Allison Schmitt Breaks U.S. Open Record in 200 Free at Longhorn Elite Invite

  29 Braden Keith | June 02nd, 2012 | Featured, National, News

The results of the Austin Grand Prix through two nights of swimming will leave swim fans in one of two camps – either loaded with anticipation, or terrified at what’s happening. That’s because swimmers are dropping best times, huge in-season best times, textile best times, and all around just unusually fast swimming for where they are in their training – still 18 days out from Trials.

Women’s 200 Free

For the second-straight night, Allison Schmitt dropped a bomb in finals with a 1:55.04 in the women’s 200 free. That’s a new U.S. Open Record as the fastest swim on American soil ever. That’s the second time in the last 6 months that she’s broken the U.S. Open Record in this same pool, after a 1:55.8 in January at the Austin Grand Prix.

She took a big lead on the first 100, going out in 55.97 – given where she was a year ago, it’s shocking that she was able to hold on so well on the back-half to plant the 8th-best time in history; a year ago, a 55.9 wouldn’t have been a bad 100 free time this time of year. This is turning out to be perhaps the best meet of Schmitt’s career, with a best time in the 100 and a personal textile-best in the 200. This is aside from the 400 free; she scratched that race on Friday as she was given the option to swim that or the 100.

Nobody else was in her same stratosphere for the entirety of this race, and with that time from Schmitt and the expectations of Franklin, the American women have a legitimate shot at taking down the World Record in the 800 free relay.

As for Franklin, she took 2nd in 1:57.91. This meet has very closely paralleled her speed from this same pool in January; this 200 time was within a tenth of what she swam at the Grand Prix, the 100 free was about three-tenths slower, and her 200 back was about seven-tenths slower later in the Saturday session. Her performances are becoming very predictable, and I think that’s a good thing for her and her coach Todd Schmitz; predictable results help coaches really pinpoint tapers.

Georgia’s Shannon Vreeland took 3rd in 1:59.51 – her last four swims (prelims and finals in this meet; prelims and finals in Charlotte) have been the number one, two, three, and five times of her career.

Longhorn Aquatics’ Kathleen Hersey was 4th in 1:59.64, a tough third 50 did her in from what looked like it could be a very good time for her.

There were a few good swims in the lower finals of this race as well, specifically Karlee Bispo winning the B-Final in 2:00.01 and Megan Romano taking the C-Final in a huge personal best of 1:58.29. Had it not been for a stumble in prelims, that time would have put her 3rd in the A-Final.

Women’s 400 IM

Prior to Schmitt’s explosive 200, Texas A&M swimmer Cammile Adams won the women’s 400 IM in 4:38.27 – which is a personal best for her. She’s another swimmer who has been very good twice in this pool. Despite being best-known for her skill in the 200 fly, she continues to have a ton of success in this 400 IM – it’s the event that put her on the National Team last summer.

Her teammate Sarah Henry, winner of the 400 free on Friday, had another lifetime best swim in this race with a 4:44.17; North Baltimore’s Annie Zhu was 3rd in 4:52.42.

A whole lot of top-8 swimmer scratched this final, including Wendy Trott and Melanie Margalis. Cammile’s twin-sister Ashley won the B-Final in 4:55.10, which is a lifetime best for her and an Olympic Trials cut.

Men’s 400 IM

Michael Phelps put up one of the easiest 4:15 400 IM’s you’ll see with a 4:15.88 win at this meet; but he still looked pretty tired coming out of the altitude. Bob Bowman after the race sounded not upset over the time, but he did describe Phelps as “not so good” when juxtaposed against his North Baltimore teammates, many of whom are crushing their swims at this meet.

Among those swimming well are Phelps’ teammate Chase Kalisz. The high school senior, who is headed to Georgia next year, had a two-second lifetime best swim, and pushed Phelps the whole way in this race. Kalisz is by far a breaststroker, so it wasn’t a huge surprise that he was three seconds faster than his training partner. But when Kalisz was able to close on Phelps on the freestyle leg – split 59.8 to Phelps’ 1:00.3 – it was a big shock. For the young swimmer, that’s a great swim coming off of altitude training.

Bradley Ally, now training at Club Wolverine, had a 4:18.44 for 3rd that was quietly overlooked thanks to the swims from the North Baltimore boys ahead of him. After a bit of a break from the sport, that’s now the second-fastest time of his career (only behind prelims of the 2008 Olympics); a 4:20 at this point would have been a very satisfying time for him, but a 4:18 should have him ecstatic.

