2019 World University Games: USA Claims All Top Seeds in Day 7 Prelims


  • July 4th-10th, 2019
  • Napoli, Italy
  • LCM (50m)
  • Live Stream: Olympic Channel (in US), Rai Sport (in Italy)
  • Entry Lists & Live Results

Note: Due to time zone differences, prelims for this meet are in the middle of the night for most of the SwimSwam staff, and our European-based staff is occupied with the European Junior Championships. We’ll recap the preliminary sessions once our writers are up in the morning, so keep an eye out for event recaps to be added here. In the meantime, readers who are awake can feel free to leave comments about the action. Just keep in mind that some comments may get stuck in moderation throughout the night.

The final morning of the 2019 World University Games will feature only four events. US swimmers hold the top seed in the two individual events, the women’s 400 free (Kaersten Meitz) and the men’s 400 IM (Sean Grieshop). Both medley relays will also be contested today, and the USA will gunning for relay sweeps, but figure to face some stiff competition, especially on the men’s side.

Women’s 400 Freestyle – Prelims

  • World Record – 3:56.46, Katie Ledecky (USA), 2016
  • Meet Record – 4:03.96 Sarah Koehler, (GER), 2017

Top 8

  1. Kaersten Meitz (USA), 4:13.08
  2. Abbie Wood (GBR), 4:14.15
  3. Mikayla Messer (AUS), 4:14.63
  4. Sierra Schmidt (USA), 4:15.36
  5. Linda Caponi (ITA), 4:15.74
  6. Catalina Corro Lorente (ESP), 4:15.88
  7. Kathryn Greenslade (GBR), 4:16.00
  8. Kennedy Goss (CAN), 4:16.25

Top-seeded Kaersten Meitz put up the fastest time of the morning and will be in lane four for tonight’s final. She won the final heat by over a second, touching in 4:13.08, ahead of Great Britain’s Abbie Wood (4:14.15) and Australia’s Mikayla Messer (4:14.63). Italy’s Linda Caponi (4:15.74) and Great Britain’s Kathryn Greenslade (4:16.00) also qualified out of the final heat.

Mertz’s teammate Sierra Schmidt won heat 3 with the 4th-fastest overall time of the morning (4:15.36). Canada’s Kennedy Goss came in 2nd in that heat and made it into the top 8 (4:16.25). Italy’s Catalina Corro Lorente won heat 2 with a time of 4:15.88 and qualified 6th overall.

Men’s 400 IM – Prelims

  • World Record – 4:03.84, Michael Phelps (USA), 2008
  • Meet Record – 4:11.98, Daiya Seto (JPN), 2017

Top 8

  1. Sean Grieshop (USA), 4:15.40
  2. Yuki Ikari (JPN), 4:17.35
  3. Maxim Stupini (RUS), 4:17.43
  4. Pier Matteazzi (ITA), 4:18.18
  5. Adam Paulsson (SWE), 4:18.52
  6. Sam Stewart (USA), 4:18.81
  7. Brendon Smith (AUS), 4:19.50
  8. Mark Szaranek (GBR), 4:19.70

Once again, the top seed coming into the race emerged from prelims with the fastest time. In the final heat, the USA’s Sean Grieshop and Russia’s Maxim Stupini went out with nearly identical splits. Grieshop held a 0.32s lead at the halfway point, but Stupini closed to within 0.02s on the breaststroke leg. But Grieshop threw the hammer down on the final 50, bringing it home in 29.32 to Stupini’s 31.19 to touch in 4:15.40. Stupini finished over two seconds behind, touching in 4:17.43 with the 3rd-fastest overall time of the morning.

Italy’s Pier Matteazzi (4:18.18) and the USA’s Sam Stewart (4:18.81) also qualified from heat 6.

Japan’s Yuki Ikari won heat 5 with a time of 4:17.35, topping Australia’s Brendon Smith (4:19.50) and Great Britain’s Mark Szaranek (4:19.79) by over two seconds.

