2017 U.S. Winter Nationals: Day 3 Finals Live Recap

2017 U.S. WINTER NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

The 2017 U.S. Winter Nationals continues tonight in Columbus, Ohio with finals of the 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 back, 100 breast, and 4×50 free relay. Among the key women to watch are reigning NCAA champion Mallory Comerford (200 free) and American Record holder Kelsi Worrell (100 fly). On the men’s side, Zane Grothe (200 free) is back in action after taking down the 500 free American Record last night. Fellow American Record holders Chase Kalisz (400 IM) and Ryan Murphy (100 back) will each swim one of their signature events.

WOMEN’S 400 IM

  1. GOLD: Melanie Margalis, St. Petersburg Aquatics, 4:00.59
  2. SILVER: Emma Muzzy, Virginia Gators, 4:06.72
  3. BRONZE: Meg Bailey, Ohio State, 4:07.07

Nobody even touched Melanie Margalis in the women’s 400 IM. She jumped out to a full-second lead after the butterfly, and eventually built that margin to better than 6 seconds. That’s the 3rd-best time of her career and her best time since her last season of college swimming – 2014. That follows a personal best in the 200 IM swum a night earlier.

The battle for 2nd place was much more compelling – Meg Bailey of Ohio State and Emma Muzzy of Virginia Gators, an NC State commit, battled back and forth. Bailey held the 2nd position for most of the race, but a big freestyle leg for Muzzy (56.43) ran-down Bailey (57.82) for the silver.

For Muzzy (4:06.72), that’s the fastest time by a high school swimmer in the nation this season – by a significant margin (Sam Shelton is 2nd with a 4:12). Bailey (4:07.07) has actually been faster this season – she swam 4:05.80 at the Ohio State Invitational 2 weeks ago, which will be enough to earn her spot at NCAAs already.

Louisville’s Rachael Bradford-Feldman should be joining her at NCAAs with her 4:09.24 for 4th in tonight’s final. Ohio State’s Kathrin Demler (4:11.17) was just 3 tenths shy of the 2017 NCAA invite mark when she touched 5th.

MEN’S 400 IM

  1. GOLD: Chase Kalisz, Athens Bulldog Swim Club, 3:39.45
  2. SILVER: Etay Gurevich, Louisvill, 3:45.56
  3. BRONZE: Casey Storch, Machine Aquatics, 3:46.31

It was all Chase Kalisz in the 400 IM. Inteerstginly, Kalisz usually represents North Baltimore Aquatic Club at club meets, but he’s now representing Athens Bulldog Swim Club out of the University of Georgia. Kalisz’s lead was never in question. He was already body lengths ahead of the field by the halfway mark and only extended his lead from there, dominating in 3:49.45.

Kalisz gave his thoughts on the swim in his post-race interview: “Actually that time was really bad. I thought I was done with short course swimming last March.”

Louisville’s Etay Gurevich was almost on the outside looking in after taking 9th in prelims, but was scratched in when Reece Whitley opted out of the race. Gurevich certainly took advantage of the opportunity, taking silver out of lane 8. His 3:45.56 was about half a second shy of the 2017 NCAA invite time. Behind him, Machine Aquatics’ Casey Storch continued to make big drops. In prelims, he took almost 2 seconds off his best. He dropped another second tonight for bronze in 3:46.31.

Also of note, LIAC’s Jason Louser had an impressive swim. He turned in a 3:47.70 for 4th place, making him the 9th fastest swimmer ever in the 15-16 age group.

WOMEN’S 100 FLY

  1. GOLD: Kelsi Worrell, Cardinal Aquatics, 49.87
  2. SILVER: Mallory Comerford, Louisville, 50.92
  3. BRONZE: Amanda Kendall, Indiana, 51.14

Louisville postgrad swimmer Kelsi Worrell came within a half second of her American Record tonight. She blew by the field early on and never looked back, touching in 49.87 to win by over a second. That took a few tenths off the Pool Record and her own Meet Record from this morning.

