2023 Pro Championships Day 2 Prelims Scratches: Justina Kozan Pulls Out of Her Events

by Spencer Penland 1

July 27th, 2023 National, News



The first full day of the 2023 Pro Championships in Irvine will be underway shortly. The action this morning will feature prelims of the men’s and women’s 400 free, 200 IM, and 50 free. If you haven’t noticed, the event schedule for this meet follows the same pattern as the four-day NCAA schedule.

There were some scratches for this morning’s prelims, so let’s get into those. Typically, we would keep out scratch reports to top 20 seeds or otherwise high-profile swimmers, however, with the meet being this small, I’ve included all the scratches for this morning in the report.

Firstly, rising USC sophomore Justina Kozan has pulled out of both her events today. Kozan was entered in the women’s 400 free, where she came in as the 9th seed with a 4:14.85. That time stands as Kozan’s best in the event, and she only swam it two months ago at the CA Speedo Grand Challenge. Kozan was the only scratch in the women’s 400 free this morning.

Kozan has also scratched the women’s 200 IM this morning. Arguably her best event, Kozan was the #4 seed coming into the meet, entering with a time of 2:11.96. Kozan holds a personal best of 2:11.55 in the LCM 200 IM, which she swam back at the 2019 World Junior Championships when she was 15 years old.

Australian Mikayla Smith, who was the 23rd seed in the women’s 200 IM, has also scratched.

Another USC swimmer, breaststroke star Kaitlyn Dobler, has pulled out of today. Dobler was entered in the women’s 50 free, where she was seeded 42nd with a yards time. Pulling out of the 50 free leaves Dobler with just the 100 and 200 breast left on her schedule.

17-year-old Caroline Larsen, who swims for Foxjets Swim Team in Minnesota, has also scratched the women’s 50 free this morning. One of the brightest young up-and-coming female sprinters in the U.S., Larsen was the #6 seed in the 50 free with her personal best of 25.17.

A big scratch came in the men’s 400 free, where Arizona State’s Patrick Sammon will not be swimming this morning. Sammon was the #6 seed in the men’s 400 free, coming in with a 3:51.70. He’s been on a tear with the Sun Devils this past year, coming off an incredible NCAA season and clocking lifetime bests in all his top events at U.S. Trials one month ago.

The men’s 50 free saw a pair of Australian visitors scratch. 19-year-olds Jesse Coleman and Haig Buckingham, the 41st and 42nd seeds respectively, have pulled out of the race. Meanwhile, Virginia Tech’s Landon Gentry, the 38th seed in the men’s 200 IM, has also scratched.

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