Phelps Breaks Pool Record in Nostalgic Career-Ender

  45 Braden Keith | June 03rd, 2012 | Featured, National, News

It’s easy to sleep on Sunday evening finals of big pro meets. Many swimmers either get tired and start scratching, or else head home from the meet early. But if you tuned-out of the Longhorn Aquatics Elite Invite prior to Sunday evening, you missed some of the most exciting battles of the whole weekend, and a legendary record being broken by one Michael Fred Phelps.

Men’s 200 Fly

So much for being “tired”. Michael Phelps, seemingly fired up on Sunday, marked a 1:54.79 in the 200 fly to open the men’s swimming in the final session of the meet. That’s the third-best time in the world this year. Phelps hasn’t swum that fast in-season since 2009; and after scratching the 200 IM he was able to focus his full effort on this event.

This is a poetic end to the final regular-season meet of his career. It was back in 2001, at this same pool, where Phelps-mania began – where we first saw a glimmer that he might not just be great, but that he might be the greatest. At that year’s World Championship trials, he swam a 1:54.92 as only a 15-year old. That swim made him the youngest World Record holder in history, and now for good measure, he’s made the mark just a bit faster to ensure it’s longevity.

“I wanted my record to stand. I wanted the pool record to stand just because that was my first world record,” Phelps said after the race. This was just an amazing swim.

China’s Wu Peng, as expected, closed well, and in fact made up over half-a-second on the final 50 to reel in Phelps a bit (1:56.71). But when you’re racing a guy who just went out in a 54.5 as Phelps did, it’s hard to really make up much ground. That’s a fantastic time for Peng at this point of the season, though, and he should be a heavy medal contender in London.

Texas’ Neil Caskey is following up his breakout college season with a good long course season as well; he was 3rd in this race in 1:59.82 – a best time.

Women’s 200 Fly

The women’s 200 fly didn’t see the same world-topping times as Phelps had in the men’s race, but it was still an outstanding race between Texas A&M’s Cammile Adams and Texas swimmer Kathleen Hersey. Hersey took the race out with a strong lead (neither is a great sprinter, but she’s definitely the better of the two) of about a meter. But Adams has an amazing back-half on her 200 fly; by the 150 meter mark she had pulled even with Hersey, and coming off of the final wall she put the win away.

Adams’ finishing time was 2:07.35, with Hersey touching 2nd in 2:08.45.

We’ve seen this finishing speed before from Adams in this pool, specifically in January at the Grand Prix meet just a few weeks before Big 12’s. There, she faced off against another one of the world’s best 200 btuterfliers – Jemma Lowe of Great Britain. In that race, she was in a dead-heat on the final turn as well, but put up a great closing 50 to win there too.

For Hersey, who has been strong all weekend, that’s a season-best time and bumps her up a few spots to 14th in the world this year.

Another Texas A&M swimmer, Caroline McElhany, completed the podium in 2:11.80. That’s a best time by over a second.

Women’s 100 Breaststroke

After some lopsided breaststroke battles between the two the past few weeks, as well as a few missed chances due to scratches, we finally got the Breeja LarsonLaura Sogar toe-to-toe race that we were waiting for in this 100 breast. The pair put their fingers on the turn in identical splits of 32.79, and held neck-and-neck the whole back-half of the race. Both women are very tall breaststrokers, but Larson used every bit of her inch-or-so height advantage to just barely hit the wall first in 1:08.08. Sogar was 2nd in 1:08.15. That’s a best-time for both swimmers, as they begin their downhill run to the Olympic Trials.

Annie Zhu from North Baltimore was 3rd in 1:10.33, a season-best time for her. Texas’ Catherine Wagner swam the second-best time of her life with a 1:11.76, with a good confidence-boost by tipping Georgia All-American Melanie Margalis (1:11.83).

Men’s 100 Breaststroke

Longhorn Aquatics swimmer Brendan Hansen was the lone National-Team level breaststroker in this meet, and he demonstrated that with a 1:01.16 to win the race.

Georgia swimmer Nicolas Fink is starting to move toward that level, however. The 18-year old has had a great meet, and in this race swam the second-fastest time of his career in 1:02.62.

Texas’ Eric Friedland had a lock on 3rd, until Nitro’s Will Licon charged home on a great back-half. The veteran Friedland was 3rd in 1:03.77, with Licon touching 4th in 1:03.78. Dax Hill was 7th in 1:06.02.

