The Trojans continued their dominance on the third day of the meet. After picking up 5 wins on each of the first two days, USC swimmers won 5 more on the third day (if you count Trojan club swimmers Jessica Hardy and Markus Rogan).
Tucson Ford’s Matt Grevers continued to have a great meet and picked up another win.
Women’s 1650 free
USC may have rested for this meet. They may be partially tapered, or they may be fully tapered. Regardless of how rested they are, they are putting up some absolutely outstanding marks in Columbus, and if they can recreate these times at NCAA’s, they could win at least 6, and as many as 10, events.
Case-in-point: Haley Anderson in the women’s mile. Her winning time of 15:48.64 makes her the only collegian under 16 minutes this season and one of only two swimmers of any level to break that barrier. This was also only the second time in her career that she has gone sub-16 (with the first being a 15:59.99 at NCAA’s last year). The time also shattered (by 10 seconds) her sister Alyssa’s meet record from 2007. Ashley Steenvoorden from Minnesota also set a season-best to grab second in 16:01.33 – the second best NCAA time this season.
Anderson let only four 50’s of the whole race slip into the 29-second range. So dominating was her swim that no other swimmer in the field had more than four 50’s BELOW 29 seconds.
Men’s 1650 free
Longhorn Aquatics Michael Klueh completed a successful distance double by taking the men’s mile in a time of 14:40.62. Like Anderson in the women’s race, Klueh was silly-dominant here: taking a victory by over 17 seconds. USC’s Richard Charlesworth, a British international, was second in 14:58.03 as the top NCAA finisher. His time is third best in the nation this year, sitting behind Jo Kinderwater of UNC and Stanford’s La Tourette. Nicholas Caldwell, who you will recall put up a 4:18 500 on day 1, was third in 15:05.03. As only a senior in high school, he’s going to be a very good one for the Florida Gators next year.
Women’s 200 back
The women’s 200 back had the best duel of the day between USC’s Presley Bard and England’s Stephanie Proud. Bard took a solid lead through 150 before Proud battled back with an extremely fast last 50. of 28.01. In the end, the Brit took the race in 1:52.62 with a final lunge, and Bard took second in 1:52.70.
Continuing to show the dominant future of USA backstroke, 15-year old Missy Franklin took third in 1:53.32. Bonnie Brandon threw her name in the hat as the fifth part of the American youth backstroke machine that is going to dominate the world in 2016.
Men’s 200 back
Ok, so Markus Rogan never swam for USC, and hasn’t been in college in a long while. He does, however, train with Coach Dave Salo on the club side of the USC program, so count him in for another USC win. He took the men’s 200 back comfortably in a time of 1:40.11. Rogan, who’s very good in short course races, will be a strong competitor for gold in this event in Dubai.
Rex Tullius, who yesterday won the 200 free, too second in 1:40.62. He won a great race for the silver with teammate Ryan Lochte, who was third in 1:40.65. Lochte led the first half of the race, and the two were in a dead-heat at the 150 yard turn. The two had almost identical splits on the closing 50, but Tullius just happened to finish on the right stroke: giving him the win.
Women’s 100 free
Jessica Hardy took her second national title of the meet in the women’s 100 free in 47.81. Her freestyle is getting to a level where it’s almost as good as her breaststroke ever was. Her time is the best in the country this season, and she will be a favorite in this race in Dubai.
Kara Lynn Joyce finished second in 47.96, which to me seems as though it should lock up her spot on the 400 free relay over rival Amanda Weir, though the final decision remains to be seen. 15-year old Lia Neal was third in 48.13, which is a career best time for her by over half-a-second.
Men’s 100 free
Matt Grevers continued his “comeback” meet in the 100 free by winning his third National Title and making a strong case for swimmer of the meet. His time of 41.35 is within in sniffing distance of Nathan Adrian’s American record. Grevers’ time is the second fastest textile time ever, only behind Cesar Cielo’s winning time of 41.17 from 2007 NCAA’s. As I mentioned in the day 2 recap, I’m really disappointed that Grevers isn’t going to worlds, as he looks as good right now as he has in a long time, if not ever.
