S. Winter Nationals: Day 4 Finals Live Recap

2017 U.S. WINTER NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

The 2017 U.S. Winter Nationals concludes tonight in Columbus, Ohio. Swimmers are set to compete in finals of the 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly, and 4×100 free relay. The fastest heat of the women’s and men’s 1650 free will also be contested tonight and will open the session.

WOMEN’S 1650 FREE

  • American Record: 15:03.31, Katie Ledecky, 2017
  • U.S. Open Record: 15:03.31, Katie Ledecky, 2017
  • Meet Record: 15:13.30, Katie Ledecky, 2014

Reported by Braden Keith:

Indiana post-grad Ashley Neidigh completed the distance double on the final night of Winter Nationals, winning the 1650 free in a new lifetime best of 15:38.35.

After dropping 5 seconds to win the 500 free on Thursday, Neidigh dropped a whopping 16 seconds to win the mile on Saturday. That time improved upon the 15:54.8 that she swam at the NCAA Championships in 2017. Prior to last year’s championship season, Neidigh’s best time was 16:11.8, meaning that over the last 9 months, she’s dropped 33 seconds in this event to win the Winter National title.

The only swimmer that put up a fight for Neidigh was high school senior Erica Sullivan, who trains with the Sandpipers of Nevada and is committed to USC. Sullivan led most of this race, icluding as late as the 1500 yard turn, before Neidigh went into high gear. Neidigh’s closing 150 was done in 1:23.20, while Sullivan’s was 1:25.67. In spite of being run down, that was a best time for Sullivan by 7 seconds – over her time at this meet last year – and would’ve placed her 3rd at last year’s NCAA Championship behind only National Team members Katie Ledecky and Leah Smith.

Madelyn Donohoe, a 16-year old from the legendary distance program at the FISH club in Virginia, took 3rd in 16:01.60.

MEN’S 1650 FREE

  • American Record: 14:22.41, Clark Smith, 2017 16:01.0
  • U.S. Open Record: 14:22.41, Clark Smith, 2017
  • Meet Record: 14:23.52, Connor Jaeger, 2014
  1. GOLD: Zane Grothe, Indiana, 14:18.25
  2. SILVER: Mitch D’Arrigo, Gator Swim Club, 14:43.87
  3. BRONZE: Marcelo Acosta, Louisville, 14:54.95

Indiana’s Zane Grothe struck again, completing the distance double and demolishing the American and U.S. Open Record in 14:18.25. That makes him the first man under 14:20, and knocks a whopping 4 seconds off the former American Record set by Clark Smith at last season’s NCAAs. That was also a huge best time for Grothe, who entered the meet with a best of 14:29.05.

Behind him, Florida postgrad Mitch D’Arrigo picked up another silver in 14:43.87, marking his 4th fastest swim ever in the event. Louisville’s Marcelo Acosta, Cincinnati’s Christopher Bready, and Badger’s Jack Collins battled it out for the bronze. Acosta held the lead into the finish to earn a podium spot in 14:54.95, followed by Bready (14:56.62) and Collins (14:56.95).

Both Acosta and Bready were under the 2017 NCAA invite time. Collins, who was listed as a sophomore on Indiana’s roster last season, would have been right at the cutoff mark, but isn’t listed on Indiana’s roster this season.

WOMEN’S 200 BACK

  • American Record: 1:47.84, Elizabeth Pelton, 2013
  • U.S. Open Record: 1:47.84, Elizabeth Pelton, 2013
  • Meet Record: 1:49.18, Missy Franklin, 2012
  • Pool Record: 1:50.55, Courtney Bartholomew, 2013
  1. GOLD: Ali Galyer, Kentucky, 1:51.15
  2. SILVER: Bridgette Alexander, Kentucky, 1:51.92
  3. BRONZE: Kristen Romano, Oho State, 1:52.86

Ali Galyer and Bridgette Alexander brought home a 1-2 finish for the Kentucky Wildcats this evening. Both should have easily qualified for NCAAs with their 1:51s, as the 2017 invite time was a 1:54.00. Ohio State’s Kristen Romano also likely met that standard with her 1:52.86 for 3rd place. Romano dropped nearly a full second from her former best time.

Drexel’s Alexa Kutch came in 4th with a lifetime best 1:54.56 for a new CAA Record. Kutch dropped over half a second from her time today and has dropped nearly 2.5 second in this race in the past year. She’s just about a hlaf second from what it took to qualify for NCAAs last season. Coming in behind her for 5th was Melanie Margalis in 1:55.01.

MEN’S 200 BACK

  • American Record: 1:35.73, Ryan Murphy, 2016
  • U.S. Open Record: 1:35.73, Ryan Murphy, 2016
  • Meet Record: 1:36.81, Ryan Lochte, 2007
  • Pool Record: 1:39.29, Cory Chitwood, 2010
  1. GOLD: Ryan Murphy, Cal, 1:38.32
  2. SILVER: Jacob Pebley, Cal, 1:38.66
  3. BRONZE: Grigory Tarasevich, Cardinal Aquatics, 1:40.62

Teammates Ryan Murphy and Jacob Pebley kept it close throughout the race, but Murphy had the slight edge from the start as he won in 1:38.32 to Pebley’s 1:38.66. Murphy cleared the former Pool Record by nearly a full second. Rounding out the top 3 in 1:40.62 was Louisville postgrad Grigory Tarasevich.

