WOMEN’S 200 BREASTSTROKE
Alia Atkinson stole the show tonight in the 200m breaststroke leading from start to finish. Atkinson is a former NCAA Champion in the 200, but as a professional swimmer has had more success in the breaststroke sprints. Atkinson went out in a 33.57, and maintained consistent splits around 36-38 seconds for the remaining 50′s. What’s most impressive is that Atkinson had a body length lead over second place finisher Micah Lawrence going into the last 100, but managed to pull away further despite being more of a front half, sprint swimmer
The finishing time of 2:25.52 was a lifetime best for Atkinson by about three seconds. According to Atkinson, after college, she focused a lot on improving her 100 with great success, and somehow lost the 200. This race might be an indication that we could see her having a lot more success in the 200 at international competitions in the near future.
Atkinson, who swims for Jamaica, posted time faster than any American this year. Micah Lawrence had a good closing 50, which is her specialty, to place 2nd in 2:26.60.
Breeja Larson, who with Lawrence represented the U.S. in this race at Worlds last year, was a 2:28.87 for 3rd, as this final brough a lot more fireworks than a relatively lackluster prelim heat.
Utah freshman Stina Colleou, a native of Norway, held up her good prelims swim fairly well with a 2:31.58 for 5th. Of note, another former NCAA Champion Caitlin Leverenz placed 7th in 2:33.51.
SwimMAC’s Katie Meili torched the B-Final in 2:33.23, a much better swim than she had in the morning in all facets.
Women’s 100 Breaststroke – Finals
Alia Atkinson was out with a body length lead at the 50, she held onto her speed the second 50 to pull ahead even further, touching the wall at 1:07.50. Micah Lawrence finished second with a 1:08.93, just ahead of Breeja Larson at 1:08.98. Katie Meili was the only other swimmer in finals to get under 1:10, posting a time of 1:09.47.
Justine Bowker won the B-final with a time of 1:11.95.