2022 U.S. National Championships: Day 2 Finals Live Recap


Wednesday finals heat sheets

Night two of the 2022 U.S. National Championships in Irvine will open with the women’s 200 freestyle final, featuring top seed and Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky in one of her shorter events. Erin Gemmell of Nation’s Capital Swim Club is seeded closely behind her in 2nd place after posting a best time this morning. In the men’s event, Jake Magahey and Tokyo Olympian Kieran Smith lead the pack, placing 1-2 this morning within .02 of each other.

The women’s 200 breast final is set up to be a tight race led by top seed Mac Looze of Indiana and Virginia’s Anna Keating. Looze blasted a lifetime best time this morning to secure the top spot while Keating was about three seconds off hers. Matt Fallon stole the show in the men’s 200 breast prelims, posting the fastest time in the field by .81 with a new best time.

The session will conclude with the 200 backstroke where Isabelle Stadden is the top seed with a comfortable cushion of one second. But, she will have to watch out for the three 2022 World Championship team members ranked directly behind her, most closely Claire Curzan in 2nd. Curzan, who is also a Tokyo Olympian, has a best time more than 3 seconds faster than her prelims time. Ian Grum and Jack Aikins are the top seeds in the men’s 200 back after racing in the same prelims heat and pushing each other to the fastest times of the session.

Women’s 200 Freestyle – Final

  • World Record – 1:52.98, Federica Pellegrini (2009)
  • American Record – 1:53.61, Allison Schmitt (2012)
  • U.S. Open Record – 1:54.40, Allison Schmitt (2012)
  • LC Nationals Record – 1:54.40, Allison Schmitt (2012)
  • World Junior Record – 1:54.79, Summer McIntosh (2022)

Top 8 finishers:

  1. Katie Ledecky – 1:54.50
  2. Erin Gemmell – 1:56.14
  3. Claire Tuggle – 1:58.34
  4. Cavan Gormsen – 1:58.87
  5. Chloe Stepanek – 1:59.15
  6. Gemma Cooney – 2:00.12
  7. Anna Peoplowski – 2:00.70
  8. Natalie Mannion – 2:01.50

The temperature in Irvine was about 82 degrees Fahrenheit when the women’s 200 free final hit the water and 17-year-old Erin Gemmell‘s performance was equally, blistering fast. She was right with Katie Ledecky for the first half and stayed on her tail through the very end, touching the wall 2nd and dropping about one second from the lifetime best time she swam this morning. Now she is the 9th all-time fastest American in the event. This was a strong swim for Ledecky too who came within .10 of Allison Schmitt‘s long course nationals record. Ledecky’s best time stands at 1:53.73, the time she swam to win gold at the 2016 Olympics.

Claire Tuggle of Cavalier Aquatics rounded out the podium by lowering her prelims time as well. She came within .13 of her lifetime best time to out touch 3rd place finisher Cavan Gormsen of Long Island Aquatic Club by half a second.

In the ‘B’ final, Lillie Nordmann of Alto Swim Club matched her best time to out touch Gator Swim Club’s Natalie Hinds for first place (1:59.33) while Hinds took 2nd place (1:59.82)

Men’s 200 Freestyle – Final

  • World Record – 1:42.00, Paul Biedermann (2009)
  • American Record – 1:42.96, Michael Phelps (2008)
  • U.S. Open Record – 1:44.10, Michael Phelps (2008)
  • LC Nationals Record – 1:44.10, Michael Phelps (2008)
  • World Junior Record – 1:43.31, David Popovici (2022)

Top 8 finishers:

  1. Luke Hobson – 1:46.14
  2. Kieran Smith – 1:46.32
  3. Jake Magahey – 1:46.62
  4. Grant House – 1:46.68
  5. Jake Mitchell – 1:46.90
  6. Jack Dahlgren – 1:46.92
  7. Kai Taylor – 1:47.50
  8. Patrick Callan – 1:48.49

Grant House of Sun Devil Swimming set the pace early in the race, maintaining the lead through the 100-meter mark after splitting 51.31 on the first half. But it became a four-man battle for first place on the final 25 meters between Luke Hobson, Kieran Smith, Jake Magahey, and House. Even Jake Mitchell was nearly in the running after he had a final 50 split of 26.66, the fastest final 50 split in the field and about .36 faster than Hobson’s. But it was Texas’ Hobson who got to the wall first with a lifetime best time of 1:46.14, crushing his previous best time from April by .7. Smith was about 1.5 seconds off his lifetime best time from the 2020 Olympics.

