2021 Speedo Summer Championships – Greensboro: Day 4 Prelims Live Recap


Friday morning prelims from Greensboro will feature heats in the men’s and women’s 400 freestyle, 100 breaststroke and 100 backstroke.

The women’s 400 free will be highlighted by teenage studs Claire Weinstein and Cavan Gormsen, who went 1-2 in the 200 free earlier in the meet, while another noteworthy entry of the session comes in the men’s 100 breaststroke, where 18-year-old Josh Matheny will aim to improve on his runner-up finish in the 200 breast.

200 back winner Jo Jo Ramey will also take on top seed Ali Deloof in the women’s 100 back, Sam Stewart eyes the double in the men’s event after claiming the 200 back on Wednesday, and 200 breast champion Mackenzie Looze will look to run down top seed Hannah Bach in the women’s 100 breast.

In the men’s 400 free, Charlie Clark, who won the 1500 by more than seven seconds on Tuesday, leads the field.

Women’s 400 Freestyle – Prelims

Top 8 Qualifiers

  1. Cavan Gormsen (LIAC), 4:17.50
  2. Claire Weinstein (WEST), 4:18.04
  3. Summer Cardwell (TBAC), 4:18.32
  4. Leah Gingrich (HURR), 4:20.80
  5. Tess Howley (LIAC), 4:21.01
  6. Lexie Ward (CSC), 4:21.66
  7. Hanna Shimizu-Bowers (BAD), 4:21.73
  8. Emma Hastings (ECA), 4:22.35

The top three qualifiers for tonight’s final in the women’s 400 freestyle came out of the last heat, with 16-year-olds Cavan Gormsen and Summer Cardwell having a great battle with 14-year-old Claire Weinstein—perhaps a glimpse into the future in American distance swimming.

Cardwell opened up a two-second lead at the halfway mark in 2:06.28, but Gormsen and Weinstein made a charge on the third 100, bringing things relatively even with two lengths to go.

Gormsen, who represents the Long Island Aquatic Club, didn’t let up on the penultimate 50, taking complete control with a 32.41 split to ultimately touch first in 4:17.50, a half-second clear of Weinstein (4:18.04). Cardwell took third in 4:18.32.

Gormsen owns the fastest best time of the bunch, clocking 4:09.85 at Wave II of the U.S. Olympic Trials in June, while Westchester Aquatic Club’s Weinstein swam a PB of 4:11.90 in mid-July. Tampa Bay Aquatic Club’s Cardwell hit a best of 4:13.69 at the beginning of May.

In the second-to-last heat it was 31-year-old Leah Gingrich pacing the field in 4:20.80, qualifying fourth overall for the final. That marks a new-season best for Gingrich, who had previously been 4:21.99 two weeks ago.

Gingrich already has a win under her belt here in Greensboro in the women’s 200 fly, and was also the runner-up in last night’s 100 fly.

Men’s 400 Freestyle – Prelims

  1. Charlie Clark (OSU), 3:57.07
  2. Logan Zucker (MAC), 3:57.78
  3. Bora Unalmis (CW), 3:57.84
  4. Curtis Wiltsey (WOLF), 3:58.09
  5. Henry McFadden (JW), 3:58.63
  6. Griffin Hadley (CSC), 3:59.74
  7. Eli Shoyat (CLPR), 3:59.95
  8. Andrew Taylor (TBAC), 4:00.09

Ohio State’s Charlie Clark executed a consistently-paced swim in the men’s 400 free prelims, holding all but one of his 50s sub-30 to slide into the top spot of the morning in 3:57.07 from the fourth and final heat.

Clark, the winner of the 1500 free on Day 1, records his fourth-fastest 400 ever here, having reset his best time once in each of the past three months (3:56.12 in May, 3:55.60 in June, 3:54.43 in July). He’ll look to keep that trend going for August in tonight’s final.