Adam Paulsson of Sweden was the only qualifier out of heat 4, leading that heat with a time of 4:18.52

Women’s 400 Medley Relay – Prelims

  • World Record – 3:51.55, United States, 2017
  • Meet Record – 3:58.04, Russia, 3:58.04

Top 8

  1. United States, 4:00.12
  2. Australia, 4:05.48
  3. Canada, 4:05.53
  4. Italy, 4:06.07
  5. Japan, 4:06.92
  6. Germany, 4:07.06
  7. Russia, 4:07.35
  8. Great Britain, 4:08.60

The USA, using it’s ‘B’ lineup, outpaced the field by over five seconds, with three of its four swimmers recording the fastest splits of the morning in their respective strokes. 100 back silver medalist Elise Haan led off in 59.88, 200 breast silver medalist Emily Escobedo, who did not swim the 100 individually this week, then split 1:06.78 on breast. Veronica Burchill‘s 59.59 fly split was a little slower than a few of the other fly legs — Japan’s Ai Soma led the field with a 58.98 — but Burchill was still plenty fast enough, and anchor Catie DeLoof split 53.87 to bring it home in 4:00.12.

The USA will probably do a complete swap tonight, likely bringing in gold medalists Katharine Berkoff and Gabby DeLoof on back and free and silver medalist Dakota Luther on fly and finalist Emily Weiss on breast.

Canada and Australia touched within 0.05s of each other, although in two different heats, with Australia going 4:05.48 out of heat 3 and Canada going 4:05.53 out of heat 1. Italy was just a tick behind Australia in heat 3, taking 2nd in 4:06.07.

Japan, Germany, and Russia were all between 4:06.92 and 4:07.35, while Great Britain rounds out the top 8 with a 4:08.60.

Men’s 400 Medley Relay – Prelims

  • World Record – 3:27.28, United States, 2009
  • Meet Record – 3:32.80, Japan, 2009

Top 8

  1. United States, 3:33.95
  2. Russia, 3:34.55
  3. France, 3:36.67
  4. Japan, 3:37.66
  5. Brazil, 3:37.90
  6. Korea, 3:38.11
  7. Italy, 3:28.20
  8. Australia, 3:38.23

Things were much tighter on the men’s side, where the United States once again had the fastest time of the morning, but only by 0.60s.

The United States used Coleman Stewart (53.85), Jonathan Tybur (1:00.67), Jack Saunderson (51.99), and Tate Jackson (47.44) for an overall time of 3:33.95. Tonight’s lineup should feature bronze medalist Justin Ress on backstroke and gold medalist Ian Finnerty on breast. Stewart was also the bronze medalist in the 100 fly, but there was chatter in the comments the other day that John Shebat went 51.4 in a time trial at the meet, and he could end up on the fly leg. The free leg should go to gold medalist Zach Apple, who has the 50m free final earlier in the session, but according to the schedule, should have 90 minutes between events.

The Russians finished close to the USA with a team of Mark Nikolaev (53.93), Ilia Khomenko (59.90), Aleksandr Sandovnikov (51.59), and Ivan Kuzmenko (49.13). They’re able to swap in three medalist tonight in the form of Grigory Tarasevich, Kirill Prigoda, and Egor Kuminov, and it’s very possible that they go into the freestyle leg tonight with a lead, setting up a fun race to cap off this week of competition.

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1 year ago

Will Dean be on the relay final lineup?

Reply to  Peyton
1 year ago

Why would you use dean for the final relay when you have a 47.75 100 freestyler? Dean is wicked fast but Apple has definitely earned the spot

Reply to  Ryan
1 year ago

Dean should be doing all 4 strokes

Reply to  Ryan
1 year ago

Maybe if Farris wants a spot he should consider swimming faster at the qualifying meet and in LCM season. Nothing should be given. It needs to be earned.

Reply to  SpeedRacer
1 year ago

“always earned, not given”

-Brad ‘Swag’ Calipari

Reply to  SpeedRacer
1 year ago

Didn’t he earn it in the 100 free relay prelims and finals? Don’t think it matters anyway. Farris or Apple, US should win anyway.

Reply to  Ryan
1 year ago

Dean split a 47.0 a few days ago???

Texas Tap Water
Reply to  Peyton
1 year ago


1 year ago

Day 8? Day 7??

1 year ago

A 47.44 split from Tate Jackson! Coleman Stewart’s 53.85 100 back leadoff is impressive too.

Reply to  Peyton
1 year ago

So finals most likely Ress/Finnerty/Stewart/Farris or Apple. Apple will be in the 50 free final though. So most likely Dean will swim the free leg.

Reply to  Zanna
1 year ago

Tate will swim the free leg – he earned the spot without the shadow of a doubt .

Reply to  Peyton
1 year ago

Good for him, felt kinda bad for him last year, but he sure is making the most of it.