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


Day 3 prelims of the 2018 U.S. Winter Nationals will be the busiest session yet with five different events on the docket: the 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast and 100 back.

Katie Ledecky highlights this morning’s heat sheet in the women’s 200 free, looking for her third victory of the meet after winning the 800 and 400 on days 1 and 2, while 50m winner Simone Manuel is also entered in the event. The 100 backstroke will also feature former world record holder and 2017 World Champion Kylie Masse.

On the men’s side, Jay Litherland holds down the top seed in both the 400 IM and 200 free, while Kevin Cordes is expected to make his meet debut in the 100 breast. The 100 back has an intriguing lineup with Mark Nikolaev and Coleman Stewart in the midst of a hot start to the NCAA season, Canadian Markus Thormeyer coming off a SCM 200 back national record earlier this month, and Team Elite’s Jacob Pebley putting in some final preparation before heading over to the Short Course World Championships in Hangzhou.

Women’s 400 IM Prelims

  • 2020 Olympic Trials Cut: 4:51.79
  1. Madisyn Cox, TXLA, 4:44.26
  2. Makayla Sargent, NCS, 4:45.02
  3. Emma Weyant, SYS, 4:45.31
  4. Hali Flickinger, ABSC, 4:47.12
  5. Emily Overholt, HPVC, 4:49.23
  6. Meg Bailey, UN, 4:49.39
  7. Reese Hazan, SAND, 4:50.25
  8. Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson, HPVC, 4:52.13

Madisyn Cox of Longhorn Aquatics won the sixth and final heat in the women’s 400 IM, advancing with the top seed into tonight’s final with a time of 4:44.26. Emma Weyant of the Sarasota YMCA Sharks was just over a second back of Cox in the heat in 4:45.31, her fastest ever swim outside of the 2018 Summer Nats and Junior Pan Pacs, and advances her through to the final in 3rd.

NC State’s Makayla Sargent won the penultimate heat for the #2 seed in 4:45.02, her 3rd fastest swim ever only trailing her 4:40.2 and 4:41.3 from Summer Nats.

Men’s 400 IM Prelims

  • 2020 Olympic Trials Cut: 4:25.99
  1. Jay Litherland, DYNA, 4:25.00
  2. Matt Fallon, SVY, 4:25.30
  3. Zachary Tan, PSC, 4:26.23
  4. Jason Louser, LIAC, 4:28.16
  5. Tristan Cote, USCU, 4:28.31
  6. Paige daCosta, PLS, 4:28.70
  7. Nick Vance, WCS, 4:29.27
  8. Sean Conway, NCAP, 4:30.03

Matt Fallon of Somerset Valley dropped a 1:12.48 breaststroke split in the final heat of the men’s 400 IM to pull up alongside early leader Jay Litherland, but it was the veteran who did just enough to hold on for the heat win in 4:25.00. Fallon, who had only broken 4:30 once before this race, finished just .03 off his best time for the 2nd seed in 4:25.30 and gets under the 2020 Olympic Trials Cut.

15-year-old Zachary Tan of the Phoenix Swim Club checked in with a personal best time in the penultimate heat, winning in 4:26.23 to take the 3rd seed overall into the final.

Women’s 100 Fly Prelims

  • 2020 Olympic Trials Cut: 1:00.69
  1. Amanda Kendall, MVN, 58.32
  2. Olivia Bray, GATR, 59.27
  3. Rebecca Smith, SCAR, 59.45
  4. Dana Vollmer, CAL, 59.92
  5. Claire Curzan, TAC, 1:00.13
  6. Megan Kingsley, ABSC, 1:00.45
  7. Leah Gingrich, HURR, 1:00.48
  8. Torri Huske, AAC, 1:00.61

Amanda Kendall of the Mission Viejo Nadadores dropped a blistering 58.32 from the second-to-last heat of the women’s 100 fly, tying her 6th fastest performance ever and going better than she went at the 2018 Summer Nationals (58.68). 31-year-old Dana Vollmer (59.92) and 14-year-old Claire Curzan (1:00.13) were 2nd and 3rd in the heat, advancing 4th and 5th into the final as the 2012 Olympic gold medalist swam her first LC 100 fly since 2016 and Curzan had her fastest swim ever outside of the 2018 Junior Nationals.

Olivia Bray of Gator Swim Club and Rebecca Smith of Scarborough won the other two circle-seeded heats to advance 2nd and 3rd into the final, both cracking a minute as well in 59.27 and 59.45 respectively.