This was a huge swim for Magahey who dipped under the 1:47.00 mark for the first time by taking .22 off his best time from early July. He dealt with a non-COVID illness during the last collegiate season but has shown now that he’s back to full health and starting to make moves in long course.

Cal’s Gabriel Jett won the ‘B’ final with a 1:47.44, taking nearly .8 off his lifetime best time. Patrick Sammon took 2nd (1:47.80), becoming the 12th all-time fastest 17-18 year-old in the event.

Women’s 200 Breaststroke – Final

  • World Record – 2:18.95, Tatjana Schoenmaker (2021)
  • American Record – 2:19.59, Rebecca Soni (2012)
  • U.S. Open Record – 2:20.38, Rebecca Soni (2009)
  • LC Nationals Record – 2:20.38, Rebecca Soni (2009)
  • World Junior Record – 2:19.64, Viktoria Gunes (2015)

Top 8 finishers:

  1. Mackenzie Looze – 2:25.35
  2. Anna Keating – 2:25.82
  3. Ella Nelson – 2:27.40
  4. Noelle Peplowski – 2:27.44
  5. Gillian Davey – 2:28.13
  6. Josie Panitz – 2:28.98
  7. Mathilda Smith – 2:30.85
  8. Abby Hay – 2:31.33

Indiana’s Mackenzie Looze turned on the gas with about 75 meters left, trying to overtake Anna Keating who had held the lead for the first half. They pushed each other back and forth, Looze splitting a 37.62 on the last length compared to Keating’s 38.03. Looze hit the wall first, demolishing her lifetime best time from prelims by two seconds and becoming the 25th all-time fastest American in history. This was a solid swim for Keating who was within 1.2 seconds of her best time.

Ella Nelson out touched Noelle Peplowski by .04 to round out the podium. Nelson was about 2.5 seconds off her best time from April but she pushed Peplowski to shave a second off her lifetime best time from prelims.

Zoie Hartman had a strong performance in the ‘B’ final, winning the heat in 2:27.26, a time that would have earned her a spot on the podium in the ‘A’ final.

Men’s 200 Breaststroke – Final

  • World Record – 2:05.95, Zac Stubblety-Cook (2022)
  • American Record – 2:07.17, Josh Prenot (2016)
  • U.S. Open Record – 2:07.17, Josh Prenot (2016)
  • LC Nationals Record – 2:07.17, Josh Prenot (2016)
  • World Junior Record – 2:09.39, Haiyang Qin (2017)

Top 8 finishers:

  1. Matt Fallon – 2:07.91
  2. Jake Foster – 2:09.00
  3. Caspar Corbeau – 2:09.03
  4. AJ Pouch – 2:09.07
  5. Will Licon – 2:09.13
  6. Maxwell Reich – 2:10.94
  7. Josh Matheny – 2:11.39
  8. Colin Feehery – 2:13.22

U.S. National Teamer Matt Fallon of Athens Bulldogs just became the 7th fastest American of all-time in this event, winning the race comfortably as the only swimmer under 2:08.00. AJ Pouch of Virginia Tech led most of the race, gliding strong into the first two turns. But Fallon posted untouchable splits of 32.03/32.48 on the last two 50’s to overtake the field. For context, no one else broke 33.10 on those lengths.

Going into this meet, Fallon’s best time was the 2:08.91 he posted to break the 17-18 national age group record at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials. This was a lifetime best swim for Jake Foster too, taking .73 off his time from the International Team Trials in April. Caspar Corbeau earned 3rd place, out touching Pouch by .04 and coming within about half a second of his fastest time.

Women’s 200 Backstroke – Final

  • World Record – 2:03.35, Regan Smith (2019)
  • American Record – 2:03.35, Regan Smith (2019)
  • U.S. Open Record – 2:05.08, Phoebe Bacon (2022)
  • LC Nationals Record – 2:05.68, Missy Franklin (2013)
  • World Junior Record – 2:03.35, Regan Smith (2019)

Top 8 finishers:

  1. Isabelle Stadden – 2:07.29
  2. Rhyan White – 2:07.51
  3. Reilly Tiltmann – 2:09.61
  4. Claire Curzan – 2:09.74
  5. Leah Smith – 2:10.48
  6. Rosie Zavaros – 2:11.42
  7. Anna Peplowski – 2:11.56
  8. Natalie Mannion – 2:15.10

Cal’s Isabelle Stadden and 2022 World Championships bronze medalist Rhyan White were neck-and-neck most of this race, flipping at 1:02.48 and 1:02.47, respectively, at the halfway point. On the third 50, Stadden was able to push just a little harder an split 32.71 compared to White’s 32.86 and she held that narrow lead until the finish.

