SwimmingIsabelle Stadden, Ian Grum Pace 200 Backstroke Prelims

Isabelle Stadden, Ian Grum Pace 200 Backstroke Prelims

U.S. Nationals: Isabelle Stadden, Ian Grum Pace 200 Backstroke Prelims

Cal’s Isabelle Stadden was the only swimmer to get under 2:10 in the women’s 200 backstroke prelims. She recorded the quickest outgoing split (1:02.57) and the quickest back half (1:07.12) on the way to a time of 2:09.69. That matched Stadden’s mark from the International Team Trials in April, where she finished fourth, but she has been as fast as 2:07.86 last year. On either side of Stadden in the final will be two swimmers who won individual bronze medals in backstroke events at the recent World Championships: TAC Titans’ Claire Curzan and Alabama’s Rhyan White.

Curzan, the bronze medalist in the 100 back in Budapest, comfortably won her heat in 2:10.84, while 200 back third-place finisher White swam the third-best mark of the morning at 2:10.94. In the final heat, White touched just ahead of Longhorn’s Leah Smith (2:11.01) and Cavalier’s Reilly Tiltmann (2:11.39). Smith qualified for her first final of a Nationals where she is racing mostly off-events. Last month, the freestyler won bronze in the 400 free and gold as part of the U.S. women’s 800 free relay at Worlds.

Indiana’s Anna Peplowski (2:11.39) and Commonwealth’s Natalie Mannion (2:12.06) each got into their second A-final of the day after previously finishing top-eight in the 200 freestyle, and eighth went to Rosie Zavaros in 2:12.07.

Virginia swimmer Jack Aikins entered the meet as favorite in the 200 back after he was third behind Ryan Murphy and Shaine Casas at the International Team Trials in 1:56.29. In the final heat of the event, Aikins blasted the first 100 meters of the race before fading on the last 50, and Dynamo’s Ian Grum got just ahead at the finish, 1:58.05 to 1:58.13. The only other swimmer in the event to break 1:59 was Lake Oswego’s Nick Simons, who put up a time of 1:58.48.

Australia’s Ty Hartwell was fourth in 1:59.10, while 200-yard back NCAA champion Destin Lasco of Cal finished well to claim fifth in 1:59.21. Baylor Nelson (1:59.77), Caleb Maldari (2:00.13) and Christopher O’Connor (2:00.15) also qualified for the A-final.

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