2019 US Open Records Roundup: 18 New Meet Marks Established, 10 Still Remain


It was a record-breaking weekend in Atlanta, as 18 new US Open Championship meet records were established. After the cleanup, just 10 now remain. Here’s an in depth look at the meet records over the weekend.

While this seems like a big haul, and it is, there is an explanation for the number of records that isn’t entirely based in “everyone swam super fast.” This year, USA Swimming changed the name of the Winter National Championships to the U.S. Open. In the past, the U.S. Open has served many different purposes and resided in many different spots on the American swimming calendar. Most recently, like in 2017 and 2018, the meet has served as a late-summer championship meet when timing required an early-summer Trials meet, as it would have in 2016 for the Olympic Games or 2017 for the World Championships.

This year, however, it took the spot of the former Winter National Championship meet, which is usually in yards but has often been held in long course in pre-Olympic years (like this one).

Rather than rolling forward the old Winter Nationals long course records, however, they pulled in the records from the other U.S. Open meets.

The result was a lot of very old records, and a lot of very beatable records – because it’s been a while since a U.S. Open meet has been held in a time of year where the superstars of the sport would attend.

  • For quick clarification, a US Open meet record is not the same as a US Open record. All US Open meet records can only be broken when the meet itself is called the “US Open”, regardless of the swimmer’s nationality. However, any meet on US soil is eligible for an US Open record, also regardless of nationality.

Before the weekend, the records book spanned decades, with a plethora of powerhouse names ranging from the most recent US Open meet (2017) to all the way back in 1987.

Former US Open Championship Meet Records
Women Event Men
24.90, Jessica Hardy, 2009 50 Free 21.70, Brad Tandy (RSA), 2017
53.91, Megan Romano, 2012 100 Free 48.52, Nick Brunelli, 2005
1:57.54, Megan Romano, 2012 200 Free
1:46.23, Pieter van den Hoogenband (NED), 2005
4:05.45, Janet Evans, 1987 400 Free 3:45.63, Zane Grothe, 2016
8:24.36, Stephanie Peacock, 2012 800 Free
7:47.27, Chad La Tourette, 2009
15:52.10, Janet Evans, 1987 1500 Free
14:55.46, Damien Joly (FRA), 2017
59.11, Hayley McGregory, 2008 100 Back 52.51, Nick Thoman, 2009
2:08.42, Hayley McGregory, 2008 200 Back 1:54.59, Nick Thoman, 2009
1:04.45, Jessica Hardy, 2009 100 Breast 59.40, Kevin Swander, 2009
2:22.51, Kaitlin Freeman, 2009 200 Breast 2:09.73, Andrew Wilson, 2017
57.53, Marie Wattel (FRA), 2017 100 Fly 51.65, Tom Shields, 2013
2:07.20, Susie O’Neill (AUS), 1999 200 Fly
1:55.64, Sebastien Rousseau (RSA), 2013
2:11.06, Justine Mueller, 2013 200 IM 1:59.24, Ryan Lochte, 2017
4:38.38, Katie Hoff, 2006 400 IM
4:11.11, Sebastien Rousseau (RSA), 2013

Records Roundup

Throughout the course of the meet, a US Open meet record was broken 24 times. Among the highlights, 6 events saw the meet record broken twice, once during prelims and again during finals. The lone exception was the women’s 400 free, as Katie Ledecky broke the individual event record during her Wednesday 800 free swim (4:04.96 split at the 400m mark) and again during the event final (4:00.81).

Five teenaged swimmers also saw their names written on a meet record at one point during the weekend. In the women’s 100 back, 17-year-old Regan Smith broke the meet record during prelims at 58.96, to no one’s surprise, But in the final, fellow teen Phoebe Bacon pulled out a win over Smith and broke her hours-hold record with a 58.63.

The youngest record-breaker, 16-year-old Torri Huske, not only won the women’s 100 fly final out of lane one at 57.48 but did so with names like Kelsi Dahlia and Amanda Kendall in the same final. Huske walked out of the final with her first US Open title, first senior record under her belt, as well as breaking a 15-16 NAG for the last time (her birthday was the following day after the final).

Similarly, Phelps-esque teen flyer Luca Urlando broke his first senior meet record in the 200 fly with a 1:55.60. Rising teen phenom Carson Foster, who has broken many junior records, broke his first senior meet record in the 200 IM with a 1:58.38 in prelims. Hours later in the final, however, Foster’s record was taken over by 2-time World champion Chase Kalisz (1:57.28).

