2018 U.S. Winter Nationals: Day 3 Finals Live Recap

Pellegrini Federica ItalyLilly King By Jack Spitser



  • Olympic Trials cut: 4:51.79
  1. Madisyn Cox – 4:38.52
  2. Emma Weyant – 4:41.20
  3. Hali Flickinger – 4:41.24

After taking the 200 IM last night in dominant fashion, Madisyn Cox was well ahead of the crowd yet again tonight. She pulled into a giant lead after the breaststroke, and cruised to a two-plus body length win with a 4:38.52 for a new personal record. That’s a really strong swim for Cox, whose previous best was a 4:38.85 from back in 2016 at the Olympic Trials.

Sarasota YMCA’s Emma Weyant was able to hold off Hali Flickinger of Athens Bulldogs at the finish, going 4:41.20 ahead of Flickinger’s 4:41.24 by just a hair. That’s just off Weyant’s best of 4:40.64 from Jr Pan Pacs this summer.

NC State’s Makayla Sargent was 4:45.79 for fourth.

Winning the B final was Mabel Zavaros of Florida with a 4:48.24.


  • Olympic Trials cut: 4:25.99
  1. Jay Litherland 4:20.15
  2. Jason Louser 4:23.99
  3. Tristan Cote 4:24.61

Jay Litherland of the Athens Bulldogs easily won tonight, finishing at 4:20.15 for the victory. That’s five seconds quicker than he was this morning. He now has the 200 free final to get ready for in 20-30 minutes.

Jason Louser, a Cal commit who trains with Long Island Aquatic Club, finished 2nd in 4:23.99, just ahead of Canada’s Tristan Cote (4:24.61).

Ford Blaylock (unattached) took the B final in 4:26.92.


  • Olympic Trials cut: 1:00.69
  1. Amanda Kendall – 57.80
  2. Olivia Bray – 58.55
  3. Torri Huske – 59.27

Amanda Kendall of the IU post-grad group soared to a best time to win the 100 fly tonight, clocking a 57.80. Her old best was a 57.87 from 2017, done at the U.S. Open.

Behind her was 17-year-old Olivia Bray of the Virginia Gators. Bray, who recently aged up to the 17-18 age group, rockets to #3 all-time in the 17-18 age group. She’s behind only Katie McLaughlin (57.87) and Felicia Lee (58.41), and jumps ahead of Dakota Luther (58.58), and Misty Hyman (58.72). 15-year-old Torri Huske of Arlington sneaked up out of lane 8, popping a 59.27 to edge American record holder Dana Vollmer (59.38). Huske is now 14th all-time in the 15-16 age group.

14-year-old Claire Curzan was 59.82, just off of a best.

Phoebe Bacon hit a PR 1:00.09, her first time under 1:01, to take the B final.


  • Olympic Trials cut: 54.19
  1. Giles Smith – 52.94
  2. Daniil Antipov – 53.38
  3. Kevin Mendoza – 53.64

Giles Smith of Phoenix Swim Club was out quick at 24.2, and despite tightening up under the flags, he pulled out the win with a 52.94. Smith was a bit off of his 52.54 this morning but still was quick enough to earn the national title tonight.

Grand Canyon’s Daniil Antipov collected silver with a 53.38 ahead of Kevin Mendoza, who was also under 54 with a 53.64. Dare Rose of the Scarlet Aquatics won the B-final at 54.33, a few tenths quicker than he was this morning.


  • Olympic Trials cut: 2:01.69
  1. Katie Ledecky – 1:55.32
  2. Simone Manuel – 1:57.92
  3. Hali Flickinger – 1:59.34

Katie Ledecky was very strong tonight in the 200, posting a 1:55.32 for what is her most impressive swim of the meet thus far. Her 1:56.63 from this morning was already the top time in the world by a few hundredths, but now she’s ahead of the rest of the world by well over a full second. Further, she was just two tenths now from the time she went at Pan Pacs to finish in bronze this summer.

