By Sharon Robb
June 29, 2017—Ryan Murphy and Caeleb Dressel, who grew up swimming in Florida, won national titles Wednesday at the Phillips 66 National Championships and World Team Trials at Indiana University Natatorium in Indianapolis.
Murphy, the Olympic champion, won the 200-meter backstroke in 1:54.30 while Dressel won his first national title in the 50-meter butterfly in a national meet record 23.05 and qualified for his second world championship event after earning a spot in the 100-meter freestyle.
Dressel, a double Olympic gold medalist on relays in Rio, won an hour after finishing sixth in the 200-meter freestyle final.
Murphy graduated from Jacksonville Bolles and trained with the club team. Dressel graduated from Clay High School and trains with the club team.
Other Wednesday winners were:
Lilly King won the 200-meter breaststroke to set up a showdown with Russian rival Yulia Efimova at next month’s world championships. King won in a best time 2:21.83, dropping 2.2 seconds off her previous best. They will meet for the first time at worlds.
Katie Ledecky beat her best time in the world this year by a half second winning the 200-meter freestyle in 1:54.84. Ledecky has the 400 freestyle left to swim on Friday.
“Certainly growing in confidence in that race,” said Ledecky, who won the 800 freestyle the night before. “It’s right on or faster than what I was at Trials last year (1:54.88).
Kathleen Baker won the 200-meter backstroke by 2:17 seconds in 2:06.38, the fastest time in the world this year. Teenager Regan Smith, 15, was second and will be the youngest American to race in an individual event at worlds since Elizabeth Beisel in 2007.
Olympic gold medalist Kelsi Worrell of Louisville won the 50-meter butterfly in 25.69.
The winners of each event qualify for worlds with runners-up also likely to make the team through a selection process.
The five day meet continues Thursday. Thursday’s events are: 400-meter individual medley, 100-meter butterfly, 50-meter breaststroke and 50-meter backstroke.
The meet is being live streamed at usaswimming.org and also televised over 12 hours on the NBC Sports Group that includes NBCSN, Universal HD and NBC on July 1-2, 1-3 p.m.
FLORIDA GOLD COAST RESULTS
Women’s 200-meter freestyle: 60. Mary Smutny, AquaKids Sharks 2:04.04.
Men’s 200-meter freestyle: 71. Luke Smutny, AquaKids Sharks 1:54.32.
Women’s 200-meter breaststroke: 21. Rachel Bradford Feldman, Louisville 2:31.21, 23. Emily Kopas, Michigan 2:31.83.
Men’s 200-meter breaststroke: 14. Alex Evdokimov, Coral Springs SC 2:14.72/B Final, 4. Alex Evdokimov 2:14.00.
Women’s 200-meter backstroke: 14. Clara Smiddy, Michigan 2:11.94, 75. Darby Goodwin, VILL 2:18.59; B Final, 8. Clara Smiddy, 2:13.10.
Women’s 50-meter butterfly: 45. Jessica Nava, Pine Crest 27.91, 64. Mary Smutny, AquaKids Sharks 28.55.
Women’s 200-meter freestyle: 1. Katie Ledecky, Stanford 1:54.84, 2. Leah Smith, Cavaliers 1:56.68, 3. Melanie Margalias, St. Petersbrg 1:56.90.
Men’s 200-meter freestyle: 1. Townley Haas, Nova Aquatics 1:45.03, 2. Blake Pieroni, Indiana 1:46.30, 3. Zane Grothe, Badger 1:46.39.
Women’s 200-meter breaststroke: 1. Lilly King, Indiana 2:21.83, 2. Bethany Galat, TAMU 2:22.24, 3. Miranda Tucker, Club Wolverine 2:25.82.
Men’s 200-meter breaststroke: 1. Kevin Cordes, Unattached 2:07.41, 2. Nicolas Fink, Athens Bulldogs 2:08.63, 3. Josh Prenot, Cal Aquatics 2:08.72.
Women’s 200-meter backstroke: 1. Kathleen Baker, TE 2:06.38, 2. Regan Smith, RIP 2:08.55, 3. Asia Seidt, Lakeside 2:08.99.
Men’s 200-meter backstroke: 1. Ryan Murphy, Cal Aquatics 1:54.30, 2. Jacob Pebley, Cal Aquatics 1:54.78, 3. Robert Owen, Hoki 1:57.17.
Women’s 50-meter butterfly: 1. Kelsi Worrell, Cardinals 25.69, 2. Hellen Moffitt, NCAC 26.19, 3. Kendyl Stewart, Trojan 26.24.
Men’s 50-meter butterfly: 1. Caeleb Dressel, Bolles 23.05, 2. Cullen Jones, Wolfpack 23.27, 3. Tim Phillips, SwimMAC 23.37.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com