2021 US OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Wednesday, December 1 – Saturday, December 4, 2021
- Greensboro Aquatic Center, Greensboro, NC
- LCM (50m)
- Meet Info
- Meet Central
- Psych Sheets
- Live stream
- Live Results (Omega)
- Friday night heat sheet
- Day 3 Prelims Recap
- Day 3 Finals FULL RECAP
Note: this videos post contains truncated versions of event recaps. For the full recaps, click the FULL RECAP link above.
The third night of racing at the 2021 US Open Championships will feature more swims by some of the standout performers of the meet so far.
While this year’s U.S. Open isn’t as deep as we’ve seen in past years for the early-December meet, the highlights have still been plentiful.
Leah Smith enters Friday’s finals as the top seed in the 400 IM. After a 2:11 best time in the 200 IM on Thursday, there will be a lot of anticipation for her in the 400 IM, which has historically been her preferred distance.
14-year old Thomas Heilman broke National Age Group Records in both the 100 fly and 200 free in prelims, swimming about 30 minutes apart. He’ll take the 100 fly final as the top seed, and then race as the 3rd seed in the 200 free final. He moved up a spot after #2 seed from prelims Andrej Barna scratched.
Katie Ledecky has had a big first long course meet in her new training under Anthony Nesty at Florida, and that continued on Friday morning with a 1:56.06 in the 200 free – a new US Open Championship Record.
Along with some breakout opportunities for some of America’s top young talent, Friday’s finals session is full of storylines worth following.
Women’s 400 IM – Final
- World Record – 4:26.36, Katinka Hosszu, Hungary (2016)
- American Record – 4:31.12, Katie Hoff (2008)
- US Open Championship Record – 4:37.34, Melanie Margalis, USA (2019)
- Leah Smith, TXLA – 4:38.89
- Julia Podkoscielny, PCS – 4:43.57
- Ella Janson, ESWI (Canada) – 4:44.11
- Kayla Han, RMDA – 4:47.92
- Kathleen Golding, FLOR – 4:49.82
- Emily Thompson, GSCY – 4:50.53
- Abby Hay, UOFL (Louisville) – 4:51.58
- Summer Smith, TENN – 4:52.38
Leah Smith continued to make hay in her first long course meet since June’s US Olympic Trials, winning her 2nd event of the week.
Smith swam 4:38.89 in the 400 IM. The 400 IM was her best event at the Olympic Trials, where she swam 4:34.55, and so it’s also the first time at this meet where she wasn’t either a lifetime best (200 IM), or at least better than she was at Trials (800 free), but aside from those Olympic Trials, she hasn’t been this fast in the 400 IM since the 2018 US Summer National Championships.
“I lost a little of my love for the sport during the pandemic, and I’m trying to get that back,” Smith said in her post-race interview about her new mindset after moving from Tucson to Austin to train under Carol Capitani at the University of Texas.
When asked for the moment where she regained her love for the sport, Smith said that the moment was yet to come.
After the race, she also acknowledge the 2nd and 3rd place swimmers, who flanked her in the pool, each of whom picked up lifetime bests in the final. Julia Podkoscielny, a junior at Pine Crest School in Florida, took 2nd place in 4:43.57. That shaved about 1.3 seconds off her previous lifetime best, and was her first lifetime best in three individual events so far at the meet.
The daughter of coach and Polish Olympic swimmer Mariusz Podkoscielny, she also won the 200 IM B-Final on Thursday, which was her first ‘second swim’ at a national meet. She was 15th in prelims of the 400 free, but dropped the final.
Julia Podkoscielny is committed to swim at Florida in fall 2023.
The 3rd place finisher was 16-year old Ella Jansen from Etobicoke Swimming in Canada, who touched in 4:44.11. Her previous best time, set in May, was 4:46.72. Etobicoke Swimming is the same home club as 15-year old Canadian Summer McIntosh, who has broken over 50 national age group swimming records in Canada and was the youngest member of the Tokyo 2020 Canadian Olympic Team (in any sport).
Kayla Han placed 4th in 4:47.92. That was a 1.4 second drop for the 13-year old from California who was the youngest swimmer at June’s Olympic Trials. Even just 6 months into her 13-14 career, Han now ranks 14th all-time in the 13-14 age group in the event.
Men’s 400 IM – Final
- World Record – 4:03.84, Michael Phelps, USA (2008)
- American Record – 4:03.84, Michael Phelps, USA (2008)
- US Open Championship Record – 4:11.11, Sebastien Rousseau, France (2013)
- Bobby Finke, Florida – 4:17.39
- Baylor Nelson, SwimMAC – 4:17.61
- Collyn Gagne, Simon Fraser (Canada) – 4:19.43
- Minseop Kim, Korea – 4:22.86
- Josh Parent, Bluefish – 4:23.73
- Logan Zucker, SwimMAC – 4:26.90
- Brennan Gravely, Florida – 4:27.35
- Devyn Caples, Pleasanton Seahawks – 4:29.63
Bobby Finke did more Bobby Finke things in the final of the men’s 400 IM. The double Olympic champion in the 800 and 1500 freestyles, becoming increasingly famous for his closing speed, made up a 1.4 second gap on SwimMAC Carolina’s Baylor Nelson over the final 100 meters, winning in 4:17.39.