Men’s 200 Free

There was no Phelps in this race after he scratched prelims, but Texas’ Dax Hill used his long 6’7 frame to just out-touch a tight back in 1:50.06. We saw Hill going back to his big front-end speed in this race with a 52.7 opening half; that’s something we’ve seen him do a lot in-season (both in yards and long course), but at crunch-time he’s had his best success when he back-half’s his races.

He would say after the session that though his main trials competition in this event (Phelps, Lochte, Berens, Vanderkaay) weren’t in this race, he went into it with the mentality that they were there, and that if he wanted to play with those guys he had to show the confidence to take the race out hard.

His teammate Clay Youngquist took 2nd in 1:50.57, a best in-season time for him, and China’s Wu Peng took 3rd in 1:50.61. Peng closed the race like a man-possessed, with a 27.72 final 50 to almost run-down Youngquist. Club Wolverine’s Michael Wynalda was 4th in 1:50.63, which is a best time for him. Matt Patton didn’t look as good as his teammate with a 1:50.68 for 5th – far from a best time for him.

Women’s 200 Back

Missy Franklin was again right on the expected target with a 2:08.74 to win the women’s 200 back. Megan Romano took 2nd in 2:11.74 – another lifetime best for her.

Local swimmer Quinn Carrozza from Nitro took 3rd in 2:12.32, which is her best time by almost three seconds, and the third-ranked time by a 15-16 this season. As a swimmer on the younger-half of the age group, that’s a great mark.

Men’s 200 Back

Stanford swimmer Matt Thompson won the men’s 200 back in 2:00.49; even with all of the change and turnover coming at Stanford, that’s a great bit of focus for him and his best long course time since 2009.

Texas’ Hayes Johnson was 2nd in 2:02.26, followed by Austin Surhoff in 2:02.43. The top-finishing junior swimmer was the Denver Hilltoppers’ Carter Griffin in 2:03.41 for 4th.

Women’s 50 Free

Megan Romano went four-for-four with best times in this meet where she’s had 7 phenomenal swims by taking the win in the women’s 50 free in 25.23. That’s a half-second drop for her, and her first win of the meet. This 50 free is not her best event, and probably not one where she’ll challenge for an Olympic spot at trials, but her ability to put up front-end speed to match that of swimmers like Franklin and Schmitt in the longer races will be vital there.

Schmitt took 2nd in 25.40, with Amanda Weir placing 3rd in 25.50.

Simone Manuel was 4th in 25.67. With that swim, a lifetime best, she gets into seriously rare-air in 15-16 sprinting. Even in the bottom-half of that age group, she’s already as good as the likes of Kara Lynn Joyce and Maddy Schaeffer. Manuel seems to be the next great American sprinter in development. Her former First Colony teammate Maddie Locus, now at Georgia, was just behind in 22.71 for 5th.

Men’s 50 Free

And finishing off the meet was the always-exciting men’s 50 free. Club Wolverine swimmer George Bovell got out to a big early lead, but Texas’ Jimmy Feigen dug hard to reel him in. Feigen made up a huge chunk of ground in the closing 10 meters or so to get himself close, but Bovell ended up winning in 22.11 – not his best time of the year. Feigen was 2nd in 22.21. That probably doesn’t stack up as well in his personal hierarchy as his 100 free did on Friday, but he swam the race very well after a bad start.

Those two were well ahead of the field, with Chris Brady taking 3rd in 22.78.

Full, Live Meet Results available here.

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29 Comments on "Allison Schmitt Breaks U.S. Open Record in 200 Free at Longhorn Elite Invite"

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Jean Michel
4 years 4 months ago

Allison , the missile, is just doing perfect before trials and the 800 free relay ! wowwwch

4 years 4 months ago

Wow: amazing times by Schmitt and Romano. I repeat: the women’s 200 m free will be the BEST event ever in London! It will take a 1.56 to make finals. Lots of girls will succumb by the poolside during prelims. And those who make finals will have to show some endurance and mind toughness.

