By Sharon Robb
IRVINE, Calif., July 29, 2018—Kathleen Golding of South Florida Aquatic Club closed out senior nationals with another best time and “C” final Sunday at the USA Swimming Phillips 66 U.S. National Championships.
Golding, 17, was fifth in the “C” final of the 200-meter individual medley in a lifetime-best 2:15.61 after going 2:16.50 in prelims for 23rd place. She shaved 1.58 off her previous best of 2:17.19. She was also 74th in the 50-meter freestyle in 26.73.
In the five events she qualified in, Golding had three lifetime-bests.
After a day off, Golding will return to the pool to compete in the USA Swimming Junior Nationals where she will compete in the 100-meter freestyle and 400-meter individual medley on Aug. 1 before returning home.
In other senior national races:
With world record holder Katie Ledecky and Leah Smith scratching from the 1500-meter freestyle, the race was wide open. Open water swimmer Ashley Twichell of Trojan Swim Club jumped out to a big lead and never relinquished it. She won the mile in a best time 15:55.68, dropping 13 seconds from her previous best.
Newly-crowned 100-meter backstroke world record holder Kathleen Baker broke the U.S. Open and meet records to win the 200-meter individual medley in 2:08.32, her third individua title. She led from start to finish. Baker broke the world record on Saturday in 58.00. St. Petersburg’s Olympic medalist Melanie Margalis was second in the 200 IM in 2:09.43 and made Pan Pacs in her last chance event.
Chase Kalisz won his second national title in the 200-meter individual medley in 1:55.73, just 2/10ths off his best time and the fastest time in the world this year. It was his best swim of the meet.
Zane Grothe also won his second national title in the 800-meter freestyle in a U.S. Open record of 7:44.57, fastest time in the world this year.
Simone Manuel swept the sprint events in a U.S. Open and meet record 24.10 in the 50-meter freestyle. It was her third fastest career time and fourth fastest American performance in history.
Michael Andrew, enjoying his biggest breakthrough meet, knocked off Caeleb Dressel to win the 50-meter freestyle in a best time by 2/10ths in 21.49. Dressel was second in 21.67 and Nathan Adrian third in 21.85. Dressel had the fastest start but Andrew turned on the after burners down the stretch. It was his third national title in the 50s events.
The senior championship meet was one of the biggest meets of the summer. The meet served as selection trials for the Aug. 9-12 Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo. The U.S. 2019 FINA World Championship team will be chosen based on combined results from nationals and Pan Pacs.
It was also a selection meet for Junior Pan Pacs, Pan American Games and World University Games.
200-meter individual medley:
1. Kathleen Baker, TE 2:08.32, US, CR records; 2. Melanie Margalis, SPA 2:09.43, 3. Ella Eastin STAN 2:10.84; FGC: 21. Kathleen Golding, SOFLO 2:15.61, time drop 1.58, 34. Kelly Fertel, GSC 2:17.37.
1. Simone Manuel 24.10, 2. Abbey Weitzeil 24.56, 3. Margo Greer 24.79; FGC: 74. Kathleen Golding, SOFLO 26.73.
1. Ashley Twichell, TAC 15:55.68, 2. Ally McHugh, Unattached 16:02.56, 3. Erica Sullivan, SAND 16:02.88; FGC: None.
200-meter individual medley:
1. Chase Kalisz, ABSC 1:55.73, 2. Abrahm Devine, STAN 1:57.41, 3. Gunnar Bentz, CAL 1:58.23; FGC: 43. Miguel Cancel, AKS 2:04.38.
1. Michael Andrew 21.49, 2. Caeleb Dressel 21.67, 3. Nathan Adrian 21.85; FGC: None.
1. Zane Grothe, MVN 7:44.57, 2. Jordan Willimovsky, TSM 7:47.51, 3. Robert Finke, SPA 7:51.45.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com