Written By Sharon Robb
November 29, 2012
Olympians Katie Ledecky and Ryan Lochte turned in impressive swims on the opening night of the AT&T Winter Short Course National Championships Thursday at University of Texas.
Ledecky, 15, won the 500-yard freestyle in a lifetime-best 4:34.53, just missing Katie Hoff’s 15-16 national age group record of 4:34.21. She finished ahead of Haley Anderson (4:36.87) and Leah Smith (4:36.90). Ledecky was 1:46 at the 200.
Lochte, 28, swimming unattached for Gators Swim Club, won by a wide margin in the 200-yard individual medley in 1:40.97, flirting with the American record, just 89/100ths of a second off his 2007 mark. His splits were 21.78, 24.69, 29.68 and 24.82. James Lendrum was second in 1:44.24.
Michael McBroom of Texas came from behind in the final 50 yards to win the 500-yard freestyle in 4:16.08, outsprinting Cristian Quintero (4:16.56) and Matthew Barber (4:16.62).
Olympian Jessica Hardy, a late entry into the meet, won the 50-yard freestyle in 21.83 edging Margo Geer in 21.84. Missy Franklin won the “B” final in 22.41 ahead of Lia Neal in 22.54.
Without Nathan Adrian in the field, Matt Grevers won the 50-yard freestyle in 18.88 followed by Davis Tarwater (19.36) and Pavel Babaev (19.44).
Celina Li, 17, won the 200-yard individual medley in 1:55.28 followed by Stina Gardell (1:55.32) and Franklin (1:55.88).
Arizona’s women’s team won the 200-yard freestyle record in a meet record 1:28.63. Arizona is one of the few college teams that shaved for the meet. Margo Geer led off with a 21.82 split. Her teammates were Megan Lafferty, Katlyn Flederbach and Alana Pazevic. Arizona’s men’s relay also won in 1:17.95, just .05 off the meet record.
Arizona’s 400-yard medley relay team also broke a meet record in 3:31.16. The Wildcats men’s medley also broke the meet record to win in 3:05.69.
Gunnar Bentz, 15, of Dynamo Swim Club broke the 15-16 national age group record in the 200-yard individual medley in 1:45.17.
Olympic gold medalist and top-seed Nathan Adrian was forced to withdraw from the finals of the 50-yard freestyle after jamming his finger on a lane line while warming down after morning prelims. Adrian swam the fastest prelim time of 18.82, just off his American record of 18.66. Louisville’s Joao De Lucca was bumped up in the finals.
“Sad news but I don’t want to hurt it any more,” Adrian tweeted between sessions. “Super bummed to not swim tonight but proud of Matt Grevers for sneaking under 19.” Adrian had his fingers taped.
The meet is the last major domestic USA Swimming meet of the year. The event will be broadcast on NBC as a one-hour special on Sunday, Dec. 2 from 2-3 p.m.
University of Florida men’s and women’s teams will compete Friday through Sunday in the Ohio State Invitational in Columbus, Ohio. The men are 4-0 overall and women are 1-3. CSSC’s Luke Torres, a freshman, will compete for the Gators. The meet features six men’s teams and nine women’s teams from six different conferences. The Gator women are coming off a loss to Florida State. No. 7 nationally-ranked Indiana, with CSSC swimmer Nick Schwab, will also compete…
Olympic legend Matt Biondi will make his masters swimming debut at this weekend’s Southern Pacific Masters Swimming long course meters meet. He will compete in the 50-meter freestyle and 50-meter butterfly.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org