Pellegrini will have to change her race plan: I don’t think people will buy into her strategy to hold back and come from behind: if Federica doesn’t go out hard and hang in there (for dear life), she won’t catch the leaders. To her credit, she did split it well during European Championships…

Clary also swam a 4.15 at Santa Clara. I think he held some back in his breaststroke and free splits…He came back a few events later to a very controlled and fast 200 back..

bobo gigi
4 years 4 months ago

Ok I didn’t see coming this time from Allison Schmitt. 1.55.04 is amazing. Can she swim much faster this summer? I continue to think Camille Muffat is the favorite to win the 200 free and the 400 free but I admit that Allison Schmitt is on fire for many months, has an easy speed like Camille Muffat and has a great coach. The advantage for Camille Muffat is that she hasn’t 2 olympic games to prepare in one month. But if Allison Schmitt is at her top in London it will be a great race between these 2 girls. They have a similar style and are fast from the 100 free to the 800 free.
Missy, don’t swim the 200 free in London! Be focused on the 100 back! The gold medal is for you in that event.
And yes it was just an accident for Megan Romano in the prelims of the 200 free. 1.58.29 isn’t a great time for her after the 54.16 in the 100 free but it’s a good time. I’m sure she can swim under 1.56 this summer. Now perhaps she becomes more a sprinter because 25.23 in the 50 free after a 200 free and a 200 back is a fantastic time. Yes perhaps her best race is now the 100 free. I think she can shock the world in that race.

bobo gigi
4 years 4 months ago

Good time for Michael Phelps in the 400 IM. But I hope he will not swim that race at the next trials.
Chase Kalisz is definitely a star in the making. He has to improve her backstroke in the future and he will dominate the world. To train with the GOAT must be fantastic for him.
I’m disappointed by the performance of Clay Youngquist in the 200 free. I’m waiting for the trials to judge him but he was so good in 2010 at the junior pan pacs and since that competition he hasn’t really improved.
Great time for Cammile Adams in the 400 IM too. The 200 fly with Kathleen Hersey will be great to follow because these 2 girls are the favorites to qualify for London in that race.
And yes Simone Manuel is a young sprinter to watch. I don’t know if she’s the next great american sprinter because there are also Kristen Vredeveld or Lia Neal but she has a huge potential.

4 years 4 months ago

Dax Hill was obviously so pleased with his win, that he felt free to insult Michael Phelps via Twitter. So unbecoming for a swimmer. If people in swimming community don’t respect their Olympic champions, what can we expect from people who don’t know anything about swimming?

4 years 4 months ago

All he said was that jimmy “clowned” phelps in the 100 free. The post wasn’t even about himself. Feigen beat phelps, and that’s that

4 years 4 months ago

Swammer, there’s a difference between complimenting Jimmy and slighting Phelps. What Dax said didn’t compliment Jimmy, he just insulted Phelps.

4 years 4 months ago

Phelps is a sore loser. Maybe he needs more practice.

4 years 4 months ago

How was he sore loser? He shook hands with Jimmy after the race. He merely took offense for the guy who placed 7th in that same race taking a jab at him. Maybe Dax should shut up and work on his own swimming.

4 years 4 months ago

Seriously Liliana? “Unbecoming” and “insult”–do you not know anything about trash talk?–Michael Phelps is the greatest ever–hands down–he’s not Jesus–and frankly, as long as it is not about real harsh insults–the swim swam U-verse aka US swimming could use a little more action. We have athletes– they trash talk– they get fired up–they want to promote themselves–let em’ have at it–if Dax is eatin crow come trials–We’ll all see it and it will be that much sweeter

p.s. Dax said “Jimmy just clowned Phelps”—that is slang for mild/laughable embarrassment (not horrid/abusive)

4 years 4 months ago

Maybe you think it’s “mild embarrassment” or you want to present it that way, but let me tell you that even Jimmy Feigen felt the need to distance himself from Dax Hill’s unfortunate tweets – he said “it was an honor racing you this weekend [Phelps] I hope we can be teammates this summer Lets defend your free relay titles #USA ”
You see, Phelps usually ignores all kind of provocations and insults he gets every day tweeted at him. This time, it came from a fellow swimmer and that obviously hurt him, so he decided to tweet back…so you may find it ‘laughable’ but Phelps isn’t laughing. I’m all for self promotion, swimmers rarely do that – I love the way Cavic did it in Rome – but there has to be some line you shouldn’t cross when you talk to 14-time Olympic gold medalist.
Just my two cents.

