US Open Friday Night Recap: Murphy and Thoman Drop 53.6 in 100 Backstroke

The Minnesota women have graduated a few stars over the last two-to-three seasons, but they may have discovered a new one on Friday night at the 2013 U.S. Open.

Women’s 200 Free

Junior-to-be Kiera Janzen won the women’s 200 free in 1:58.28: that’s more than three seconds better than she had been coming into the meet. She was in a good battle most of this race with the likes of Sarah Henry and Kelly Stubbins from Australia, but Janzen put in a great final 50 to pull away.

Henry wound up 2nd in 1:58.89, followed by the Australian sprinter Stubbins, who was out like a bolt but faded at the end. She would still say after the race that she was surprised by her result and how good it was, as she doesn’t usually go after these 200’s.

North Baltimore’s Gillian Ryan was 4th in 1:59.46, followed by Longhorn Aquatics’ Quinn Carrozza in 1:59.51.

North Carolina’s Danielle Siverling just missed breaking the two-minute barrier, but was a lifetime best of 2:00.05 for 6th.

Men’s 200 Free

In the men’s 200 free, it was once again the Sebastien Rousseau show. This isn’t his best event, but he still took a win in a huge 1:48.51, followed closely by his fellow South African Darian Townsend in 1:48.80. Neither of them swam at South Africa’s trials, but with Chad le Clos they would have been a great start to a potential finals-worthy 800 free relay.

Stanford’s Tom Kremer posted another top three finish, though he just missed his best time from prelims, with a 1:48.93.

Wisconsin’s Nicholas Caldwell showed that his career is far from derailed after a tough run at Florida, going for 4th place in 1:49.05, and Michigan/Danish swimmer Anders Nielsen took 5th in1 :49.31.

Women’s 100 Breast

The Australians didn’t get a single 100 meter breaststroker into the final at the World Championship, which means that they really could have used the services of Leiston PIckett or Lorna Tonks for their medley relay. They didn’t get the job done at Trials, though, and so they had to use their best swims at this meet. Pickett took the win in 1:07.19, the best time done by an Australian this week, and Tonks was 2nd in 1:07.56, the second-best time done by an Australian this week.

The top-finishing American was Notre Dame’s Emma Reney in 1:08.08. This has been a very good meet for her this year, and may have been the confidence-builder to turn her into someone with obviously national and international-level potential, into a true national-level contender.

Columbia’s Katie Meili was 4th in 1:08.24, and Minnesota’s Haley Spencer, who skipped the World Championship Trials, was 6th in 1:08.69.

Men’s 100 Breast

Mike Alexandrov, as expected, won the men’s 100 breaststroke in 1:00.49, but it was Tennessee post-grad Brad Craig who leap-frogged a best time from Cody Miller for silver. Craig swam a 1:00.70, going out very hard, while Miller was a 1:00.82.

British swimmer Rob Holderness, who was robbed of a World Championships swim in the 200 breaststroke by a DQ-reversal, was 4th in 1:01.28, and Cal sophomore Josh Prenot was 5th in 1:01.44.

Women’s 100 Backstroke

Texas’ Sarah Denninghoff didn’t break a minute in this race like she did at the World Championship Trials in June, but she did win her first Nationla Championship with a 1:00.04 in the women’s 100 backstroke final. That beat out promising Australian teenager Hayley Baker, who was 2nd in 1:00.86.

Claraz Smiddy earned the bronze in 1:01.06; other notable finalists include 15-year old Courtney Mykkanen, daughter of U.S. Olympian John, in 5th with a 1:01.88; 100 fly champion Felicia Lee in 6th with a 1:01.94; and Dynamo Swim Club’s Kylie Stewart in 7th in 1:02.06.

A future Texas teammate of Denninghoff’s won the B-Final as well: Tasija Karosas from Saint Andrew’s in Florida was a 1:02.19.

Men’s 100 Backstroke

Russia’s Arkady Vyatchanin had the swim of the night with a 53.06 in the men’s 100 backstroke final. Note that this time would have placed 2nd at the World Championships this week, he simply didn’t have a country to represent at that meet.

Bolles’ Ryan Murphy just missed his best time with a 53,62 for 2nd, and SwimMAC’s Nick Thoman, who skipped Indy, was 3rd in 53.65. That should give him a spot on the National Team for the year.

Japan’s Junya Koga was 4th in 54.00, and Australian Bobby Hurley was 5th in 55.16 – almost half-a-second slower than he was in prelims.

Medley Relays

The Australian women won the 400 medley relay in a new Meet Record of 4:04.64, including a 1:07.4 from Pickett on the breaststroke leg.

The British men won the men’s version in 3:40.53.

Full, live meet results available here.


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cynthia curran
10 years ago

That 100 back win was Sarah’s first National Championship in that event, but her first National title was a few days ago in the 200 back.
Sarah grew up in Tucson and swam on the Ford Aquatics club growing up and swam 2 years for the University of Arizona. She has improved a lot with Texas and I like late bloomers. People here cheer on the kids but in the Women its nice to see swimmers like Sarah that improved with age. Women can be stars at 12,16, 17 unlike Male swimmers that usually don’t become stars until their second year of college with some exceptions.

10 years ago

Glad to see Nick Thoman back racing

10 years ago

This is the U.S. Open… not the National Championship. The National Championships were held in June!

bobo gigi
Reply to  whoknows
10 years ago

Very open! 7 foreign guys out of 8 in the 200 free A-Final!

Reply to  bobo gigi
10 years ago

Tom Kremer is just about as American as you can get raised in Northern California but swims for Israel. Can’t call him a foreigner in my book. Better to call him a mercenary, like Mike Cavic was.

Destroy the Trojans I say!

10 years ago

What do you mean that Vyatchainin didn’t have a country to represent at that meet? Is he in transition re: citizenship?

Reply to  Liquidassets
10 years ago

that is coorect.

vyatchanin had a fall out with russian swimming federation, so he is looking for another country to represent.

bobo gigi
Reply to  aswimfan
10 years ago

South Africa needs a backstroker for its medley relay. 🙂

Reply to  aswimfan
10 years ago

Trinidad could do with a top level backstroker 🙂

10 years ago

That 100 back win was Sarah’s first National Championship in that event, but her first National title was a few days ago in the 200 back.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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