2020 U.S. Open Friday AM Swims of the Session: Teenagers Shine to Start the Day

by Robert Gibbs 1

November 13th, 2020 News


With the U.S. Open happening across nine different locations, there’s a lot of swimming to keep an eye on this weekend. Here’s just a few of the big swims from this morning’s action, and if you noticed something that we didn’t mention, feel free to offer your own suggestions and analysis in the comments.

While US National Team members were definitely active this morning, many of the biggest swims came from the 18&U crowd.

It was an especially big day for those 18 & unders associated with Virginia, whether the school or the state. 18 year-old Emma Weyant, a UVA commit, had the fastest combined time of the morning with a 4:10.38 while swimming in Sarasota. 17 year-old Torri Huske, who’s from the state of Virginia but heading to Stanford next fall, had the 2nd-fastest time of the morning in the 200 IM, a 2:11.18 that put her well ahead of standouts like Kathleen Baker and Alex Walsh.

Another 17 year-old Gretchen Walsh (another UVA commit), blasted a 24.65 in the 50 free, putting #11 all-time among USA swimmers. Future teammate Kate Douglass was the only other woman this morning under 25, just clearing the mark with a 24.99.

The Virginia trend wasn’t quite as prevalent on the men’s side, but 13 year-old Thomas Heilman, who swims for Cavalier Aquatics/Piedmont Family YCMA in central Virginia, became the fastest US 13 year-old ever in the 50 free, popping a 23.36 that puts him within striking distance of 23.19, a time that’s both the OT cut and Michael Andrew’s 13-14 NAG.

USA National Teamer Round-Up

We’re not going to cover every swim by a US National Team member here, but we’ll mention the ones who finished near the top of the combined standings, or had otherwise notable swims.

  • Besides Weyant, US National Team members Erica Sullivan (4:12.13), Ally McHugh (4:12.48) and Ashley Twichell (4:13.86) all finished in the top 8 combined in the 400 free.
  • Texas alum Madisyn Cox put up the fastest time of the morning in the women’s 200 IM with her 2:10.49. Backstroke stars Kathleen Baker (2:12.97) and Regan Smith (2:15.20) finished 3rd and 9th overall.
  • Mallory Comerford was the only other US national team member in the top 8 with a time of 25.59, but we’ll mention here that Egyptian Olympian Farida Osman took 3rd overall with a 25.10, and Canadian Maggie MacNeil took 7th with a 25.40.
  • Former UGA teammates Chase Kalisz and Jay Litherland went 1-2 in Greensboro, 1:59.72 and 2:01.08, good for #1 and #4 overall. In between those two were Carson Foster (1:59.82) and Ryan Lochte (2:01.05), and there’s a good chance we see all four of those men in the Trials final.
  • Florida’s Kieran Smith, who earlier this year swam the fastest 500 free ever, topped the men’s 400 free with his 3:48.78 in Sarasota. Gator teammate Bobby Finke took 7th overall with a 3:53.30.
  • NYAC’s Ryan Held put up the fastest overall time of the day in the men’s 50 free with his 22.35 at the Huntsville site, the only US national team members to finish in the overall top 8. The closest was Dean Farris, who finished 14th with a 22.88. Dare we suggest that His Deanness could be mortal after all?

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