4 years 4 months ago

yeah… Dax made a real poor decision to go after Phelps like he did. Like him or not, Phelps is the GREATEST SWIMMER OF ALL TIME!

Also poor decision to piss him off.. Oh hey, you just made the Olympic Team.. Everyone already thinks youre a d-bag.

4 years 4 months ago

Jimmy Feigen was a class act in trying to do damage control though. The kids going to be a stud in Omaha!

4 years 4 months ago

Is Phelps’s ego so fragile that when he gets second in a race everyone needs to watch their mouths? Dax was complimenting Feigen. Phelps countered by insulting Dax. Which is more unfortunate?

4 years 4 months ago

I think there’s a better way to compliment your pal than to say to other swimmer he was ‘clowned’.

bobo gigi
4 years 4 months ago

I’m french and I’m a big fan of Michael Phelps since 2000. He has changed swimming. I think many american swimming fans don’t know how lucky they are to have this legend of sport in their team. How many times has he brought the american relays on his shoulders? He’s more happy with a win in relays than with a win on individual. If he isn’t this summer in London USA will lose the 3 relays. Think to that!
Who is Dax Hill? He’s just a good NCAA swimmer. Ok stop to the discussion.

4 years 4 months ago

That’s pretty exciting that Bovell ended up winning in 21.11
Just two tenths off the world record!

4 years 4 months ago

Bovell won in 22.11, not 21.11

4 years 4 months ago

Bobo Gigi , I’m with you on the Phelps and the 4im.

Braden, GSC’s meet starts today. Are you going to have the results? I’m curious as to where they are in training and if they have started their rest. Judging from some of the results this past weekend, there are still some pretty beat up swimmers.
Also, looking at the GSC psych sheet, I wonder if these are the OT trial events for some of these swimmers? Usually the Dwyer,& PVK swim a lot of events. It looks like here they are only swimming a few.

4 years 4 months ago

Bovell was 22.11 not 21.11, i wish he went that fast. Would add even more hype to the 50 in london

4 years 4 months ago

I do not get the comment about the NBAC swimmers swimming fast “despite coming off altitude.” That is exactly why they are swimming so fast. Anyone who has swum at altitiude knows that you have the extra power to finish your races due to the blood oxygen surge you get once you come off altitude, regardless of how hard training may have been. Anywone watching Bowman closely can track that he takes his swimmers to altitude many times throughout the year and attends a Grand Prix meet or the big competitios immediately after. Did it with November Grand Prix, again with Feb Grand Prix and again now.

Chest Rockwell
4 years 4 months ago

This isn’t exactly right. Some people actually believe the increase in hemoglobin that transports the oxygen creates thicker blood and decreases the viscosity. Many think you don’t feel the true benefits from altitude until almost 3 weeks after coming down. Interesting timing if you ask me.

Craig H
4 years 4 months ago

I’m confused: creates thicker blood and decreases the viscosity?
Aren’t those two tgings opposite?

Chest Rockwell
4 years 4 months ago

Yes, I flipped it. Viscosity is increased when blood thickens, not decreased.

4 years 4 months ago

You are simplifying if you think coming down from altitude gives everyone an immediate and equal advantage. Lots of factors like the kind of training you did, how long you were there, age ,gender how broken down you are ,etc. need to be considered. Some of the swimmers that have been up there and went to the GP were pretty consistent with the times they have swum all year, altitude or not.

4 years 4 months ago

Totally agree with you Don.

There have not been vast, detailed research on how age, gender, physical make-up, types of trainings factor in how much advantage one can take by training altitude right before competition.

I think also due to age, Phelps did not show as much immediate increased speed after altitude compared to Schmitt or Kaliz for example. But Phelps will be fine in Omaha after tapered.

4 years 4 months ago

The video SwimSwam did with Bob yesterday, he said Michael is swimming tired and he seemed very tired the first couple of days. He bounced back today though!

4 years 4 months ago

There’s no way the women 200 free WR will come down this summer, to an american or not.

BK, you are way too optimistic.

4 years 4 months ago

I’m thinking he meant the 800 free relay?


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The most common question asked about Braden Keith is "when does he sleep?" That's because Braden has, in two years in the game, become one of the most prolific writers in swimming at a level that has earned him the nickname "the machine" in some circles. He first got his feet …

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