2018 MEL ZAJAC JR. INTERNATIONAL
- June 1-3, 2018
- UBC Aquatic Centre
- Vancouver, British Columbia
- Meet Central
- Psych Sheet
- Live Results
- Live Stream
The opening night of competition at the 2018 Mel Zajac Jr. International yielded plenty of impressive swims across the board, including some from the likes of Caeleb Dressel, Ryan Lochte and Penny Oleksiak, along with a massive swim from U.S. junior team member Isabelle Stadden in the women’s 200 back.
Dressel started off his six event slate in Vancouver with a pair of wins, claiming both the 200 free and 50 fly. He was much quicker in prelims in the 200 than he was a few weeks ago at the Atlanta Classic (1:52.41), and dropped a very impressive 1:48.73 in the final for the win. That knocks his 1:51.96 season best down by over three seconds, and makes him the 4th fastest American this year.
Wearing a Mizuno race suit, Dressel trailed Florida training mate Maxime Rooney throughout the race, but blitzed home in a blazing 26.40 to beat out the 2015 National Champion. Rooney was 2nd in 1:49.84, and their teammate Mitch D’Arrigo (1:50.39) was 3rd, both missing their season bests by mere hundredths of a second.
Dressel followed that win up with another in the men’s 50 fly, dropping his prelim swim by nearly a full second in 23.69, his fastest ever at a non-Trials or championship meet. He’s now the 4th fastest American this year behind Jack Conger and Michael Andrew, who are tied at 23.37. Stephen Calkins of the University of Calgary Swim Club edged Sid Farber by .01 for 2nd, 24.51 to 24.52. Rooney won a swim-off at the beginning of the session to get into the A-final, and then placed 4th overall in 24.61.
The 33-year-old Lochte scratched the 200 back final after going 2:03.23 this morning in order to solely focus on the 400 IM. After his 4:30.35 prelim in Atlanta, the 2012 Olympic champ was 4:26.55 in the heats before exploding in the final. Lochte led from the get-go, producing 100 splits of 58.37(1:04.22)(1:12.93)(1:00.28) to dominate the final and win in 4:15.80. This was a statement swim for the veteran, as he moves into 18th in the world rankings and shows he can be competitive in this event despite his age. Reigning world champ Chase Kalisz is the fastest in the world this year, but Lochte is now the #2 American for the season.
The 15-year-old Stadden dropped a stunning 2:08.37 in the women’s 200 back final, putting her 9th in the world for the season and tops among Americans. She came into the meet with a best of 2:11.17, dropping it to 2:10.39 in prelims and then another two seconds in the final. Her U.S. junior teammate Katharine Berkoff took 2nd, also putting up two best times in one day, finishing in 2:10.55 to become the 6th fastest American in 2018.
As for Oleksiak, she won the women’s 50 fly in a very solid 26.59, beating out U.S. junior Gretchen Walsh (27.14) who was 2nd in a new best time. The four-time Olympic medalist also posted the top time in the women’s 200 free, though she did it from the B-final. After a 2:06.42 prelim, she dropped a very strong 1:58.98 in the final, not far off her form at the Commonwealth Games and faster than her 1:59.32 from the Atlanta Classic. Mackenzie Padington won the event in 1:59.01, with 2nd and 3rd place finishers Kyla Leibel (2:01.48) and Walsh (2:02.14) both nailing down new bests.
- Florida Gator Ben Lawless won the men’s 800 in 8:05.94, his 2nd fastest performance ever, followed by Cascade’s Alex Pratt (8:10.84) and U.S. junior Ross Dant (8:15.56).
- Markus Thormeyer produced his fastest ever in season swim in the men’s 200 back, clocking 1:58.14 to beat out Florida’s Clark Beach (1:58.58), who notched a personal best.
- Canadian Olympian Rachel Nicol (1:08.88) won the women’s 100 breast, with 15-year-old Bailey Herbert hitting her 2nd best of the day in the event in 1:09.11 for 2nd. In the men’s event, Jaren LeFranc (1:03.65) used a big back half to run down Jacob Foster (1:03.91) for the win.
- In the women’s 400 IM, Kelly Fertel established a new best time of 4:44.46 to hold off Padington, who was 4:45.68 for 2nd. Fertel’s Gator teammate Savanna Faulconer (4:47.27) was 3rd, and Herbert had another PB for 4th in 4:50.97.
- Taylor Kabacy (17:28.25) won the women’s mile over Samantha Zastre (17:34.78).