Reported by Lauren Neidigh.
WOMEN’S 800 FREE:
Arizona postgrad Leah Smith, in her first of 3 swims tonight, had a dominant performance, stretching out her lead throughout the race to win by almost 10 seconds. Smith will be competing in the 200 fly and 200 IM later on in the session. Indiana postgrad Ashley Neidigh followed in 2nd as she in Cierra Runge were the only other swimmers to break 8:50 tonight. Olivia Anderson (8:50.46) made a move as she started to close the gap on Runge around the 600 mark, but Runge took off again in the final 200.
WOMEN’S 200 FLY:
Hali Flickinger was slightly off her prelims time, but still won by nearly 2 seconds as the only women to break 2:10 tonight. Kelsi Dahlia mad a big drop from prelims to take 2nd. The 2 junior swimmers in the field, Winter Juniors champions Eastern Iowa Swim Federation’s Ruby Martin and Enfinity Aquatics’ Olivia Carter, battled closely for bronze. Martin was a second faster up front, but Carter started to close in on the 3rd 50. Carter ran out of room at the finish, touching 4th in 2:12.87. Leah Smith, coming off her win in the 800 less than an hour before, touched in 6th with a time of 2:16.06, just a slight add from her morning swim.
WOMEN’S 200 IM:
Melanie Margalis was head an shoulders above the field as she won the race by almost 3 seconds, but Leah Smith had an impressive swim in her own right to take the silver. In her 3rd swim of this session and 5th race of the day, Smith swam another best time. Coming into today, Smith’s best was a 2:21.52 from 2014. She broke 2:20 for the first time in prelims and clipped her best time by a couple of tenths tonight. That was Smith’s 3rd best time of the day. She put up bests in both the 200 fly and 200 IM this morning, and now the 200 IM tonight.
WOMEN’S 400 FREE:
Leah Smith completed the 200-400-800 sweep at this meet as she dominated in 4:07.25. This was her first meet of the 2018 season, but she was still a few hundredths faster tonight than she was in the final at this meet last season. Runner-up Hali Flickinger was the only other swimmer to break 4:10, finishing just a few tenths sshy of her season best from Atlanta. Cierra Runge nabbed another bronze as she outpaced Winter Nats 500 champ Ashley Neidigh (4:15.05). and Vietnamese Record holder Vien Nguyen (4:16.71) was in position to challenge Neidigh for 4th, but Neidigh and Sophie Cattermole (4:16.31) pulled ahead in the closing meters.
WOMEN’S 200 MYSTERY IM:
- GOLD: Leah Smith, 2:18.19
- SILVER: Callie Dickinson, 2:18.79
- BRONZE: Eleanna Koutsouveli, 2:18.85
Leah Smith got to start with freestyle out of lane 1, flipping in 28.07 to take the early lead. Smith then had to swim backstroke, but Zoe Bartel started to catch up as she was swimming fly. Isleta eventually took over the lead with free on the 2nd leg. Smith took over the lead again as she swam fly on the 3rd leg, but she had to swim breast on the final lap. Isleta and Bartel both had to finish with breast as well. Smith was able to hold off the field in 2:18.19, followed by Callie Dickinson (2:18.79) and Eleanna Koutsouveli (2:18.85).