Men’s 100 Fly Prelims

  • 2020 Olympic Trials Cut: 54.19
  1. Giles Smith, PSC, 52.54
  2. Kevin Mendoza, UN, 53.66
  3. Josiah Binnema, HPVC, 53.86
  4. Daniil Antipov, GCU, 54.23
  5. Brendan Burns, UMLY, 54.30
  6. Yoessef Tibazi, LASC, 54.38
  7. Noah Henderson, STAR, 54.42
  8. Coleman Stewart, NCS, 54.48

27-year-old veteran Giles Smith of the Phoenix Swim Club was the fastest man in the 100 fly prelims by over a second, clocking 52.54 for his fastest swim since 2016. His fastest swim in 2018 was previously a 52.55 from the Columbus PSS, and he was 52.56 at Nationals.

Kevin Mendoza swam a lifetime best to take the #2 seed in 53.66, and Canadian Josiah Binnema was the 3rd swimmer to crack 54 seconds in 53.86. Coleman Stewart, who came in as the top seed and is the fastest swimmer so far in the NCAA campaign in the yards version of the event, snuck into the final in 8th with a time of 54.48.

Women’s 200 Free Prelims

  • 2020 Olympic Trials Cut: 2:01.69
  1. Katie Ledecky, NCAP, 1:56.63
  2. Simone Manuel, ALTO, 1:59.04
  3. Hali Flickinger, ABSC, 1:59.28
  4. Gabby Deloof, CW, 1:59.65
  5. Kaersten Meitz, BA, 2:00.12
  6. Rebecca Smith, SCAR, 2:00.54
  7. Kennedy Goss, GGST, 2:00.78
  8. Meaghan Raab, NAC, 2:01.59

Katie Ledecky put up the top time of the morning by well over two seconds in 1:56.63, winning the 8th and final heat of the women’s 200 free over Canadians Rebecca Smith (2:00.54) and Kennedy Goss (2:00.78) who advance to the final in 6th and 7th overall.

Simone ManuelHali Flickinger and Gabby Deloof all joined Ledecky under two minutes, all hitting 1:59s.

Men’s 200 Free Prelims

  • 2020 Olympic Trials Cut: 1:50.79
  1. Mitch D’Arrigo, GSC, 1:49.67
  2. Carson Olafson, HPVC, 1:50.33
  3. Jay Litherland, DYNA, 1:50.35
  4. Dare Rose, SCAR, 1:50.47
  5. Jacob Pebley, TE, 1:50.60
  6. Jonathan Rutter, UN, 1:50.95
  7. Kevin Litherland, DYNA, 1:51.21
  8. Andreas Vazaios, NCS, 1:52.20

Mitch D’Arrigo of Gator Swim Club was the lone man to crack 1:50 in the 200 free, clocking 1:49.67 out of heat six to top 16-year-old Dare Rose (1:50.47) of Scarlet Aquatics. Rose’s swim is his 3rd fastest ever, trailing only performances from the 2018 Summer Nationals and Junior Pan Pacs.

Carson Olafson of the High Performance Centre – Vancouver out-touched Jay Litherland and Jacob Pebley to win the final heat, using a 27.77 final 50 to hit the wall in 1:50.33 over Litherland (1:50.35) and Pebley (1:50.60). This is Olafson’s fastest swim outside of a Canadian Nationals or the 2018 Pan Pacs.

Women’s 100 Breast Prelims

  • 2020 Olympic Trials Cut: 1:10.99
  1. Micah Sumrall, GOLD, 1:08.16
  2. Sophie Hansson, NCS, 1:08.60
  3. Kelsey Wog, UMAN, 1:09.16
  4. Madisyn Cox, TXLA, 1:09.69
  5. Emily Escobedo, COND, 1:09.78
  6. Abby Arens, MOR, 1:09.90
  7. Rachel Bernhardt, GAME, 1:10.09
  8. Emily Weiss, CARD, 1:10.62

Micah Lawrence, the 2018 Pan Pacific champion in the 200 breast, won the final heat of the women’s 100 breast by a full second to take the #1 seed in 1:08.16, with Canadian Kelsey Wog of the University of Manitoba taking 2nd in the heat in 1:09.16 and Madisyn Cox of Longhorn Aquatics 3rd in 1:09.69.

Swedish native Sophie Hansson, currently the 2nd fastest swimmer in the NCAA in the 100 yard breast, won the penultimate heat in 1:08.60 and advances through to the final in 2nd. Hansson is in her freshman season with NC State.

Men’s 100 Breast Prelims

  • 2020 Olympic Trials Cut: 1:03.29
  1. Kevin Cordes, PSC, 1:00.04
  2. Nic Fink, ABSC, 1:01.25
  3. Zane Backes, TRA, 1:01.30
  4. Chuck Katis, PRVT, 1:01.52
  5. Jonathan Tybur, AGS, 1:01.83
  6. Ben Cono, UN, 1:01.94
  7. Eli Wall, TSC, 1:02.03
  8. Alex Evdokimov, PRVT, 1:02.47

In his first long course swim since July, Kevin Cordes threw down a very impressive 1:00.04 in the men’s 100 breast prelims, giving him the top seed for tonight’s final by over a second.

