Eastin Drops NCAA-Leading 200 IM At Day 1 Prelims Of OSU Invitational


The Stanford women certainly let their presence known at the opening session of the Ohio State Invitational in Columbus, posting some very quick times in the prelims including an NCAA-leading 200 IM from senior Ella Eastin. It’s worth noting that all events will feature ten swimmers in each final rather than the regular eight (there will be ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’ and ‘D’ finals).

Women’s Events

Eastin, the defending national champion in the event (who also won in 2016 as a freshman), threw down a time of 1:53.44 in the heats to surpass what Sydney Pickrem did last night at the Art Adamson Invitational (1:53.88). Pickrem’s swim had overtaken what Beata Nelson went (1:54.94) at the ACC/Big Ten College Challenge.

Eastin went 1:53.24 last October at the Pac-12 vs USA College Challenge, but other than that this is her fastest swim outside of an NCAA or Pac-12 Championship meet. Her swim is also faster than she was in the preliminaries of her three NCAA appearances.

Kentucky junior Asia Seidt qualified 2nd into the final in 1:56.43, putting her 5th in the nation and under the time that got invited to NCAAs last season (1:56.76). Stanford loaded up with five of the next six final spots, led by junior Allie Szekely (1:57.33) and sophomore Brooke Forde (1:57.55) in 3rd and 4th.

Forde also swam the women’s 500 this morning, putting up the top time in 4:41.18 which ranks her 7th in the NCAA (including last night’s Art Adamson results, not including any results from today). Her freshman teammate Taylor Ruck swam the event as exhibition, meaning she won’t swim the final, but was still 2nd-fastest this morning in 4:41.78 to finish just four-tenths outside of her best time from 2014.

Behind Forde and Ruck, Cardinal Megan Byrnes (4:41.96) and Geena Freriks of Kentucky (4:42.63) also posted times good enough to put them top-10 in the country, while their teammates Meredith Whisenhunt (UKY) and Katie Drabot (STAN) were closed behind in a tie for 4th (4:43.22). Whisenhunt, a senior, was just .05 off of her best time from the 2018 SECs.

In the other women’s event of the morning, Ruck and Bella Hindley of Yale both established new personal bests to take the top-2 seeds into the final of the 50 freestyle.

Ruck was 22.15 for the top time, lowering her old PB of 22.31 from March of 2017, while Hindley’s 22.23 improved on her 22.25 from the 2017 Ivy League Championships. Both swims were under the invite time to last year’s NCAAs (22.30), and put them 5th and t-7th in the nation respectively.

Another Cardinal freshman Amalie Fackenthal finished just six one-hundredths off her best time for the 3rd seed in 22.41, and Abbie Dolan of Notre Dame was 4th in 22.64. A couple notable swimmers declared false starts in the event: Stanford’s Anya Goeders and Ohio State’s Freya Rayner.

Men’s Events

On the men’s side Notre Dame was fairly dominant in two of three events, landing the top-2 spots in the 500 free and the top-3 in the 200 IM.

Fighting Irish sophomore Sadler McKeen leads the 500 pack in 4:20.90, not too far off his best of 4:19.28, and his teammate Zach Yeadon is a close 2nd in 4:21.46. Yeadon was a 4:13.68 last week at the College Challenge which ranks him 2nd in the country.

Pittsburgh seniors Aaron Sett (4:22.92) and Brian Lovasik (4:23.11) are 3rd and 4th, and OSU’s Nick Hogsed, who owns a best of 4:16.73 from last season, is 6th in 4:24.77.

In the 200 IM Notre Dame came in with the top seed by over three seconds in Aaron Schultz, but it was sophomore Will Cumberland and freshmen Marci Barta and Andrew Winton who took the top-3 spots for them this morning.

Cumberland took a full second off his best time in 1:46.04, ranking him 7th in the country (again, using last night’s Art Adamson results but not taking into account other invites that started today), and Barta also hit a new best in 1:46.50 (improving his 1:46.79 from last weekend). In 3rd, Winton was .01 off his best time in 1:46.94.

Kentucky’s Glen Brown (1:47.02) and Pittsburgh’s Samy Helmbacher (1:47.03) sit 4th and 5th, and Schultz (1:47.26) is 6th.

In the 50 free, Pittsburgh sophomore Blaise Vera cracked the 20-second barrier for the first time to nail down the #1 seed in 19.72, tying him for 5th in the nation. Henry Gaissert of Yale and Peter Wetzlar of Kentucky tied for 2nd in 19.80, and Ohio State’s Ruslan Gaziev (19.88) also broke 20 for the first time in 4th.

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5 years ago

Eastin is swimming with a fire and i LOVE it

Reply to  Swimmerj
5 years ago

Well, after having some bad luck with long course I bet she is.

Coach Mike 1952
5 years ago

Go Ella, am hoping this is an indication your bout with mono is healing well.

Troy's Magic Stache
5 years ago

Don’t you just miss the times where you can see a 1:40.6 2 IM at a midseason meet? Me too.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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