TEXAS HALL OF FAME INVITE
- Nov 28-Dec 1, 2018
- Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center, Austin, TX
- Prelims 10am CT, Finals 6pm CT
- Psych Sheets
- Live Results
Arizona’s Hannah Cox led the way in the 500 free prelims, touching in 4:38.26. That’s the best time of her college career, and was a few-tenths faster than her 15th-place time from last season’s NCAAs. It’s her 2nd-best time ever, and is within half a second of the 4:37.82 she swam in 2015 was the age of 17. Cox’s teammate Kirsten Jacobsen, last season’s bronze medalist at NCAAs, took the 4th seed with a 4:41.26. Ayumi Macias also will swim in tonight’s A-final for the Wildcats after posting a 4:44.13.
This is Olympic gold medalist Allison Schmitt‘s first yards meet since early 2015, and she put up a 4:40.12, the 2nd-fastest time of the morning. She split between 56.5 and 56.8 on each of the last four 100s, and with a lifetime best of 4:32.08, we could see a big drop from her tonight.
Wisconsin took three of the top eight spots this morning, led by their big star, Beata Nelson. Her time of 1:53.08 is the fastest NCAA time this season (pending other results from this morning) is a NCAA ‘A’ cut. It’s almost two seconds faster than her 1:54.94 from the ACC-B1G Challenge earlier this month, and a full half second faster than her previous best time, suggesting we could see some more big swims in her backstroke events this week. Nelson’s teammates Jess Unicomb (1:58.80) and Lillie Hosack (1:59.03) finished 7th and 8th this morning.
Texas freshman Grace Ariola knocked four-tenths off of her personal best, touching in 21.77, and becoming one of just a handful of women to break 22 so far this season. Only Anna Hopkin (21.64) had been faster so far this season coming into today, while Abby Weitzeil hit 21.62 this morning at the Georgia Invite. That also makes Ariola the 4th-fastest ever in the 17-18 age group. Fellow Texas freshman Julia Cook went 22.29 for the 4th-fastest time this morning, followed by Anelise Diener in 22.30. Claire Adams was the 4th Longhorn in the top eight, with a 22.61.
USC’s Marta Ciesla also joined the sub-22 club with a 21.85, while Hansson went 22.36 shortly after swimming the 200 IM.
An Arizona swimmer also had the fastest prelims time on the men’s side. Brooks Fail swam a new personal best, dropping from 4:14.82 to 4:13.54 and securing a NCAA invite early on this season. Last season he got his NCAA cut with a time trial at Pac-12s.
Outside of Fail, it was, unsurprisingly, Texas and Stanford all the way. Stanford’s Jack LeVant set his 2nd personal best in as many days, dropping two-tenths for a 4:14.22, after setting a new team record in the 200 free leading off Stanford’s 800 free relay last night. Teammates True Sweetser (4:15.21), James Murphy (4:17.03), and Johannes Calloni (4:17.61) will join LeVant in the A-final.
Freshman Alexander Zettle dropped three seconds off of his personal best, taking the 4th seed and leading the Longhorns with a 4:15.59. It took just over a 4:16 to earn a NCAA last year, and with the way cut times have been getting faster, he’ll probably need to shave a few more tenths tonight to feel like he has an invite locked down. Drew Kibler (4:17.40) and Jeff Newkirk (4:17.61) will be the other two Longhorns in tonight’s A-final.
Notably, each of three swimmers here who were in last season’s NCAA A-final were well off their best times. Texas’s Townley Haas, who’s won the national title in this event two of the past three years, went 4:20.57 to finish 17th. Teammate Sam Pomajevich (6th at 2018 NCAAs) placed 18th with a 4:22.21. Haas isn’t known for swimming super-fast in-season, or coming close to his bests at this meet, but by way of comparison, he was 4:15 in prelims here last year before going 4:14 in the final.
Stanford’s Grant Shoults, last year’s 4th place finisher at NCAAs, took 16th this morning in 4:20.23. While that’s not an eye-popping time, it’s got to be a positive sign for Stanford fans that he’s back in the water and competing after having sat out so far this semester.
Texas post-grad Will Licon is primarily a breast/IM type, but swam what appears to be his first 500 free in almost four years today, and dropped six seconds off his personal best with a 4:27.46.
Texas put four men in the top eight, with freshman Matthew Willenbring the #2 seed overall with a time of 1:44.64. Fellow freshman Braden Vines (1:45.06) will join Willenbring in the A-final, along with Sam Stewart (1:45.17) and Ryan Harty (1:45.35).
USC Patrick Mulcare had the 7th-fastest swim of the morning with a 1:45.39.
Texas’s John Shebat scratched out of this event this morning, after swimming a nation-leading 1:42.43 in a time trial last night.
We got a little more variety in this event than we’ve seen in most of the others this morning, with six different programs putting swimmers into the top eight. Texas led the way with a 1-2 punch of Tate Jackson (19.03) and Drew Kibler (19.35). Jackon’s time is the fastest so far this season in the NCAA, and Kibler’s time is a small personal best for him. Texas freshman sprinter Daniel Krueger scratched out of the event.
Harvard’s Dean Farris took the 3rd seed with a 19.49, about two-tenths faster than he was here last year.