2019 ERIC NAMESNIK MEMORIAL OPEN
Miles Smachlo continued to shine at the 2019 Eric Namesnik Memorial Open, winning the 100-meter freestyle in a new career best of 51.02 while, remarkably, closing faster than yesterday’s 400-meter freestyle champion Kevin Callan. This marks Smachlo’s second career best in three days, missing the third by .1 seconds last night, showing the benefit of taking 2018 off from those races.
The women’s 200 meter IM was the race to watch on the women’s side tonight. This meet’s breaststroke champion Miranda Tucker and 16-year-old Club Wolverine swimmer Sydney Stricklin were neck and neck after the first 100 meters (1:05.14 to 1:05.26). It was here that Tucker used her breaststroke speed to leave the teenager in the dust, 38.43 to 44.48 respectively, and didn’t look back to win the event in 2:15.53, less than a second off of her career best that she set back in 2016 at the U.S. Open. Stricklin took 7th place in the 400 IM on Friday at this meet after dropping almost eight seconds off of her previous career best.
Other Winners on Day 3:
- Tonight’s session led off with the women’s 1500 meter freestyle where Kaitlynn Sims completed the distance sweep of the 400 IM/400 free/1500 free with a steep victory and a new career personal best of 16:30.94
- The men’s 1500 meter freestyle saw Badger Swim Club’s Jack Collins and Club Wolverine’s William Roberts duke it out for the title. Roberts was ahead at the 750 mark 7:51.04 to 7:53.29, but during the back half of the race Roberts’ split starting slipping into the 31 highs/32 lows while Collins began to hold 31 mids on his splits swimming away from the blocks and going 31 lows on his swims back to them. Collins ended up taking the win in a time of 15:40.12 while Roberts settled for 2nd place in 15:46.90. Ricardo Vargas was in the hunt with a 7:55.73 halfway split, but a slew of 32 highs put him out of the race, finishing third with a 16:00.48.
- For the men’s 200 meter IM it was Club Wolverine’s Thomas Cope who came away victorious in a time of 2:02.84. Teammate Jacob Montague squeaked into tonight’s ‘A’ final as the number seven seed but used a field’s best 29.21 freestyle split to edge out top seed Hayden Harlow of Northwest Arkansas Aquatics for second place.
- 17-year-old Noelle Kaufman of Badger Swim Club edged out 16-year-old Sophia Tuinman for the win in the women’s 200-meter backstroke. The time of 2:13.84 is a new career personal best for Kaufman and is her first Olympic Trials cut in the event. 100 backstroke champion Casey Chung finished in 7th place.
- In the men’s 200 meter backstroke, Robert Zofchak got the best of Patrick Conaton and came away victorious. The race was close at the halfway mark, with Zofchak ahead 1:00.17 to 1:00.39, but used splits of 31.54 and 30.34 to solidify his place over Conaton
- Delta Aquatic’s Grace Cooper led off the women’s 100-meter freestyle in a lightning fast 26.71 (.72 seconds off of the Olympics trials cut in the 50-meter freestyle, which she already has at age 16) and held off a late charge by 17-year-old Chloe Stepanek to win the event in 56.73 seconds. The Big Ten champion in this event, Siobhan Haughey, was not present for this race as she only swam the 50 free at this meet.