Though Mallory Comerford put up a monster 50-point 100 fly relay split this season, her best time in the event from a flat start coming into the meet was a 53.32 from 2015. She demolished that in prelims when she lowered it to a 51.18, and lowered it even further tonight with a 50.92 for silver. Both of her swims today met the NCAA ‘A’ standard. Comerford probably won’t swim the race at NCAAs, however, since it conflicts with the 200 free.

Indiana postgrad Amanda Kendall also turned in a best time for the bronze. Before today, she had a best of 51.90. After clipping that in prelims, she closed in on the 51-second barrier with a 51.14 in the final. Louisville’s Grace Oglesby should be in the clear for NCAAs. She turned in a 51.69 to take 5th behind Ohio State postgrad Aliena Schmidtke (51.30).

MEN’S 100 FLY

  • American Record: 43.58, Caeleb Dressel, 2017
  • U.S. Open Record: 43.58, Caeleb Dressel, 2017
  • Meet Record: 43.84, Tom Shields, 2016
  • Pool Record: 44.91, Tom Shields, 2010
  1. GOLD: Josh Prenot, Cal, 45.81
  2. SILVER: Michael Salazar, Ohio State, 45.98
  3. BRONZE: Noah Lense, Ohio State, 46.17

It was a tight race from start to finish between Josh Prenot and Michael Salazar. They were tied at the 50, as each turned in 21.27. Prenot was slightly better down the home stretch, out-touching Salazar 45.81 to 45.98 at the finish. Though this is an off event for Prenot, he’s shown significant improvement as today was his first time breaking 47.

Salazar dipped under the 2017 NCAA invite time and broke 46 for the first time, while teammate Noah Lense was just 7 hundredths behind it with his 46.17 for bronze. Junior star Michael Andrew was a hundredth shy of the podium with his 46.18 for 4th. Andrew clipped his former best 46.23 from the 2015 winter juniors.

WOMEN’S 200 FREE

  • American Record: 1:39.10, Missy Franklin, 2015
  • U.S. Open Record: 1:39.10, Missy Franklin, 2015
  • Meet Record: 1:41.40, Missy Franklin, 2013
  • Pool Record: 1:41.90, Simone Manuel, 2016
  1. GOLD: Mallory Comerford, Louisville, 1:41.17
  2. SILVER: Isabel Ivey, Gator Swim Club, 1:43.89
  3. BRONZE: Melanie Margalis, St. Petersburg Aquatics, 1:44.64

Louisville’s Mallory Comerford erased the Pool Record and Meet Record as she dominated the race in 1:41.17. That marks Comerford’s 2nd fastest swim ever and is within a second of the 1:40.36 she swam to win 2017 NCAAs. It was also her 2nd NCAA ‘A’ cut of the night. St. Petersburg’s Melanie Margalis was also swimming her 2nd race of the session as she battled Gator Swim Club’s junior standout Isabel Ivey for the silver. Margalis began to close the gap on Ivey through the back half, but couldn’t run her down as Ivey touched ahead in 1:43.89 to Margalis’ 1:44.64.

There were 3 swimmers, who finished 4th through 6th, just shy of the 2017 NCAA invite time (1:45.44). Louisville’s Arina Openysheva (1:45.59) and Sophie Cattermole (1:45.85) were tenths shy of the mark, as was Kentucky’s Ali Galyer (1:45.98). Cattermole made a big drop, as her best time prior to tonight’s swim was a 1:46.85 from 2015.

