Video interview is courtesy of Kelsey Floyd. Video edit is courtesy of Coleman Hodges.
2013 Winter Nationals – WOMEN’S 200 IM – as reported by SwimSwam
A strong 200 IM field turned into a showdown between Cal teammates Liz Pelton and Celina Li in the middle two lanes and Jamaican Alia Atkinson from all the way out in lane 8. Li took over during the backstroke leg, and tried to close the door on breaststroke, but Pelton seemed to just hang around the entire way before swimming by Li over the final 50 yards. Pelton emerged the winner in 1:54.15 with Li right behind in 1:54.25. Those are the 3rd and 4th fastest times in the NCAA this season.
Atkinson provided some outside smoke to add just a little more drama to the moment – she exploded from the middle of the field on the breaststroke leg, splitting 32.1 to push the lead pair and was nipping at their heels with 50 yards to go. She didn’t have enough to overcome Pelton’s fast 26.8 free split, but she did still finish a very close third in 1:54.37.
16-year-old Kathleen Baker of SwimMAC was fourth in 1:56.38, separated from the lead trio only by her breaststroke split. Her teammate, post-grad Katie Meili took fifth in a close race with Stanford commit Janet Hu, who was sixth and Caitlin Leverenz t0ok seventh.
Justine Mueller and Marni Oldershaw were both fast in the consols, going 1:57s and taking 9th and 10th, respectively. In the C Final, Indiana’s Bronwyn Pasloski broke 2:00 for the first time in her career, winning the heat in 1:59.85 after going 2:01 in prelims.