Day 2 at the American Short Course Championships saw some more great post-grad and age-group action, but even more exciting last-chance meet action, as male collegians from Texas, Stanford, Texas A&M, Florida State, Missouri, and SMU tried to shore up their qualifications for this month’s NCAA Championships.
The men’s 400 IM had a great 1-2-3 finish from Florida State’s Juan Sequera (3:45.83), Texas A&M’s Simon Frank 3:47.71, and Missouri’s Yaniv Shnaider in 3:47.72. Sequera’s time crushed a school record crushed the Seminoles school record by a second-and-a-half. That previous swim was done earlier this year by Mateo de Angulo. That time by Sequera is also among the top-10 in the country this year.
Frank’s runner-up finish also crushed the A&M school record by a second-and-a-half. That .01 margin between him and Shnaider could loom huge at the end of this weekend, as the pair sit squarely on the bubble for NCAA qualifying (by my count, 21st and 22nd, with 22 or 23 usually invited). Expect both to time trial the race on Saturday and improve those chances.
Texas’ Patrick Murphy is gunning for his NCAA qualifying times at this meet after skipping Big 12’s to give his injured foot an extra week to heal. He’s a potential scorer in the 200 back, and will be counting on that swim on Saturday to earn his way in, as his 47.46 win in the 100 back won’t do it. He’ll have to go around a 1:43.2 in that 200 back to secure a spot.
The Texas men were able to add another NCAA qualifier, the third of this meet, thanks to Kyle McNeilis’ 1:35.10 in the 200 free. He was off of that time in finals, and the event win went to Longhorn Aquatics’ Garrett Weber-Gale in 1:34.19. That’s a strong-time for the Olympian sprinter; this is a race he always swims mid-season, and he always swims it fairly well.
The men’s 100 fly didn’t see any new NCAA invitations, but it did see very good swims from Texas freshman Tripp Cooper (47.08) and Stanford freshman Erich Peske (47.12). SMU senior David Larsson also swam well in 3rd in 47.24.
In other post-grad action, Longhorn Aquatics’ Kathleen Hersey swam her first races since her mother passed away after a fight with cancer earlier this year. She didn’t disappoint, starting with a win in the 100 fly in 51.69. That’s the 2nd-best time of her career and her fastest since 2008 when she was just a freshman at Texas (she’s now a senior, though no longer with the college team).
She would come back shortly thereafter and win the 100 back in a similarly impressive 52.98. This is good preparation for what seems to be a desire to race the IM’s at Trials this summer.
Hersey wasn’t the only swimmer to race that double. 17-year old Cat Galletti out of Trinity Prep Aquatics in Florida took 2nd in each race. Her best marks were a 54.58 100 fly from prelims and a 54.60 in finals of the 100 back. She’s the top of a solid Notre Dame recruiting class, and should give the Irish solid relay options in addition to some strong individual depth as they try to wrestle Big East dominance back from Louisville.