MEN’S 200 FREE

  • American Record: 1:30.46, Townley Haas, 2016
  • U.S. Open Record: 1:30.46, Townley Haas, 2016
  • Meet Record: 1:31.65, Joao De Lucca, 2013
  • Pool Record: 1:31.31, Conor Dwyer, 2010
  1. GOLD: Matias Koski, Athens Bulldog Swim Club, 1:32.95
  2. SILVER: Zane Grothe, Indiana, 1:33.28
  3. BRONZE: Mitch D’Arrigo, Gator Swim Club, 1:33.51

Georgia-based Matias Koski jumped out to the early lead, with Indiana postgrad Zane Grothe and Florida postgrad Mitch D’Arrigo chasing after him through the back half. Grothe cut it close into the finish, using the same back half speed we saw in his blistering 500 free yesterday as he closed in 23.20, but came up a few tenths short as Koski won it in 1:32.95 to Grothe’s 1:33.28. D’Arrigo followed closely for bronze in 1:33.51.

Before today, Grothe hadn’t gone a best time in the event since 2013. Tonight marked his first sub-1:34 swim per the USA Swimming database.

WOMEN’S 100 BREAST

  • American Record: 56.30, Lilly King, 2017
  • U.S. Open Record: 56.30, Lilly King, 2017
  • Meet Record: 57.62, Alia Atkinson, 2013
  • Pool Record: 58.41, Jessica Hardy, 2010
  1. GOLD: Melanie Margalis, St. Petersburg Aquatics, 58.51
  2. SILVER: Breeja Larson, New York Athletic Club, 58.61
  3. BRONZE: Andee Cottrell, Cardinal Aquatics, 58.82

On the back end of a triple, Melanie Margalis made sure her final medal of the night was a gold one. She battled closely with fellow U.S. Olympian Breeja Larson, coming from slightly behind to clip Larson 58.51 to 58.61 at the finish. She also managed to push ahead of Louisville’s Andee Cotrell in the final 50 yards, as Cottrell wound up 3rd in a quick 58.82.

Louisville’s Mariia Astashkina swam below the 2017 NCAA invite time to take 4th in 59.71. Joining her under the 1:00-mark was Clovis Swim Club’s Danielle Herrmann, who was a few tenths shy of her prelims time as she rounded out the top 5 in 59.76.

MEN’S 100 BREAST

  • American Record: 50.04, Kevin Cordes, 2014
  • U.S. Open Record: 50.04, Kevin Cordes, 2014
  • Meet Record: 51.04, Cody Miller, 2017
  • Pool Record: 51.04, Cody Miller, 2017
  1. GOLD: Nic Fink, Athens Bulldog Swim Club, 50.80
  2. SILVER: Cody Miller, Sandpipers of Nevada, 50.98
  3. BRONZE: Reece Whitley, Penn Charter Aquatics, 51.81

It was a tight race between Nic Fink and Cody Miller, with Fink taking the lead by a fingernail at the halfway point and outsplitting Miller down the stretch to win it. Fink hit the wall in 50.80, erasing Miller’s Meet Record and Pool Record from this morning, while Miller followed in 50.98. That was Fink’s first sub-51 swim in the event and marked the first time he’s swum a best time in the race since 2015. Miller was within 2 tenths of his best time and put up his fastest swim since 2015.

Junior stars Reece Whitley and Michael Andrew battled for the bronze. Andrew was out faster than Whitley, but Whitley closed in on him through the back half, getting his hands to the wall ahead of Andrew to take bronze in a personal best 51.81. Andrew was just a tenth shy of the podium with his 51.95 for 4th as he held off WEST’s Nick Zito (51.96) by a hundredth. Zito knocked a second and a half off his time today as he broke 53 for the first time this morning.