Speaking of the American record holder Adrian, the Cal senior took second in 41.63 and is the only college swimmer under 42 this year. That time is just off of his NCAA time from last year, and sets up for a great competition between him, Cielo, and the Frenchmen at worlds.
Morozov swam the NCAA’s second-best time of 42.12 thanks to a great finishing kick. In hindsight, he probably wishes that he had gone out a little faster on the front half, especially given his field-best .57 reaction time. He out-touched Cal Aquatics’ William Copeland, who was fourth in 42.13.
Both Grevers and Adrian were under the old meet record of 41.75, previously held by Copeland.
Women’s 200 breaststroke
This event broke the streak of every event on day 3 having a Trojan swimmer in the top 3. Cal’s Caitlin Leverenz, who is better known as an IM’er, won the 200 breaststroke in 2:06.55. This is the best collegiate time in the nation this year. Minnesota’s Jillian Tyler will be the favorite to win the 100 breaststroke at NCAA’s, but Leverenz looks like she’ll give be part of a group that gives the Canadian a big challenge in the 200. Tyler finished 8th in this race, about 3 seconds slower than her season-best time.
Kaitlin Freeman, who trains in Santa Barbara, was second in 2:08.97, and Nittany Lion Aquatics’ Corrie Clark was third in 2:09.40.
Men’s 200 breaststroke
Mike Alexandrov claimed another National Title, and American Record, in the men’s 200 breaststroke to match the one he set yesterday in the 100. His winning time of 1:51.73 nipped Brendan Hansen’s 4-year old mark by a narrow .01 seconds. This furthered his legacy as possibly the best American short course breaststroker ever. Hopefully he can transfer that into long course in Shanghai, as the American relays are hurting for a shut down breaststroker.
Women’s 200 butterfly
Katinka Hosszu all but sealed up the swimmer of the meet award with her third event win in the women’s 200 fly. She swam a 1:51.45 to win the race, and though she was a bit faster in prelims (1:51.02) she was still well clear of USC teammate Lyndsay De Paul for the victory. De Paul’s time of 1:52.82 was good enough for the silver.
USC is really good in this event, and could score as many as four A-finalists at NCAA’s this year. The Trojans also got a 7th place finish from sophomore Tanya Krisman and a 10th from sophomore Yumi So.
Stanford’s Elaine Breeden, the defending NCAA champion in the 200 fly, was fourth in 1:54.96-the third best NCAA time in the country this year. Stanford appeared to use the Arena Invite last weekend as their winter rest meet, but De Paul and Hosszu still have to emerge in the spring semester as the favorites in this event.
Men’s 200 butterfly
Robert Margalis is proving to be a bit of a late bloomer on the national level and is swimming some of the best times of his life at 28-years old. This was his second event win of the weekend and seems to be the fastest 200 yards time of his career (1:42.49). Tom Shields, who was the runner-up in this event at NCAA’s as a freshman, scored his second silver of the meet in 1:42.79—the best time in the country this year.
Women’s 400 free relay
The Cal women won the women’s 400 free relay in 3:14.50—the fastest NCAA time this season. Their most notable split was a 48.00 on the second leg from Hannah Wilson.
USC was second in 3:15.39, which ties Stanford for the second best time in the nation. They’re really hurting for a third sprinter to put them over the edge. Hosszu is very good, but in the 100 yard races she’s not quite good enough to carry USC past the group from Cal in this relay.
Men’s 400 free relay
Disappointingly, neither Grevers nor Adrian swam the 100 free, so USC’s Vlad Morozov was left as the big name in the 400 free relay. Morozov bettered his individual 100 time just a little to lead of the USC relay in 42.06. His teammate Dmitri Colupaev also split under 43 in 42.99. The USC relay easily won in 2:51.58 to end the meet the way they began it: with yet another victory.
Ohio State was second in 2:56.23 as the top all-american relay in the field. The Adrian-less Cal squad was third in 2:56.51.
Results available here and at Omegatiming.com