Battling it out for 4th were Florida postgrad Corey Main and Georgia postgrad Chase Kalisz. Kalisz had the edge on the front half, but Main came back to out-touch him in 1:42.45 to Kalisz’s 1:42.76. Kalisz lowered his best time by nearly 2 seconds today. He had never broken the 1:44-second barrier before tonight’s final.

WOMEN’S 100 FREE

  • American Record: 45.56, Simone Manuel, 2017
  • U.S. Open Record: 45.56, Simone Manuel, 2017
  • Meet Record: 46.85, Natalie Coughlin, 2007
  • Pool Record: 47.23, Mallory Comerford, 2017
  1. GOLD: Mallory Comerford, Louisville, 46.70
  2. SILVER: Kelsi Worrell, Louisville, 47.48
  3. BRONZE: Margo Geer, Indiana, 47.50

Louisville’s Mallory Comerford took down Natalie Coughlin’s 10-year-old Meet Record tonight when she touched in 46.70. That was Comerford’s 2nd fastest performance ever in the event behind only her 46.35 from last season’s NCAAs.

Louisville postgrad Kelsi Worrell and Indiana postgrad Margo Geer battled it out for 2nd place. Geer flipped ahead with a 22.79 to Worell’s 22.83 at the half, but Worrell got her hand to the wall just ahead at the finish to take silver in 47.48 to Geer’s 47.50. Worrell came within 2 tenths of her lifetime best, while Geer had her fastest swim since 2014. Behind them, Georgia postgrad Olivia Smoliga was the last swimmer to break 48, touching in 47.86 for 4th place.

Cincinnati postgrad Jackie Keire (48.31) rounded out the top 5. Louisville’s Casey Fanz (48.49) dipped below the 2017 NCAA invite time of 48.62 to take 6th place.

MEN’S 100 FREE

  • American Record: 40.00, Caeleb Dressel, 2017
  • U.S. Open Record: 40.00, Caeleb Dressel, 2017
  • Meet Record: 41.31, Nathan Adrian, 2014
  • Pool Record: 41.35, Matt Grevers, 2010
  1. GOLD: Nathan Adrian, Cal, 41.22
  2. SILVER: Michael Chadwick, Missouri, 42.30
  3. BRONZE: Josh Fleagle, Ohio State, 42.41

Cal’s Nathan Adrian completed the sprint sweep as he ripped a new Meet Record and Pool Record in the 100 free. Adrian dominated the field, winning by over a second in 41.22. Behind him, Missouri postgrad Michael Chadwick out-touched Ohio State postgrad Josh Fleagle, 42.30 to 42.41, for the silver.

Georgia postgrad Matias Koski joined them under the 43-second mark with a 42.97 for 4th place. Age group star Michael Andrew rounded out the top 5 as he clipped his best time with a 43.21 for 5th place.

WOMEN’S 200 BREAST

  • American Record: 2:03.18, Lilly King, 2017
  • U.S. Open Record: 2:03.18, Lilly King, 2017
  • Meet Record: 2:05.04, Laura Sogar, 2012
  • Pool Record: 2:06.32, Rebecca Soni, 2008
  1. GOLD: Breeja Larson, New York Athletic Club, 2:07.48
  2. SILVER: Andee Cottrell, Cardinal Aquatics, 2:07.98
  3. BRONZE: Bailey Bonnett, Kentucky, 2:08.39

NYAC’s Breeja Larson picked up another breaststroke medal, this time taking home gold as she touched in 2:07.48. Louisville’s Andee Cottrell was sitting 4th through the 100, but started to reel in Larson through the back half. She touched just a half second behind Larson at the finish in 2:07.98. Kentucky freshman Bailey Bonnett has already been a major player this season, breaking 2:10 for the first time at the Oho State Invite with a speedy 2:07.83. She was just over a half second shy of that tonight to take bronze in 2:08.39.

Pitt’s Lina Rathsack (2:09.11) and Lousiville’s Mariia Astashkina (2:09.48) were both more than second under the 2017 NCAA invite time. Rathsack has been slightly faster this season with a 2:09.06 from the Ohio State Invite. Louisville’s Morgan Friesen was about a half second shy of last season’s NCAA invite time (2:10.55) with her personal best 2:11.00 for 6th place.

MEN’S 200 BREAST

  • American Record: 1:47.91, Will Licon, 2017
  • U.S. Open Record: 1:47.91, Will Licon, 2017
  • Meet Record: 1:50.73, Kevin Cordes, 2012
  • Pool Record: 1:51.73, Mike Alexandrov, 2010
  1. GOLD: Cody Miller, SAND, 1:49.31
  2. SILVER: Reece Whitley, PCAC, 1:51.43
  3. BRONZE: Nick Fink, ABSC, 1:51.56

Indiana postgrad Cody Miller demolished the Meet Record and Pool Record with a 1:49.31. Miller’s time moves him up to #3 on the all-time top performers list in the event ahead of Cal’s Josh Prenot, who finished 4th in tonight’s final with a 1:52.07. It shaved close to 4 tenths from his former best 1:49.74, which Miller swam back in 2014. Miller’s swim was the 5th fastest performance in history.

