The Art Adamson Invite turned its format over to short course yards for finals and the explosions started immediately on night 1, led by Beryl Gastaldello‘s nation-leading 50 free.
The French sophomore blasted her way to the first 21-second 50 freestyle of the season, going 21.86 to rise to the top of the NCAA.
Defending NCAA champ Simone Manuel is redshirting this season, leaving the national title wide open for the taking, and Gastaldello’s swim Thursday was a statement that she should be among the favorites.
Manuel’s Stanford teammate Janet Hu was second in 22.10, and fellow Cardinal swimmer Lia Neal took third in 22.22. Those are the 1st-, 2nd- and 3rd-best times in the NCAA this season in short course yards (not counting a converted long course time from Farida Osman and the results of any other meets this weekend, which aren’t reflected in the NCAA rankings as of yet).
That wasn’t the only firework swim of night 1, though. Stanford freshman Ella Eastin obliterated the national 200 IM rankings, going 1:54.53, a time that would have been 4th at last year’s NCAA Championships. Eastin was one of the top recruits in the nation and is proving to be exactly the answer Stanford needed for its relatively thin IM group.
Texas A&M sophomore Bethany Galat was 1:55.22 for second in both the meet and the NCAA rankings, and LSU’s Kara Kopcso takes 3rd in both rankings with a 1:56.55.
The biggest swim on the men’s side came from Utah’s Bence Kiraly. The senior went 4:16.79 to blow out the national 500 free rankings and become the first man officially under 4:20 this season. His senior teammate Kristian Kron sits #2 in the rankings after going 4:18.55 for second.
Stanford’s women were quick in the 200 free relay as well. Even without Manuel, the Cardinal put up two 21-second splits and nearly a 21-second leadoff from Hu, who was 22.02. Neal went 21.93 and Julia Ama 21.95, and Lindsey Engel closed in 22.16 as Stanford went 1:28.06 to lead the nation by almost two seconds.
Stanford also put up the nation’s best time in the 400 medley relay, going 3:30.53. Hu was 51.28 on the fly leg and Neal 47.45 on free to close a busy session for her. Defending NCAA champ Sarah Haase (59.24 on breast) and sophomore Ally Howe (52.56 leading off on backstroke) rounded out the relay.
The most impressive team on the men’s side of the relays was LSU, which swept the relay races and put up the nation’s best 400 medley time of the season. The splits were great all-around, but most impressive were the 46.40 fly leg from Logan Rysemus and the 42.68 anchor split from Alex Linge. Brandon Goldman was 48.34 on back and Silas Dejean 53.59 on breaststroke as the Tigers went 3:11.01.
LSU also won the 200 free relay and sit #3 in the nation. Tyler Harper was 19.84 and Linge anchored in a blazing 19.42 to help the team go 1:19.41.
Other events from Thursday night’s action:
- Texas A&M junior Sarah Gibson sits #2 in the national ranks after winning the 500 free in 4:42.43.
- LSU junior Brandon Goldman was impressive, winning both prelims and finals of the 200 IM. He was 1:46.46 at night to top A&M’s Brock Bonetti.
- After tying for the top seed in the long course morning session, LSU’s Alex Linge and Arizona State’s Patrick Park battled for the short course win at night. Linge ultimately won in 20.01, and his teammate Joao Victor Mescolote snuck in for second at 20.11. Park was 20.18 for third.