2020 U.S. Open – Richmond Friday AM: Douglass and Huske Climb Age Group Ranks

by Robert Gibbs 4

November 13th, 2020 National, News, Previews & Recaps

2020 U.S. Open Swimming Championships

While the focus may be on some of the “bigger” sites where there are more US National Team members, we should be in for plenty of fast swimming at the Richmond location of the U.S. Open, thanks to a good mix of college stars and group standouts.

WOMEN’S 400 FREE – 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. Paige Madden (UVA) – 4:10.42
  2. Maddie Donohoe (UVA) – 4:17.77
  3. Erin Gemmell (NCAP) – 4:17.87

After not swimming the 800 free last night, distance star Paige Madden, a UVA senior, got her meet underway here with a strong win in the 400 free. We’re still waiting for all the results to roll in, but right now, only future Cavaliers Emma Weyant in Sarasota has been faster, at 4:10.38. No one one was close to Madden, as she won by over seven seconds. That’s the 2nd-fastest of Madden’s career, just over a second slower than she was at 2019 Summer Nationals, and just a tick faster than her time from last December’s U.S. Open.

Its was a much tighter race for 2nd, as UVA’s Maddie Donohoe and NCAP’s Erin Gemmell battled it out, with Donohoe touching first, 4:17.77 to 4:17.87. Donohoe was about four seconds off of her lifetime best, while Gemmell’s swim was her 4th-fastest ever.

WOMEN’S 200 IM – 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. Torri Huske (AAC) – 2:11.18
  2. Alex Walsh (UVA) – 2:14.10
  3. Zoe Dixon (NOVA) – 2:15.30

17 year-old Torri Huske of the Arlington Aquatic Club easily took the win here with a new personal best time of 2:11.18. That a 0.52s improvement for her and moves her up to #6 all-time in the 17-18 age group.

The 2nd-place finisher, UVA’s Alex Walsh, actually holds the 17-18 NAG in this event with her time of 2:09.01 from last December, and she was about five seconds off of that time with her 2:14.10 this morning.

Zoe Dixon of NOVA took 3rd in 2:15.30, just 0.02s away from her lifetime best from last summer.

WOMEN’S 50 FREE – 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. Kate Douglass (UVA) – 24.99
  2. Torri Huske (UVA) – 25.72
  3. Missy Cundiff (TRIB) – 25.97

While we’re used to seeing Kate Douglass swimming a variety of events, she opted this morning to focus on the 50 free, and he paid off, as she broke 25.0 for the first time, moving up to #6 all-time in the 17-18 age group. Douglass had twice hit her previous best of 25.18, once at an Auburn-UVA in January, then again at an intrasquad meet in September. This will be Douglass’s last meet as an age grouper, as she’ll turn 19 next week.

Huske dove back into the pool shortly after her 200 IM, taking 2nd in this event with a 25.72. Huske hit her lifetime best of 25.34 just two months ago.

The William & Mary swim team has been through an emotional roller coaster over the last few months, first seeing the program cut, and then finally reinstated, but Tribe swimmer Missy Cundiff came within 0.02s of her lifetime best, registering a 25.97 that was good for 3rd here in Richmond.

While we’re still waiting for the men’s heats to get underway, as well as results from other sites, we’ll note here that the winning times so far here were faster than all of the times at the Indianapolis site, and two of out three events in Sarasota.

MEN’S 400 FREE – 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. Matthew Fenlon (BAD) – 3:56.34
  2. Connor Hunt (RAC) – 3:56.46
  3. Zach Kohm (PWAC) – 3:57.93

It was a tight race between a trio of teenagers, but in the end, Badger’s Matthew Fenlon got his hand on the wall first, shaving nearly two seconds off of his seed time to win in 3:56.34. Ridgefield’s Connor Hunt finished just behind him at 3:56.46. Both of those times are under the Olympic Trials standard. Plymouth Whitemarsh’s Zach Kohm took 3rd in 3:57.93.

MEN’S 200 IM – 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. Arsenio Bustos (WAC) – 2:02.04
  2. Landon Gentry (NCAP) – 2:03.94
  3. Sean Conway (UVA) – 2:04.78

Woodbridge’s Arsenio Bustos took almost two seconds off his seed time, and won by nearly two seconds, as the NC State commit touched first in 2:02.04. NCAP’s Landon Gentry was the only other man under the OT cut, taking 2nd in 2:03.94, while UVA’s Sean Conway took 3rd in 2:04.78.

MEN’S 50 FREE – 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. Alberto Mestre (Unattached) – 22.63
  2. Colin Wright (TRIB) – 22.77
  3. Christopher Guiliano (TOPS) – 22.93

Alberto Mestre didn’t quite match the 22.50 he put up in last night’s time trial, but his 22.63 was still enough to win by 0.14s. 2nd place to Tribe Swimming’s Colin Wright (22.77).

It was incredibly tight after that, as only 0.16s separated 3rd from 7th, with the top 7 all finishing under the OT cut of 23.19. 3rd place went to 17 year-old Christopher Guiliano, who knocked well over a second off of his seed time with a 22.93.

Further down in the results, 13 year-old Thomas Heilman tied for 9th with a time of 23.36. That time makes him the fastest 13 year-old in US history by roughly 3/4 of a second, and moves him to #2 all-time in the 13-14 age group, behind only Michael Andrew.

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SAMUEL HUNTINGTON
10 months ago

For the 50 free you accidentally put Huske as UVA!

swimgeek
Reply to  SAMUEL HUNTINGTON
10 months ago

I mean, it is her home state 😉

MarkB
10 months ago

Connor Hunt tied the WR in the 400 Free!