2022 US SUMMER NATIONALS
- Tuesday, July 26 – Saturday, July 30, 2022
- William Woollett Aquatics Center, Irvine, CA
- Prelims 9 AM / Finals 5 PM (U.S. Pacific Time)
- Meet website
- Meet information
- Psych Sheet
- OMEGA Live Results
- Day 3 Prelims Recap
The action keeps rolling tonight in Irvine with finals of the 400 IM and the 100 fly. While there will only be four events, there should be plenty of exciting racing.
The racing will get underway with the women’s 400 IM, where the top two seeds belong to Leah Smith and Katie Ledecky. The duo has plenty of experience racing each other in freestyle, but we don’t see the two race each other quite as often in this event.
British Olympian Max Litchfield posted the fastest time in the prelims of the men’s 400 IM, and he’ll swim right next to Florida Gator Kevin Vargas, who was only 0.20s behind him this morning. Behind those two will be a slew of established college stars, led by US Olympian Kieran Smith.
Speaking of college stars, a pair of ACC swimmers — Louisville’s Gabi Albiero and Virginia’s Gretchen Walsh — battled each other in the same heat of the 100 fly this morning. They’ll get the chance to do so again tonight in the middle two lanes after Walsh touched just 0.o7s behind Albiero this morning.
Last but not least we’ll see the men’s 100 fly. Shaine Casas rocked a 51.04 this morning, the fastest time in the field by over a second, and we’ll see what else he — facing a strong field across the top 8 — has in store this evening.
WOMEN’S 400 IM – Finals
- World Record – 4:26.36, Katinka Hosszu (2016)
- American Record – 4:31.12, Katie Hoff (2008)
- U.S. Open Record – 4:31.07, Katinka Hosszu (2015)
- LC Nationals Record – 4:31.12, Katie Hoff (2008)
- World Junior Record – 4:32.04, Summer McIntosh (2022)ff
- Katie Ledecky (Gator Swim Club) – 4:35.77
- Leah Smith (Texas Longhorn Aquatics) – 4:36.66
- Felicia Pasadyn (Ohio State) – 4:42.79
This promised to be a fun race, and it didn’t disappoint.
Lindsay Looney of Sun Devil Aquatics was the early leader, and she touched first at the 100m mark, with Katie Ledecky in second. Ledecky took over the lead on the first length of backstroke, but Leah Smith passed her on the second length, and led by 0.09s of a second at the halfway point.
Ledecky kept it close on the breaststroke leg, setting her up nicely for a big freestyle leg. Sure enough, Ledecky made up over a second on the first 50 of the freestyle leg alone. Smith battled hard, but Ledecky continued to extend her lead, ultimately winning 4:35.77 to 4:36.66. Not only is that a new best time for Ledecky, but it would’ve won bronze last month at Worlds.
In the post-race interview, Ledecky said that was her first new best time in four years, but that she had no intention of adding the 400 IM to her standard lineup.
Well behind the two leaders, there was a fierce battle for 3rd, and Felicia Pasadyn just touched out Looney, 4:42.79 to 4:42.80, to take bronze. That’s a huge best time for Pasadyn, whose previous best of 4:47.20 came nearly three years ago. Looney shaved a little over a second off of her previous best time of 4:44.12, which she set just last month.
The University of Minnesota’s Megan Van Berkom had a big swim in the B-final, blasting a 4:42.69 that would’ve been good for 3rd in the A-final and knocked three seconds off of her lifetime best.
MEN’S 400 IM – Finals
- World Record – 4:03.84, Michael Phelps (2008)
- American Record – 4:03.84, Michael Phelps (2008)
- U.S. Open Record – 4:05.25, Michael Phelps (2008)
- LC Nationals Record – 4:05.25, Michael Phelps (2008)
- World Junior Record – 4:10.02, Ilia Borodin (2021)
- Kevin Vargas (La Miranda Armada/Gator) – 4:11.45
- Max Litchfield (Dearne Valley) – 4:13.08
- Kieran Smith (Ridgefield Aquatic) – 4:14.04
Much like the women’s race, this turned into a tight battle between the top two seeds for most of the race. British Olympian Max Litchfield had the lead early on, opening up nearly a one-second gap on Florida Gator Kevin Vargas at the halfway point. But Vargas took control on the first length of the breaststroke leg, and he steadily continued to extend the lead from there, claiming the national title with a lifetime best of 4:11.45.
It was a big day for Vargas, who finished 11th in the yards version of this event at this year’s NCAA championships. He came into the day with a long course best of 4:16.54, lowered that mark to a 4:14.27 in prelims, then took nearly another two seconds off of that time tonight.
Litchfield, who’s a two-time European champion in this event, took 2nd in 4:13.08, followed by Litchfield’s Gator teammate Kieran Smith in 4:14.04.
WOMEN’S 100 BUTTERFLY – Finals
- World Record – 55.48, Sarah Sjostrom (2016)
- American Record – 55.64, Torri Huske (2022)
- U.S. Open Record – 55.66, Torri Huske (2021)
- LC Nationals Record – 55.66, Torri Huske (2021)
- World Junior Record – 56.43, Claire Curzan (2021)
- Gretchen Walsh (Nashville Aquatic Club) – 57.44
- Gabi Albiero (Louisville) – 57.82
- Dakota Luther (Texas Longhorn Aquatic) – 58.39
Gretchen Walsh rocketed off to a fast start on the opening 50, touching roughly eight-tenths ahead of the rest of the field. In the post-race race interview she said she had a rough turn, and Gabi Albiero closed the gap on the back half.
At the finish, it looked Walsh could’ve benefited from an additional stroke instead of a long glide, but it didn’t matter in terms of placing, as Walsh still touched ahead of Albiero, 57.44 to 57.82.
Walsh came within a whisker of her best time, a 57.43 from last March. Albiero took exactly a tenth of a second off her lifetime best.
MEN’S 100 BUTTERFLY – Finals
- World Record – 49.45, Caeleb Dressel (2021)
- American Record – 49.45, Caeleb Dressel (2021)
- U.S. Open Record – 49.76, Caeleb Dressel (2021)
- LC Nationals Record – 49.76, Caeleb Dressel (2021)
- World Junior Record – 50.62, Kristof Milak (2017)
- Shaine Casas (Texas Longhorn Aquatics) – 50.40
- Shaun Champion (Australia) – 51.54
- Gabriel Jett (Una/Cal) – 52.19
Yes, you read that correctly. Shaine Casas is now the 3rd-fastest American ever in this event, behind only Caeleb Dressel and Michael Phelps (and tied with Ian Crocker), after a sterling swim tonight in Irvine.
Casas went 50.56 just a few weeks ago, so it stood to reason that he would have a bit more in the tank here, and sure enough, his time tonight would’ve earned him a silver medal in Budapest tonight.
Australia’s Shaun Champion took 2nd in a new personal best 51.54, the only man besides Casas under 52 tonight. Cal’s Gabriel Jett, who’s been having a great meet, continued that trend tonight, setting a personal best of 52.17, then taking 3rd in 52.19 tonight. Jett touched just ahead of Andrei Minakov (52.24) and Ilya Kharun (52.31).