U.S. National Teamer Katie McLaughlin had a huge swim in this morning’s prelims at the Fran Crippen Swim Meet of Champions, going 2:07.93 in the 200 fly.
That time vaults the 17-year-old into a tie for 10th place in our World Rankings for this year:
McLaughlin is competing in front of a home crowd, representing her longtime club, the Mission Viejo Nadadores in what is perhaps her final season before leaving Mission Viejo for the University of California. (McLaughlin is set to become a Cal Bear next fall, but could defer her enrollment to stay at Mission Viejo through the 2016 Olympic Trials).
This morning’s time is the second-best long course meter 200 fly of McLaughlin’s career, and even faster than she went in taking second at last summer’s U.S. National Championships.
That runner-up finish would earn the high schooler a spot on the U.S. roster for the 2015 World Championships, where McLaughlin will join Cammile Adams in representing the U.S.
Going 2:07.93 at this point in the season has to be a big momentum boost for McLaughlin heading into her first long course World Championships. She was within a second of her lifetime-best (2:07.08) and still has another crack at the event in tonight’s finals.
McLaughlin got to represent the U.S. at last summer’s Pan Pacific Championships, and that’s where she set that personal-best. Her Pan Pacs time also stands just twelve one-hundredths of a second off the 17-18 National Age Group record of 2:06.96 set by Kathleen Hersey in 2008. It would take a major drop for McLaughlin to get that record tonight, but it’s certainly not out of the question. And with momentum clearly on her side, it appears that record could be in major jeopardy come Worlds later on this summer.
We’ll have a full recap of the Swim Meet of Champions after tonight’s finals, but you can find results on Meet Mobile.