2020 U.S. Open – Indy: Saturday AM Women’s Session Live Recap


Today’s morning session is broken into a women’s flight and a men’s flight. The women’s flight should run from about 9 AM to 10:30 AM Eastern time, with the men’s session from 12:45 PM to 2:45 PM Eastern. We’ll run a second live recap for that men’s session.

This morning’s women’s session features seven-time World Champs gold medalist Mallory Comerford leading the 100 freestyle. Comerford is the #2 U.S. performer of all-time in that event, trailing only American record-holder Simone Manuel.

We’ve also got Kathleen Baker swimming the 200 back, where she was the World Champs bronze medalist back in 2017.

Indiana standout Emily Weiss leads the 200 breast and her Big Ten rival from Michigan Olivia Carter tops the 200 fly field.

Women’s 1500 Free – Timed Finals

  • American record: 15:20.48 – Katie Ledecky (2018)
  • U.S. Open record: 15:20.48 – Katie Ledecky (2018)
  • U.S. Olympic Trials cut: 16:49.19

Top 3:

  1. Ally McHugh (WA) – 16:30.40
  2. Rachel Stege (FMC) – 17:03.93
  3. Mary Pruitt (IA) – 17:24.94

Ally McHugh won this one easily, adding to her 800 free and 400 IM victories from earlier in the meet. The time doesn’t approach McHugh’s lifetime-best (16:02.56), but should move her easily to the #1 time among American women this season – pending, of course, the results of other U.S. Open meets this morning.

Prior to this weekend, no American woman had been under 16:49 in the event this season. Second-place Rachel Stege would move to #3 among U.S. women this season, though we expect a few more sub-17s to roll in this morning.

Women’s 200 back – Timed Finals

  • American record: 2:03.35 – Regan Smith (2019)
  • U.S. Open record: 2:05.68 – Missy Franklin (2013)
  • U.S. Olympic Trials cut: 2:14.69

Top 3:

  1. Kathleen Baker (TE) – 2:11.38
  2. Josephine Ramey (FAST) – 2:13.70
  3. Elyse Heiser (ZSC) – 2:15.24

Kathleen Baker didn’t have to do too much to get the win here. She was the top seed by six and a half seconds and won by just over two.

Baker was about five seconds off her best time in a pretty sleepy morning session. But her 2:11.38 is the fastest time put up by an American this season, at least prior to other U.S. Open results today. Baker went 2:06.46 back in March of this year at the Des Moines Pro Swim Series, and ended that 2019-2020 season ranked #2 among American women. #1 Regan Smith should swim later today in Des Moines.

15-year-old Josephine Ramey (listed as Jo Jo Ramey in USA Swimming’s database) went 2:13.70 for second, just four tenths off her best time. Ramey has aged up into the 15-16 group since going her 2:13.3 last December. So her swim today checks in at #61 all-time among USA Swimming’s 15-16 age group.

Women’s 100 free – Timed Finals

  • American record: 52.04 – Simone Manuel (2019)
  • U.S. Open record: 52.54 – Simone Manuel (2018)
  • U.S. Olympic Trials cut: 56.29

Top 3:

  1. Mallory Comerford (CARD) – 55.21
  2. Casey Fanz (CARD) – 56.18
  3. Kristina Paegle (ISC) – 56.22

Mallory Comerford cruised to the win here in 55.21. Comerford, who has won seven World Champs gold medals on relays, would be the #2 American this year, pending other U.S. Open results today. She was well off the 52.59 she hit back in 2017, and also a ways off the 53.87 she had swum in the Des Moines Pro Swim Series in March, just before the pandemic hit.

Fellow Louisville postgraduate Casey Fanz was second in 56.18, about eight tenths of a second off her best time.

Current high school junior Kristina Paegle had probably the most notable swim of the field. The 16-year-old cut her personal best from 58.3 to 56.2 to take third place overall. Paegle swims for Indiana Swim Club and is a verbal commit to the Indiana University for the fall of 2022. With this swim, she moves to #70 all-time in USA Swimming’s 15-16 ranks.

National teamer Gabby DeLoof was fourth, four tenths back of Paegle in 56.60. She actually tied with another 16-year-old, Zoe Skirboll for fourth.

Women’s 200 breast – Timed Finals

  • American record: 2:19.59 – Rebecca Soni (2012)
  • U.S. Open record: 2:20.38 – Rebecca Soni (2009)
  • U.S. Olympic Trials cut: 2:33.29

Top 3:

  1. Laura Morley (ISC) – 2:30.37
  2. Noelle Peplowski (ISC) – 2:30.52
  3.  Aislyn Barnett (ACES) – 2:31.35

Indiana Swim Club’s Laura Morley won the 200 breast here, after finishing 5th in the 100 breast last night. Morley, the national record-holder of the Bahamas, has been as fast as 2:27.8 in her career, setting that mark at U.S. Open last year. She was two and a half seconds off that here, but only about a second off her 2020 best from the Knoxville Pro Swim Series in January.

Her training partner Noelle Peplowski was second in 2:30.52. Prior to today, no American had been faster than Peplowski’s time this year.

The former national leader was 15-year-old Aislyn Barnett, who competed well here with a third-place showing. The Aces Swi Club teenager was 2:31.35, only about seven tenths off her best time, which ranks #36 all-time in the 15-16 age group despite Barnett being on the younger end of that age bracket.

17-year-old Ellie Andrews was fourth here in 2:31.64.

Women’s 200 fly – Timed Finals

  • American record: 2:04.14 – Mary Descenza (2009)
  • U.S. Open record: 2:05.87 – Hali Flickinger (2018)
  • U.S. Olympic Trials cut: 2:14.59

Top 3:

  1. Olivia Carter (UN) – 2:10.52
  2. Alena Kraus (UofL) – 2:14.17
  3. Martina Peroni (NAAC) – 2:14.30

Michigan’s Olivia Carter took the win here, going 2:10.52 to surpass Charlotte Hook for the top time among American women this season. (Again, pending the results of the eight other U.S. Open meets this morning, which should feature some top challengers).

Carter was 2:08.58 at U.S. Open last year, so she’s only about two seconds off that mark, and not much further off her career-best 2:08.22 from the summer of 2019.

Louisville’s Alena Kraus was 2:14.17 for second, well behind Carter, but also faster than any American woman besides Carter and Hook had been this season.

16-year-old Martina Peroni continued a strong meet. The New Albany Aquatic Club flyer went 2:14.30, taking almost a full second off her lifetime-best. Peroni is a high school junior who should be just outside the top 100 in USA Swimming history for the 15-16 age group.

She came in six tenths ahead of Louisville freshman Tristen Ulett, who is 18 years old. 15-year-old Hannah Bellard was 2:16.37 for fifth in a very young field.

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About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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