The Texas Invitational is the fastest meet in the country right now this side of Atlanta. Heck, this meet might even be faster than Winter Nationals, at least at the very top of the standings, albeit this one is swum in yards.
We’ll just hit the high points, because it’s prelims, starting with the breaststrokes. USC’s Kasey Carlson swam a lifetime best in the 100 breaststroke in 58.69. That’s just .01 behind the time that A&M’s Breeja Larson swam at the Tennessee Invitational two weeks ago. If she can drop that time even a little bit in finals, it will be a stunning result.
One better, and one younger, came from Arizona freshman Kevin Cordes. He was the only real impact freshman that the Wildcats picked up in last year’s recruiting class, and in an area where Arizona seemed to already be strong, but he’s making himself count for far more than himself. He posted an NCAA Automatic Qualifying time of 51.76, which is the best time in the country by a second and a half.
That’s a monster mark that would have palced him 2nd at NCAA’s last year. Fact – that’s the 2nd-fastest anybody has ever been in this race outside of the month of March (when NCAA and Conference championships are held), behind only a post-grad swim from Mike Alexandrov at last year’s Winter Nationals that broke an American Record. It also leaves him 5th on the all-time list.
Those looking for your next great American 100 breaststroker, he may have just blossomed.
Arizona’s Austen Thompson is loaded up for another big day, with a 4;43.91 in the prelims of the men’s 400 IM. Katinka Hosszu took the top seed in the 400 IM (4:07.91), and came back in the very next event to earn an NCAA automatic qualifying time in the 200 free (1:44.01). Don’t be surprised if she goes under 4-minutes (or even breaks an NCAA Record) in the final of the 400 IM, as she was clearly biding her energy with the back-to-back races this morning.
And finally, Arizona sophomore Mitchell Friedemann posted an automatic qualifying time in the men’s 100 back to take the top seed in 45.86.