2018 U.S. Nationals: Day 5 Prelims Preview


Prelims on the fifth and final day of the of 2018 Phillips 66 National Championships will be short and sweet, with heats for only the 200 IM and 50 free. The fastest heat of the women’s 1500 and men’s 800 will be swum during finals.

Women’s 200 IM

In recovery from mononucleosis, Stanford’s Ella Eastin swam the 200 fly Wednesday (but scratched out of the B-final), then later scratched the 200 free and 400 IM presumably to rest for this race, which is her final shot at making an international team. She’s the No. 2 seed behind Melanie Margalis, and we really have no idea what kind of shape she’s in. No. 3-seed Kathleen Baker does not need to swim this event, having already made the Pan Pacs team in multiple (and in world record fashion in the 100 back), but with the meet she’s having, she might want to take a stab at it. Others to watch out for are Stanford’s Brooke Forde, who took second in the 400 IM, Katie Drabot, who took second in the 200 fly, and also 16-year-old Alex Walsh, who broke the short course NAG record in December.

Men’s 200 IM

Chase Kalisz has been the fastest American this year by two seconds, and the second-fastest, Josh Prenot, might won’t swim after already winning the 200 breast. Kalisz can probably cruise to a win here, while others will battle-it-out for second place. In addition to Prenot if he swims, in the mix should be 400 IM 2018 NCAA champ Abrahm Devine, who was 4th in that race earlier in the meet, Jay Litherland, who was second in the 400 IM, and Gunnar Bentz, the No. 4-seed. Others to look out for are breakthrough 200 free champ Andrew Seliskar, No. 6-seed Will Licon, and junior swimmer Kieran Smith. And, of course, we’ve all been wondering what short course American record obliterator Caeleb Dressel can do long course. While he didn’t scratch the event, it’s highly unlikely that he swims given that the 50 free is right after.

Women’s 50 Free

Simone Manuel did her usual thing and won the 100 free by over half a second (52.54) earlier in the meet, with Mallory Comerford taking 2nd place in 53.09. This 50 is anyone’s game behind Manuel. After taking 3rd in the 100, a resurgent Margo Geer time-trialed a 24.96 to stay warm for this race on one of her off days, and Abbey Weitzeil who had a bounce-back swim in her 100 also looks good for a top-4 finish. But it wouldn’t be particularly surprising to see any combination of veterans Lia Neal and Olivia Smoliga, or newcomers Erika Brown and Gretchen Walsh in that top four as well.

Men’s 50 Free

Over the course of the last four days, Michael Andrew has finally established himself as member of a major international team, and done so in somewhat spectacular fashion. Caeleb Dressel, on the other hand, showed us in the 100 free that he is human. He bounced back in Friday’s 100 fly win, and we’d certainly expect him to be the gold medal favorite in the 50 after going sub-18 short course. However, only Andrew and Nathan Adrian have been sub-22 long course this year, so we’re in for a fun race this morning. Besides those three, watch out for other including Olympian Ryan Held, and 2017 FINA World Championships team members Michael Chadwick, Justin Ress, and Zach Apple who will likely need to be near of below the 22-barrier to ultimately make the Pan Pacs team tonight. Also, we can’t forget 2-time Olympic champ Anthony Ervin, who has yet to race at this meet.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
2 years ago

Poor Simone

Love to Swim
Reply to  Swimmerj
2 years ago

She has already qualified

bobo gigi
2 years ago

Legend Anthony Ervin today!
He was well bearded last Wednesday! At 3 min 45 in the video.

bobo gigi
2 years ago

Dressel, why is he so fast?

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

Read More »