Before the meet, seven meet records were held by an international swimmer. Among the names, Dutch sprinting legend Pieter van den Hoogenband held the 200 free meet record for 14 years until Townley Haas broke the record in the event final (1:45.92). The lone international swimmer to break a meet record at the 2019 meet was Brazilian Bruno Fratus, who broke South African Brad Tandy‘s 2017 record (21.70) with a 21.59 during prelims.

At the conclusion of the four-day meet, all but 10 records remain.

Updated US Open Championship Meet Records
Women Event Men
24.43, Simone Manuel, 2019 50 Free
21.59, Bruno Fratus (BRA), 2019
53.42, Erika Brown, 2019 100 Free 47.69, Zach Apple, 2019
1:56.26, Katie Ledecky, 2019 200 Free 1:45.92, Townley Haas, 2019
4:00.81, Katie Ledecky, 2019 400 Free 3:45.63, Zane Grothe, 2016
8:14.59, Katie Ledecky, 2019 800 Free
7:47.27, Chad La Tourette, 2009
15:35.98, Katie Ledecky, 2019 1500 Free
14:55.46, Damien Joly (FRA), 2017
58.63, Phoebe Bacon, 2019 100 Back 52.51, Nick Thoman, 2009
2:08.42, Hayley McGregory, 2008 200 Back 1:54.59, Nick Thoman, 2009
1:04.45, Jessica Hardy, 2009 100 Breast 59.28, Andrew Wilson, 2019
2:22.00, Emily Escobedo, 2019 200 Breast 2:09.67, Cody Miller, 2019
57.48, Torri Huske, 2019 100 Fly 51.65, Tom Shields, 2013
2:07.20, Susie O’Neill (AUS), 1999 200 Fly 1:55.60, Luca Urlando, 2019
2:08.84, Melanie Margalis, 2019 200 IM 1:57.28, Chase Kalisz, 2019
4:37.34, Melanie Margalis, 2019 400 IM
4:11.11, Sebastien Rousseau (RSA), 2013

On the women’s side, just 3 meet records remain. Among them are the 200 back, held by Hayley McGregory, and the 100 breast, with Jessica Hardy‘s former long-standing American record. Aussie Susie O’Neill, who was nicknamed “Madam Butterfly” during the late 90s/early 00s, also saw her record stay safe from the frenzy.

On the men’s side, both long distance event records remain, courtesy of Chad La Tourette (800 free) and Frenchman Damien Joly (1500 free). London Olympic silver medalist Nick Thoman also has both of his 2009 backstroke meet records still standing along with Tom Shields‘ 100 fly record and South African Sebastien Rousseau‘s 400 IM record.

All 2019 US Open Championship Meet Records

Event Swimmer Time
Women’s 50 Free Simone Manuel* 24.65*
Simone Manuel 24.43
Women’s 100 Free Erika Brown 53.42
Women’s 200 Free Simone Manuel* 1:57.41*
Katie Ledecky 1:56.26
Women’s 400 Free Katie Ledecky* 4:04.96*
Katie Ledecky 4:00.81
Women’s 800 Free Katie Ledecky 8:14.59
Women’s 1500 Free Katie Ledecky 15:35.98
Women’s 100 Back Regan Smith* 58.96*
Phoebe Bacon 58.63
Women’s 200 Breast Emily Escobedo 2:22.00
Women’s 100 Fly Torri Huske 57.48
Women’s 200 IM Melanie Margalis* 2:10.71*
Melanie Margalis 2:08.84
Women’s 400 IM Melanie Margalis 4:37.34
Men’s 50 Free Bruno Fratus (BRA) 21.59p
Men’s 100 Free Zach Apple 47.69
Men’s 200 Free Townley Haas 1:45.92
Men’s 100 Breast Andrew Wilson 59.28p
Men’s 200 Breast Cody Miller 2:09.67
Men’s 200 Fly Luca Urlando 1:55.60
Men’s 200 IM Carson Foster* 1:58.38*
Chase Kalisz 1:57.28

*records in italics were eventually re-broken during the event final

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

1 Comment
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
3 years ago

Janet Evans’ record stood after Ledecky’s prelim of 4:05.50… not sure where the 4:04.96 came from

About Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro started swimming at age 11, instantly becoming drawn to the sport. He was a breaststroker and IMer when competing. After joining SwimSwam, the site has become an outlet for him to research and learn about competitive swimming and experience the sport through a new lenses. He graduated in …

Read More »