In the 400 IM, Nelson now ranks 18th all-time, bumping Finke’s University of Florida teammate Kieran Smith down a peg on the ranking.
Women’s 100 Fly – Final
- World Record – 55.48, Sarah Sjostrom, Sweden (2016)
- American Record – 55.66, Torri Huske (2021)
- US Open Championship Record – 56.61, Claire Curzan, USA (2020)
- Mabel Zacaros, Florida – 1:00.05
- Autumn D’Arcy, CSU Bakersfield – 1:00.24
- Sydney Lu, Pleasanton Seahawks – 1:00.39
- Kyleigh Tankard, Coast Guard Blue Dolphins – 1:01.04
- (TIE) Amanda Ray, Florida/Yoojin Ahn, Korea – 1:01.15
- Mandy de Rooi, Duquesne – 1:01.47
- Yeonkyung Hur, Korea – 1:02.03
21-year old University of Florida sophomore Mabel Zavaros kept the Canadian roll going in the women’s 100 fly, swimming a 1:00.05 for the win.
Though she missed going sub-minute in the race, Zavaros, a 200 fly specialist, is the only swimmer in the field who has been under 1 minute in her career.
CSU-Bakersfield senior Autumn D’Arcy took 2nd in 1:00.24. That’s a best time by two tenths for D’Arcy, who is the defending WAC champion in the yards version of this event (as well as the 200 fly and 200 IM).
Men’s 100 Fly – Final
- World Record – 49.45, Caeleb Dressel, USA (2021)
- American Record – 49.45, Caeleb Dressel (2021)
- US Open Championship Record – 51.65, Tom Shields, USA (2013)
- Eric Friese, Florida – 52.56
- Thomas Heilman, Cavalier Aquatics – 53.27
- Iago Moussalem Amaral, Unattached (Indiana/Brazil) – 53.59
- Jace Crawford, Florida – 53.68
- Junheon Hwangbo, Korea – 53.81
- Lucas Bureau, HOKI – 53.83
- Landon Gentry, NCAP – 53.91
- Brady Samuels, Unattached – 54.19
University of Florida junior Eric Friese won the men’s 100 fly on Friday in 52.56, but it wasn’t easy.
“Hurting a lot, not gonna lie,” Friese said after his swim.
Friese says the University of Florida is in the midst of heavy training, but was pleased that he came within a tenth-of-a-second of his personal best time in the event in spite of the circumstances.
Women’s 200 Free – Final
- World Record – 1:52.98, Federica Pellegrini, Italy (2009)
- American Record – 1:53.61, Allison Schmitt (2012)
- US Open Championship Record –
1:56.06, Katie Ledecky, USA (2021 – Friday prelims)
- Katie Ledecky, Unattached (Florida) – 1:55.47
- Erin Gemmell, NCAP – 1:58.61
- Julia Mirozinski, Tennessee – 1:59.85
- Katrina Bellio, ESWIM (Canada) – 1:59.92
- Arina Openysheva, Louisville – 2:00.15
- Camille Spink, NCAP – 2:01.29
- Talia Bates, Florida – 2:01.64
- Sierra Schmidt, Scottsdale Aquatic Club – 2:03.02
The top finisher was Katie Ledecky, in 1:55.47, which broke the US Open Record in the event.
For Ledecky, the win continues an electric meet in her first long course outing since moving from Stanford, California to Gainesville, Florida to train under Anthony Nesty. She won in 1:55.47, which is just half-a-second off what she swam at the Olympic Games over the summer.
Ledecky added this win to two earlier victories: 4:00.51 in the 400 free and 8:12.81 in the 800 free. Setting aside the impact of the pandemic, all three times are better than Ledecky was at the 2019 US Open.
|2019 US Open||2021 US Open|
Erin Gemmell, daughter of Ledecky’s former coach Bruce Gemmell, finished 2nd in 1:58.61, which shaved .06 seconds off her previous best time. She still remains the 10th-fastest American all-time in the 15-16 age group.
Men’s 200 Free – Final
- World Record – 1:42.00, Paul Biedermann, Germany (2009)
- American Record – 1:42.96, Michael Phelps (2008)
- US Open Championship Record – 1:45.92, Townley Haas, USA (2019)
- Trey Freeman, Florida – 1:57.90
- Hoe Yean Khiew, Malaysia – 1:49.00
- Oskar Lindholm, Florida – 1:50.63
- Thomas Heilman, Cavalier Aquatics – 1:51.47
- Gus Borges, PRVT – 1:52.07
- Welson Wee Sheng Sim, Malaysia – 1:52.61
- Isaac Weigel, Unattached – 1:52.63
- Zach Ward, BKYS – 1:52.82
The men’s 200 free saw another University of Florida win, the 4th on the day, with this one coming from Trey Freeman in 1:47.90.