Women’s 800 Free

Georgia’s South African Wendy Trott won the women’s 800 free in 8:29.21. That’s within a few-tenths of what she went at South African Trials in April. Like many of her Georgia teammates, she’s swimming very well, even though she’s on a different goal-meet than they are (the Games versus Trials). Trott’s season, though she lost her perfect streak in the 1650 at NCAA’s, has brought to light a whole new part of her that brings swim fans a new level of respect. Her latest academic honor is as the recipient of the Boyd McWhorter Female Scholar Athlete of the Year award, given to the top scholar athlete in the whole of the SEC. She’s added that honor to her Elite 89 award (having the highest GPA at the NCAA Championship meet) and several Georgia student-athlete of the year awards.

North Baltimore’s Gillian Ryan wrapped her meet up with the best swim of her weekend in 8:32.46; like Phelps, she looked much better on this last day as compared to the rest of the meet.

Texas A&M’s Sarah Henry was 3rd in 8:41.72; bettering teammate Maureen McLaine (8:42.95) for the podium.

Men’s 1500 Free

Michigan swimmer Connor Jaeger took another big step in what has been a developmental-explosion over the last year with a 15:16.84. That’s quite a bit slower than he was in Charlotte, but it’s only the third-best time of his career. In some regards, it may be a step backwards, but I think that he and the Michigan coaching staff will see it as an invaluable learning experience, and build off of it swimming toward trials.

His teammate Ryan Feeley was 2nd in 15:20.78, and William Freeman was 3rd in 15:48.18.

Women’s 100 Back

This was the best meet of Megan Romano’s career, in long course at least. She may have more great swims to come this summer at the Olympic Trials, but it’s hard to deny 5 best times in 5 finals at this meet as the high-point to date. She capped the meet with her second win, a 1:00.19 in this 100 back, cutting seven-tenths off of her previous top mark from last summer’s Nationals. That ties her for 12th-fastest in the world this year, and could add a whole-new wrinkle to a 100 backstroke that was already going to be an outstanding race with Coughlin, Franklin, and Bootsma all pushing toward 59-lows.

Her teammate Kristen Shickora was 2nd in 1:01.81, with Missouri’s Dominique Bochard taking 3rd in 1:01.95.

Men’s 100 Back

Stanford’s Matt Thompson won the men’s 100 back in 55.88, followed by Texas’ Patrick Murphy in 56.01.

Club Wolverine swimmer George Bovell was 3rd in 56.06. The IM’er-turned-sprinter used this race to really work on his kick – a great strategy for sprinters of all ages.

Women’s 200 IM

Texas’ Karlee Bispo won the women’s 200 IM in 2:13.32 – a best time for her. Her best chance at making the American team is in the freestyle races right now, but between now and the Rio Games, if she wanted to she could probably get herself to a point where she could challenge in the 200 IM at trials as well.

Georgia swimmers Shannon Vreeland (2:13.80) and Melanie Margalis (2:15.28) took 2nd and 3rd, respectively.

Annie Zhu took 4th in 2:16.29.

Men’s 200 IM

Barbados swimmer Bradley Ally had another great IM swim in this 200 (he was a 4:18 in the 400) with a 2:00.80 for the win. He was extremely fast on the front-half (56.00), but it was the back-half that won this race. Chase Kalisz made up some ground on the breaststroke leg, but he was in too much of a deficit at that point with a 2:02.36 to place 2nd.

Texas swimmer Austin Surhoff was 3rd in 2:02.73, which is an excellent time for him.

Full, Live Meet Results available here. Check out our Video Section for lots of great footage from the meet (with more to come).

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45 Comments on "Phelps Breaks Pool Record in Nostalgic Career-Ender"


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USSwimfan
4 years 1 month ago

Romano making the statement in long course. Kudos to her – the next generation of great American swimmers is making their move. The female veterans better take note.

Kevin
4 years 1 month ago

That was a great performance by Phelps to bounce back on his final swim after somewhat dissapointing swims on the previous days. The Japanese swimmer still swam a faster time which I found somewhat shocking. It is reasons such as these Phelps will still question swimming the 400 IM in London, even if he is to qualify at Trials considering it may take out a lot of energy for his later events in his grueling program like the 200 fly where competition has become more fierce than back in ’08.

