Comerford Downs 100 Free American Record as USA Downs 400 FR Relay American Record

2017 FINA WORLD SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS

The Americans got off to a good start in the 400 free relay, as Mallory Comerford took down the American Record in the 100 free with her 52.59 opening split. That shaved just over a tenth off the former record, which was set at a 52.70 by Simone Manuel when she tied for Olympic gold last summer. Comerford was 2nd on the leadoff leg only to Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom, who smashed the World Record with a 51.71.

Comerford is now the fastest American ever and the 5th fastest performer in history worldwide. She moves up to 2nd in the World this year ahead of former World Record holder Cate Campbell of Australia. Teammate Manuel remains on the all-time worldwide top performers list in a tie for 8th with Canada’s Penny Oleksiak.

ALL TIME TOP PERFORMERS: WOMEN’S 100 FREE

1 Sarah Sjostrom 51.71
2 Cate Campbell 52.06
3 Britta Steffen 52.07
4 Bronte Campbell 52.52
5 Mallory Comerford 52.59
6 Libby Trickett 52.62
7 Femke Heemskerk 52.69
T-8 Simone Manuel 52.70
T-8 Penny Oleksiak 52.70
10 Ranomi Kromowidjojo 52.75

The Americans went on to win the 400 free relay and take down the American Record in 3:31.72. Taking over the middle legs were Kelsi Worrell (53.16) and Katie Ledecky (53.83). That was a fairly sluggish split for Ledecky, who popped a 52.79 to anchor for the USA last summer, but it was enough to put them ahead of Sweden going into the final leg. Manuel rocked a 52.14 on the anchor leg, giving the U.S. what they needed to hang on for gold. That was her fastest relay split ever by far, topping the 52.43 she did as the anchor of the 400 medley relay in Rio.

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AWSI DOOGER
5 years ago

Probably a good thing Mallory didn’t make the team in the 100 butterfly. She missed by a hundredth to Sarah Gibson. With the butterfly prelims and semis on the same day as this relay it likely would have zapped some energy and forced Mallory to devote time to butterfly as opposed to freestyle only. I doubt she leads off in 52.59 under those circumstances.

As tight as this race was, nothing could be surrendered.

Besides, Mallory wasn’t going to factor in the butterfly. Maybe fringe finalist. She could improve markedly next year.

Sjostrom obviously had to contend with the butterfly schedule but that’s a different level right now.

Swamfan
5 years ago

It isn’t surprising that the coaches chose Ledecky over Neal for the relay….

Tomek
5 years ago

I do believe coaching staff decided on Ledecky based on he Rio 400 relay performance. I also believe Katie will have to proof herself in 100 free to be picked for the final next time.

ArtVanDeLegh10
Reply to  Tomek
5 years ago

She was 2 seconds slower in the 400 than her best time. I’m sure she was a bit fatigued from the 400 earlier in the session, but she always recovers super fast. I doubt the 400 had much of an effect on her 100 relay swim. She’s just slower. Make any excuses you want, but she’s just slower.

I told a few of my college coach friends months ago I wonder if we’ll ever see another Ledecky LCM free best time again. Hopefully I’m wrong, but no one can continually get faster and faster.

Baker-King-Vollmer-Manuel
Reply to  ArtVanDeLegh10
5 years ago

Katie Ledecky is slower in the 100 m free:

2016 Olympic Trials
Heats – 54.04
Semifinals – 54.04
Final – 53.99

2017 Worlds Trials
Heats – 54.70
Final – 54.35

Jim C
Reply to  Tomek
5 years ago

Ledecky does not have to prove herself in the 100 free, but the coaches need to take into account whether she will have just swum a tough race a few minutes earlier.

completelyconquered
Reply to  Tomek
5 years ago

Ledecky just spins her wheels when she tries to sprint.

