Many of the top swimmers at the US Open are swimming faster than they did in the finals at Olympic Trials over a month ago. Night number two from Indianapolis showcased the depth of American swimming as we’re seeing world ranked times regularly. Keep in mind that this is a America’s Selection Meet for the World University Games, with the top two American College Swimmers earning spots on that roster.
North Carolina’s Stephanie Peacock already earned a spot on that roster and was content to go out with the pack for the first 100 or so before she took control of the race and never let go,winning the Women’s 400 Freestyle with a 4:09.31. That’s her 2nd PB and 2nd win in as many nights. Catherine Breed (Pleasanton Seahawks/Cal) rode the gutter in lane one the entire way and was able to make it a close race on the final 50, though I’m not sure Peacoack saw her because Breed was literally swimming right next to the wall the whole race. The tactic worked as she dropped almost 3 more seconds for a new personal best of 4:10.24. Clearwater’s Becca Mann finished third with a 4:10.76, a couple seconds slower than she was at Trials over a month ago.
Michael Klueh took control of the Men’s 400 Freestyle from the start of this one and even found some impressive last 100 speed, coming home in :55.96 to finish with an overall winning time of 3:49.20. Like Klueh, Michael Mcbroom (The Woodlands/U of Texas) 2nd place time of 3:50.71 was a bit off his time from Omaha. Both Michaels broke away from the field early, and the third place finisher, Jacob Ritter of HSC, touched over two seconds back with a solid time of 3:53.09.
Laura Sogar (Bluefish Aquatic Club/U. of Texas) was able to hold off Andrea Kropp (The Rattlers/USC) on the back half of the Women’s 200 Breaststroke. Sogar’s winning time of 2:25.15 is a best by a few tenths but her ability to maintain the lead with someone closing on the final 50 showed signs of a confident racer. Kropp finished with a 2:25.40 and Emily McClellan of J Hawk rounded out the top three with a 2:27.49.
Kevin Cordes is fun to watch. He’s big, he’s strong, and most importantly he’s fearless. He attacks his races from the first lap. He did just the Men’s 200 Breaststroke final tonight out in fast in 1:02.85, and he lead 199 meters of this one but was out touched by Palo Altos Stanford Aquatics’ BJ Johnson. Johnson finaled in this event at Olympic Trials, his winning time of 2:10.87 is one of the 25 fastest times of 2012. After graduating from Stanford he started working with Tony Batis at PASA less than a year ago. I’d say things are clicking for the 25 year old. Cordes still went a best time of 2:10.92, lowering his National Age Group record set this morning in prelims. The record stood at a 2:12.21 by Josh Prenot coming into the day.
Megan Romano has done something right in the last month since Trials because for the second night in a row she’s dropped significant time and taken a dominant win. Last night it was the 100 free, tonight it was the Women’s 200 Back. Romano dipped under 2:10 for the first time and almost jumped right to 2:08 with a winning time of 2:09.08. Canada’s Genevieve Cantin was the runner up with a 2:10.31 and Great Britain’s Karley “not relation to Becca” Mann stopped the clock at 2:10.95 for third. Kendyl Stewart was the 2nd fastest American in the heat with a 4th place time of 2:11.53. She will be a freshman at USC in the fall, and should earn a spot on the WUG roster.
Two of America’s teenage backstroke stallions went at it in the Men’s 200 Backstroke final. Jacob Pebley of Corvallis Aquatic Club dropped down to a winning time of 1:57.57. He stayed under :30 for all 4 laps, splitting 28.14-29.70 (:57.84) 29.95-29.78. Rockville Montgomery’s Jack Conger shaved half a second off his PB to touch 2nd in 1:58.14. Indiana All American Eric Ress touched third with a 1:58.42.