2019 U.S. National Championships: Day 2 Finals Preview


Thursday evening finals heat sheets.

Night 2 of the 2019 U.S. National Championships includes finals of four events: the 200 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 200 backstroke, and women’s 4 x 100 freestyle relay. The top 24 swimmers from this morning’s prelims advanced through to the ‘A’, ‘B’, and ‘C’ finals tonight, while the 8-fastest 18-and-unders that finished 25th or lower will race in the 18-under ‘D’ final.

Day 2 Finals Races:

  • Women’s 200 freestyle – Finals
  • Men’s 200 freestyle – Finals
  • Women’s 200 Breaststroke – Finals
  • Men’s 200 Breaststroke – Finals
  • Women’s 4 x 100 Freestyle Relay – Finals
  • Women’s 200 Backstroke – Finals
  • Men’s 200 Backstroke – Finals

With so many swimmers absent following the World Championships in South Korea last week, and with others who did swim at Worlds but want to swim new events in California, not a single event on today’s schedule is going to be defended by the 2018 U.S. National Champion in that event.

Day 2 Finals Storylines to Watch:

  • More U.S. National Team shakeups could unfold during this session of racing at the National Championships. For many swimmers, this is their last opportunity to make the National Team. Select 18-and-unders will race a the 2019 Junior World Championships in Budapest at the end of the month, but that’s about it for opportunities at a shot at the top-6 in any event.
  • Age Group phenom Claire Tuggle has broken many National Age Group (NAG) Records over the past several years, earning her comparisons to Katie Ledecky. Tuggle, however, has never won a National Title, though she will go into tonight’s final seeded 1st with a 1:58.21. If Tuggle is able to pull off the win she will be the first 15-year-old to win a National Title since G Ryan in 2011. This morning’s swim was a new lifetime best for the 15-year-old, fully 3/10ths faster than she went at the 2018 Junior Pan Pacs.
  • Kieran Smith dropped a full 1.5 seconds from his previous lifetime best in the 200 freestyle this morning to enter finals with the top time of 1:46.21, a full second ahead of the next fastest swimmer, Elijah Winnington from Australia. Even if Smith doesn’t improve upon his prelims time, he is positioned to be a strong contender next summer for a spot on the 4 x 200 relay team in Tokyo.
  • Maxime Rooney and Dean Farris both put up some pretty big best times in the 100 freestyle yesterday, which could signal further improvements in their 200s. Rooney is getting close to slipping under the 1:47 barrier, while Farris, the American Record holder in the 200 SCY freestyle, is still working things out in the long course version of the race, but improving on a steady year-over-year basis.
  • World University Games gold medalist Austin Katz seeks his first National Title in the 200 backstroke. In a field without Ryan Murphy, the gold medal is Katz’s to lose, though there’s also the race against the clock to consider: if Katz swims anything faster than 1:55.85, he will have put up a time that would have won the bronze medal at the World Championships in South Korea. In Gwangju, Russia’s Evgeny Rylov won gold in 1:53.40, Ryan Murphy silver in 1:54.12, and Great Britain’s Luke Greenbank bronze in 1:55.85. Katz’s best time in the 200 back is a 1:55.57 from the World University Games, little more than three weeks ago.
  • The women’s 200 breaststroke this morning was considerably slower than 2018. Last summer, Zoe Bartel placed 8th in prelims with a 2:26.66; this morning, Madisyn Cox placed 1st in prelims with a 2:26.67, precisely .01 slower than it took to make the ‘A’ final in 2018. Obviously Team USA’s roster is missing many of its top swimmers, thanks to the recent World Championships in Korea. Even so, this morning’s prelims were slow by comparison, but perhaps tonight’s final will lend itself to a breakout swim or two.
  • The women’s 4 x 100 freestyle relay will showcase NCAA teams in an environment we don’t typically get to see them competing in: long course meters, that is. Though it’s unlikely any of the teams will be at the same full firepower as their conference and National Championships, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Indiana, and Penn State represent the Big Ten, Florida and Tennessee the SEC, and Louisville the ACC.

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Swammer from Wakanda

Elijah “Winning”ton. What a name

13 % Chinese person

Its a beautiful name but he got beat by the very working class Maritime Workers Union named Clyde Lewis.

Ol’ Gator

Former teammates Rooney and Smith to duke it out


What about Wyatt Davis from Carmel, kids on fire

About Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson originally hails from Clay Center, Kansas, where he began swimming at age six.  At age 14 he began swimming club year-round and later with his high school team, making state all four years.  He was fortunate enough to draw the attention of Kalamazoo College where he went on to …

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