Murphy Drops 1:56.65 to Win 200 Back at L.A. Invite

Friday nights finals at the Los Angeles Invitational was a tune up for many of the swimmers on the U.S. World Championships Team roster. Prelims set up an exciting race in the 100 free between Margo Geer and Simone Manuel for the women, while Nathan Adrian squared off with Vlad Morozov, Nikita Lobintsev, and USA teammate Conor Dwyer. Day 2 Finals highlights:

Women’s 800 Free

The finals of the women’s 800 free was a runaway for Haley Anderson. In her home pool, Anderson won by over 16 seconds, touching at 8:37.48. Anderson will be swimming the 5k and 10k open water events for Team USA in Kazan.

NOVA’s Brittany Kampfer blazed through the final 100 in 1:03.97 after holding 1:07s through most of the race. She was able to swim past Alexandra Wooden, who also dropped to a significantly faster final split in 1:04.12. They placed 2nd and 3rd respectively in 8:53.79 to 8:53.86.

Riley Spitser was also significantly under 9 minutes, claiming 4th in 8:57.67. 5th place finisher Mayte Alejandra Cano Figueroa also snuck under the barrier with an 8:59.93.

Women’s 100 Free

Friday morning prelims saw Arizona’s Pac-12 woman of the year Margo Geer put on impressive performance in the 100 free, dipping under 54 for the first time in 53.95.

In finals, Simone Manuel stepped up to challenge for the win. Geer and Manuel rocketed ahead of the field, with the Stanford sophomore claiming 1st place in a time of 54.26. Geer was 2nd in a respectable 54.55.

Geer and Manuel are the 1st and 3rd fastest Americans this year as they prepare for the World Championships in Kazan. Natalie Coughlin sits in between them with a 54.18 from Arena Pro Swim Mesa.

University of California’s Camille Cheng was 3rd in 55.76. Her teammate Farida Osman was close behind, finishing in 56.08 for 4th.

Men’s 100 Free

5 swimmers in the championship final broke the 50 second barrier, led by Vlad Morozov, Nathan Adrian, and top qualifier Nikita Lobintsev.

In a nail biter of a finish, Morozov claimed a narrow victory over Adrian, the 2012 Olympic champion in this event. The 2 men touched in 49.00 and 49.03.

Lobintsev, who broke 49 this morning, added a couple tenths to his prelim time. His 49.18 was good enough for 3rd.

U.S. Olympic gold medalists Conor Dwyer and Matt Grevers were 5th and 7th in the final. Dwyer came in at 49.40, while Tucson Ford’s Grevers clocked a 50.72.

Women’s 200 Fly

Another Stanford woman grabbed a win in the 200 fly, as incoming freshman Ella Eastin swam to the wall first in 2:11.63. That’s just off her personal best time of 2:11.30 from summer Juniors in 2013.

AZOT’s Sonia Wang came in behind Eastin to grab 2nd in 2:12.50. With that, she knocked a tenth off her previous best time coming into the meet.

Tara Halsted and Katie Kinnear were neck and neck behind her, with Halsted edging ahead at the finish for 3rd, 2:13.82 to 2:13.90.

Men’s 200 Fly

The top 3 in the 100 fly were all men from California Aquatics. Tom Shields led the way in 1:57.49. As usual, Shields took it out hard in 55.78, closing in 1:01.71.

Sophomore Justin Lynch tried to take advantage of the back half. He made a charge on the 2nd 100, finishing within a second of Shields in 1:58.22. He was well ahead of 3rd place finisher Adam Hinshaw.

Hinshaw won a close race with USC’s Ted Singley, swimming a 2:01.03 to the latter’s 2:01.42.

AZOT’s Corey Okubo, who represents Princeton in the college season, was a tenth behind in 2:01.54

Women’s 200 Back

Stanford’s Ally Howe dropped the hammer in the women’s 200 back, winning with a time of 2:12.93. She chipped 5 hundredths off her previous best of 2:12.98.

Hannah Weiss swam to 2nd in her home pool with a 2:13.91. Exactly 2 seconds behind, Madison White from UCLA swam to a 2:15.91 for 3rd.

Incoming UCLA freshman Emma Schanz battled with future Pac-12 rival Bonnie Brandon, a former U.S. National Team member from the University of Arizona. Schanz came in 4th at 2:15.99, while Brandon recorded a 2:16.20.