Junior star Reece Whitley had a big swim as he broke 1:52 for the first time. Whitley charged to a 1:51.43, marking a new 17-18 National Age Grpoup Record as he took down the former mark set by future Cal teammate Andrew Seliskar (1:51.57) in 2015. Whitley used his back-half speed to run down Georgia postgrad Nic Fink, who took the bronze in 1:51.56. That was Fink’s fastest swim since 2015.

Louisville’s Carlos Claverie should be safe for NCAAs. His 1:53.10 for 5th place was nearly 1.5 seconds faster than last season’s invited time. Finshing 6th was age group standout Michael Andrew, who made a big drop on the back end of. Before today, his best time was a 1:56.57, but Andrew blew that away with a 1:54.06 for 6th palace in tonight’s final.

WOMEN’S 200 FLY

  • American Record: 1:49.92, Elaine Breeden, 2009
  • U.S. Open Record: 1:49.92, Elaine Breeden, 2009
  • Meet Record: 1:51.02, Katinka Hosszu, 2010
  • Pool Record: 1:51.02, Katinka Hosszu, 2010
  1. GOLD: Kelsi Worrell, Cardinal Aquatics, 1:53.16
  2. SILVER: Grace Oglesby, Louisville, 1:54.23
  3. BRONZE: Meg Bailey, Ohio State, 1:55.40

Louisville postgrad Kelsi Worrell was about a half second shy of her prelims time, but still dominated the 200 fly to complete the sweep in 1:53.16. Behind her, Louisville’s Grace Oglesby broke 1:55 for the first time for silver in 1:54.26, coming within a few tenths of the NCAA ‘A’ cut. Ohio State’s Meg Bailey also secured an NCAA spot with her personal best 1:55.40 for the bronze.

MEN’S 200 FLY

  • American Record: 1:37.35, Jack Conger, 2017
  • U.S. Open Record: 1:37.35, Jack Conger, 2017
  • Meet Record: 1:40.24, Tom Shields, 2012
  • Pool Record: 1:41.07, Andreas Vazaios, 2017
  1. GOLD: Noah Lense, Ohio State, 1:42.22
  2. SILVER: Brendan Burns, UMLY, 1:42.94
  3. BRONZE: Zach Harting, Louisville, 1:44.51

Ohio State’s Noah Lense swam well below the 2017 NCAA invite mark to secure a likely qualification as he won the race in 1:42.22. That was within a second of his personal best 1:41.44 from 2017 Big Tens.

UMLY’s Brendan Burns has been on fire, and continued his fast swimming streak with a silver medal tonight. Burns chopped over 2 seconds off his former best time, touching in 1:42.94. That makes him the #2 swimmer all-time in the 15-16 age group. He’s now just 8 tenths behind legendary 200 butterflier Michael Phelps’ time at that age. Louisville’s Zach Harting rounded out the top 3 behind him in 1:44.51.

WOMEN’S 4×100 FREE RELAY

  • American Record: 3:07.61, Stanford, 2017
  • U.S. Open Record: 3:07.61, Stanford, 2017
  • Meet Record: 3:13.45, Cal, 2013
  1. GOLD: Louisville (A), 3:12.15
  2. SILVER: Ohio State, 3:15.43
  3. BRONZE: Louisville (B), 3:17.71 

Louisville picked up 2 podium spots, with the A team winning in an NCAA ‘A’ cut and new Meet Record of 3:12.15. Lainey Visscher put up the fastest leadoff of the field in 49.10, while Mallory Comerford split the fastest of any leg with a 46.50 to follow that up. Arina Openysheva (48.23) and Casey Fanz (48.32) closed in a pair of 48-lows to seal the deal.

MEN’S 4×100 FREE RELAY

  • American Record: 2:47.02, Texas, 2009
  • U.S. Open Record: 2:45.39, Texas, 2017
  • Meet Record: 2:51.16, Cal, 2013
  1. GOLD: Louisville (A), 2:53.92
  2. SILVER: Ohio State, 2:54.49
  3. BRONZE: Louisville (B), 2:56.95

The Cardinals got 2 teams on the podium in the men’s race as well. The A squad finished in 2:53.92, just tenths shy of the NCAA ‘A’ cut. The top man for Louisville was freshman Nick Albiero, who put up a 43.12 on the anchor split. The fastest split of the field, however, came from Ohio State’s Andrew Loy with a 42.97 closing split. No other swimmer swam below the 43-second mark.

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Holy moly Zane Grothe is going for it

holy moly ashley neidigh

Zane Grothe demolished the AR wow

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona and the University of Florida. She got her M.S. in Criminology from Florida State and seems exceptionally confused about which team she should cheer for during the college football season. Lauren is currently working on her M.A. in …

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