2022 GEORGE HAINES INTERNATIONAL SWIM MEET
- June 9 – June 12, 2022
- Santa Clara, CA
- George Haines International Swim Center
- Long Course Meters (50 meters)
- Meet Website
- Psych Sheets
With the World Championships not an option this summer because of the FINA ban on Russian athletes competing, rising Stanford sophomore (athletics)/junior (academics) Andrei Minakov chose to stay in NorCal and train.
That includes competing this weekend in Santa Clara at the 2022 George Haines International Swim Meet, where he won the men’s 100 fly in 52.23.
That time is well-shy of his personal best of 50.83 in the event. Minakov has struggled to be on his normal form since March’s NCAA Championship meet, where he won the 100 yard butterfly. At the Speedo Grand Challenge Meet two weeks ago, he was only 53.33 in the 100 fly, though this result was better than that at least. The last time he was as slow as a 52 in the 100 fly was in October of 2020, in his first meets coming out of the COVID-19 lockdowns.
Finishing 2nd in that 100 fly was 19-year old Hunter Foehner of the University of Denver Hilltoppers. The Georgia Tech commit swam 54.42, which knocked eight-tenths of a second off his previous personal best in the race.
With the Yellow Jackets’ three best butterfliers from last season, including All-American Christian Ferrero, set to graduate, Foehner was already the front-runner to take over as the lead of that group next season in Atlanta. The team’s fastest returner in the event is Antonio Romero, who swam 48.69 in yards last season. Doehner’s yards best, from March, is 47.83, and his long course progress hints at better things to come.
Foehner’s time missed the qualifying standard for this summer’s National Championships by .03 seconds.
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Tom Shields was entered in this event, but wound up scratching prelims. Shields struggled to regain form this spring after dealing with a bad bout of pneumonia, among other related health issues, at the start of the year. Dare Rose, who was 4th in the 100 fly at the US World Championship Trials in April, also scratched both of his races on Friday, including the 100 fly.
Minakov also swam 23.46 in prelims of the 50 fly on Saturday, and is scheduled to race the 200 IM on Sunday.
The highlight of the women’s side of the meet through two days was a pair of wins by rising Stanford sophomore Lillie Nordmann. She won the 100 free in 55.41 and the 100 fly in 59.57.
Nordmann skipped the US International Team Trials earlier this year. In the 100 free on Friday, though, her time was a new best by four-tenths of a second. She hadn’t been a best time in that race since a relay leadoff of 55.83 at the 2019 Summer Junior Nationals.
Her swim from Friday ranks her 24th this season among all Americans and 8th among American teenagers.
Nordmann has been as fast as 57.96 in the 100 fly.
Cal swimmers Eloise Riley (56.87) and Emma Davidson (56.92) finished 2nd and 3rd in the event. In spite of the disruption in training after their coach Teri McKeever was placed on administrative leave last month, Davidson’s swim was a new personal best.
The top-finishing junior was Bailey Hartman, a high school sophomore, in 57.20. That’s not quite a best time for her, but is a good marker heading into the week where her class can begin being contacted by college coaches.
Other Day 1 & 2 Highlights
- 2022 NCAA backstroke champion Destin Lasco was only 3rd in the event on Friday, swimming 2:04.52 (1:01.6-1:02.9 splitting). The event was won by his Cal teammate Colby Mefford in 2:03.41, with Sean Grieshop placing 2nd in 2:03.80. Lasco swam 1:57.31 at Trials in late April. He was also well-off his best in the 100 fly with a 58.52 best on the day, and in the 100 back prelims in 57.12.
- Stanford’s Rick Mihm won the 100 free in 51.64, just touching-out his teammate Avery Voss (51.77) and Cal’s Dylan Hawk (51.79) for the event win. All three have been faster.
- A pair of Denver Hilltoppers finished 1-2 in the women’s 200 backstroke. That was led by 16-year old Finley Anderson, who swam a new best time of 2:13.84 in prelims before slipping to 2:15.90 in the final (still enough for the win). Her best time coming into the meet was 2:20.61, done about three weeks ago. This surge follows a breakout short course season for Anderson that included a 1:55.9 at Sectionals in March, which was about nine seconds of improvement across the short course season. 15-year old Charlotte Wilson was 2nd in 2:18.36.
- 15-year old Eunice Lee of the home Santa Clara Swim Club won the 400 IM in 4:59.14. That shaves two-tenths of a second off her best time from last July.
- After finishing 2nd in the 200 back, Grieshop won the 400 IM later in the session in 4:24.19.
- The Hilltoppers women got another win when Emma Weber touched first in the women’s 50 breaststroke in 32.07. The Virginia commit was a 31.60 at US Trials in April. Her club teammate Holley Dennis, a rising sophomore at Minnesota, was 2nd in 32.98.
- Former US National Team member Brandon Fischer, 33, won the men’s 50 breaststroke in 28.28. That put him exactly a second ahead of rising Stanford sophomore Hayden Zheng.
- PASA swimmer Kelsey Zhang won the 800 free in 8:56.01. She is only 14 years old and is the youngest winner through two days of the meet.
- 16-year old Devyn Caples won the men’s 800 free in 8:26.20, a new best time by almost 8 seconds. Only 6 men were entered in the race.
Struggling or just in heavy training?
I wonder if minakov is targeting US nationals as his big meet this summer. Didn’t sound like he’s rested if at all.
I just checked. The meet where he swam 52 in October 2020 was Russian National Swimming Cup. That sounds like a much larger meet than Santa Clara Invites, especially cosidering that he perhaps didn’t have any other racing opportunity in that year.
And I don’t think there are many Invites in Russia, so we don’t know how he typically swims in season. According to swimranking.net, his sub-52 swims were all from either Russian Championships or international competition.
This has to be one of the slowest Santa Clara summer Invites in its history, which has been storied.
The great Santa Clara, and LA Invitational meets were the two best lead-up meets to the Summer Nationals and National Team selections and even drew some great out of towners and international competitors. The early team selections have opened up meets like these so younger talent can get more prelim-final big meet experience.
Think back to the great entries like Schollander, Burton, Meyer, Stamm, Atwood, Simmons, Shaw, Naber, Babashoff, the Furniss brothers, Hencken, Job, Meyer – the list goes on and on. Those were great meets……
“Andrei Minakov chose to stay in NorCal and train.”
Of course, lmfao
Agree with other commenters – 52.2 is a great swim for Minakov right now.
You would think Lasco being 2:04 in the 200 back would be more worthy of some of the framing they gave a 52.2 100 Fly. Just to be clear I wouldn’t support that either, just saying it’s odd.
Lasco was also 58.5 in the 100 fly. I know it’s June post-champs but that’s a practice time
Minakov is Russian, Lasco is American
Meet looks small, gone are the glory days of the meet and club.
In its glory days, swimmers broke world records and US open records in Santa Clara
The days of the multiple Olympians at one club, yeah probably. But the current staff is bringing the team back to a respectable position, a good number of kids have left QSS and gone back already.
Santa Clara used to be an elite international meet with top swimmers from other countries competing, especially Australians. Cate Campbell broke 100free US open record swimming 53.3 as 15 yo, that was only broken 5 years ago by Sjostrom.
Oh I thought you were talking about the club. The meet was pretty packed until a few years ago, when Bitter got caught with the crap he was doing.
The club decline has been going on for years. I see not end to the bleeding.
@Braden Keith, 3 questions off topic: