2020 AMERICAN SHORT COURSE CHAMPIONSHIPS
- March 5-7, 2020
- Austin, Texas
- Short Course Yards
Thursday marked day 1 of the 2020 American Short Course Championships, a club meet that also serves as a last chance qualifier for local swimmers to try to make the cut for NCAAs. Texas’ JohnThomas Larson had a breakthrough swim, posting a best in the 500 free for the first time since 2018.
Larson clocked a 4:14.96 in prelims before going on to win the final in 4:15.71. He’s now 19th in the nation, including times from tonight’s Pac-12 meet. Teammate Alex Zettle is ranked 15th in the NCAA with his 4:13.14 from midseason. However, Zettle didn’t compete at Big 12s last week. He swam the 500 free tonight, taking 2nd behind Larson in 4:20.20.
While Larson’s time should safely qualify him for NCAAs, the Longhorn coaches have some decisions to make. They may need to cut 4 or more swimmers based on the number of qualifiers they already had before this meet. Last season, Larson was fast enough to qualify, but was ultimately one of the two swimmers cut from the Texas NCAA roster.
Texas A&M’s Kaloyan Bratanov shaved a few tenths off his best in the 200 IM. His 1:44.07 beat his best from last month’s SECs by about 3 tenths. He’s now ranked #31 in the event after tonight’s Pac-12 finals. Teammate Mike Thibert won the 50 free in 19.85. His season best is a 19.57 from SECs, and he was slightly faster in prelims with a 19.70.
Texas’ Jake Sannem, who took a redshirt this season, competed for the first time this season here. He was 2nd tonight in 19.91. That’s his first time under 20 per the USA Swimming database. However, he was entered in this meet with a 19.87, so the database time may not be accurate.
Badger Swim Club’s Noelle Kaufmann won a pair of events on the women’s side. She was just 4 hundredths shy of her best in the 200 IM as she won in 2:00.84. Minutes later, she won the 50 free in 23.76. Kaufmann had set her lifetime best in prelims with a 23.37. Teammate Caroline Pennington won the 500 free in 4:51.65, her 3rd fastest performance ever in the event.