2019 U.S. National Championships: Six Stars of Night Three


This week at U.S. Nationals, we’ll identify our six stars for each night of competition. Three will be our ‘Shining Stars’– swimmers who won an event, set a notable record, or had a significant stand-out swim. The next three are our ‘Rising Stars’– swimmers who are younger, or less well-known, who hit an impressive personal best, jumped up the age group rankings, or made themselves known with an interesting performance.

This list is not an objective analysis tied to black-and-white metrics. Nor is it exhaustive in any way.

Shining Stars:

Maxime Rooney – 100 Fly – 51.09 (50.68 prelims)

  • Maxime Rooney wasn’t really a butterfly specialist until the previous 2018-2019 NCAA season, when at the University of Florida he started racing more butterfly, taking it to the SEC Championships where he placed 1st in the 100 fly in 45.06 and 2nd in the 200 fly in 1:40.87. The NCAA Championships were a little rougher for Rooney, as he took on the 100 free/200 fly double on the 4th day of the meet. Overall, Rooney ended up 4th in the 100 fly (44.99), 12th in the 100 free, and 30th in the 200 fly, which came shortly after the prelims of the 100 free. But that’s NCAAs.
  • Despite Rooney’s times in yards, he was an underdog in this race until prelims–coming into the meet with a best time of 52.28–when he blasted a 50.68 to become the 4th-fastest U.S performer all-time. Though he did not duplicate that time in finals, his 51.09 was still fast enough to win the National Championship. Furthermore, 51.09 is faster than Chad le Clos went in the finals of the 100 butterfly at the 2019 World Championships when he won the bronze medal. 51.09 would have earned Rooney 2nd and a berth on the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team in the 100 fly. Dear readers: Rooney has arrived.

Emma Weyant – 400 IM – 4:35.47

  • It was apparent Emma Weyant was having a good meet when she posted the 4th-fastest 200 freestyle time of the entire field despite racing in the ‘B’ final on Thursday. It was apparent Weyant was having a great meet when she won the 400 IM on Friday. For comparison, Weyant’s time in the finals of the women’s 400 IM of 4:35.47 would have placed 4th at the World Championships in Korea.
  • In the 17-18 girl age group, Weyant’s time ranks 3rd behind only Elizabeth Beisel and Katie Hoff. Weyant split 1:03.36/1:10.14/1:19.20/1:02.77 and took more than five seconds off her previous best time of 4:40.64 from August of 2018.

Carson Foster – 400 IM – 4:13.39

  • Carson Foster did not win the gold medal in the 400 IM, despite leading for 350 meters, but he did break the World Junior Record in the event en route to the silver medal tonight at Stanford. When Foster touched the wall in 4:13.38 he shaved .62 from Sean Greishop‘s mark and punched his ticket to swim the event in Budapest at the 2019 World Junior Championships at the end of the month. To make the victory official, Foster also beat Greishop in Friday’s final; Bobby Finke won the gold medal in 4:13.15, leaving silver to Carson Foster in 4:13.38, and bronze to brother Jake Foster in 4:15.03. Greishop, the World University Games silver medalist in the 400 IM, finished 5th in 4:15.50.

Rising Stars:

Torri Huske – 100 Fly – 57.80

  • Torri Huske scared Mary T. Meagher‘s National Age Group NAG) Record in the girl’s 15-16 100 butterfly with a 57.98 in prelims on day 3, missing Meagher’s mark by only .05. Mary T. set her legendary record way back in 1981, and Huske only just broke it today, 38 years later, on August 2nd, 2019. For reference, only 40 percent of SwimSwam’s founders had been born by 1981 (we won’t say who), and none of them were Olympians yet.
  • Huske’s best prior the 2019 U.S. National Championships was 59.27, set at the 2018 Winter Nationals last year in Greensboro. Huske, alongside Claire Curzan and and Lillie Nordmann, was one of three 15-16-year-olds to break 58-seconds and shake up the all-time ranks in that age group Friday in Stanford.

Claire Curzan – 100 Fly – 57.78

  • Claire Curzan broke Mary T. Meagher‘s 15-16 National Age Group Record in the 100 butterfly on Friday at the 2019 U.S. National Championships. Curzan’s name will not grace the record book, however, as she wasn’t the first 15-16 girl to break the record. As mentioned above, Torri Huske gets to claim the record–for now.
  • Curzan only just turned 15 on June 30th–meaning she shares a birthday with Michael Phelps, which doesn’t impact this ranking, but we thought you’d like to know. What’s important to understand is that Curzan has 23 months remaining in the 15-16 age group and she has already been faster than Mary T., and nearly as fast as Huske, having clocked a time of 57.87 in finals, making her only the 3rd 15-16 girl to break the 58-second barrier in the 100 LCM butterfly.

Mackenzie Looze – 400 IM – 4:42.22

  • Mackenzie Looze won the ‘B’ final of the women’s 400 IM in a time that was only .01 behind the 8th-place time from the ‘A’ final of the women’s 400 IM. That, however, is not what’s impressive about Looze’s swim; Looze won the heat because of her incredible 1:17.65 split in the breaststroke. To put that into context, Looze had the fastest breaststroke split out of all ‘A’ and ‘B’ finalists. Furthermore, only Brooke Forde and Hannah Miley, who finished 2nd and 4th in the ‘A’ final, respectively, had splits under 1:19, demonstrating Looze’s dominance of the third leg of this race.

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3 years ago

Good to see young blood stepping up one year out.

3 years ago

Curzan – 100 Fly – 57.87

3 years ago

There were many more deserving stars than Looze and a good 100 of a 400 race. Makes no sense

3 years ago

Where is MacKenzie transferring?

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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