2018 JR Pan Pacs: USA Takes Top Two Seeds in All But One Event in Day 1 Prelims


The 2018 Junior Pan Pacific Championships kicked off Thursday morning in Fiji, with prelims of the 200 free, 100 back, and 200 fly.  While the USA tends to do very well at this meet, the Americans’ level of dominance was unusual even for them, as USA swimmers took the top two seeds in five of the six morning events.

The race of the morning was clearly the women’s 100 back.  Phoebe Bacon, Katharine Berkoff, and Lucie Nordmann  all swam under the previous meet record this mornign.  Bacon took the top seed with a 59.72, while Berkoff and Nordmann, despite being over a second faster than anyone else, with a 1:00.30, had to swim off for the 2nd spot, due to the event rules allowing only two swimmers per country in the A-final.

Bacon’s meet record didn’t last for long, as Berkoff blasted a 59.59 to Nordmann’s 1:00.48 in the swim-off, and she’ll swim next to Bacon in tonight’s final.

In 2016, the USA took the top two seeds in only two of the six events, with Japan and Australia also each pulling off the feat once.  This morning, the USA had the two fastest swims in everything except the girls 200 fly, where Japan’s Karin Takemura took the 2nd with a 2:10.70, splitting Americans Olivia Carter (2:10.39) and Lilli Nordmann (2:11.43).

The girls 800 free and boys 1500 free will be timed finals event, with the fastest heats taking place during this evening’s finals session.

Other notes from Day 1 Prelims:

  • 14 year-old phenom Claire Tuggle outsplit American teammate Isabel Ivey by over a second in the final 50 to take the top seed in the 200 free in 1:59.36.
  • While Jake Magahey flirted with a NAG, it was Drew Kibler who had the fastest time of the morning in the 200 free.  His 1:48.37 was roughly even with his finals time from last month’s USA National Championships, but about six-tenths slower than his prelim time from the same meet.
  • Destin Lasco scratched the 200 free, where his seed time would not have made either final, and instead focused on the 100 back.  The move paid off, as he earned the top seed with a 55.57.  Adam Chaney, known thus far primarily for his sprint free prowess, earned the 2nd seed with a 55.89, as the USA actually had the four fastest times in prelims.
  • Gianluca Urlando was a tad off from his prelims time at Nationals, touching in 1:56.37.  While he should be the favorite to win tonight, he’ll need almost a two second drop from morning to night to topple Michael Phelps’ 15-16 NAG record of 1:54.58.

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2 years ago

“Berkoff blasted” – shouldn’t it have said Berkoff Blast Off Part Deux?

2 years ago

I’m going crazy trying to figure out how any swimmer would end up in the article’s picture’s position

Reply to  Mike
2 years ago

It is the new Matthew Kredich style backstroke breakout.

Kirk Nelson
Reply to  Mike
2 years ago

You didn’t hear that sidestroke was added as the fifth stroke?