SwimMAC’s Logan Zucker dropped more than a second from his lifetime best to win the penultimate heat in 3:57.78, qualifying second for the final, and Club Wolverine’s Bora Unalmis broke 4:00 for the first time from Heat 2 in 3:57.84 to advance in third.

15-year-old Henry McFadden of the Jersey Wahoos also cracked the four-minute barrier for the first time in 3:58.63, lowering his previous best of 4:00.03 set in May to qualify fifth overall. McFadden’s time narrowly misses getting him into the all-time top 100 in the 15-16 age group.

Women’s 100 Breast – Prelims

  1. Hannah Bach (OSU), 1:09.14
  2. Josie Panitz (OSU), 1:09.72
  3. Mackenzie Looze (ISC), 1:09.89
  4. Leah Baker (OSU), 1:11.26
  5. Maddy Huggins (UN), 1:11.46
  6. Devon Kitchel (CSC), 1:11.61
  7. Lydia Palmer (SJAC), 1:11.78
  8. Grace Rainey (MAC), 1:11.82

Top seed coming in Hannah Bach staked her claim as the woman to beat in the 100 breaststroke this morning, cruising to victory in the fifth and final heat in a time of 1:09.14 for the fastest time of the session.

Bach, 20, has lowered her best time down from 1:11.1 to 1:07.8 over the last three months, hitting that PB of 1:07.89 at Wave II of the Olympic Trials in mid-June. Her swim this morning marks her third-fastest ever.

Qualifying second for the final was Bach’s Ohio State teammate Josie Panitz, who breaks 1:10 for the first time in 1:09.72 from Heat 4. Panitz’s previous best was a 1:10.69 set in November 2019.

The third swimmer sub-1:10 in the prelims was Indiana Swim Club’s Mackenzie Looze, the winner of Wednesday’s 200 breast, who clocked 1:09.89 alongside Panitz. Looze owns a best of 1:09.05 from the Olympic Trials.

Men’s 100 Breast – Prelims

  1. Tommy Cope (CW), 1:00.56
  2. Cooper Van Der Laan (PITT), 1:00.89
  3. Josh Matheny (PEAQ), 1:01.29
  4. Hudson McDaniel (OSU), 1:01.69
  5. Charlie Swanson (CW), 1:01.85
  6. Maxwell Reich (ISC), 1:02.71
  7. Youssef El-Kamash (ISC), 1:02.73
  8. Zane Backes (ISC), 1:03.02

A competitive preliminary session in the men’s 100 breaststroke is led by Club Wolverine’s Tommy Cope, as the 23-year-old came within 15 one-hundredths of his lifetime best in 1:00.41.

Battling head-to-head with Pittsburgh’s Cooper Van Der Laan in the first circle-seeded heat, Cope held on to his early lead to touch first, with the 22-year-old Van Der Laan producing a massive best time to qualify second in 1:00.89.

Van Der Laan had previously been 1:02.09, done in late May, and had his PB sitting in the 1:02s since March 2018. Now he completely bypasses the 1:01s.

Pittsburgh Elite Aquatics’ Josh Matheny, the top seed coming in, used a late surge to out-touch OSU’s Hudson McDaniel in the last heat, clocking 1:01.29 to McDaniel’s 1:01.69.

Matheny swam a best time of 1:00.06 at the U.S. Olympic Trials, which currently ranks him second all-time in the boys’ 17-18 age group.

400 IM winner Charlie Swanson finished six tenths off his lifetime best to qualify fifth in 1:01.85, and a trio of Indiana swimmers round out tonight’s finals, led by Maxwell Reich (1:02.71).

Reich’s teammate Youssef El-Kamash actually won the circle-seeded seventh heat, which ultimately only snuck into the final in seventh with some fast swims produced elsewhere.

