SWIMMING: Backstrokers Katz and Casas both post top-10 times; national titles for Cox and Schmitt at Stanford

Back on top: U.S. 200 m Breaststroke champ Madisyn Cox (Photo: J.D. Lascia via Wikimedia Commons)

On another perfect summer’s day at the Avery Aquatics Center at Stanford University, two veterans proved they are still among America’s elite, but two tight races stole the show.

The first was in the men’s 200 m Breaststroke – with a special local flavor – where 6-9 Reece Whitley, who just finished his freshman year at Cal, came back on the final lap to out-touch Stanford’s Daniel Roy, 2:09.69-2:10.01, a lifetime best for Whitley.

The second was in the final race among the A-finals, where 20-year-old Austin Katz from Texas and Shaine Casas, from Texas A&M, were stroke for stroke over the final lap of the men’s 200 m Backstroke. Casas had the lead with 15 m left, but Katz out-touched him for the national title.

His time of 1:55.72 would have placed him fifth on the 2019 world list, but he’s already there with his season’s best of 1:55.57. However, Casas scored a lifetime best fo 1:55.79 to move to equal-sixth for the year with Japan’s 2012 Olympic silver medalist Ryosuke Irie.

Veteran stars who impressed on Thursday included Allison Schmitt in the 200 m Free and Madisyn Cox in the 200 m Breaststroke.

Three-time Olympian and eight-time Olympic medal winner Schmitt, 29, swam poorly at the World Championships, failing to qualify for the final with a 1:58.73 time in the semis. She got out in front right away in the final at Stanford and held on over the final lap to win in 1:56.97, a season’s best.

Cox, who returned to the Nationals in 2019 after a doping positive traced to a multivitamin held her out in 2018, swam away with the 200 m Breaststroke event, winning easily in 2:23.84, a season’s best by more than two seconds and well ahead of Abby Arens (2:25.80).

The meet continues through Sunday and will be shown on NBCSN at 8 p.m. Eastern on Friday and 8 p.m. Eastern on Saturday and Sunday on NBC’s Olympic Channel. Summaries so far:

USA Swimming Phillips 66 National Championships
Stanford, California (USA) ~ 31 July-4 August 2019
(Full results here)

Men

100 m Freestyle: 1. Ryan Held, 47.39; 2. Maxime Rooney, 47.61; 3. Tate Jackson, 47.88; 4. Dean Farris, 48.07; 5. Daniel Krueger, 48.55; 6. Jack Conger, 48.64; 7. Robert Howard, 48.71; 8. Bowe Becker, 49.00.

200 m Free: 1. Elijah Winnington (AUS), 1:46.19; 2. Kieran Smith, 1:46.25; 3. Dean Farris, 1:46.45; 4. Rooney, 1:46.78; 5. Patrick Callan, 1:47.36; 6. Trenton Julian, 1:48.03; 7. Mitch D’Arrigo, 1:48.37; 8. Jordan Pothain (FRA), 1:48.98.

1,500 m Free: 1. Bobby Finke, 14:51.15; 2. Zane Grothe, 14:56.10; 3. Michael Brinegar, 15:00.82; 4. Arik Katz, 15:05.93; 5. Jake Mitchell, 15:11.52; 6. Eric Knowles, 15:13.52; 7. Jack Collins, 15:15.75; 8. Ross Dant, 15:22.06.

200 m Backstroke: 1. Austin Katz, 1:55.72; 2. Shaine Casas, 1:55.79; 3. Clark Beach, 1:57.14; 4. Bryce Mefford, 1:57.39; 5. Zachary Poti, 1:57.40; 6. Carson Foster, 1:58.26; 7. Nicolas Albiero, 1:59.21; 8. Wyatt Davis, 1:59.78.

200 m Breaststroke: 1. Reece Whitley, 2:09.69; 2. Daniel Roy, 2:10.01; 3. Joshua Matheny, 2:11.02; 4. Daniel Cave (AUS), 2:11.22; 5. Craig Benson (GBR), 2:11.27; 6. Caspar Corbeau (NED), 2:11.54; 7. Nicholas Quinn (GBR), 2:11.77; 8. Brandon Fischer, 2:12.15.

200 m Butterfly: 1. Luca Urlando, 1:54.92; 2. Miles Smachlo, 1:55.94; 3. Albiero, 1:56.05; 4. Trenton Julian, 1:45.09; 5. Bowen Gough (AUS), 1:56.65; 6. Brooks Fail, 1:57.00; 7. Corey Gambardella, 1:57.32; 8. Justin Wright, 1:58.79.

Women

100 m Freestyle: 1. Abbey Weitzeil, 53.18; 2. tie, Gretchen Walsh and Erika Brown, 54.13; 4. Catie DeLoof, 54.28; 5. Natalie Hinds, 54.34; 6. Allison Schmitt, 54.81; 7. Linnea Mack, 54.87; 8. Isabel Ivey, 54.97.

200 m Free: 1. Allison Schmidt, 1:56.97; 2. Paige Madden, 1:57.84; 3. Brooke Forde. 1:57.98; 4. Cierra Runge, 1:58.82; 5. Gabby DeLoof, 1:59.03; 6. Claire Tuggle, 1:59.42; 7. Erica Laning, 1:59.67; 8. Emma Atkinson, 1:59.82.

800 m Free: 1. Ally McHugh, 8:26.04; 2. Sierra Schmidt, 8:27.13; 3. Ashley Twichell, 8:27.36; 4. Kensey McMahon, 8:28.68; 5. Haley Anderson, 8:29.11; 6. Emma Weyant, 8:29.31; 7. Cierra Runge, 8:29.87; 8. Chase Travis, 8:32.46.

200 m Backstroke: 1. Asia Seidt, 2:08.90; 2. tie, Emma Seiberlich and Erin Voss, 2:10.86; 4. Atkinson, 2:10.96; 5. Lucie Nordmann, 2:11.43; 6. Chloe Hicks, 2:11.93; 7. Abi Wilder, 2:12.02; 8. Natalie Mannion, 2:14.63.

200 m Breaststroke: 1. Madisyn Cox, 2:23.84; 2. Abby Arens, 2:25.80; 3. Jenna Strauch (AUS), 2:26.05; 4. Miranda Tucker, 2:26.50; 5. Gillian Davey, 2:26.80; 6. Anna Keating, 2:26.90; 7. Ellie Andrews, 2:29.02; 8. Kate Douglass, 2:29.70.

200 m Butterfly: 1. Regan Smith, 2:07.26; 2. Lillie Nordmann, 2:07.43; 3. Dakota Luther, 2:07.76; 4. Olivia Carter, 2:08.22; 5. Megan Kingsley, 2:08.26; 6. Emily Large (GBR), 2:08.39; 7. Katie Drabot, 2:08.56; 8. Taylor Pike, 2:10.68.

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