Saturday is the final day of the 2012 U.S. Open Championships in Indianapolis, Indiana, and there’s still some phenomenal races to be swum.
The morning session started off with the women’s 200 IM, where Georgia Bulldog Melanie Margalis, representing St. Petersburg, took the top seed in a best time of 2:13.85. Margalis was DQ’ed in this race in prelims at the Olympic Trials, where she would have at least semi-finaled, so a U.S. Open title would be a nice consolation prize.
Margalis swims this race with a great back-half; in fact she had better breaststroke and freestyle splits than anybody else in this A-Final. Alternatively, USC’s Meghan Hawthorne (2:14.42) and Great Britain’s Sophie Smith (2:15.36) should be in the lead at the turn, along with Anna Senko of the Bluefish Swim Club (2:16.40). Hawthorne is the best of the three at breaststroke, and she’ll probably give up over half-a-second on that leg in the final.
In the men’s 200 IM, Australia’s Kenneth To is on-track to win his 2nd event of the meet, after swimming a 2:01.21 for the top seed coming out of prelims. He and 2nd-seed Cory Chitwood will both certainly be faster in finals, but don’t expect Chitwood to be half-a-second back after the first 100 meters in finals – his first 100 is usually his strongest.
Adam Hinshaw (2:01.83) and Cody Miller (2:01.96) were the next two in the pecking order.
Cal post-grad Liv Jensen topped the heats of the girls’ 50 free in 25.44 – that’s almost as fast already as she was at Trials. Australia’s Olivia Halicek was 2nd in 25.48, followed by Megan Romano in 25.55. Romano has been the star of this meet, winning all four of her events thus far, and could stake make it a clean sweep in the final – based on her other swims, a 25.1 is easily within range for her tonight.
Australian 13-year old Shayna Jack, one of the other stories in Indy, is the 4th seed in 25.73.
Finally, in the men’s 50, Australian brothers Matthew and Andrew Abood took the top two seeds. Older brother Matthew was the fastest in 22.35, with younger Andrew 2nd in 22.65.
A pair of Big Ten swimmers were behind them, with Minnesota’s Derek Toomey 3rd in 22.74, and Ohio State’s Jason Schnur 4th in 22.78. Nick Brunelli will be the biggest name in the final, as the 5th seed in 22.80.