In any case, where his motivation comes from to swim the 400 IM again remains unclear. I do know that Scott Clary and Phelps hate each other and are not friends at all. I ran into a Cal coach over the weekend at the S.C. Grand Prix and we were speculating on whether Phelps will swim or will not. We were talking and knowing they have strong contempt for each other, his response was “I wouldn’t be surprised if Phelps decides to swim it just to spite Clary. Who knows, everyone has different motivations.” I have heard around they are nasty with each other and this relationship has also created tension between Bowman and Fast Swim Team head coach. I still think he should swim it though, and hopefully his motivation should be to win a gold medal and to carry on his legacy of domination in the event. We’ll just have to wait and see.

SwimCoach
4 years 1 month ago

Tension between Bowman and Jon? Without a doubt, NOT TRUE.

newswim
4 years 1 month ago

Too much idle time on deck lets to idle talk/speculation. Regardless of any feelings do you really think that someone would plan their Olympic program around such a thing? Further, it was Bowman pushing for the event not Phelps wasn’t it?
Finally, as one who previously stated that Phelps would not swim the 400 IM, I am prepared to eat crow on Day 1 in Omaha when if he swims it at Finals but not before then.

Lisa
4 years 1 month ago

lol where is there rumor coming from about Phelps and Clary? I recall the same rumor word for word went around summer of 2010. But I’ve seen some of their interaction on twitter and in a few videos and Phelps doesn’t outwardly show he has a problem with Clary in the slightest. (ie. MichaelPhelps Michael Phelps
Last day! Last event….medley relay….let’s go boyyys….glgl to @TylerClary and @ryanlochte in 4im….finish up strong for the #USA
31 Jul)
Silly rumor needs to go away. As for tension between Bowman and Jon U, I don’t think so. Why would there be tension there when there’s no tension between Jon and Michael? Jon absolutely loves Michael.

I thinks Phelps was very tired coming into the weekend, and it was a great time for him. Matsuda has always swam well over the years but he’s not very consistent and has never been able to actually beat Phelps head to head. Sooooo yeah not gonna worry about that one.

aswimfan
4 years 1 month ago

Lisa, you are wrong when you said Matsuda is not very consistent.

In fact, Matsuda is the MOST consistent 200 flyer in the world.

He seems to be able to drop 1:54-1:55 anywhere anytime, but the thing is, he seems incapable of improving on that. The past few years should tell you about this.
We’ll see how he goes in London.

Lisa
4 years 1 month ago

You’re right! I was actually thinking more inconsistency in terms of ability to medal not times 🙂 But you are right, he’s been hitting 1:54s for a while now.

Kevin
4 years 1 month ago

Lisa,

you are quick to jump to the conclusion that Jon Urb is the FAST coach I was referring too. Bowman and Urb are great friends and he has developed great respect for Michael over the years while they were with each other at Michigan.

I’m talking about the head coach of FAST Bill Jewell. I am not too sure of the extent of tension between Bowman and Jewell, but it is there. And yes, there is plenty of tension between Clary and Phelps. They don’t get along whether the media discloses this information or not. My advice is to not buy into everything the media releases, whether it is sports, politics, etc…

Example 1) Media hardly covered anything relating to the nasty divorce Steve Nash had with his wife a few years back after she got impregnated by Nash’s own teammate Jason Richardson, which later lead to a forced trade of Richardson from the Suns.

Example 2) The lack of media coverage unveiling Obama and his strong ties with Bill Ayers and Reverond Wright prior to the ’08 elections.
figures to what type of articles will be covered and released to the public. This isn’t a rumor and I think this tension makes it more exciting in the lead up to Trials.

Powerful people can have powerful ties with media outlets and be very influential to what information will be released to the public. I’m sure the two have tried to heal old wounds and differences they have had in the past over the years as they’ve gotten older. But don’t doubt me on this, they don’t like each other Lisa.

don
4 years 1 month ago

Yea, I have heard those rumors too. No love lost between the two of them that’s for sure.
.
And you are right, twitter is not exactly a source for factual information, saying,” lets go boys finish up strong for the USA ” is not an indication of anything.
The bottom line is it doesn’t matter if they like each other or not,if their dislike makes them swim faster, go for it;motivation takes on different faces. Doesn’t have to be one big happy family, a little dysfunction can be a good thing.
BTW.Jewell has not been at fast for quite some time now

Lisa
4 years 1 month ago

Well I assumed you meant Jon, seeing he is Tyler’s coach.

And sorry twitter interaction isn’t indictive of anything but GOSSIP is? really……. wow

junker23
4 years 1 month ago

Oh yeah, no one knew who Bill Ayers or Reverend White were prior to the elections. Except that both were reported on by basically every media outlet in the US in the spring of ’08.

gosharks
4 years 1 month ago

I was gonna say, anyone who doesn’t know who Reverend Wright is must have been living in a cave in 2008. Sidenote: I hope this website doesn’t turn into CNN because I want to ENJOY the comments!