AppleT
5 years ago

Awesome swim by Comerford! Do you think she benefitted from drafting off of Sara way ahead in the next lane?

pianoback
Reply to  AppleT
5 years ago

Considering she was not in the next lane, I’d say “No”

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  pianoback
5 years ago

Piano is back …love it

Baker-King-Vollmer-Manuel
Reply to  ERVINFORTHEWIN
5 years ago

Speaking of pianos, Mireia Belmonte on Day 1.

75M FREE
Reply to  Baker-King-Vollmer-Manuel
5 years ago

Ella vende los pianos?

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  75M FREE
5 years ago

si si

Baker-King-Vollmer-Manuel
Reply to  75M FREE
5 years ago

Ella los llevó bien.

Prickle
5 years ago

Both Manuel and Comerford were very fast on the way home: 27.01, 27.08 respectively. It is very fast. Based on this result I think that Manuel will be faster than Comerford in individual race.

Slgore76
Reply to  Prickle
5 years ago

I tend to agree.

commonwombat
Reply to  Prickle
5 years ago

Wouldn’t draw too many concrete conclusions. What will be the impacts of their other races between then and the 100free final ? At least one of them will be drafted for the mixed medley relay; if they want 4X200 relay medals then they will most likely be drafted for those relay heats (more likely to rest Ledecky & Smith). They will have that final the same session as the 100semis; they’re both fairly certain to make the 100 final but they’ll have had some high pressure racing under their belts by then …. as against the first day of competition.

KeithM
Reply to  commonwombat
5 years ago

One thing to note is Manuel’s very conservative exchange on the relay, a .42, so that 52.14 looks a bit more impressive.

Jim C
Reply to  Prickle
5 years ago

Manuel had a very slow very safe RT of 0.42. Subtract out her RT and the 0.70 RT of Comerford and Manuel is 0.17s faster. Relay starts may be a bit different from regular starts, but I doubt it would be worth as much as 0.17s. On the other hand Comerford did have a morning swim which may have taken a bit off her evening swim–so it is really too close to call between the two.

re-evaluate
5 years ago

I am just going to put a statement out there… I think Manuel is over rated. Hot takes.

Swim-Fan
Reply to  re-evaluate
5 years ago

I can see that point of view. But I would say she is dominant at this point. She will either get faster with time or maintain.

Swim-Fan
Reply to  Swim-Fan
5 years ago

I meant “isn’t dominant”.

Baker-King-Vollmer-Manuel
Reply to  Swim-Fan
5 years ago

Of course not. Dominant is the 14 fastest times in history, reference Katie Ledecky in the women’s 800 m freestyle.

Slgore76
Reply to  Baker-King-Vollmer-Manuel
5 years ago

Yep. Or, what Sarah Sjostrom is doing; what Cate Campbell has done in the past. Will she get to that level…I think more likely than not. She is only 20. Comerford will be right there with her as she continues to progress.

Baker-King-Vollmer-Manuel
Reply to  Slgore76
5 years ago

The three dominant females swimmers of the 2017 FINA World Aquatics Championships:

Hosszú
Ledecky
Sjöström

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  Baker-King-Vollmer-Manuel
5 years ago

and just behind u find Leah Smith ….

Prickle
Reply to  Baker-King-Vollmer-Manuel
5 years ago

I wouldn’t rush with Hosszu at least until tomorrow final. For some reason she didn’t swim 400 relay today and Hungarian team missed final. She is the best freestyler that Hungary has this season. So what was that? The mistake of coaches or she isn’t that dominant as you portrait her.

Interested party
Reply to  Swim-Fan
5 years ago

I can agree with this as far as American women. But she seems much less consistent than a host of European and Aussie ladies. My personal opinion is that she gets too much limelight in the USA compared to the non Americans

Breeze
Reply to  re-evaluate
5 years ago

Olympic gold while taking down the SWE and AUS says otherwise

Steve Nolan
Reply to  re-evaluate
5 years ago

She’s on kind of a Nathan Adrian-like trajectory to me. Never an overwhelming, dominant favorite in any event, but a huge relay piece and occasionally wins Olympic gold medals.

