By Emily Sampl//Contributor | Sunday, December 8, 2019
Six more meet records fell, with Katie Ledecky breaking her fourth of the meet, as the Toyota U.S. Open Championships concluded Saturday night at the Georgia Tech McAuley Aquatic Center in Atlanta, Ga.
Ledecky got the night off to a sizzling start with another dominating performance, this time in the women’s 1500m free. She chopped 17 seconds off the previous U.S. Open meet record of 15:52.10, set by the great Janet Evans back in 1988. Australia’s Kiah Melverton, who already finished second to Ledecky in both the 400m and 800m free earlier in the meet, added another second-place swim with a 16:05.95, while Erica Sullivan rounded out the top three in 16:13.49.
Erika Brown took down the second meet record of the night in the women’s 100m free, upsetting Olympic and world champion Simone Manuel in the process, 53.42 to 53.72. Siobhan Haughey also broke 54 with a 53.87 for third. Megan Romano held the previous meet record at 53.92.
Zach Apple raced to a dominating win in the men’s 100m free, finishing more than seven-tenths ahead of Dean Farris with a 47.69. That lowered the previous meet record of 48.52, set by Nick Brunelli. Farris posted a 48.45, which also broke the old record, while Bruno Blaskovic came in third at 48.93. Townley Haas swam a 48.91 in the B final which ended up being the third fastest time overall.
Emily Escobedo and Lilly King traded leads throughout the women’s 200m breast, but Escobedo got the better of King at the final touch, 2:22.00 to 2:22.63. Escobedo knocked half a second off the meet record of 2:22.51 held by Kaitlin Freeman. Annie Lazor moved up from seventh to third with a final time of 2:23.25.
The men’s 200m breast featured a tightly-bunched group of swimmers, and after sitting in second or third position the entire race Cody Miller emerged victorious at the wall, just edging Dmitriy Balandin 2:09.67 to 2:09.71. Both swimmers cleared Andrew Wilson’s meet record of 2:09.73, with Wilson placing third with a 2:10.10.
Luca Urlando took down the final meet record of the competition in the men’s 200m fly, trimming .04 off Sebastien Rousseau’s record to take first in 1:55.60. Eddie Kuan-Hung Wang stayed right on Urlando’s hip the entire race but couldn’t quite close the gap, taking second in 1:55.82, with Jonathan Gomez in third at 1:56.90.
In other finals, Brazil’s Guilherme da Costa joined Ledecky in sweeping the distance freestyle events as he posted a 14:55.49 to win the men’s 1500m free, after already taking the 400m and 800m wins this meet. Jordan Wilimovsky, who’s already qualified for Tokyo in the 10k open water event, took second in 15:03.29, while Bobby Finke claimed third in 15:05.55.
Phoebe Bacon’s bid for a backstroke sweep was overturned by Isabelle Stadden, who made a comeback on the final 50 to win in 2:08.49. Bacon led for the first 150 meters but faded to second in 2:08.82 while Lisa Bratton touched shortly after in 2:09.16.
After finishing second in the 100m back last night, Christopher Reid upgraded to the top step of the podium with a 1:57.04 in the 200m back, just ahead of 2016 Olympian Jacob Pebley (1:57.73). Clark Beach also broke 2:00 with a 1:59.42. Notably, Ryan Lochte had the third-fastest time overall with a 1:59.26 from the B final.
Katie Drabot raced to her first win of the meet in the women’s 200m fly, edging Olivia Carter 2:08.34 to 2:08.58. Megan Kingsley wound up third in 2:09.87.