2019 U.S. National Championships: Day 5 Finals Live Recap


Day 5 finals heat sheets.

Tonight’s session features finals of the women’s 1500 freestyle, men’s and women’s 200 IM, men’s 800 freestyle, and men’s and women’s 50 freestyle. The women’s 1500 and men’s 800 freestyles will swim the top-8 seeds only, but fast enough swims from the heats this afternoon can shake up final standings.

Ally McHugh will kickoff the women’s 1500 freestyle alongside Sierra Schmidt and Hannah Moore. The women’s 200 IM will be headlined by Madisyn Cox, who is the clear front-runner. Carson Foster is the top seed in the ‘B’ final of the men’s 200 IM, while Ryan Lochte and John Shebat are the first and second seeds in the ‘A’ final of the men’s 200 IM. Shaine Casas, who posted the 5th-fastest time in the world in the 100 backstroke and the 6th-fastest time in the world in the 200 backstroke earlier in the meet is also in the ‘A’ final of the men’s 200 IM.

The men’s 800 freestyle is headlined by Zane Grothe, 1500 free and 400 IM champion Bobby Finke, 200 and 400 freestyle champion Elijah Winnington of Australia, and France’s Joris Bouchaut.

France’s Anna Santamans is the top-seed in the women’s 50 freestyle and was the only woman sub-25 in prelims. She is joined by NCAA superstars Erika Brown and Aly Tetzloff, and juniors Gretchen Walsh and Grace Cooper.

The men’s 50 freestyle will feature 100 freestyle champion and new U.S. Open Record holder Ryan Held, Bowe Becker, Robert Howard, and Erik Risolvato.

Women’s 1500 Freestyle – Finals

  • World Record: Katie Ledecky (United States), 2018, 15:20.48
  • American Record: Katie Ledecky, 2018, 15:20.48
  • Championship Record: Katie Ledecky (United States), 2013, 15:47.15
  • U.S. Open Record: Katie Ledecky (United States), 2018, 15:20.48
  • Olympic Trials Cut: 16:49.19

Top 3:

Sierra Schmidt danced her way to a lead at 29.99 a the 50-meter turn, and at 100 meters was still up by .02, flipping in 1:02.42, just ahead of Ally McHugh.

Kensey McMahon from Alabama usurped the lead at 150, pulled further ahead at 200 meters, and had a .55 lead over Hannah Moore at 250 meters. McMahon had extended her lead to 1.02 at 300 meters. At 400 meters, McMahon turned in 4:15.09, 1.63 seconds ahead of Moore. By 500, McMahon’s lead was up to 2.44 seconds over Moore and 2.75 over Ally McHugh.

McMahon flipped at 600 meters in 6:23.73, and 650 meters in 6:56.12. McMahon flipped at 750 in 8:00.89, positioning her to go very close to 16:00, or possibly under 16:00 if she has a strong second half.

McMahon flipped at 1000 meters in 10:44.11, only a little over a second ahead of McHugh, who had separated herself from Schmidt and Moore. Ally McHugh had taken the lead at 1100, turning in 11:49.62. By 1200 meters, McHugh had a 1.3 second lead. over McMahon, where McHugh turned in 12:54.02. Schmidt was withing half-a-second of McMahon at 1250 meters. Going into 1300, McHugh had a two body length lead, hitting the wall in 13:58.68 to her feet.

The race for 2nd is between McMahon and Schmidt; down the length 28th lap, McMahon distanced herself by nearly a second ahead of Scmidt.

Ally McHugh ran away with the victory, leading by three body lengths at the final touch. Early leader Kensey McMahon managed to win the silver medal and improve her lifetime best by 22 seconds. Sierra Schmidt finished 3rd in 16:10.12.

Women’s 200 IM – Finals

  • World Record: Katinka Hosszu (Hungary), 2015, 2:06.12
  • American Record: Ariana Kukors, 2009, 2:06.15
  • Championship Record: Kathleen Baker (United States), 2018, 2:08.32
  • U.S. Open Record: Kathleen Baker (United States), 2018, 2:08.32
  • Olympic Trials Cut: 2:17.39

Top 3:

Madisyn Cox had the early lead at 50 meters, turning in 28.13, but Calypso Sheridan pulled up on the backstroke, and the two swimmers were neck-and-neck at 100 meters. Cox then pulled away on the breaststroke to lead by over a body lengthy and 1.52 seconds at 150 meters. Cox finished the race in 2:10.00.

Vanessa Pearl surged on the freestyle to touch 2nd in 2:12.49, just ahead of Julia Poole who was 3rd in 2:12.53 to round out the podium.

Emma Barksdale took 4th in 2:13.06, Evie Pfeifer 5th in 2:13.17, Scotland’s Hannah Miley 6th in 2:14.07, Calypso Sheridan faded to 7th in 2:14.55, and junior Justina Kozan 8th in 2:17.25.

Kelly Fertel won the ‘B’ final in 2:13.27, just ahead of Beata Nelson who touched 2nd in 2:13.37. Asia Seidt finished 3rd in the ‘B’ final in 2:13.92.