Ledecky was out in a 56.29, and came back in a 59.03 to clock that time. Meanwhile, teammate Simone Manuel raced to 2nd in 1:57.92, a strong time for her, too. Ledecky and Manuel now rank 1st and 5th, respectively, in the world this year in the 200 free.

2018-2019 LCM WOMEN 200 FREE

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Hali Flickinger completed a tough double to take third in 1:59.34, while Rebecca Smith (1:59.71) and Gabby Deloof (1:59.93) also slipped under 2:00.


  • Olympic Trials cut: 1:50.79
  1. Jacob Pebley – 1:49.33
  2. Mitch D’Arrigo – 1:
  3. Carson Olafson

Jacob Pebley of Team Elite showcased his versatility and snuck by the middle of the pool out of lane 2 for the win. He posted a 1:49.33, a personal best by over a second and his first time under 1:50. In the post-race interview with NBC Sports, Pebley mentioned that he’s gunning for a spot on the 4×200 free relay at the upcoming World SC Championships in Hangzhou, and was hoping that this swim would shore up a spot for him.

Mitch D’Arrigo of Gator Swim Club and Carson Olafson of HPC Vancouver were 2nd and 3rd, respectively. Both made it under the 1:50 mark, with D’Arrigo at 1:49.63 and Olafson at 1:49.84.

Dare Rose, the 16-year-old, was 1:50.45 to take fourth, while Olafson’s HPC teammate Jeremy Bagshaw won the B-final in 1:51.93.


  • Olympic Trials cut: 1:10.99
  1. Micah Sumrall – 1:07.51
  2. Sophie Hansson – 1:08.14
  3. Kelsey Wog – 1:08.58

Micah Sumrall, who won the perseverance award at the recent Golden Goggles after a triumphant return to the sport, had a great swim to clock a 1:07.51 for the win here. Sumrall was locked in battle with NC State freshman and Swedish national Sophie Hansson, but utilized her exceptional and efficient technique to power to the wall in long, strong strokes and pull ahead.

She’s now 4th in the world this season with that time.

2018-2019 LCM WOMEN 100 BREAST

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Hansson was 1:08.14 for 2nd, with Kelsey Wog of Manitoba Bison clocked a 1:08.58 for 3rd.


  • Olympic Trials cut: 1:03.29
  1. Nic Fink – 1:00.18
  2. Kevin Cordes – 1:00.22
  3. Jonathan Tybur – 1:01.11

Kevin Cordes of Phoenix Swim Club, who posted the top time in the morning, was just knocked off with a fanastic finish by Athens Bulldogs’ Nic Fink. Both men have been at the forefront of the American breaststroke scene for several years, and Fink will get the win tonight with his great lunge to the wall.

Aggie Swim Club’s Jonathan Tybur pulled out third from lane 2, clocking a 1:01.11.


  • Olympic Trials cut: 1:02.69
  1. Kylie Masse – 59.27
  2. Phoebe Bacon – 1:00.02
  3. Ali Deloof – 1:00.53

Former world record holder Kylie Masse took the win with a powerful swim, posting a 59.27 as the only finisher under a minute. 16-year-old Phoebe Bacon of NCAP swam well for 2nd, nearly breaking a minute to settle at 1:00.02.

Ali Deloof of Team Elite was out hard and faded a bit for third, going 1:00.53, while Kentucky Aquatics’ Bridgette Alexander was 1:01.51 as the final finisher under 1:02.

UNC’s Sophie Lindner swam to the B-final win in 1:02.50.


  • Olympic Trials cut: 56.59
  1. Christopher Reid – 53.95
  2. Jacob Pebley – 53.99
  3. Markus Thormeyer – 54.09

Jacob Pebley was back after taking the 200 free, and came up just short in an extremely tight finish to this race. Christopher Reid of Crimson Tide Aquatics beat Pebley to the wall, going 53.95 to Pebley’s 53.99. They came back in matching 27.77’s, but Reid was just quicker going out (26.18 to 26.22).