Bossanova
4 years 1 month ago
aswimfan
4 years 1 month ago

why do you find that Takeshi Matsuda swimming faster than Phelps as shocking?

It’s not shocking at all, and in fact, it is normal. And I would say that this 1:54 from Phelps is the best he’s done in season since 2009.

Last year, Phelps were only swimming 1:55high during the grand prix, while Matsuda was churning out 1:54s and 1:55low in season.

The difference: Phelps dropped 1:53low at Worlds, while Matsuda was stuck with a pair of 1:54s in the semis and final of worlds.

Judging by Austin swim, I think Phelps can drop a 1:52 low as his final farewell to his premier and beloved event.

Lisa
4 years 1 month ago

Also on the topic of Michael’s 200fly and 400IM >>> http://espn.go.com/dallas/video/clip?id=8005355

I don’t think he actually wants to swim the 400IM, he’s still resisting! lol
and he admits he didn’t want to break the Pool record, he said if he could have timed it perfectly he would have done it so he was 1/100 of sec over so it would have stood. I think had he gone out with the mind frame of breaking it he would have gone faster.

Kevin
4 years 1 month ago

ASWIMFAN,

You’re right, “shocking” wasn’t the right word to use. Guess it is true Matsuda has thrown up a lot of 154’s over the past few years. But the fact that anyone is at a 154 now is a big statement considering there was a much larger gap as far as the next closest times to Phelps prior to the Beijing lead up. If I recall correctly, it was Czech laszlo and it was big news if anyone besides Phelps would break the 157 mark when it was in-season 200 fly races. Just trying to speculate on reasons for Phelps throwing out the 4 IM in London depending on how he performs at Trials. Remember, he did throw out the 200 back in ’04 after losing to Piersol by a wide gap at Trials, it would not be a first timer for Phelps.

Hippo-K12
4 years 1 month ago

only a 1:52 low for Phelps in London? i think he can go faster than that. don’t care if u agree or disagree w/me….but feeling the 2fly WR will go down once again by PhelpsTheShark! Go Phelps 😀

mc1703
4 years 1 month ago

a 1:51 low is a big ask with no suit.

swimcoach24
4 years 1 month ago

Pretty sure Phelps only had a leg suit on when he set the WR in 2009.. Thats only a little bit more than the jammers they have on now.

I cant see Phelps retiring without resetting this world record one (or two?) more time

MC1703
4 years 1 month ago

doubtful, but we’ll see!

aswimfan
4 years 1 month ago

Yes, Phelps had a legsuits in Rome, but you must remember that the 1:52.09 that Phelps did in 2007 Melbourne was the most amazing of all his WRs back then.

I don’t think he will go under 1:52 in London.

Hippo-K12
4 years 1 month ago

i am w/u on this one coach. Phelps is the only one in this world who’s capable of resetting the 2fly WR! cant wait to see it happens 😀

bobo gigi
4 years 1 month ago

In terms of consistence in the 200 fly Michael Phelps is far ahead of other swimmers. He hasn’t lost a 200 fly at the world championships and at the olympic games since 2000 and this year he was 15. Only results which count are in these 2 competitions.

aswimfan
4 years 1 month ago

ugh… everyone knows Phelps history.
I watched him swimming 200 fly at Sydney Olympics LIVE.

We were discussing Matsuda.

bobo gigi
4 years 1 month ago

I had understand you spoke about the japanese swimmer. He swims fast in-season but doesn’t much improve when it counts. I just discussed about the big competitions.

aswimfan
4 years 1 month ago

yeah, but we were discussing about consistence in general, we were NOT talking about RESULTS in big competition. If you want to define the meaning of the word “consistence”, it is up to you.
Matsuda is extremely consistent, time-wise. He swims 1:54-1:55 seemingly anytime anywhere and without much variation

Just so you know Phelps can go 1:57 and then drop 1:53. That’s fluctuate, not exactly consistent. Phelps can also go 4:16 and then go 4:06.

Hippo-K12
4 years 1 month ago

if Phelps can go 1:57 then drop 1:53….. why cant he go 1:54 then drop 1:51 or even down to 1:50?? hahahahh
he CAN do it. he’s MICHAEL PHELPS!

aswimfan
4 years 1 month ago

Here’s what swimnews wrote in their recent article about the consistency of Matsuda:

“Metronomic Matsuda Owns Four Of The Best”
“On 1:54.01 and 1:54.19 in final and semis at Japanese national in April, Matsuda also swam a 1:54.69 at the Japan Open last week on a trail on consistency.”