Nic Fink of the Athens Bulldogs qualified 2nd in 1:01.25, and Zane Backes of Team Rebel Aquatics swam a personal best time by half a second for 3rd in 1:01.30. Chuck Katis also had a strong showing in 1:01.52 to qualify in 4th, just four-tenths slower than he was at this summer’s National Championships.

Women’s 100 Back Prelims

  • 2020 Olympic Trials Cut: 1:02.69
  1. Kylie Masse, TSC, 59.33
  2. Ali Deloof, UN, 1:00.57
  3. Phoebe Bacon, NCAP, 1:00.83
  4. Bridgette Alexander, KYA, 1:01.32
  5. Autumn Haebig, NEB, 1:01.91
  6. Caroline Bentz, UN, 1:02.04
  7. Alexa Kutch, DREX, 1:02.36
  8. Ali Galyer, UN, 1:02.40

Kylie Masse of Toronto casually broke a minute for the 40th time in her career in 59.33, giving her the top seed for tonight’s 100 back final by over a second. Ali Deloof (1:00.57) and Phoebe Bacon (1:00.83) also won their respective circle-seeded heats to take the 2nd and 3rd seeds.

Out of one of the non-circle-seeded heats, 16-year-old Caroline Bentz lowered her personal best time from 1:03.72 all the way down to 1:02.04 to qualify her 6th for the final.

Men’s 100 Back Prelims

  • 2020 Olympic Trials Cut: 56.59
  1. Christopher Reid, CTA, 53.92
  2. Jacob Pebley, TE, 54.23
  3. Luke Kaliszak, UN, 54.65
  4. Markus Thormeyer, HPVC, 54.82
  5. Mark Nikolaev, GCU, 55.27
  6. Coleman Stewart, NCS, 55.58
  7. Kane Follows, UN, 56.03
  8. Hennessey Stuart, WOLF, 56.12

South African native Christopher Reid went sub-54 for the first time since 2016 as he took the #1 seed in the men’s 100 back in 53.92, while Jacob Pebley (54.23) and Luke Kaliszak (54.65) won the other two circle-seeded heats for seeds #2 and #3. Kaliszak’s swim was also his fastest since the 2016 Olympic Trials.

Markus Thormeyer also cracked 55 seconds out of Reid’s heat for 4th in 54.82, and Mark Nikolaev and Coleman Stewart, the fastest two men in the NCAA so far this season in the 100 yard back, were 55.27 and 55.58 respectively to qualify in 5th and 6th.

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5 years ago

Will Kylie Mass ever NOT go 50-something in 100 back rest of her career? 😂 If she’s at 40 sub minute swims who has the most or is it now her?

Reply to  NJones
5 years ago

I’d say Seebohm would have more

5 years ago

Giles Smith can probably make the 50/100 fly cuts when he’s into his 50’s.

5 years ago

There is some strange phrasing that has made its way into the recaps of the meet. I will give one example here. “Flickinger’s 1:59.28 was just off her fastest outside of a Trials/Nationals meet (1:59.20)” Given the title of the meet is US Winter Nationals, saying that a good standard is what is one’s fastest outside a Trials/Nationals meet says that this is not a meet that deserves the title Nationals. The meet is thin to be real but I think folks count as having won a national title if they win their event. If the standard is the best non-tapered time, then this meet is no better than a Pro Series event (where I will remind you world records… Read more »

Tammy Touchpad Error
Reply to  Teamwiess
5 years ago

When a 2:02 IM get’s you a “national title”, you know its a joke. USAS out of touch and in la la land. Pro swim is a decent title for this meet but even this meet isnt as deep at the top end. No incentives here. Maybe USA Swimming Winter Invite? Wait im sorry… Phillips 66 Arena USA Winter Invite Sponsored by BMW

Jim C
Reply to  Teamwiess
5 years ago

Even if this were the Olympic Trials, it might be worth saying that a swimmer’s prelim time was almost as fast as her best time outside of a Nationals/Trials meet.

Reply to  Teamwiess
5 years ago

It IS Nationals. Pure nationals that is not associated with any trials or big prizes. So there is no wonder that it can be thin. On the other hand because it has some kind of “unimportant” status you may see here some interesting swimmers whom you cannot watch in meets with strong competition and strong qualification restrictions. For example, today in W200FR the youngest girl (2005) has swum 2:04.52. That placed her 21st of 24 participants. Nothing spectacular. Right? Right, but with some little caveat: she made it with the noticeable negative splits. Kind of weird. Young girls are usually dying to the end of such hard race. Or she may have no experience in swimming this event. If it… Read more »

5 years ago

Will winter nationals be televised live at all? Either through cable, satellite or online?

Reply to  Swimmer
5 years ago

Nevermind, I saw the link up to the top right.

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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