We missed Joao de Lucca in the media room for an interview, but thankfully SwimSwam contributor and swimming photo artist, Tim Binning of the swim pictures, captured a lot of images of his unique celebration after winning the 200 yard freestyle in 1:31.51, the third fastest swim of all-time.
Video edit: Gold Medal Mel Stewart
Joao de Lucca was the fastest in-season 200 freestyler in the country this year. Still, he felt like a little bit of an underdog, coming into the final in an outside lane after gambling with an easy morning swim.
He thrived in that role, however, and went out hard in 44.30 on the first 100 yards. Even though he was already a full second up on the field at that point, he continued to pull further-and-further ahead of the second-place swimmer: USC’s Dimitri Colupaev.
Though he ran out of steam a little on his last 50, he was rewarded for his early pacing with a 1:31.51 victory: the third fastest swim of all-time (behind only Simon Burnett’s NCAA record and Ricky Berens’ American Record). De Lucca, in true Brazilian fashion, had a celebration after the race that was almost as spectacular as his swim. It turns out that when he talked about “feeling easy” in the prelims this morning, he wasn’t blowing smoke. De Lucca legitimately had a lot to give. He could be the start of a Brazilian revolution toward the 800 free relay: one where they’ve never been as good as in the sprint relays.
Stanford’s Tom Kremer, the lone freshman in the A-final, took 3rd in 1:33.07: breaking the National Age Group Record for 17-18′s in the event. (Read more about his record here). He had a great closing 50 yards to hold-off USC’s Cristian Quintero for a top-3 finish (Quintero was 4th in 1:33.24). Both of the USC swimmers Colupaev and Quintero had a clear strategy in this race, which was to get a little speed on the first 50, cruise through the middle, and try to bring the race home.
Michigan’s Michael Wynalda held his seed from the morning by finishing 5th in 1:33.38, following the Michigan pattern on day 2 of improving off of even his lofty Big Ten results. Wynalda’s teammate Connor Jaeger didn’t fare as well, and as one of only two swimmers to add time in this final, he fell to 8th in 1:33.85. That’s significant, as Cal sophomore Will Hamilton, who just snuck into the B-Final, moved all the way up to 10th. That sort of thing has become something he’s really good at.
IN between were the two Texas Longhorns: Clay Youngquist and Dax Hill. Hill, the defending champion, tried to go our hard as well, but he just couldn’t find his second 100 yards.
Georgia’s Matias Koski won the B-Final in 1:33.84: another lifetime best for him as well. Alabama’s BJ Hornikel led that consolation heat through 150 yards, but he split 24.75 on the last 50 (slowest of either final) to place 11th overall.
Also of note, Wyoming’s Adam Kalms was 16th in this race to represent the mid-major contingent at this meet.