WOMEN’S 100 BACK

  • American Record: 49.69, Ally Howe, 2017
  • U.S. Open Record: 49.69, Ally Howe, 2017
  • Meet Record: 50.64, Natalie Coughlin, 2007
  • Pool Record: 50.73, Courtney Bartholomew, 2013
  1. GOLD: Olivia Smoliga, Athens Bulldog Swim Club, 51.23
  2. SILVER: Bridgette Alexander, Kentucky, 52.28
  3. BRONZE: Isabel Ivey, Gator Swim Club, 52.29

Georgia postgrad Olivia Smoliga tacked on another gold medal tonight as she dominated the 100 back from start to finish in 51.23. The battle for 2nd was a close one between Kentucky’s Bridgette Alexander, Gator Swim Club’s Isabel Ivey, and NCAP’s Phoebe Bacon. Bacon had the slight edge on the front half, but Alexander and Ivey closed in on her. At the touch, Alexander got her hand there first with a 52.28 to clip Ivey (52.209) by a hundredth. Bacon was just hundredths back in 52.36, dropping half a second from the best time she set this morning.

Louisville’s Ashlyn Schoof was just shy of the 2017 NCAA invite mark with a 52.71 for 5th place. Alexander’s 52.28 puts her udner the mark by nearly 4 tenths.

MEN’S 100 BACK

  • American Record: 43.49, Ryan Murphy, 2016
  • U.S. Open Record: 43.49, Ryan Murphy, 2016
  • Meet Record: 44:07, Nick Thoman, 2013
  • Pool Record: 44.82, Matt Grevers, 2010
  1. GOLD: Ryan Murphy, Cal, 45.03
  2. SILVER: Jacob Pebley, Cal, 46.06
  3. BRONZE: Grigory Tarasevich, Cardinal Aqautics, 46.53

As expected, Cal postgrad Ryan Murphy was much faster than his prelims time. Olympic champ Murphy took charge early on and never looked back as he dominated in 45.03. Teammate Jacob Pebley secured a 1-2 finish for the Bears with his 46.03 for the silver.

Louisville postgrad Grigory Tarasevich and Longhorn Aquatics’ Bryce Bohman were stroke-for-stroke into the wall in the battle for bronze. Bohman was just 5 hundredths ahead at the halfway point. Tarasevich battled back down the stretch, racing ahead to clip Bohman 46.53 to 46.56 for the bronze.

WOMEN’S 4×50 FREE RELAY

  • American Record: 1:25.91, Stanford, 2017
  • U.S. Open Record: 1:25.59, Cal, 2017
  • Meet Record: 1:27.19, SwimMAC, 2013
  1. GOLD: Louisville (A), 1:27.50
  2. SILVER: Ohio State, 1:29.25
  3. BRONZE: Louisville (B), 1:30.61

Louisville picked up another NCAA ‘A’ cut with their 1:27.50 to win the 200 free relay. Mallory Comerford got the ball rolling with a 21.87 leadoff, swimming a best time in her 3rd race of the night. That clipped her former best 21.88 from last night’s 50 free final. The Cardinals also benefited from a 21.66 anchor leg from Casey Fanz, the fastest split of the field.

MEN’S 4×50 FREE RELAY

  • American Record: 1:15.26, Stanford, 2011
  • U.S. Open Record: 1:14.08, Auburn, 2009
  • Meet Record: 1:17.06, SwimMAC, 2013
  1. GOLD: Louisville (A), 1:18.67
  2. SILVER: Louisville (B), 1:20.75
  3. BRONZE: Ohio State, 1:20.91

The Cardinals secured a 1-2 finish with their A and B relays. The A squad came up just a few tenths shy of the NCAA ‘A’ cut. Andrej Barna got the m the early lead with his 19.82 leadoff split, marking the only sub-20 flat start of the field. Nicolas Albiero contributed the fastest split of the field with his 19.42 on the anchor leg.

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Paul Hayes

Comerford split that 200 free 50.23/50.94. Coming shortly off a 50.92 100 fly. Amazing

Uberfan

Wow Comeford just gets better and better every meet. Possibly most valuable swimmer at NCAA’s

AvidSwimFan

Margalis is impressive considering all the walls involved in SCYs. A triple 400IM, 200free, 100breast is no joke.

ERVINFORTHEWIN

Few swimmers showed super class swims so far ……..love it

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 a coach at Loggerhead Aquatics …

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