2018 Pan Pacific Championships: Day 4 Prelims Live Recap


The fourth and final preliminary session from Tokyo will feature the men’s and women’s 200 back, 50 free and 200 breast, along with timed final heats in the women’s 1500 and men’s 800 free. There will be two early heats of each before the top-seeded heat swims with finals. The finals session will also feature the men’s and women’s 400 medley relay.

Among the highlights this morning (or tonight, depending on where you are) will be a stacked field going head-to-head in the women’s 200 back, with five of the top-six swimmers in the world this year in the lineup. We’ll have Taylor Ruck in heat 1, Kylie Masse and Regan Smith in heat 2, and then Emily Seebohm and Kathleen Baker in heat 3.

The men’s event will be headlined by American Ryan Murphy, who is coming off a very impressive win in the 100. Currently ranked 2nd in the world, the 2016 Olympic gold medalist will be eyeing down Russian Evgeny Rylov‘s time of 1:53.36 from the European Championships done just a few days ago in Glasgow.

The women’s 50 free features the red-hot Cate Campbell, who has a legitimate shot at breaking the world record after swimming the 2nd-fastest 100 of all-time earlier in the meet. The men’s event is highlighted by reigning World Champ Caeleb Dressel and U.S. National Champ Michael Andrew.

The women’s 200 breast will be intriguing with Lilly King looking for the BR double after winning the 100 on day 1, but she’ll have to deal with the likes of Micah SumrallBethany Galat and Melanie Margalis in the prelims who have all been faster than her this year. Despite Galat and King coming in as the top-2 seeds by virtue of their swims last year, Reona Aoki, Sumrall and Satomi Suzuki are all threats for gold as they come in with the 2nd, 4th and 7th fastest times in the world this year.

The men’s event is relatively wide open despite the presence of world record holder Ippei Watanabe, as Josh Prenot has been faster this year and Watanabe was just 10th in the 100. Prenot also didn’t have a great 100 placing 11th, but both are much better at the 200m distance. Watanabe’s Japanese teammate Yasuhiro Koseki, Prenot’s American countryman Andrew Wilson, and Australians Matthew Wilson and Zac Stubblety-Cook will also be factors here.

Women’s 200 Back Prelims

  • Pan Pac Record: 2:07.48, Elizabeth Pelton (USA), 2010
  1. Regan Smith, USA, 2:07.86
  2. Taylor Ruck, CAN, 2:08.37
  3. Kathleen Baker, USA, 2:08.38
  4. Kylie Masse, CAN, 2:08.45
  5. Emily Seebohm, AUS, 2:09.26
  6. Kaylee McKeown, AUS / Olivia Smoliga, USA, 2:09.27
  7. Natsumi Sakai, JPN, 2:09.48
  8. Hali Flickinger, USA, 2:09.63
  9. Ali Galyer, NZL, 2:10.11

The big guns all easily cruised through the heats in the women’s 200 back, with Regan Smith leading the way in a time of 2:07.86, less than four-tenths off the meet record. Smith on heat 2, and Taylor Ruck and Kathleen Baker sit 2nd and 3rd after cruising to wins in heats 1 and 3.

Kylie Masse and Emily Seebohm advance in 4th and 5th, and Kaylee McKeown and Olivia Smoliga tied for 6th (though Smoliga will be relegated to the B-final). Japan’s Natsumi Sakai registered a season-best for 8th overall.

Men’s 200 Back Prelims

  1. Ryan Murphy, USA, 1:54.07
  2. Austin Katz, USA, 1:55.69
  3. Jacob Pebley, USA, 1:55.95
  4. Ryosuke Irie, JPN, 1:56.83
  5. Keita Sunama, JPN, 1:57.18
  6. Mitch Larkin, AUS, 1:58.15
  7. Bradley Woodward, AUS, 1:58.24
  8. Javier Acevedo, CAN, 1:58.74
  9. Leonardo De Deus, BRA, 1:59.59

Ryan Murphy obliterated the final heat of the men’s 200 back, putting up a time of 1:54.07 that breaks Ryan Lochte‘s 2010 meet record of 1:54.12. That swim lowers Murphy’s season-best from Nationals by .08 (1:54.15).

Austin Katz took out Jacob Pebley head-to-head to solidify his spot in the A-final alongside Murphy, registering a personal best of 1:55.69 to move into 7th in the world rankings. Pebley was 3rd fastest overall in 1:55.95, but will swim the B-final tonight.