You said only results at the olympics and worlds count.
Well, Matsuda won bronze in Beijing, he won bronze in Rome, and he won silver in Shanghai. If that’s not consistency in terms of results, I don’t know what else should count.
He delivered his 1:54-1:55 not only during in season but also during major championships. That’s consistency.
It’s not like he swims 1:54 in season and then swim 1:57 in major championships.

Also, you claimed that only results in the olympics and worlds count, then what are you doing talking excitedly about results from a grand prix, high school meets, etc?

aswimfan
4 years 1 month ago

The equivalent of Matsuda in terms of consistency in the men 200 back is Ryosuke Irie.
That guy also seemingly able to churn out 1:54 ANYTIME ANYWHERE.

bobo gigi
4 years 1 month ago

Totally agree with you about the consistency of the japanese swimmer. He’s great and swims very fast all year. That’s why nobody must be afraid of his time in Santa Clara. I don’t see him under 1.53 this summer. Michael Phelps is the only swimmer who can do it.

bobo gigi
4 years 1 month ago

All the meets before an international competition are interesting to see who are the next stars,who is in shape or who has improved. And thanks to them we can talk about swimming all year. But yes I judge the career of a swimmer with the results he has had in the world championships and the olympic games.

bobo gigi
4 years 1 month ago

Great race for Michael Phelps in the 200 fly. It’s a very good sign for this summer.
Braden you speak about his first world record in 2001. I have never seen the race. I don’t find it. If someone could post this race it would be very cool.
It also seems this longhorn aquatics elite invite was broadcasted somewhere. Where can I find the videos? Thank you.

bobo gigi
4 years 1 month ago

Great time for Megan Romano in the 100 back too. She’s definitely on fire this year. But I think she must focus on freestyle races. The american backstroke on the women’s side is too good now. She has a fantastic future in the 100 free and the 200 free.

bobo gigi
4 years 1 month ago

Ok it’s not consistence but it’s consistency. My english continues to improve.

junker23
4 years 1 month ago

Judging from the banner picture, he’s not only setting pool records but jamming a turn, too.

Jean Michel
4 years 1 month ago

Right BOBO GIGI , Megan Romano has had a tremendous meet in each race she went into . Probably one of the best speedster sprinter Usa was waiting for . This girl will defenetly be in the 400 free relay to match up with the dutch team . Now , Usa has a powerhouse relay with Franklin , Romano , Vollmer and …Caughlin ??? or …somoene else very fast .

aswimfan
4 years 1 month ago

Schmit?

bobo gigi
4 years 1 month ago

The question is also about Amanda Weir. It’s very difficult to predict what she will do this summer. And don’t forget Lia Neal. She has a big finish.

Jean Michel
4 years 1 month ago

Much potential there for that relay ! the dutch aren’t safe favorites anymore , i like that !

Jean Michel
4 years 1 month ago

One Big questions for the few Of us not living in Usa :

How and where can we watch the trials from europe ??? is it on NBC ? or will it also be through Usa swimming broadcasts ?? i just wanna know in order to programm myself better . If any one can bring some informations , it would be greatly appreciated .

Jean Michel
4 years 1 month ago

yes Schmitt might be that 4th strong spot for that relay in the final !!! or Lia neal ….

Indiecoach
4 years 1 month ago

Bobo Gigi
My swimmers and I are fascinated by you and you’re postings . So do you live in France or are you here in the USA . You seem to be right on top of things and we realy enjoy reading what you have to say . Would love to meet you if you ever attend any big meets here in the USA , we love the sport of swimming and enjoy positive people with the same love for the sport so keep it up , we sure enjoy reading what you have to say .

bobo gigi
4 years 1 month ago

Thank you for your comment. I’m just a simple swimming fan who is french, who lives in France and speaks a little bit english. I’m not a specialist, just a fan of the sport like many others here. And I’m very happy to have a website like swimswam to follow american swimming and results from all over the world.

Schefty
4 years 1 month ago

I completely agree and really enjoy reading Bobo’s comments as well. Thanks!

3 years 1 month ago

Great Job Will! Always making us proud!

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About Braden Keith

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The most common question asked about Braden Keith is "when does he sleep?" That's because Braden has, in two years in the game, become one of the most prolific writers in swimming at a level that has earned him the nickname "the machine" in some circles. He first got his feet …

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