Men’s 200 IM – Finals

  • World Record: Ryan Lochte (United States), 2011, 1:54.00
  • American Record: Ryan Lochte, 2011, 1:54.00
  • Championship Record: Ryan Lochte (United States), 2009, 1:54.56
  • U.S. Open Record: Ryan Lochte (United States), 2009, 1:54.56
  • Olympic Trials Cut: 2:04.09

Top 3:

Kieran Smith had the lead at 50 with a 25.09; Ryan Lochte turned 6th. Lochte took the lead at 100 in 55.01, and by 150 was at 1:29.13, .74 ahead of John Shebat. Lochte pulled ahead by a body length to win in 1:57.76.

Texas’ John Shebat finished 4th in 1:59.24, Grant Sanders 5th in 2:00.14, tying with Kieran Smith. Michigan’s Tommy Cope was 7th in 2:00.40, and Texas’ Matt Willenbring 8th in 2:00.83.

Carson Foster won the ‘B’ final in 1:58.69, which would have been good for silver in the ‘A’ final. Mark Szaranek was 2nd in the ‘B’ final in 2:00.07, and Daniel Gloude 3rd in 2:00.74.

Men’s 800 Freestyle – Finals

  • World Record: Lin Zhang (China), 2009, 7:32.12
  • American Record: Michael McBroom, 2013, 7:43.60
  • Championship Record: Zane Grothe (United States), 2018, 7:44.57
  • U.S. Open Record: Zane Grothe (United States), 2018, 7:44.57
  • Olympic Trials Cut: 8:12.99

Top 3:

Zane Grothe started out under World Record pace and held it throught 150 meters. Grothe held a multiple-body-length lead until 500, when Bobby Finke made his move. Finke turned ahead of Grothe at 600 meters, and was up by nearly half-a-body-length at 650 meters.

Finke cranked up his turnover rate to win in 7:47.58, leaving Grothe silver in 7:50.47. Michael Brinegar touched 3rd in 7:54.56.

Women’s 50 Freestyle – Finals

  • World Record: Sarah Sjostrom (Sweden), 2017, 23.67
  • American Record: Simone Manuel, 2017, 23.97
  • Championship Record: Simone Manuel (United States), 2018, 24.10
  • U.S. Open Record: Pernille Blume (Denmark), 2019, 24.08
  • Olympic Trials Cut: 25.99

Top 3:

Erika Brown won the women’s 50 freestyle in 24.71, just ahead of junior star Gretchen Walsh who finished in 24.85. Walsh’s time ties for number 2 all-time in the 15-16 age group. Top seed Anna Santamans of France hung on for 3rd in 24.92.

Aly Tetzloff, who placed 4th, posted a 24.97 in finals but began the meet with a 25.85. Brown, for her part, came into the meet seeded at 25.17. For Brown, this is her first LCM National Title.

Natalie Hinds placed 5th in 25.02; Catie DeLoof 6th in 25.11; Maxine Parker, who will likely now get to swim this event at the World Junior Championships in Budapest, placed 7th in 25.21; and Grace Cooper placed 8th in 25.33.

Men’s 50 Freestyle – Finals

  • World Record: Cesar Cielo (Brazil), 2009, 20.91
  • American Record: Caeleb Dressel, 2019, 21.04
  • Championship Record: Nathan Adrian/Garret Weber-Gale (United States), 2013, 21.47
  • U.S. Open Record: Cesar Cielo (Brazil), 2009, 21.14
  • Olympic Trials Cut: 23.19

Top 3:

Ryan Held completed the sprint freestyle sweep with a victory in the 50 tonight in 21.87, edging out Bowe Becker and Robert Howard, who tied for 2nd in 22.00. Held improved upon his prelims time by .01, giving him 2 lifetime bests today. Becker, meanwhile, went his first lifetime best in this event since 2016 when he set the previous mark at 22.23.

Payton Sorenson finished 4th in 22.18; David Curtiss 5th in 22.25; Erik Risolvato 6th in 22.32; Gus Borges of Brazil 7th in 22.46; and Jack Thorpe 8th in 22.56.

The ‘B’ final was won by Lewis Burras in 22.15. Tate Jackson placed 2nd in the ‘B’ final in 22.35, and William Roberson 3rd in 22.47.

Women’s 400 Medley Relay

  • GOLD: Tennesse Aquatics, 4:03.62
  • SILVER: Kentucky Aquatics, 4:05.59
  • BRONZE: Victoria New South Whales, 4:05.66


  • Tennessee Aquatics: Grinter, 1:01.34; Popov, 1:08.68; Rothrock, 59.69; Brown, 53.91
  • Kentucky Aquatics: Seidt, 1:00.87; Bonnett, 1:09.19; Gati, 58.95; Sorenson, 56.58
  • Victoria New South Whales: Webb, 1:03.60; Strauch, 1:07.59; Costa, 59.55; Ngawati, 54.92

Men’s 400 Medley Relay

  • GOLD: Australia, 3:36.84
  • SILVER: Michigan Lakeshore Aquatics, 3:38.13
  • BRONZE: University of Stirling, 3:39.00


  • Australia: Gough, 56.41; Cave, 1:00.31; Temple, 51.81; Townsend, 48.32
  • Michigan Lakeshore Aquatics: Kyle Maas, 56.12; Nowicki, 59.14; Craig, 52.40; Derek Maas, 50.47
  • University of Stirling: Gardner, 56.29; Benson, 59.72; Rednic, 54.16; McLay, 48.83

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4 years ago

What’s the rule on relay DQs based on reaction times? Two of the teams (U of Kentucky and Clovis) in the women’s 4×100 medley relay had negative reaction times. How is that possible without a DQ?

