U.S. Nationals Day 2 Finals Preview: Dressel, Andrew to Battle for 1st 2019 Worlds Spot

2018 U.S. National Championships

Day Two of the 2018 Phillips 66 National Championships will consist of the finals of the men’s and women’s 200 free, 200 breast, 200 back, and 50 fly.

Women’s 200 free

With four Pan Pacs relay spots on the line, the women’s 200 free will be a battle. Michigan’s Gabby DeLoof  led the morning’s qualifiers with 1:56.76, but she was followed closely by Leah Smith (Arizona) in 1:56.78, Katie Ledecky (Stanford) in 1:56.83, Melanie Margalis (Georgia) in 1:56.84, Allison Schmitt (Arizona State) with 1:57.12, and Simone Manuel (Stanford) with 1:57.20. Deloof dropped 1.6 seconds in prelims to come within .03 of earning a spot on the all-time top performers list. 14-year-old Claire Tuggle (Clovis Swim Club) improved her seed time by 6/10 and moved to 2nd on the all-time list for 13-14 girls; she will race in the B final and will take aim at Sippy Woodhead’s 1978 NAG of 1:58.53 which she only missed by .06 in prelims.

Men’s 200 free

Andrew Seliskar of Cal ripped a 1:45.77 in prelims to take 2.6 seconds off his previous lifetime best; he led the qualifiers for tonight’s final by half a second. Indiana’s Blake Pieroni (1:46.26), the national champion in the 100 free, Conor Dwyer (1:46.34), and Jack LeVant of North Texas Nadadores (1:46.39) will all challenge Seliskar for a spot on the Pan Pacs roster. Townley Haas, Jay Litherland, Jack Conger, and Trey Freeman qualified with 1:47s and have a shot at making the top four, as well. LeVant swam the 2nd-fastest 200 free in history for 17-18 boys; he is .40 off Michael Phelps’ NAG record of 1:45.99.

Women’s 200 breast

Micah Sumrall was the top qualifier in the women’s 200 breast, slipping past Indiana’s Lilly King in the penultimate heat to touch first overall in 2:23.27. Indiana/Mission Viejo’s Annie Lazor (2:25.01) and Texas A&M’s Bethany Galat (2:25.23) qualified just ahead of King (2:25.33). Sumrall, King, and Galat have all swum 2:21s in their careers so tonight’s final could be a tight race. 16-year-old Ella Nelson (Nashville Aquatic Club) and 17-year-old Zoe Bartel (Fort Collins Area Swim Team) could both move up on the all-time top-10 lists for their respective age groups, in addition to vying for spots on international squads.

Men’s 200 breast

Cal’s Josh Prenot clocked the 5th-fastest American performance in the 200 breast in heats, going 2:07.69 to lead the qualifiers for tonight’s A final. Will Licon of Texas (2:08.92) will be on his right in lane 5 tonight; as the reigning American record-holder in short-course yards, he will be one to watch. Olympian Kevin Cordes and Nic Fink of Georgia, were the only other sub-2:10s this morning, qualifying in 2:09.58 and 2:09.61, respectively. Olympian Cody Miller snuck in at 8th with 2:10.59, after having scratched this event at 2017 nationals.

Women’s 200 back

16-year-old Regan Smith of Riptide lowered her PB by .16 to earn her spot in the middle of the pool for tonight’s final. Her 2:07.03 is the 3rd-fastest ever swum by a 15-16 girl; she is inching her way toward Missy Franklin’s NAG of 2:05.10 and Elizabeth Beisel’s 2:06.39, the only two performances faster than hers. Aquajets’ Isabelle Stadden, also 16, went the 5th-fastest time in prelims (2:08.48); she’ll have another opportunity to move up the 15-16 ladder tonight. Defending national champion and SCY American Record holder Kathleen Baker of Cal (2:08.14) shouldn’t be counted out; she looked smooth this morning and has already been 2:07.0 this season.

Men’s 200 back

The last several heats of men’s 200 back looked like synchronized swimming, with the top finishers matching stroke for stroke and coming to the wall separated by mere tenths. Olympic champion Ryan Murphy of Cal put up the top time of the morning (1:56.39); he was followed by Cal teammate and Olympic silver medalist Jacob Pebley (1:56.88). Also qualifying under 1:57 was NCAA champion Austin Katz of Texas (1:56.97). Florida’s Clark Beach (1:57.06) and Missouri’s Nick Alexander (1:57.18) both dropped well over 1.5 seconds in prelims to qualify fourth and fifth. 16-year-old Carson Foster of Mason Manta Rays, 3rd on the all-time list for 15-16 boys with 1:57.70, is just .67 shy of Aaron Peirsol’s NAG of 1:57.03.

Women’s 50 fly

In addition to a national title, the winner of the 50 fly will earn the first spot on the 2019 World Championships team. Kelsi Dahlia (Louisville) led the way this morning with 25.97, just .49 off her American record. Team Elite San Diego’s Kendyl Stewart qualified second in 26.16; her best time is 25.93. Her teammate Sarah Gibson qualified fourth with 26.73, just behind North Carolina’s Hellen Moffitt (26.71).

Men’s 50 fly

The final night of the race couldn’t have been scripted better had it come straight from a Hollywood studio: American record-holder Caeleb Dressel of Bolles and World Junior record-holder Michael Andrew from Race Pace Club, both seeking a spot on the Worlds team, swam equal 23.33s in prelims. Challenging the leaders will be NCAA standout Chatham Dobbs of Arizona (23.73), Texas’ John Shebat (23.86), Phoenix Swim Club’s Giles Smith (23.88), Jack Saunderson, Matt Josa, and Tate Jackson.


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Typo in the last section…Men’s 200 Fly should say 50 Fly

Becky D

A replacement for the “Mystery IM” event contested in Pro Series events this year: “Mystery distance fly”


Put a the red card in when you have one fifty left


Nightmare fuel

ct swim fan

Didn’t yesterday’s winners and 2nd place finishers make the World’s team?

Pancake Swimmer

Yesterday, swimmers qualified for the Pan Pacific team.
The World Championships team is chosen based on results from this meet as well as Pan Pacific Championships.

Nope. They can be bumped by someone who swims faster at Pan Pacs.


Can the winner of the 50s here be bumped in any way off the World Championships roster?

Not in any competitive fashion. It would be not fully accurate to say “no way,” but the ways they could be bumped are things like “not maintaining competitive shape” and “conduct” clauses.

Layman answer: can’t be bumped
Attorney reviewing selection crieteria answer: nobody can bump them per se, but they can be removed from the team for the same provisions that always apply.

Becky D

Taking an IV drip or drinking tap water, for example.


No, there are no 50s at Pan Pacs.

too impressed

If the top time was from the b-final, could the overall winner be bumped since the worlds qualifications are time-based?

Ole 99



Worlds qualifications times are only taken from A heat at this meet.


And A & B finals from Pan Pacs.


Sorry, for other races other than the 50s. (exception to 50 free)


Seliskar swam a 1:48 at Santa Clara. So it is not his first swim below 1:50.


They said before 2018 he hadnt beat 1:50…..

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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