2020 U.S. Open – Des Moines: Bacon Tops Smith in 200 Back (Saturday Recap)


The final session of the 2020 U.S. Open at Des Moines is in the books. This morning featured the 1500, 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, and 200 fly. Arkansas’ Peyton Palsha picked up her 2nd Olympic Trials cut of the meet, posting a decisive victory in the women’s 1500. Palsha swam to a 16:42.79, knocking 15 seconds off her previous personal best, and adding a second event to her OT schedule. Fabio Dalu took the men’s 1500 with a 15:39.56, coming in about 10 seconds off his personal best.

Phoebe Bacon and Regan Smith had another showdown in the women’s 200 back, with Bacon coming out on top rather handily this time. Bacon swam a 2:09.16, touching just .36 seconds off her personal best. Smith, on the other hand, was well off her personal best and World Record 2:03.35, finishing in 2:11.74. The pair had the exact same first 50 split – 30.20, but Bacon then out-split Smith significantly the rest of the way.

Smith came back at the end of the session to win the final event, the 200 fly. Taking the race out in 1:01.39 at the first 100, Smith faded just a bit coming home, splitting 33.22 and 34.00 respectively on the 3rd and 4th 50s, for a 1:07.22 on the 2nd 100. Smith finished in 2:08.61, just a bit off her personal best of 2:06.39.

Another Arkansas swimmer, Vanessa Herrmann, also picked up her 2nd Olympic Trials cut. Herrmann won the women’s 200 breast with a huge personal best of 2:32.94, which is 2 seconds better than her previous best of 2:35.02. Herrmann had already swum a personal best 1:09.07 in the 100 breast earlier in the meet.

Arkansas had another top swimmer in Kobie Melton, who finished 1st in the women’s 100 free. Melton posted a 56.61, lowering a personal best which had stood since 2016. Melton was just off the Olympic Trials cut (56.29).

Schroeder Y’s Ziyad Saleem clocked a massive best time in the men’s 200 back, taking the race with a 2:01.30. Saleem entered the meet with a personal best of 2:05.65, marking a 4-second drop. The swim also marks a Trials cut for the 17-year-old.

Iowa’s Aleksey Tarasenko came out on top in the men’s 100 free with a 50.35, touching just off his personal best of 50.30. Alexander Skinner and Gus Borges were right behind in 50.65 and 50.81 respectively.

Gerald Brown won the men’s 200 breast decisively, touching in 2:19.35. Brown has a SCY personal best of 1:59.49, but his LCM lifetime best heading into this meet was 2:31.68. Brown paced the race well, splitting 31.72, 35.56, 36.08, and 35.99 respectively by 50. The swim now puts Brown in striking distance of the 2:17.89 Olympic Trials cut.

Micah Slaton came out on top in the men’s 200 fly, swimming a 2:02.45. The swim was just a little off his personal best of 2:01.01.

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Kristy Palsha
2 years ago

Peyton Palsha got three OTCuts at The US Open

Justin Thompson
2 years ago

Smiths back seems a little off. When was the last time she didn’t swim under a 2:10?

Reply to  Justin Thompson
2 years ago

Must be in hard training leading up to some focus meet in December

Corn Pop
Reply to  Ragnar
2 years ago

She knew Kaylee going 58 & the 4.10 negative split 400 meant a big 200 today . Kaylee may even get into the 2 03s in her target Dec meet.

2 years ago

Regan looked good on the 200 fly. She will be back!