Produced by Coleman Hodges.
Reported by Anne Lepesant.
WOMEN’S 200 METER FREESTYLE – PRELIMS
- FINA A: 1:58.96
- U.S. Olympic Trials: 2:02.39
Several scratches thinned the ranks of the early heats of women’s 200 free, and second-seeded Katinka Hosszu did not check in for the event, but there were strong morning swims all around. Ella Eastin, swimming unattached out of Stanford, won heat 3 with a 2:01.10, her second-best time ever. This is Eastin’s first long-course meet since her record-breaking performances at NCAAs in March. Her 2:01.10 held up as the morning’s fastest until heat 6, when Patry Castro Ortega, the NCAA Division II record-holder in the 200 yard free out of Queens University of Charlotte, went a 1:59.36 to beat her seed time and lead the field. Lotte Friis of North Baltimore went 2:00.50 for second in the heat, while teammate Becca Mann was third in 2:01.46.
Allison Schmitt of North Baltimore won the first of the circle-seeded heats with 1:58.55, holding off a fast-chargingSimone Manuel who finished second with 1:58.80. North Baltimore’s Cierra Runge touched third in 1:59.41.Hannah Cox of Upper Valley Aquatic Club led wire-to-wire and won heat 8 with 1:59.83, just 3/100 in front of Melanie Margalis of Saint Petersburg. Missy Franklin managed to squeak in for third in the heat, touching in 2:00.53. Franklin looked a little sluggish off the start but got better with each 50.
Katie Ledecky of Nation’s Capital took the final heat with a strong morning swim of 1:56.66. Katie Drabot of Ozaukee Aquatics took second in 2:00.01, just ahead of Nina Rangelova of SMU’s 2:00.60.