2022 U.S. National Championships: Swims You May Have Missed on Day 3


Day 3 finals featured only two events–the 400 IM and 100 fly–but there were some electric swims, from Katie Ledecky and Leah Smith‘s battle in the 400 IM to Shaine Casas becoming the third fastest American of all time in the 100 fly. However, there were several swims that may have “slipped through the cracks” behind those performances. Here’s some of the top performances you may have missed on the day:

Megan Van Berkom Wins B-Final of Women’s 400 IM in 4:42.69

Minnesota’s Megan Van Berkom stormed to the win in the ‘B’ final of the women’s 400 IM. She led through the entire race, holding off late charges from Justina Kozan and Mackenzie LoozeVan Berkom touched in 4:42.69, a personal best for her by over three seconds. That time would have earned her bronze if she’d swum in the ‘A’ final.

She’s had massive improvements in this event this season. Coming into the summer, her lifetime best was 4:50.27, swum in 2019. In June, she took almost five seconds off that time at a local Minnesota meet, swimming 4:45.78. That’s the mark she just beat here, so she’s dropped a total of 7.58 seconds so far this season. To drop time tonight, Van Berkom really improved the first 300 of her race.

This was Van Berkom’s second ‘B’ final win; earlier in the meet, she won the B final of the women’s 200 fly in 2:10.22, another personal best.

Texas Women Continue to Shine in Fly

With Claire Curzan scratching out of the 100 fly ‘A’ final due to a non-COVID illnessEmma Sticklen got bumped into the big heat. She took full advantage of the opportunity, hitting a new lifetime best of 58.76. At NCAAs, the Longhorn women’s 200 fly dominance pushed them past Stanford on the final day of competition. Sticklen was a key part of that effort, and she’s continued her success in long course, posting a personal best here and in the 200 fly earlier this season.

Her soon-to-be teammate and 200 fly champion Dakota Luther earned bronze in 58.39. That’s her first best time in the event since 2019 Nationals, when she posted 58.48. Luther’s had a strong meet so far, hitting a lifetime best en route to her 200 fly win as well. After a big NCAA meet, Luther has rolled that momentum into long-course, hitting her fastest times in years. She’ll be a huge addition to an already surging Texas fly group.

Ilya Kharun Hits Second PB of the Day in 100 Fly

In prelims, Ilya Kharun blasted 52.35, rocketing up the U.S. all-time fastest 17-18 boys list from 19th to 4th. The time was almost a half a second drop for Kharun, who bettered it in finals, shaving .04 off and finishing fifth overall. 52.31 keeps Kharun fourth overall for his age group, but edges him closer to Ian Crocker‘s 52.25 from 2001.

Erika Pelaez Swims 59.23, #20 for American 15-16 Girls in 100 Fly

16-year-old Erika Pelaez continues to climb her age-group rankings. After launching from 39th to 7th in the 15-16 100 free rankings earlier in the meet, Pelaez clocked 59.23 to grab second in the ‘B’ final behind Lillie Nordmann. The swim was a half-second drop for Pelaez, and earns the 20th spot on the 15-16 girls 100 fly rankings. That swim moves her past swimmers like Tess Howley and Charlotte Hook at that age, and puts her within .03 seconds of Elaine Breeden. 

Ian Grum Drops 5 Seconds to Win 400 IM ‘B’ Final

Coming off a silver medal and big personal best in the 200 back on Day 2, Ian Grum won the ‘B’ final of the men’s 400 IM. He dropped another big personal best here, cutting five seconds off his entry time of 4:22.86 and posting 4:17.87. Grum took the lead on the first 50 and held onto it the entire way, holding off a charge from Cal’s Jason Louser and Princeton’s Ranak Khosla. 

The rising UGA senior is having a strong meet so far, and will race the 100 back on Day 4 for his final event of the meet.

Norvin Clontz wins 400 IM ‘D’ Final Showdown 

The 18-and-under final of the men’s 400 IM featured just two swimmers: 15-year-old Norvin Clontz and 17-year-old Noah Sech. Clontz won decisively, swimming 4:24.19. That’s a seven second drop on the day for the SwimMAC athlete: he entered with a 4:31.24, swam 4:28.29 in prelims, then lowered his best down to 4:24.19. That swim launches him into a three-way tie for 28th fastest American 15-16 year-old boy with Zachary Lierley and Connor Greene. 

In finals, Clontz was faster than his prelims self in every stroke. The biggest jump came in his breaststroke split, where he dropped from a 1:18.20 to a 1:15.54.

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6 months ago

Gophers!!! Next year Megan will do it in the A finals!

6 months ago

Great swim Megan! Go gophers!

Sherry Smit
6 months ago

Also Katie Crom taking win in D final in 100 Fly. That was a super fun race to watch. She hasn’t really approached her PB’s in her races for a while, but she has this crazy back end speed that is so fun to watch.

About Sophie Kaufman

Sophie Kaufman

Sophie grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, which means yes, she does root for the Bruins, but try not to hold that against her. At 9, she joined her local club team because her best friend convinced her it would be fun. Shoulder surgery ended her competitive swimming days long ago, …

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