This was an incredible race for Stadden who matched her lifetime best time from May 2021. White’s best time stands at 2:05.13 which she swam at the International Team Trials in April. Reilly Tiltmann broke 2:10.00 for the first time to complete the podium and out touch Curzan on the final length with a split of 33.01 to Curzan’s 33.69.

In the ‘B’ final, Louisville’s Rye Ulett blasted a lifetime best time of 2:12.55 to place 4th, a time that ranks her #61 out of the all-time fastest 17-18 year-olds in the event. Her previous best, 2:12.83 from prelims, ranked her 66th.

Men’s 200 Backstroke – Final

  • World Record – 1:51.92, Aaron Peirsol (2009)
  • American Record – 1:51.92, Aaron Peirsol (2009)
  • U.S. Open Record – 1:53.08, Aaron Peirsol (2009)
  • LC Nationals Record – 1:53.08, Aaron Peirsol (2009)
  • World Junior Record – 1:55.14, Kliment Kolesnikov (2017)

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Jack Aikins – 1:57.52
  2. Ian Grum – 1:57.59
  3. Nick Simons – 1:57.70
  4. Destin Lasco – 1:57.76
  5. Ty Hartwell – 1:58.50
  6. Baylor Nelson – 1:59.19
  7. Caleb Maldari – 1:59.33
  8. Christopher O’Conner – 1:59.52

SwimAtlanta’s Jack Aikins took the early lead and he just didn’t let it go, flipping first at the 100-meter mark at 56.69 with a .6 lead over the field. Dynamo’s Ian Grum did his best to run him down though, blasting a final 50 split of 29.90 (a full second faster than Aikin’s last 50 split). Aikins came within .8 of his lifetime best time from the International Team Trials in April while Grum took another half-second off his lifetime best time from prelims.

Nick Simons of Lake Oswego had a tight race with Destin Lasco of Cal through the entire race. Simons ran down Lasco’s lead on the final lap, splitting 29.02, half a second faster than Lasco, to place 3rd.

7th place finisher Caleb Maldari clocked a lifetime best time that ranks him #28 out of the all-time fastest 17-18 year-olds in the event. This is his first time under 2:00.00 and his previous best, 2:00.13 from prelims, ranked him #43 on that list.

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1 year ago

Rye Ulett has a best time of 2:09.70 from 2019.

1 year ago

Ones time could be faster than anything swam any other competition, but if you did not swim that time in that other competition it matters jack ish in this one, it is a competition, not time trial that decides the medals

Last edited 1 year ago by samuli
Miss M
1 year ago

Kai Taylor’s 200 was a PB … promising for the future for Australia as he is still young (I think he’s 19).

Bobo Boi
1 year ago

Not gonna talk about Nick Simons getting 3rd and going #11 time all time for 17-18. The disrespect.

Wanna Sprite?
Reply to  Bobo Boi
1 year ago

Fr. If they’re gonna hype up Maldari, did they forget Simons is also still only 18

1 year ago

Katie Ledecky
Women’s 200 meter freestyle
Fastest Performances
01) 1:53.73 dated 08/09/2016
02) 1:54.40 dated 04/08/2021
03) 1:54.43 dated 01/16/2016
04) 1:54.50 dated 07/27/2022
05) 1:54.56 dated 06/08/2018
06) 1:54.59 dated 03/06/2020
07) 1:54.60 dated 07/26/2018
08) 1:54.69 dated 07/25/2017
09) 1:54.81 dated 08/08/2016
10) 1:54.82 dated 05/13/2016


1 year ago

Weinstein, sims, grimes and Gemmell All swimming at JR pan pacs? They probably put up a 7:44 relay

Emily Se-Bom Lee
Reply to  Swimfan
1 year ago

gemmell is the only eligible one of those 4 since the others all went to worlds

Reply to  Emily Se-Bom Lee
1 year ago

Even without Weinstein, Sims and Grimes the US can win the 4×200 handily now they have a 1:56 low.

Reply to  Troyy
1 year ago

They have plenty of firepower to win. Deep team.

1 year ago

Soooo happy for Stadden!!!!! GO BEARS!!!

1 year ago

Great night for the Trojan dads…Ray and Chip. Congrats on your National Champs Mac and Luke!

About Annika Johnson

Annika Johnson

Annika came into the sport competitively at age eight, following in the footsteps of her twin sister and older brother. The sibling rivalry was further fueled when all three began focusing on distance freestyle, forcing the family to buy two lap counters. Annika is a three-time Futures finalist in the 200 …

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