Tara Halsted returned to the pool for her 2nd race of the night. She was 6th in 2:16.51.

Men’s 200 Back

American Record holder and NCAA champion Ryan Murphy destroyed the field in the men’s 200 back. Murphy, who will head to Kazan with Team USA this summer, clocked in at 1:56.65. That’s just over a half second off his best of 1:55.99.

Behind Murphy, Thomas Smith earned a 2nd place finish. The 18 year old from AZOT swam a 2:02.01 for a new personal best.

3rd and 4th place were sperated by just .02. Iegor Lytvenok  outsplit Anton Panferov, 30.85 to 30.97, on the last 50. He came up just short as Panferov held on for 3rd in 2:03.52 ahead of Lytvenok’s 2:03.54.

Corey Okubo swam back-to-back events, placing 6th in this event with a 2:05.16.

Women’s 400 I.M.

Maya Dirado put on a sub 4:40 performance in the women’s 400 I.M., crushing the field by over 6 seconds. Her 4:39.93 is in preparation for the World Championships, where she’ll represent the United States in both of the I.M. events.

After winning the 800 free earlier tonight, Haley Anderson grabbed silver in 4:46.11. She raced through the freestyle split in 1:02.54 to chase down 200 fly victor Ella Eastin, who posted a 4:47.24 for 3rd.

All-American Kelly Naze from UC Berkeley swam this event in 4:50.79 to finish 4th.

Men’s 400 Free

The men’s 400 was the final individual race of the night. Adam Hinshaw came up 1st with a time of 3:57.88. He had a close race with Arizona’s Ty Fowler, who finished 2nd in 3:58.35. That’s a lifetime best for Fowler, who came into the meet with a 3:58.87.

3rd-6th place all finished under 4 minutes, led by Ted Singley, who finished in 3:59.07. His final 100 split of 59.21 was enough to overtake 3rd from Owen Kao. Kao closed in 59.63 for a final time of 3:59.14.

Fowler’s teammate, freshman Parks Jones, held off a hard charging Ryan Kao. Kao had the fastest last 100 of the field with a 58.02, but ran out of room to catch Jones. The two men finished in 3:59.57 and 3:59.71 for 5th and 6th.

Women’s 4×100 Free Relay

Team Bruin won the women’s 400 free relay by a large margin, finishing in 3:54.39. 3 of the 4 swimmers were under 1:00, with Linnea Mack swimming the fastest split in 57.44. Madison White lead off in 57.96.

Golden West Swim Club’s relays were 2nd and 3rd. The B team finished ahead of their A team, 3:58.89 to 4:00. Maddie Meisel lead off in 58.82 to put the A squad in the lead, but Samantha Le‘s 59.66 on the 3rd leg was enough to put the B team ahead.

Men’s 4×100 Free Relay

Simon Fraser Aquatics took the win in the men’s 400 free relay, led by Andrew Poznikoff‘s flat start 52.56. His teammate Ben Berg was under 53 on the 2nd leg, swimming a 52.40.

Golden West Swim Club’s men were 2nd and 3rd in this event as well. The A team finished 2nd, as their fastest swimmer Chadd Maurer lead off with a 53.75.

Golden West Swim Club’s B team went back and forth with Buenaventura Swim Club in a race for 3rd. Dylan Nelson lead off for Golden West to give his teammates an edge in 55.48. Stewart Harrison answered back quickly in 52.85 to give Buenaventura a lead by almost a second.

Niles Biolley dove in after Harrison to increase their lead to over 1.5 seconds with his 54.62. But Golden West’s Ambert Sawaya roared back in a 53.25 anchor leg to put Golden West in the last slot of the top 3. The teams finished 3:40.17 to 3:41.64.

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Relay swimmer

What about the team relays?


Murphy is ready by a big performance in the 200 back in his first international meet. It would be nice if he could get a chance to swim the 100 back too in a relay.

bobo gigi

The US coaches would be dumb if they didn’t put Murphy to lead-off the medley relay if he’s impressive in the 200 back and especially if Grevers is not impressive in the 100 back.


If i recall correctly Murphy won bronze medal 200backstroke at Short course worlds last year so definitely has some international experience.

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 …

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