That time just-missed his best of 1:47.70 set at the 2018 Summer Nationals, but was his first time under 1:48 since that meet. He was 1:48.2 in May 2021, and 1:49.5 at June’s Olympic Trials.
Women’s 100 Breast – Final
- World Record – 1:04.13, Lilly King, USA (2017)
- American Record – 1:04.13, Lilly King (2017)
- US Open Championship Record – 1:04.45, Jessica Hardy, USA (2009)
- Hannah Bach, Ohio State – 1:09.01
- (TIE) Jinq en Phee, Malaysia/Tylor Mathieu, Florida – 1:10.28
- Ahryoung Kim, Korea – 1:10.85
- Grace Rainey, SwimMAC Carolina – 1:10.89
- Bella Cothern, Arkansas – 1:11.34
- Bradi Jones, Arkansas – 1:11.53
- Marizel van Jaarsveld, Unattached – 1:12.56
Ohio State junior Hannah Bach grabbed the first national win of her career in the women’s 100 breaststroke, touching in 1:09.01. That’s about 1.1 seconds slower than her lifetime best in the event.
There was a tie for 2nd in that race between Malaysian veteran Jinq En Phee and Florida’s Tylor Mathieu in 1:10.28. 16-year old Korean swimmer Ahryoung Kim placed 4th in 1:10.85.
Men’s 100 Breast – Final
- World Record – 56.88, Adam Peaty, Great Britain (2019)
- American Record – 58.14, Michael Andrew (2021)
- US Open Championship Record – 59.28, Andrew Wilson, USA (2019)
- Reid Mikuta, Auburn – 1:01.35
- Noah Nichols, Virginia – 1:01.41
- Brandon Fischer, Unattached – 1:02.26
- Raphael Rached Windmuller, Florida – 1:02.35
- Likith Prema, India – 1:02.62
- Pavel Romanov, ALPH – 1:03.10
- Jerry Chenn, Pitt – 1:03.32
- Julio Horrego, SoFlo – 1:03.79
Two weeks after going a best time of 51.33 in yards at the Georgia Tech Invitational, Reid Mikuta knocked half-a-second off his long course best time to win the U.S. Open title on Friday evening.
Mikuta said after the race that he “didn’t expect that.” He says he was in Greensboro, where he grew up, just to race and without much rest.
But after dropping 1.3 seconds in yards, a more modest half-second drop in meters, even in training, maybe shouldn’t have been that surprising.
Early in the season, that makes him the top American breaststroker so far. Mikuta currently trains at Auburn.
Women’s 100 Back – Final
- World Record – 57.45, Kaylee McKeown, Australia (2021)
- American Record – 57.57, Regan Smith (2019)
- US Open Championship Record – (TIE) 58.63, Phoebe Bacon, USA/Reagan Smith, USA (2019)
- Regan Smith, Unattached (Stanford) – 58.69
- Kobie Melton, Arkansas – 1:01.91
- Anya Mostek, Phoenixville Area YMCA – 1:01.93
- Leah Shackley, BRY – 1:02.17
- Camille Spink, NCAP – 1:02.45
- Talia Bates, Florida – 1:02.71
- Summer Smith, Tennessee – 1:02.75
- Ella Varga, UCSC – 1:02.97
Stanford freshman Regan Smith dominated the women’s 100 backstroke, winning by more than three seconds in a time of 58.69. That missed the Championship Record that she shares with Phoebe Bacon by just .06 seconds.
For Smith, the former World Record holder in the event, this is her first long course meet since the Olympic Games, where she won individual bronze in the event.
Men’s 100 Back – Final
- World Record – 51.85, Ryan Murphy, USA (2016)
- American Record – 51.85, Ryan Murphy (2016)
- US Open Championship Record – 52.51, Nick Thomas, USA (2009)
- Vaggelis Makrygiannis, Unattached (USC/Greece) – 54.06
- Sam Stewart, CKS – 54.70
- Adam Chaney, Florida – 55.43
- Richie Stokes, UCSC – 55.74
- Yeziel Morales, Azura Florida – 56.11
- Blaks Hanna, CATS – 56.13
- Ian Venter, PEA – 56.48
- Jack Aikins, Virginia – 56.55
USC sophomore Vaggelis Makrygiannis won the US Open title in the men’s 100 backstroke on Friday evening in 54.06. That shaves .01 seconds off his personal best, which was done on a leadoff leg for the 14th-place Greek relay at the Olympic Games.
He beat out US National Team member Sam Stewart, who just-missed a lifetime best of his own with a 54.70 for 2nd place.
University of Florida sophomore Adam Chaney was 3rd in 55.43. Winner of the B final at last year’s NCAA Championship meet, Chaney is expected to contend for the national title next March in the yards version of this race.