2020 U.S. Open – Irvine: Friday AM Live Recap

2020 U.S. Open Swimming Championships

Session Two – Friday, November 13

Friday morning’s session is split in two, with the women competing from 9:00 AM local time until about 9:30 AM and the men swimming from 11:30 AM until around 12:15.

Women’s 400m Freestyle – Timed Final

  • American record: 3:56.46 – Katie Ledecky (2016)
  • U.S. Open record: 3:57.94 – Katie Ledecky (2018)
  • U.S. Olympic Trials cut: 4:16.89

Top 3:

  1. Erica Sullivan, SAND – 4:12.13
  2. Katie Crom, MVN – 4:17.84
  3. Katie Grimes, SAND – 4:18.51

Sandpipers of Nevada’s Erica Sullivan jumped out to an early start in heat 2, quickly getting ahead of teammate Katie Grimes. Sullivan was half a body up at the 100, led by a full body at the 200, and was more than 2 lengths ahead by the 300. Sullivan finished with a time of 4:12.13. Coming in second place, after a protracted stroke-for-stroke battle with Grimes, was Katie Crom of Mission Viejo in 4:17.84. Grimes placed 3rd with 4:18.51.

Second-seeded Claire Tuggle of Santa Maria Swim Club was 7th in the heat, well off her seed time of 4:07.85, with 4:29.56.

Abby Dunford of Sandpipers won heat 1 in 4:22.56.

Women’s 200m Individual Medley – Timed Final

  • American record: 2:06.15 – Ariana Kukors (2009)
  • U.S. Open record: 2:08.32 – Kathleen Baker (2018)
  • U.S. Olympic Trials cut: 2:17.39

Top 3:

  1. Justina Kozan, MVN – 2:14.34
  2. Samantha Pearson, UNAT – 2:16.37
  3. Isa Odgers, USC – 2:16.53

Top-seeded Justina Kozan won the 200 IM handily, thanks to a solid back half. Samantha Pearson was first out of the gate in the final heat with a 28.8 to lead after the butterfly. She held on through the backstroke leg, turning at the halfway mark in 1:02.24. Kozan was 1.7 seconds behind but all it took was her 40.5 breaststroke leg to catch up to Pearson. Kozan then brought it home for the win in 2:14.34. Isa Odgers of USC also caught Pearson on the breaststroke leg but was unable to out-touch her on the freestyle. Pearson took second in 2:16.37; Odgers settled for 3rd with 2:16.53.

Pearson and Odgers both scored Olympic Trials cuts in this event.

Notre Dame commit Renee Gillilan of Fort Collins Area Swim Team won the first heat in 2:20.14. Marly Lough from Brea Aquatics was the fastest in heat 2 with 2:21.44. Kennedy Noble from YMCA Westside Silver Fins went 2:19.80 to win heat 3 ahead of Hannah Kastiger (2:20.64).

Women’s 50m Freestyle – Timed Final

  • American record: 23.97 – Simone Manuel (2017)
  • U.S. Open record: 24.08 – Pernille Blume (2019)
  • U.S. Olympic Trials cut: 25.99

Top 3:

  1. Meredith Smithbaker, VOTX – 26.06
  2. Anna Shaw, TOPS – 26.21
  3. Kailyn Winter, QSS – 26.22

Two of the top three times came from the penultimate heat, where Anna Shaw of University of Denver Hilltoppers edged Quicksilver Swimming’s Kailyn Winter by .01 to win heat 2. Shaw dropped .18 to go 26.21 while Winter swam her exact seed time of 26.22.

Meredith Smithbaker of Team Vortex knocked .13 off her seed time to win the final heat and post the top time of the morning with 26.06 from out in lane 1. She held off Gator Swim Club’s Anicka Delgado (26.45) and Mission Viejo’s Katie Crom (26.82) for the win.

Heat 1 went to Ella Mazurek of Quicksilver in 26.28 over Mission Viejo’s Macky Hodges (26.68).

Men’s 400m Freestyle – Timed Final

  • American record: 3:42.78 – Larsen Jensen (2008)
  • U.S. Open record: 3:43.53 – Larsen Jensen (2008)
  • U.S. Olympic Trials cut: 3:57.29

Top 3:

  1. Will Gallant, MVN – 3:53.61
  2. Jordan Wilimovsky, KSWM – 3:54.56
  3. Daniel Matheson, SAC – 3:56.46

Will Gallant of Mission Viejo took 1.3 seconds off his seed time to turn in the fastest 400 free of the morning, winning heat 5 with 3:53.61. He had been trailing KSwim’s Jordan Wilimovsky until about the halfway mark when he pulled ahead and proceeded to build a body-length lead through to the finish.

Daniel Matheson of Scottsdale Aquatic Club picked up his second Olympic Trials cut of the meet. He won heat 2 with 3:56.46 over Luke Hobson from Lakeridge Swim Team (3:57.83). Matheson’s previous PB was 4:06.82. It was Hobson’s first sub-4 swim, too; his best had been 4:03.47.

Fullerton’s Matthew Chai dropped 14.7 seconds to win heat 1 in 4:00.36; Anders Aistars of Mission Viejo was heat 3’s fastest with 4:01.01; and Keaton Jones of Swim Neptune took top honors in heat 4 with 3:58.51

Men’s 200m Individual Medley – Timed Final

  • American record: 1:54.00 – Ryan Lochte (2011)
  • U.S. Open record: 1:54.56 – Ryan Lochte (2009)
  • U.S. Olympic Trials cut: 2:04.09

Top 3:

  1. Grant House, SUN – 2:03.04
  2. Etay Gurevich, FORD – 2:05.53
  3. Tona Zinn, SCAL – 2:06.75

The fastest times of the men’s 200 IM heats all came at the end, with Grant House of Sun Devil Swimming cruising to a comfortable win in 2:03.04. Etay Gurevich of Tucson Ford (2:05.53) beat SOCAL Aquatics’ Tona Zinn (2:06.75) for second place.

University of Denver’s Sebastian Wolff touched out USC’s Jackson Odgers, 2:08.89 to 2:09.10, in heat 3.

Wylie Kruse from Fort Collins Area won heat 1 in 2:09.99, an improvement of 3.5 seconds from his previous PB. Rose Bowl’s Chris O’Grady was victorious in heat 2 with a PB of 2:09.58.

Men’s 50m Freestyle – Timed Final

  • American record:21.04 – Caeleb Dressel (2019)
  • U.S. Open record: 21.14 – Cesar Cielo (2009)
  • U.S. Olympic Trials cut: 23.19

Top 3:

  1. Payton Sorenson, SUN – 22.73
  2. Kent Olsen-Stavrakas, STAR – 23.21
  3. Evan Carlson, SUN – 23.29

Payton Sorenson of Sun Devil Swimming notched the only sub-23 of the morning, winning the final heat in 22.73 ahead of Kent Olsen-Stavrakas form Colorado Stars and Evan Carlson of Sun Devils. Carlson touched out Irvine Nova’s Jesse Novak by .01 to take third in 23.29.

Zheng Wen Quah from California Aquatics won heat 1 in 23.44 ahead of Lakeridge Swim Team’s Hobson (23.86). Danny Syrkin of Rose Bowl edged Irvine’s Jerome Heidrich, 23.59 to 23.72, in heat 2.


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3 years ago

Congrats Meredith!!!

3 years ago

The announcer has a great voice, but knows nothing about swimming. Somebody needs a tutorial.

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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