Phillips 66 Nationals Conclude; USA Swimming Names 50 Swimmers to World Team Roster
50 swimmers now on World Team Roster
The Phillips 66 National Championships concluded Saturday evening, with 50 swimmers being named to the World Team roster.
Katie Ledecky started off the night smashing a meet record (set by Janet Evans in 1988) in the 1500 Free, with a time of 15:47.15. Chloe Sutton followed in second with a time of 16:07.75, and Haley Anderson followed in third.
In the Women’s 200 IM, Cal Aquatics’ Caitlin Leverenz touched the wall for the National title in 2:10.13.
Longhorn Austin Surhoff was one of the favorites for the Men’s 200 IM; earlier in the week, Surhoff had discussed his training leading up to the Nationals: “It’s been about smarter not harder, but it’s been both smarter and harder,” he said. “[My goal is] to take my training this year as far as I can go…which has been our plan since my surprising finish at trials last summer.”
Ryan Lochte would ultimately take the title in the 200 IM; Surhoff dropped almost a second off his seed time but placed fourth, just behind Conor Dwyer and Chase Kalisz, missing a spot on the World team. Having qualified earlier this year for the World University Games in Russia, Surhoff will continue his training and compete there in early July.
In the Men’s 800 Free, Connor Jaeger and Longhorn Michael McBroom were neck and neck for first and second place throughout the duration of the race. Both would beat the U.S. Open record, Jaeger out-touching McBroom with a time of 7:46.78, and McBroom finishing in 7:47.13.
Per usual, the 50 Free sprint-to-the-finish was one of the most highly anticipated events of the evening. Natalie Coughlin won with a time of 24.97, with Simone Manuel of Sugarland finishing second in 25.01, breaking the 15-16 National Age Group record and qualifying for her first individual event in the upcoming Worlds.
The field for the Men’s 50 Free was stacked; Nathan Adrian hammered to the wall in 21.47; Anthony Ervin finished in close second, with a time of 21.70. Longhorn Jimmy Feigen finished in fourth.
Texas-Ex Ricky Berens, who was shut out of an individual berth on the World team after a disappointing fifth-place finish during Wednesday’s 200 Free, learned on Saturday that he would be joining Team USA at Worlds as part of the 4 x 200 and 4 x 100 Free relays.
Reacting to Wednesday’s performance in the 200, Berens noted his disappointment: “I definitely wasn’t happy. I came in here training very very well; something just didn’t click this meet.”
“Swimming’s a crazy sport,” he continued. “There are times that you can be hot and something’s just not going right, and you can try really hard and go slower. I’ve been doing it for 20 years now and still can’t figure it out."
With his spot now confirmed for Barcelona, Berens plans to fine tune with his coaches in the coming weeks. “We’ll look at some of the races, what I did wrong and what happened, and just fix those little things,” he said.
Complete results from the Phillips 66 National Championships can be found online. The FINA World Championships will be held in Barcelona July 19 through August 4.