Meanwhile, Markus Thormeyer clocked a 54.09 for third, as he was just barely ahead of Grand Canyon’s Mark Nikolaev (54.12) who looked to be leading about two-thirds through the race.

Cascade’s Cole Pratt, a 16-year-old out of Canada, was 55.98 for the B-final win as he knocked off almost a full second from his prelims swim.

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tea rex
5 years ago

A year ago Josh Prenot won a “National Championship”… in the 100 fly! Today, Jacob Pebley won a “National Championship” in the 200 free! Pieroni, Grothe, Conger, Pebley at SCM Worlds???

I like how these Cal guys swim in December…

samuel huntington
5 years ago

only 4 guys in the 400 IM qualified for the Olympic Trials, that’s really sad.

Reply to  samuel huntington
5 years ago

And a 4:20 won a national title. Good for Litherland, but when was the last time we had a “national champion” at that (relatively slow) time? I’m guessing Litherland wasn’t even born yet.

Not ripping on him, as you can go down the line with virtually every event, just pointing out how weak this “national championship” meet is overall due to USA Swimming’s ridiculousness in making this an LCM meet.

tea rex
Reply to  DrSwimPhil
5 years ago

Would there be more or less top swimmers showing up if this meet were held in yards? I don’t know.

Reply to  tea rex
5 years ago

Considering the NCAA acknowledges USA Swimming meets as “bona fide competition” (assuming at least two schools are represented), and also that we’re in the very middle of SCY season in the United States throughout the country and regardless of age group (minus the very few true pros)….I’d say quite a few more.

He said what?
Reply to  DrSwimPhil
5 years ago

1981 was the last time a 4:20 won. Unbelievable.

Reply to  DrSwimPhil
5 years ago

Litherland has been much faster too, after all he did knock Ryan Lochte off the 400IM spot at last Olympic trials.

5 years ago

USA Swimming really dropped the ball making this an LCM meet. This could be the most watered-down “nationals” in the last few decades.

Reply to  DrSwimPhil
5 years ago

I dunno. It feels like the first time winter nats have had times that meant anything. Exciting to have a national swimming championship rather than a national turning championship.

Reply to  Jack
5 years ago

This isn’t a National Championship, though (in name, only, not in reality). Not with a) relatively small amount of top swimmers attending and b) relatively “slow” swims (when compared to LCM national meets) that are winning and making A-finals. How do these times “mean” anything? Again, we have 570+ days until Olympic Trials, so unless something seriously goes wrong, I think it’s fair to say just about every swimmer earning OT cuts this week would make them sometime in the next 18 months anyways.

And the “national turn championships” quip…you realize every year we have SCY nationals at this time, right? Do those nationals not mean anything?

Jim C
5 years ago

Not everyone would agree that a 1:55. 32 W200 free is more impressive than a 4:00.35 W400 free and an 8:14.40 W800 free.

Reply to  Jim C
5 years ago

200m: 1:55.32 – 1:53.73 = 1.59
400m: 4:00.35 – 3:56.48 = 3.87
800m: 8:14.40 – 8:04.79 = 9.61
See the pattern? All results are pretty much inline.

Reply to  Jim C
5 years ago

True, but I think it’s the most impressive swim specifically for Ledecky. In the 400 and 800 free, crushing the rest of the world happens in prelims, finals, and sometimes even practice sets for her. Seeing her smash the world best time in an event that the world can actually compete with her in is a clearer indication that her training’s in a good place.

Hint of Lime
5 years ago

Glad to see Vollmer back in action!

5 years ago

Hi, knowledgeable SwimSwam staff and readers – where do you think the best place to send a complaint about the inept Olympic Channel commentator might be? I have pretty much Had It with this person, who shall remain nameless 🙂

Reply to  nmckenna
5 years ago

I hate that live stream is only showing B finals and then leaving out to Olympic Channel for A final then jumping back in for awards –

Cheatin Vlad
Reply to  Flygirl
5 years ago

You should ask for a refund.

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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