Reply to  swimswamswum
4 years ago

If the official didn’t see it live they can’t be DQ’d. Also I think -.02 reaction time on relays is still allowed

4 years ago

Becker – three years without a personal best in the 50?

Minnesota, you got some ‘splaining to do….

Bobo Gigi
4 years ago

As an IM fan I’m still waiting for the next big US female talent to follow in the footsteps of Caulkins, Sanders, Sandeno, Hoff or Kukors. Emma Weyant showed big things this week in the 400 IM. Hopefully Alex Walsh can be the savior of the US 200 IM in the next few years.
On the men’s side Carson Foster, Jake Foster, Shane Casas, Luca Urlando and maybe Michael Andrew represent the future of US men’s 200 IM.
Monster week from Bobby Finke. He’s the savior of US men’s mid-distance/distance freestyle. Hopefully he stays healthy.
Big 50 free from Gretchen Walsh. Give her a start and a few years of physical development and she will be a… Read more »

Reply to  Bobo Gigi
4 years ago

great observations in detail as usual BOBO

Reply to  Bobo Gigi
4 years ago

Let me second that: Bobo, that was a great summation. At the moment Regan Smith, Gretchen Walsh, and Claire Curzan look like great three stroke swimmers, though, who knows, one of them may develop her breaststroke to the point where she is competitive in the IM as well. And you can probably add Torri Huske to that list, though I can’t recall seeing a backstroke time from her.

4 years ago

As of the conclusion of Nationals, Florida Gators have the top American time this year in every men’s freestyle event except the 400.

foux de fafa
4 years ago

what’s the thing that Robert Howard sniffs before his races??

4 years ago

Why is everybody so psyched that Lochte can swim so fast with a “dad bod”? I want to know why he wasn’t training seriously all this time to prep for Nationals and OT! If he really wants to “do it for his kids” he should be working hard; nobody is going to hand him a spot on the Olympic Team of give him a medal for being famous or nostalgic about his former glory!

Reply to  Danjohnrob
4 years ago

its not like Lochte has ever had a Phelps or Dressel like body

Awsi Dooger
Reply to  pvdh
4 years ago

That is true. But from 2012 forth I always thought Lochte looked a bit heavy. This is like an older running back who is losing quickness. If they want to extend their career they need to realize they should be lighter than their prime, not heavier. I don’t think Lochte can make the team but I’ll pay some attention if he starts looking the part.

Reply to  Danjohnrob
4 years ago

He just had a second child… if he was going to ease up on the training, it was the best time for the family. I think we are excited to see the potential of what another year of training could bring!

Reply to  JerDawg
4 years ago

His wife HAD the child…:)

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  JerDawg
4 years ago

Yeah, that pregnancy weight is tough to shed.

4 years ago

I feel like there’s not too much hype over Jake and Carson’s IMs in these comments. I mean those boys do get a lot of hype but they both went best times by nearly a second.
And David Curtiss’s 50 free? I mean come on – best time by around .4. Wild stuff. His dolphins off his start could be the thing holding him back from a 21. He started the race from almost dead last.

Awsi Dooger
Reply to  FlyNDie
4 years ago

Jake’s opening half is so bad. More splashing than advancing. But I always watch him because the back half is so superb. He needs a butterfly coach

Reply to  Awsi Dooger
4 years ago

I wish he was going somewhere for college that had the 2 fastest textile non-Dressel 100 fly swimmers of all time. Not including suits (technological doping) or Dressel (genetic doping) in the mix, he’s going to the right school.

Reply to  Awsi Dooger
4 years ago

He’ll get one at Texas

Reply to  Awsi Dooger
4 years ago

Yeah the kid who goes 1:59 for the 200 fly which is one of his “weak” strokes

4 years ago

I know it’s already been mentioned in the thread, but what is going on with the Texas women swimmers? We talk about it taper meet after taper meet, when will this change? I can’t imagine being a recruit, starting at Texas, training hard, swimming best in season times to only get completely passed up big meet over big meet to my peers. Carol needs to take some responsibility for this and stop talking about the “rebuild”.

I also understand it’s difficult coaching college athletes as you don’t know what they’re going to do off the pool deck, but at some point a drastic change has to happen.

Reply to  Swammer2011
4 years ago

Off the pool deck…really? Texas women had the highest team GPA in program history…3.6. Many are in rigorous STEM fields. They are not pros. who are able to swim, eat, and sleep only.

About Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson originally hails from Clay Center, Kansas, where he began swimming at age six with the Clay Center Tiger Sharks, a summer league team. At age 14 he began swimming club year-round with the Manhattan Marlins (Manhattan, KS), which took some convincing from his mother as he was very …

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