Reported by James Sutherland.
Kathleen Baker: “I’ve gotten a lot stronger and am in better shape … That was my first national title ever, so I thought that was pretty cool, too. I’ve known for going out pretty hard and trying to hold on, and I had enough left at the end to just go out and stay ahead. Without the top three people opened this event up … I think that really gave me more confidence going in, knowing I really had a shot. I’ve been really working on the 100 and 200 backstroke this year, and coming off a great NCAA Championships definitely helped as well.”
WOMEN’S 200 BACK FINALS
- American Record: 2:04.06, Missy Franklin, 2012
- U.S. Open Record: 2:05.68, Missy Franklin, 2013
- LC National Meet Record: 2:05.68, Missy Franklin, 2013
- FINA ‘A’ Standard: 2:11.53
- Kathleen Baker, CAL, 2:06.38
- Regan Smith, RIPT, 2:08.55
- Asia Seidt, LAK, 2:08.99
100 back Olympic silver medalist Kathleen Baker put on a dominant display in the 200 back final after foregoing the event at Olympic Trials last year. After winning decisively at the NCAA Championships, the Cal Bear proved she could do it in the big pool as well, torching the field in a time of 2:06.38. She was ahead from the start, out in 1:01.74 and held it together well coming back in 1:04.6.
15-year-old Regan Smith of Riptide dropped a second consecutive 2:08 today to claim second in 2:08.55, and Lakeside’s Asia Seidt had a nice personal best as well to take 3rd in 2:08.99. Behind those three, the field quite a bit slower than this morning, with Kentucky’s Bridgette Alexander 4th in 2:10.10.
Lucie Nordmann, Alex Walsh and Tevyn Waddell had a good battle in the B-final, with Nordmann getting the touch in 2:10.35. All three were under 2:11. Claire Adams dropped nearly two seconds from prelims to win the C-final in 2:11.86.