SWIMMING: Held and Weitzeil re-writing 2019 world list on first day of U.S. Nationals

New national champion in the 200 m Butterfly: Luca Urlando

The FINA World Championships are over, but the sensational swimming went on at the Avery Aquatic Center at Stanford University on Wednesday, as U.S. swimmers continued to re-arrange the 2019 world list:

Ryan Held, a 2016 Olympic gold medalist on the 4×100 m Relay, didn’t make the Gwangju team, but showed that he will have to be accounted for in 2020, with a lifetime best in the 100 m Freestyle prelims at 47.43 and another with 47.39 to win the final.

The prelim time moved him to no. 3 on the world list and he stayed there with his finals mark. He said afterwards that those swims had “two years of disappointment” in them; he’s clearly a contender for a second Olympic team next year.

Behind Held came Maxime Rooney with a lifetime best of 47.75 in the prelims and then 47.61 in the final, placing him fifth on the world list, and Tate Jackson at 47.88 for 10th. Right now, American swimmers hold six of the top 10 places on the 2019 world list in the event.

● The women’s 100 m Free showcased Abbey Weitzeil, the 2016 Olympic Trials winner in the event, who claimed a lifetime best of 53.18, placing her no. 9 on the 2019 world list. Her prior best was back at the 2016 Trials (53.28), so she’s making progress at the right time. The top five in the final all had lifetime bests.

● The amazing Regan Smith, who set two world records in the women’s 100-200 m Backstroke, came back to Stanford and collected the national title in the 200 m Butterfly in 2:07.26, placing her no. 6 in the world for 2019. Will we miss Smith in another stroke? She said afterwards, “I love butterfly.” Stay tuned …

● Fellow 17-year-old Luca Urlando showed that his fabulous 1:53.84 time in the 200 m Fly at the Tyr Pro Swim Series – no. 3 on the world list for 2019 – was no fluke. The early leader was Trent Julian through the first two laps, but Urlando took the lead at the 150 m mark and drove the last lap to touch ahead of Miles Smachlo, 1:54.92-1:55.94. Urlando’s time would have ranked him seventh on the world list, but for his 1:53.84 in June.

Ally McHugh finished sixth in the final of the Worlds 400 m Medley on Sunday, and on Wednesday, she won the national title in the 800 m Freestyle in an impressive 8:26.04. Pretty good considering the long trip back. Sierra Schmidt got a lifetime best in second in 8:28.13.

Bobby Finke, 19, ran away with the 1,500 m Freestyle, winning in 14:51.15, making him the no. 9 performer in the world for 2019. Zane Grothe finished second in 14:56.10; a nice rebound from his disastrous 15:21.43 in the heats of the 2019 Worlds, where he finished 26th. Finke’s time would have put him into the Worlds final and placed him sixth.

The conditions were excellent, held in mid-70s temperatures in front of a light crowd at the Avery Aquatics Center. Not surprisingly, several entrants dropped out, such as Caeleb Dressel, who was entered in six events The meet continues through Sunday and will be shown on NBCSN at 8 p.m. Eastern on Thursday and 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)


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.

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 Butterfly: 1. Luca Urlando, 1:54.92; 2. Miles Smachlo, 1:55.94; 3. Nicolas 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.


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.

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 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.