Emily Cameron Tops 200 IM; Bootsma Becomes 2nd-Fastest American in History at NCSA’s

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 1

March 24th, 2012 Club, News

15-year old phenom Katie Ledecky finished her meet with a win in the 800 free in 8:33.48. That’s a solid time for her (though still a hair off of what she swam at the Missouri Grand Prix last month). The youngest of the American distance swimmers are developing (Ledecky, Leah Smith, Rebecca Mann) more in the Katie Ziegler mode where they swim fast frequently in-season, as compared to the Chloe Sutton mode where they are beat-up in season and have monster tapers at year’s end.

Megan Rankin out of California took second in 8:43.90.

In the 200 IM, Rachel Bootsma was everybody’s star, and she looked every bit of that in the yards prelim with a top seed of 1:59.28 (the only swimmer under two minutes in that prelim). But in finals, she was challenged big-time by Emily Cameron out of the Lancaster Aquatic Club in Pennsylvania.

Bootsma went out very well in the race, which was not a surprise to anybody. But Cameron has some big-time international experience of her own as a member of the 2010 Junior Pan-Pac team and didn’t panic. She’s a dynamite breaststroker and made up about a two-body-length deficit on that leg alone to jump out into the lead. She didn’t relinquish that lead either, and in fact extended it, to take a win in 2:16.13. Cameron’s long course swimming plateau’ed last summer after her great run at 2010 Jr. Pan Pacs, but she’s continued to advance bigtime in yards (she’s extremely versatile there), including breaking State Records in both the 50 free (22.75) and the 100 breaststroke (1:00.5) at this year’s Pennsylvania High School State Championships. Her versatility probably makes her a top-5 recruit in next year’s class, behind Missy Franklin.

Bootsma took 2nd in 2:17.82 on the back of a bad breaststroke leg. That might be an area that Teri McKeever could use her at Cal (they’re really not very deep in IM’s after Caitlin Leverenz), but she’ll need to do some work on her breaststroke for that to happen. If she did so, she could be a dynamite IM’er. Sarah Haase, who has no trouble on breaststroke, was 3rd in 2:18.74.

The future Cal bear Bootsma had some huge successes, however. Right before that 200 IM, she posted a 27.84 in the 50 back. That’s the fastest time in the world this year, and makes her the 12th-fastest swimmer in the history of the world in the event. The time was just .04 away from Hayley McGregory’s American Record of 27.80. That would be a National Age Group Record, though USA Swimming doesn’t track 50 meter records in the 17-18 age groups.

In the men’s version of the 200 IM, the Northern Kentucky Clippers’ Maxwell Williamson took his 2nd event win of the day with a 2:02.96. He out-dueled Ty Stewart, who was 2nd in 2:03.60. That, incidentally, is a new Mississippi state record.

Full Meet Results available here.

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bobo gigi

Best performances for me in yards are the 1650 free of Katie Ledecky and the butterfly split of Mary Schneider in the 200 medley relay. And in long course best performances are Jack Conger in the 200 back, Katie Ledecky in the 400 free and Rachel Bootsma in the 50 back. Overall I think the 1650 free of Katie Ledecky and the 50 back of Rachel Bootsma are the best performances of the meet.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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