Times in the men’s 200 fly finals came as a speedy surprise, with all top 16 swimmers pushing under the 1:58.00 barrier. For perspective, the tenth seed in the 200 fly would have ranked first at 2016 Olympic Trials, while the twenty-fifth position would have comfortably made the B final at the 2017 U.S. Nationals. Just as incredulous was the men’s 100 freestyle. Harvard’s Dean Farris, who finished in sixteenth place, could have secured a spot on the 2016 Rio Olympics 4×100 relay team.
World, American, U.S. Open and Junior records were obliterated across the board; the most notable of these coming from Kathleen Baker and Hali Flickinger. California’s Baker solidified her status as world’s top 100 backstroker with a mind-blowing 58.00 world record. Equally impressive was Flickinger’s 2:05.87 in the 200 fly prelims, which broke Mary Meagher’s U.S. Open Record dating back to 1981. Ryan Murphy, Michael Andrew, Reagan Smith and Claire Tuggle also put up commendable performances.
Based on the women’s 200 free final, the American quartet – Katie Ledecky, Allison Schmitt, Gabby Deloof, and Leah Smith – could foreseeably threaten the existing 4×200 free relay world record. The Americans posted an aggregate time of 7:43.90, just short of the only women’s relay record left from the tech suit era – 7:42.08.
(Original Post: Swimming World)