WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB
August 25, 2012
After the first two days of the Junior Pac Pacific Championships at Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center in Honolulu, it’s clear that next year’s World Championships in Barcelona in July may feature some of the nation’s top young swimmers.
Clearwater Aquatics’ Becca Mann broke Dagny Knutson’s meet record to win the 400-meter individual medley in 4:39.76, ranked 25th in the world this year. It was also a 13-14 U.S. national age group record. Her splits were 1:03.85, 1:13.46, 1:20.99 and 1:01.46.
Mann was also second in the 800-meter freestyle in 8:28.79. U.S. teammate Leah Smith won in 8:28.01.
Mann, 14, a U.S. Olympic trials finalist, also competed in the 200-meter butterfly. Because only the top two from each country advance to the finals, Mann ended up in the B final and swam 2:11.99, three seconds ahead of the field that would have placed her third overall in the event.
In the boys’ 400-meter individual medley, Chase Kalisz of the North Baltimore Aquatic Club won in a meet record 4:12.59 to crack into the world’s top 15 rankings. At the past U.S. Olympic trials no swimmer was able to crack 4:13. Kalisz’ splits were 58.82, 1:06.04, 1:09.21 and 58.52 on freestyle.
With Michael Phelps officially retired and Ryan Lochte out of the 400 IM, Kalisz is a favorite for worlds and 2016 Rio Olympics. Even Phelps congratulated Kalisz on Twitter, “Congrats to Chase Kalisz tonight!!! Awesome job buddy!!!”
U.S. teammate Matt Ellis won the 100-meter freestyle in a meet record 49.24. Earlier, Aussie Regan Leong won the B finals in 49.53 to first break the record. In the girls’ 100-meter freestyle, Simone Manuel won in a best time 54.80, the first time she cracked 55 seconds.
The U.S. girls’ team won the 800-meter freestyle relay of Simone Manuel, Leah Smith, Cierra Runge and Chelsea Chenault in 7:59.06. Japan upset the field in the boys event in 7:18.59.
Looks like Japan has its next Kosuke Kitajima in Akhiro Yamaguchi, who broke the 100-meter breaststroke meet record in prelims in 1:00.64 and won the event dipping under a minute in 59.85, just off his best time of 59.56. Canadian Kierra Smith won the girls 100-meter breaststroke in 1:08.54.
After two days, the U.S. leads the combined team scores with 208.5 points. Australia is second with 146.5 and Japan had 146.
More Meet Results
Brazilian Olympian Cesar Cielo won the 100-meter freestyle to highlight action at the Jose Finkel Trophy Short Course Meters Meet in Sao Paulo. He went out in 21.86 and won in a textile-best 45.91.
Aussie Marieke Guehrer won the women’s 100-meter freestyle in 52.76. Guehrer is competing for Cielo’s pro team Flamengo, which leads the competition.
Brazilian Thiago Pereira broke his own Brazilian and South American records in the 200-meter individual medley in 1:52.30, eighth-fastest time in history. Only Phelps and Lochte have gone faster in textile suits. Femke Heemskerk won the women’s 200 IM in 2:10.31.
Lochte On Armstrong’s Lifetime Band
Olympian Ryan Lochte, fresh off trips to Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New York and preparing to return to practice on Monday, told a celebrity website that Armstrong’s controversy is “a sad time in sports history.”
The seven-time Tour de France winner chose not to contest USADA’s doping charges against him and has been stripped of all seven titles and banned for life from competing in pro cycling.
“None of us all will know, so ultimately none of us should judge,” Lochte said. “There’s always two sides to the story.”
Lochte said there should be “zero tolerance for anything that artificially enhances performance.” But also added that it shouldn’t have taken seven wins for him to be so “heavily investigated.”
Despite his fall from grace and negative publicity, Armstrong plans to still actively support Livestrong, a cancer care and education charity that has raised nearly $500 million since Armstrong founded it 15 years ago. On Friday, the foundation received 400 donations that totaled $75,000.
Some of his major sponsors including Nike and Anheuser-Busch, plan to stick with him. Trek Bicycles and Radio Shack are still deciding whether they will support Armstrong or not.
Armstrong, who turns 41 next month, does not seem to be deterred from competing. Although it looks like the Hawaii Ironman will not allow Armstrong to compete, Armstrong competed Saturday in the Power of Four Mountain Bike race in Aspen, Colo. Armstrong finished second in the race behind 16-year-old Keegan Swirbul. On Sunday, he planned to run a trail marathon.
“Nobody needs to cry for me, I’m going to be great,” Armstrong said in his first interview a day after his lifetime ban was announced.
More Aquatic News
Olympic champion Missy Franklin will make her movie debut in a cameo appearance in Vince Vaughn’s upcoming comedy The Internship. “I got a cameo in the upcoming movie,” she said. “It’s with Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn. I am so excited about it.” Franklin will shoot the cameo in the next few months…Franklin also got a chance to meet Canadian singer Carly Rae Jepsen who Franklin and her U.S. teammates did a video parody of her popular Call Me Maybe song that has since gone viral. The two attended the Arthur Ashe Kids Day, a pre-event for the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament in New York…U.S. Olympic teammate Jessica Hardy is working on a swimming technique video in Long Beach, Calif. that will be released soon…
U.S. Masters Swimming has awarded its 2014 and 2015 USMS Spring and Summer Nationals. Santa Clara will host the 2014 Spring Nationals and University of Maryland will host the 2014 Summer Nationals. The 2015 Spring Nationals was awarded to San Antonio and 2015 Summer Nationals to the SPIRE Institute, about 45 minutes east of Cleveland…Former local diver Kassidy Cook has made it official. She will competing at Stanford next year.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com