Eets notsobad.

Interested party
Reply to  re-evaluate
5 years ago

I appreciate all the varying points of view, interesting to hear. I just feel that she is overly lauded as the next thing in American sprinting that will dominate the world scene, when in reality there a tons of other athletes both in the US and abroad that are just as fast and faster. I have nothing against her, more the portrayal of her by certain media such as Mel.

target
Reply to  re-evaluate
5 years ago

What is “over rated” about her? The fact that she medaled in every event she swam at her first Olympics or is it something else? pls help

Prickle
5 years ago

Simone Manual’s 52.15 made also american best ever split. Comerford and Manuel were practically of the same speed in the race.
I would’ve predicted them to decide who will take silver and who will take bronze in individual race if not these splits of Kromowidjojo and McKeon : 51.98 and 52.29 respectively. The W100 free promises to be an incredibly fast race that we have never seen.
I’m just wondering what made coaches to choose Ledecky over Neal. Have they expected better time or it was dictated by media considerations. Katie doesn’t need it: this Franklin like six gold medal count. Her legacy is well above that. But the fact is that Lia Neal most likely were faster… Read more »

Baker-King-Vollmer-Manuel
Reply to  Prickle
5 years ago

Smoliga (53.67) was faster in the morning than Ledecky (53.83).

This proves that the preliminaries and final of the women’s 400 m freestyle in the same day will take its toll.

MTK
Reply to  Baker-King-Vollmer-Manuel
5 years ago

Would giving a day off between 400fr and 400IM prelims and finals be overkill in your mind, or a good idea?

Baker-King-Vollmer-Manuel
Reply to  MTK
5 years ago

It is what it is.

Jim C
Reply to  Baker-King-Vollmer-Manuel
5 years ago

Lia Neal was even faster with a leadpff 53.94 if you figure an 0.5s difference between a normal and a relay start.

Baker-King-Vollmer-Manuel
Reply to  Jim C
5 years ago

As coach of the women’s team at the 2017 FINA World Aquatics Championships, Greg Meehan dodged a bullet.

Breeze
Reply to  Baker-King-Vollmer-Manuel
5 years ago

Yes he did. I still think the Rio relay order was wrong also. Weitzell and Manuel should have been in spots 1 & 4.

Baker-King-Vollmer-Manuel
Reply to  Prickle
5 years ago

List of individual gold medalists in swimming at the Olympics and World Aquatics Championships (women)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_individual_gold_medalists_in_swimming_at_the_Olympics_and_World_Aquatics_Championships_(women)

Dee
Reply to  Prickle
5 years ago

I agree, McKeon could have a huge meet. Her relays are usually poor. 0.34s RT. 0.58s PB over 100fl. She is right there.

Uberfan
5 years ago

Simone can’t be happy

Baker-King-Vollmer-Manuel
Reply to  Uberfan
5 years ago

I bet Simone is happy with a gold medal from the women’s 4 x 100 m freestyle relay.

Swim-Fan
Reply to  Uberfan
5 years ago

Seems like Manuel/Comerford is becoming what we thought Manuel/Weitzell should have been.

Baker-King-Vollmer-Manuel
Reply to  Swim-Fan
5 years ago

Weitzell is only 20 years old. Plenty of time to bounce back next year.

Swim-Fan
Reply to  Baker-King-Vollmer-Manuel
5 years ago

True. But right now. It’s the Comerford Manuel show. It would be nice to have 3 excellent sprinters.

JohnJ
Reply to  Baker-King-Vollmer-Manuel
5 years ago

Abbey is done like the many others before her at Cal.

Swim-Fan
Reply to  Uberfan
5 years ago

Unhappy, I doubt it. Will she use this as motivation? YESSS!!!.

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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