Comerford Hits 1:58.5 PB in 200 Free Prelims at Bucceto Open


  • June 1-4, 2017
  • Bloomington, IN (IU campus)
  • Results on Meet Mobile under ‘IU Bucceto Open’

In prelims of the IU Bucceto Open this morning in Bloomington, Mallory Comerford of Cardinal Aquatics put down a best time of 1:58.54 in the 200 free.

After her insane progressions in college, which culminated in a 200y free tie for the NCAA title with none other than Katie Ledecky, the swimming world waited for Comerford to translate that success into long course. It didn’t really happen as expected– before the 2016-17 NCAA season, Comerford went 1:59.24 at the Olympic Trials. That was a personal best, but it still didn’t really live up to her then-best yards time of 1:42.54.

She broke through, sort of, with a 1:59.60 swim at the Indy stop of the Pro Swim Series in March of this year. At that same meet, she also blasted a far more impressive 53.91, making her a surefire contender for a 4×100 free relay Worlds spot and perhaps an individual spot, too. Her 200, though, lagged behind. At the next two Pro Swim Series, she was stuck on the wrong side of the 2:00 barrier, going 2:00.41 at Mesa in April and 2:00.35 at Atlanta in May.

In late May, she talked with SwimSwam about finding the right gear in long course, and how she was still figuring out how to swim the 200 free in meters. “The transition from short course to long course has been really challenging for me,” said Comerford, who talked about how she tried different strategies like even-splitting or just going out hard right off the bat, but nothing was quite working.

Comerford was 54.46 in the 100 last night– not a season best, but definitely a competitive time, seeing as only Simone Manuel (53.66) and Lia Neal (54.38) have been faster out of any American swimmer since last summer. Manuel and Neal, too, went 54’s last night in Santa Clara. While her 100 wasn’t quite as fast as she’s been this year, her 200 looks like it’s finally coming along.

Split comparisons

  • Comerford – 2017 Arena Pro Swim Series Indy – 1:59.60
    • 28.13/30.56 (58.69) – 30.77/30.14 (1:00.91)
  • Comerford – 2016 Olympic Trials – 1:59.24
    • 28.11/30.25 (58.36) – 30.72/30.16 (1:00.88)
  • Comerford – 2017 IU Bucceto Open – 1:58.54
    • 28.17/29.75 (57.92) – 30.24/30.38 (1:00.62)

The key move for Comerford this morning was to hold strong in that middle 100– she was much faster on both of those 50’s than she was in her two other fastest swims in this event. That strategy paid off, as it brought her best time down by seven tenths (albeit from the Olympic Trials to a much smaller meet in Indiana) and her final 50 was still almost as strong as it was the other two swims.

With the American women’s 800 free relay in disarray, Comerford finding the right gear in long course could be key in the USA’s quest for gold in Budapest. We’ll see what she can do in finals tonight, but a 1:58-mid right now is a very good sign for the rising Louisville junior.

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Great signs of things to come for her in the 200 free

Sean S

Hard to really say that the American women’s 800 free relay is in disarray when they still have Ledecky and Smith. I don’t expect them to face a real challenge this summer.


I think it’s not so much that they’re not in disarray, it is that everyone else is too. For the Aussies, Barrat retired, Ruck bombed Canadian Trials which means that Canada is out a potential 1:55 split, no one knows what’s going on with China, and the Swedes never found a fourth swimmer.


The us might have lost Schmidt Franklin and Dirado but they still have KL Smith Manuel Comeford Margalis McLaughlin


“they still have KL”

you can just pretty much stop there.


you can’t. it’s a relay.

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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