Michael Phelps Qualifies for 200 Breast Championship Final at US Nationals

There were some questions about whether or not Michael Phelps would actually swim the 200 breast at U.S. Nationals. Earlier in the meet, he put on earth-shattering performances in the 100 fly, 200 fly, and 200 I.M. to set himself on top of the 2015 world rankings. The 200 breast, however, is not a race we usually see Phelps contest, especially not at end of season meets.

He was definitely present in the prelims this morning, posting a new best time to move from 20th to 6th and qualify for the championship final. Phelps’ 2:12.68 was a massive improvement from his previous best of 2:15.06 from 2007 U.S. Nationals. It was much faster than his most recent swim in the event before today, a 2:18.79 from 2011.

Phelps’ Splits:

2:12.68- 30.17/33.62/34.47/34.42

Phelps actually led the race through the first 100 meters. His 1:03.79 halfway split put him ahead of Craig Benson. Benson, however, came home harder. He split a 1:07.73 to Phelps’ 1:08.89. That gave him a final time of 2:12.14, as the two men finished 1-2 in that heat.

Throughout his career, Phelps has won U.S. Nationals in fly, back, and free. If he chooses to swim the event tonight, he could become the 2nd swimmer in history to have won American national championships across all 4 strokes, and the first man to do so. Tracy Caulkins is the only swimmer to date to accomplish that feat.

Because we really don’t have anything to compare this swim to, it’s hard to say whether or not Phelps could make as big a time drop from prelims to finals as he did in his other events. If he wanted to add the all stroke national titles to his already insane resume, he would have to make that kind of drop.

If Phelps decided to go for it, he would be up against Andrew Wilson. Wilson dropped nearly 6 seconds this morning to put up a 2:09.84. That made him the 4th fastest American of 2015 and moved him to 19th in the world this year. Also in contention is Will Licon, who swam a personal best 2:10.10 this morning.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

9 Comment threads
18 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
8 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Swimmer A

Here’s his prelim swim:


bobo gigi

Good idea to film your computer screen.
You should have done it for the 100 fly too! 😆
We are still waiting for the video. 🙄


Here you go Bobo. It’s not the official video but at least we can watch it again

bobo gigi



Thanks !!!! great race


Michael received a ” Metallica ” boost before stepping on the block !!! love it


Jack Conger’s stroke is a-of a very clean quality too ! a real joy to watch . Michael’s turn was unbelievable and his rythm perfect !

Joel Lin

Incredible that to now only swimmer to win national championships in all 4 strokes is Tracy Caulkins.

bobo gigi

You have answered my question while I wrote my comment below. Thanks for confirming. I’ve well learned my swimming lessons.

bobo gigi

No way it happens but “he could become the 2nd swimmer in history….”
You didn’t mention who was the first.
You let us find the answer? 🙂

Well. I was not born at that time but I would say Tracy Caulkins. Right or not? Probably the greatest all-around female swimmer in history if I’ve well learned my swimming lessons.

Or maybe you talked about a man. But if that’s the case I have no name in mind.


It say was Andrew Wilson

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

Read More »