2019 U.S. Nationals: Six Stars of Night Five

2019 PHILLIPS 66 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

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

RYAN HELD – 50 FREE CHAMPION – 21.87

  • Ryan Held has already reclaimed attention this meet after his US Open record in the 100 free on day one. A re-established sprint name, it only felt right for Held to improve in his 50 free. He had already gone a then-lifetime-best 22.14, bettering his old PR of 22.16 from the 2017 World University Games, at the Bulldog Grand Slam at UGA in late June. This morning, he clocked a 21.88, his first time under 22 seconds. Tonight, he backed it up with a 21.87, another impressive swim from the NC State post-grad who is now training at Alabama.

RYAN LOCHTE – 200 IM CHAMPION – 1:57.76

  • After a time trial early in the meet, where he dropped a 1:57.88 in the 200 IM, Ryan Lochte‘s 2019 US Nationals performances were pretty mediocre. Lochte failed to qualify for A finals in any other events until the official 200 IM, where he was the top qualifier after his prelims 1:58.77. Tonight, he edged out his time trial performance, posting a 1:57.76 to guarantee his spot on the 2019-20 National team (if only in the 200 IM).

MADISYN COX – 200 IM CHAMPION – 2:10.00

  • Madisyn Cox has been solid all meet, and tonight’s 200 IM showed more of that consistency. Her 2:10.00 to win her second U.S. National title of the week was not far off of her best of 2:09.69, and it was her fourth-best performance ever. On top of that, she hasn’t been this quick since the summer of 2017.

RISING STARS

ROBERT FINKE – 800 FREE CHAMPION – 7:47.58

  • In an emphatic return to the big stage after injury, Robert Finke came out and won the men’s 800 free tonight. His time, a 7:47.58, was a lifetime best by four seconds and his first venture under 7:50. That swim moves him into #8 all-time in American history after sitting outside of the top 10.

ALY TETZLOFF – 50 FREE – 24.97

  • Aly Tetzloff shaved nearly a full second off of her best time in the 50 free today. She came in with a 25.85, and tonight wound up fourth– she had a gigantic drop from before this meet, though, and puts her name into the conversation for a spot on the 2020 Olympic Team.

KENSEY MCMAHON – 1500 FREE – 16:09.80

  • Finishing a close second in the 1500 free tonight was rising Alabama sophomore Kensey McMahon at 16:09.80. That swim tonight came with an enormous 21-second drop from her old best of 16:31.39. Her time now ranks her 5th in the country this season, and has a great chance at securing her a national team berth.

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SAMUEL HUNTINGTON

It looks like Finke is the future for men’s distance swimming, should qualify in the 800 and 1500.

Jjran

Bama with a fantastic meet!!

Heyitsme

AUB also

Scott Gaw

I attended the meet. Great to see Ryan Lochte back in the saddle again. Think he’ll be a force to reckon with next year in the IM’s!

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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