The Japanese and Australian swimmers cruised through knowing they wouldn’t have a problem advancing, while Canadian Javier Acevedo scored a personal best for an A-final berth in 1:58.74.

Women’s 50 Free Prelims

  1. Cate Campbell, AUS, 24.41
  2. Emma McKeon, AUS, 24.47
  3. Simone Manuel, USA, 24.56
  4. Taylor Ruck, CAN, 24.70
  5. Rikako Ikee, JPN, 24.76
  6. Abbey Weitzeil, USA / Shayna Jack, AUS, 24.91
  7. Kelsi Dahlia, USA / Mallory Comerford, USA, 25.08
  8. Kayla Sanchez, CAN, 25.11
  9. Margo Geer, USA, 25.15
  10. Larissa Oliveria, BRA, 25.23

Cate Campbell put up the top time of the women’s 50 free prelims in 24.41, and based on her form at the competition will have a lot left in the tank for the final. Emma McKeon made it an Australian 1-2 with a personal best of 24.47.

Simone Manuel won her heat for the 3rd seed in 24.56, and Taylor Ruck had a solid 24.70 in a tight turnaround after her 200 back.

Men’s 50 Free Prelims

  • Pan Pac Record: 21.44, Bruno Fratus (BRA), 2014
  1. Michael Andrew, USA, 21.83
  2. Caeleb Dressel, USA, 22.17
  3. Katsumi Nakamura, JPN, 22.21
  4. Yuri Kisil, CAN, 22.28
  5. Shinri Shioura, JPN, 22.30
  6. Pedro Spajari, BRA, 22.32
  7. Marcelo Chierighini, BRA, 22.34
  8. Gabriel Santos, BRA, 22.49
  9. Daniel Hunter, NZL / Zach Apple, USA, 22.51

In a very slow men’s 50 free preliminary, Michael Andrew was the only swimmer sub-22 seconds in 21.83. Caeleb Dressel had a pedestrian 22.17, but it was still good for 2nd overall and well clear of the next best American (Zach Apple, 22.51).

Nathan Adrian was surprisingly a no-show for his heat. And another mild surprise saw no Australians qualify for the A-final.

Women’s 200 Breast Prelims

  • Pan Pac Record: 2:20.69, Rebecca Soni (USA), 2010
  1. Lilly King, USA, 2:22.41
  2. Micah Sumrall, USA, 2:22.62
  3. Satomi Suzuki, JPN, 2:23.57
  4. Bethany Galat, USA, 2:23.78
  5. Kelsey Wog, CAN, 2:25.13
  6. Sydney Pickrem, CAN, 2:25.48
  7. Reona Aoki, JPN, 2:25.78
  8. Kierra Smith, CAN, 2:26.01
  9. Julia Sebastian, ARG, 2:26.73
  10. Jessica Hansen, AUS, 2:27.10

Lilly King lowered her season-best time by over two seconds to secure the top seed in the women’s 200 breast in 2:22.41, coming within 0.58 seconds of her personal best from last summer.

Micah Sumrall was 2nd to King in heat 1 with an impressive 2:22.62, giving her the second U.S. spot in the A-final over Bethany Galat (2:23.78). Satomi Suzuki wasn’t far off her season-best for 3rd in 2:23.57.

Olympic finalist Kierra Smith was surprisingly locked out of the A-final as fellow Canadians Kelsey Wog and Sydney Pickrem both managed to be quicker. Smith holds a season-best of 2:23.62, but only managed to go 2:26.01 this morning.

Men’s 200 Breast Prelims

  1. Josh Prenot, USA, 2:08.02
  2. Andrew Wilson, USA, 2:08.66
  3. Matthew Wilson, AUS, 2:09.26
  4. Yasuhiro Koseki, JPN, 2:09.27
  5. Zac Stubblety-Cook, AUS, 2:11.52
  6. Ippei Watanabe, JPN, 2:12.15
  7. Eli Wall, CAN, 2:13.44
  8. Liu Yunsong, CHN, 2:14.29

A second Championship Record falls this morning as American Josh Prenot took out Kosuke Kitajima‘s 2010 mark of 2:08.36 in 2:08.02 for the top seed in the men’s 200 breast. Prenot ranks 2nd in the world this year with his 2:07.28 from U.S. Nationals.

Andrew Wilson was just over a tenth off his season-best for 2nd overall in 2:08.66, and Australian Matthew Wilson and Japan’s Yasuhiro Koseki were also sub-2:10 in 2:09.26 and 2:09.27 respectively. World Record holder Ippei Watanabe was back in 6th in 2:12.15.

