By Sharon Robb
IRVINE, Calif., July 25, 2018–Stanford’s Katie Ledecky won her opening event Wednesday at the Phillips 66 U.S. National Championships.
Ledecky, 21, under world record pace early in the race, won the 800-meter freestyle in 8:11.98. Leah Smith of Tuscon Ford Aquatics was second in 8:22.79.
The five-time Olympic gold medalist is looking for her 15th career world record. She is also entered in the 200, 400 and 1500-meter freestyles. She scratched from the 100 freestyle to focus on the 800.
In other races:
Simone Manuel swam the fastest 100-meter freestyle on American soil to win in a U.S. Open record 52.54. Her opening split was 25.62 and back end was 26.92.
Cal’s Nathan Adrian had his eight-year national title streak broken by Mission Viejo’s Blake Pieroni, 22, in a lifetime-best 48.08. Adrian, 29, was second in 48.25. It was the first time he lost the race in 2009.
Jordan Willimovsky, 24, won the 1500-meter freestyle in a life-time best 14:48.89, shaving 20.09 seconds off his previous best. St. Petersburg’s Robert Finke was second in 14:55.34.
In the 200-meter butterfly, Hali Flickinger, 24, of Athens Bulldogs won in 2:06.14 and Justin Wright, 22, of Tucson Ford won in 1:54.63.
South Florida Aquatic Club’s Kathleen Golding, 17, finished 62nd in the 100-meter freestyle in 56.57, 0.37 off her best time. It was the first of five events she entered.
Golding swims the 200-meter freestyle (2:02.28) on Thursday, 400-meter individual (4:50.65) on Friday and 200-meter individual medley (2:17.19) and 50-meter freestyle (26.35) on Sunday.
The senior championship meet is one of the biggest meets of the summer. The meet is the 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’s also a selection meet for Junior Pan Pacs, Pan American Games and World University Games.
Prelims are 9 a.m. and finals 6 p.m. Pacific Time, three hours behind South Florida.
The meet will be shown on the webcast of usaswimming.org, the Olympic Channel at nbcsports.com, NBC and NBC Sports Network.
Thursday — Day 2, Olympic Channel (9 p.m), NBCSN (11 p.m.)
Friday — Day 3, Olympic Channel (9 p.m.), NBCSN (11 p.m.)
Saturday — Taped footage, NBC (3 p.m.); Day 4, Olympic Channel (10 p.m.)
Sunday — Day 4, NCBCSN (1 a.m.); Taped footage, NBC (3 p.m.); Day 5, Olympic Channel (9 p.m.)
Monday — Day 5, NBCSN (6 p.m.)
Stream: NBCSports.com or NBC Sports app
200-meter butterfly: 1. Hali Flickinger, ABSC 2:06.14, 2. Katie Drabot, STAN 2:07.18, 3 Regan Smith, RIP 2:07.42; FGC: 44. Mary Smutny, AquaKids Sharks 2:14.97.
100-meter freestyle: 1. Simone Manuel, STAN 52.54, 2. Mallory Comerford, LOUIS 53.09, 3. Margo Geer, MVN 53.44; FGC: 43. Megan Moroney, CAV 55.98, 62. Kathleen Golding 56.57, 87. Kyla Valls, CAV 57.35, 93. Mary Smutny, AquaKids Sharks.
1. Katie Ledecky, STAN 8:11.98, 2. Leah Smith, FORD 8:22.79, 3. Haley Anderson, TRO 8:24.13.
200-meter butterfly: 1. Justin Wright, FORD 1:54.63, 2.Zach Harting, LOUIS 1:55.11, 3. Jack Conger, NCAP 1:55.21; FGC: 33. Luke Smutny, PITT 2:00.24, time drop 0.15.
100-meter freestyle: 1. Blake Pieroni, MVN 48.08, 2. Nathan Adrian, CAL 48.25, 3. Townley Hess, NOVA 48.30; FGC: None.
1. Jordan Willimovsky, TSM 14:48.89, 2. Robert Finke, SPA 14:55.34, 3. Zane Grothe MVN 15:00.85.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org