Women’s 100 Back – Prelims

  1. Ali DeLoof (TNAQ), 1:00.13
  2. Gabby DeLoof (CW), 1:01.18
  3. Amy Fulmer (OSU), 1:01.21
  4. Emily Crane (OSU), 1:01.77
  5. Casey Chung (CW), 1:01.85
  6. Erika Pelaez (EA), 1:01.95
  7. Jo Jo Ramey (FAST), 1:01.98
  8. Sarah Evans (RATS), 1:02.00

Ali and Gabby DeLoof put up the top two times of the morning in the women’s 100 backstroke, with Gabby dropping a 1:01.18 from Heat 2 before Ali snatched the top time away from her in 1:00.13 from the seventh and final heat.

The time for the Ali, the eldest DeLoof sister, is her fastest since March 2020, while Gabby’s is a new lifetime best, having previously been 1:01.63 back at the 2015 Summer Nationals. In fact, Gabby hadn’t even raced the event in long course since November 2018, which is why she was entered with a yards time and found herself out in one of the early heats.

Ohio State teammates Amy Fulmer and Emily Crane qualified third and fourth overall, both hitting personal best times in 1:01.21 and 1:01.77, respectively.

Club Wolverine’s Casey Chung (1:01.85) edged out Eagle Aquatics’ Erika Pelaez (1:01.95) in the first circle-seeded heat, with Pelaez’s time ranking her 55th all-time in the 15-16 age group (one spot ahead of Chung, who was 1:01.98 while in the age group).

Pelaez owns a best of 1:01.36 from when she was 14, ranking her 10th all-time among 13-14s, but this was her first 100 back on record since turning 15.

The winner of the 200 back, 16-year-old Jo Jo Ramey, was just over a second off her lifetime best to qualify seventh in 1:01.98.

Men’s 100 Back – Prelims

  1. Sam Stewart (YHF), 54.69
  2. Dylan Sali (SCAR), 55.27
  3. Jonny Marshall (FAST), 55.30
  4. Brendan Burns (ISC), 55.38
  5. Jacob Steele (ISC), 55.71
  6. Thomas Watkins (OSU), 55.91
  7. Tommy Janton (WEST), 55.94
  8. Colin McDermott (OSU), 56.09

Sam Stewart and Dylan Sali posted the top two swims of the session from the eighth and final heat of the men’s 100 back, with Stewart leading the charge in 54.69—.01 off of his lifetime best set at the U.S. Olympic Trials.

Stewart, repping the YMCA Hub Fins, had the fastest front-half (26.41) and back-half splits (28.28) in entire field in the prelims and will be the man to beat in tonight’s final.

The 24-year-old is coming off a big win in the 200 back on Wednesday, where he produced the second-fastest swim of his career in 1:59.52.

Sali, a 26-year-old from Scarlet Aquatics, also finished one one-hundredth off his personal best time in 55.27, having been 55.26 more than six years ago (July 2015). Sali’s fastest swim since then was the 56.13 he produced last month.

Firestone Akron’s Jonny Marshall dropped almost three tenths from his best to win the penultimate heat in 55.30, rocketing up from 13th (55.58) into ninth all-time in the boys’ 15-16 age group.

The 16-year-old entered the 2020-21 season with a best of 58.38, and has now been faster nine times, lowering his PB on five separate occasions.

Indiana teammates Brendan Burns (55.38) and Jacob Steele (55.71) advanced to the final in fourth and fifth overall, respectively, both about four to five tenths off their bests set in Omaha two months ago.

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Swim fan
2 years ago

Isn’t josh going to be a freshman at Indiana this year?

Bobo Gigi
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
2 years ago

He has only slightly improved his 100 breast PB in the last 2 years from 1.00.17 to 1.00.06 and has moved backwards in the 200 from 2.09 to 2.11 this year.
Like many swimmers of that brilliant US junior team at world juniors 2019 (18 golds and 37 medals), he has struggled to confirm since then.
That’s interesting to see among the medalists of these world juniors who has already gone to the next level and confirmed at the international senior level.


Many swimmers have already reached the next level.
Torri Huske and Claire Curzan are the only members of that US junior team who have made the… Read more »

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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