Chase Kalisz didn’t show for his heat.

Women’s 1500 Free Timed Final (Early Heats)

  1. Leah Smith, USA, 16:00.82
  2. Haley Anderson, USA, 16:04.26
  3. Madeleine Gough, AUS, 16:04.62
  4. Erica Sullivan, USA, 16:16.07
  5. Ally McHugh, USA, 16:17.29
  6. Kate Sanderson, CAN, 16:33.16
  7. Nicole Justine Marine Oliva, PHI, 17:06.99
  8. Rosalee Mira Santa Ana, PHI, 17:32.25

Through the early heats of the women’s mile Leah Smith holds the top time in 16:00.82, followed by fellow American Haley Anderson (16:04.26) and Australian Madeleine Gough (16:04.62). All three swims were personal bests.

Smith’s swim got under her 16:01.02 from the 2017 World Trials, and moves her into the #2 World Championship spot in this event for the US. However, with Katie Ledecky still to swim at night, that spot will surely go away. Both Ledecky and Smith scratched this event at Nationals, which opened the door for Ashley Twichell (15:55.68) and Ally McHugh (16:02.56) to go 1-2. In all likelihood, it will be Ledecky and Twichell swimming this event next summer.

Men’s 800 Free Timed Final (Early Heats)

  • Pan Pac Record: 7:44.78, Grant Hackett (AUS), 2002
  1. Robert Finke, USA, 7:52.57
  2. Michael Brinegar, USA, 7:58.79

Robert Finke destroyed heat 2 in the men’s 800 free, but wasn’t unable to better his Nationals time of 7:51.45 as he touched in 7:52.57. He was gunning for Jordan Wilimovsky‘s 7:47.51 from Nats in order to five himself a shot at World Championship qualification.

Michael Brinegar was 2nd in 7:58.79, a new season-best.

Note: results for the timed final events aren’t uploaded until all heats have swum, so full results for the first two heats of the men’s 800 are unavailable as of now (women’s times gotten via stream).

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Double Arm Freestyle
4 years ago

Ledecky 15:38.9 Gold
Melverton 16:00.0 Silver
Smith 16:00.8 Bronze out of early heats

4 years ago

“She can swim with the men that’s for sure” 🙄

4 years ago

No day 4 finals recap post yet?

Reply to  Troy
4 years ago

Yea finals already starting.

Reply to  Troy
4 years ago

Someone’s alarm didn’t go off 😉

4 years ago

Simone Manuel will have had nightmares about Cate Campbell coming in over the top of her in the medley relay and it could prove to be that way in reality. This is how I think the race will unfold: Seebohm edges out Baker to give Australia a narrow lead, King overtakes Hansen to give the USA a handy lead, Dahlia increases the lead at the butterfly turn but McKeon has the stronger back half to leave the gap as it was, Manuel hits the water almost one second in front…..then Campbell with nothing to lose unleashes another sub 51 monster split to get her on the wall. The time? 3.51.60. Just .05 off the USA world record.

4 years ago

At least Leah Smith will have a lighter work load at the 2019 FINA World Championships:

women’s 4 x 200 meter freestyle relay
women’s 400 meter freestyle
women’s 800 meter freestyle

4 years ago

Those who might not make it to Worlds

Justin Ress, Sean Grieshop, Robert Finke, Austin Katz, Jacob Pebley
Ella Eastin, Katie McLaughlin, Erica Sullivan, Bethany Galat, Micah Sumrall

Reply to  20H2O
4 years ago

Either Pebley or katz will make it in the 200 back
McLaughlin is already in the 100 fly
Sumrall or Galat or both (if king doesn’t beat their us nats times) will be in the 200 breast
Finke is our unless Wilimovsky declines a spot in the 800 or 1500
Eastin is out unless Baker drops out of the 200 IM
Sullivan is out unless both Twichell and L smith decline a spot in the 1500

Reply to  Tm71
4 years ago

Ledecky not Smith right? (I guess we will have to wait until tonight but pretty certain)

Love to Swim
Reply to  Tm71
4 years ago

Why would Wilimovsky decline a spot?

Reply to  Love to Swim
4 years ago

He may decline a spot if he also secured a spot in Open Water.

Reply to  20H2O
4 years ago

Sumrall will win 200 breast 2:20

4 years ago

Darn! Despite his best effort, Fiske doesn’t beat his time from Nats. He really went for it!

4 years ago

Finke 7:52.57. Not enough

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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