Kasia Wasick Leads Fast Pack of 50 Freestyle Performances (Club Excellence Challenge Women’s Roundup)

Kasia Wasick -- Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Kasia Wasick Leads Fast Pack of 50 Freestyle Performances (Club Excellence Challenge Women’s Roundup)

During the fourth and final day of racing at a trio of meets comprising USA Swimming’s Club Excellence Challenge, designed as one final tune-up prior to next month’s Olympic Trials, the speediest women’s performances came in the 50 freestyle, with two-time World Championships medalist Kasia Wasick recording the quickest time overall in Austin, Texas, while both Torri Huske and Abbey Weitzeil followed that up with strong swims in Irvine, Calif.

Wasick touched in 24.28, which was three tenths shy of her season-best mark of 23.95, recorded on the way to bronze while representing Poland at the World Championships in February. She was followed to the wall by University of Texas teammates Grace Cooper (25.10) and Erin Gemmell (25.53).

In Irvine, Huske notched a mark of 24.41, followed closely by Weitzeil in 24.40. While both had strong in-season performances, both were just off their season-best times; Weitzeil currently ranks fifth in the world at 24.27, with Huske sitting eighth at 24.31. Third in Irvine went to 37-year-old Brooke Boak (25.41).

The Atlanta Classic, meanwhile, had the deepest field overall and one further 24-second swim, with Catie DeLoof going 24.74 while Farida Osman edged out Erika Connolly for second, 25.10 to 25.14.

Saturday’s other events included the 800 freestyle, 100 backstroke, 200 breaststroke and 200 IM.

Women’s 800 Freestyle

The quickest time of the night belonged to the University of Georgia’s Abby McCulloh, the NCAA champion in the 1650-yard free earlier this year. McCulloh clocked 8:36.94 in Atlanta, ahead of Kate McCarville (8:45.15) and Ava Topolewski (8:45.72). In Irvine, Sammie Hamilton finished first (8:51.33), and Abby Grottle had the quickest mark in Austin (8:51.94).

Women’s 100 Backstroke

A pair of swimmers broke the 1:00 barrier between the three meets. Isabelle Stadden followed up a strong 200 back performance Friday with a mark of 59.22 in the 100 back, just 15-hundredths shy of her lifetime best, to win in Irvine by three-and-a-half seconds.

The Atlanta 100 back went to Wisconsin’s Phoebe Bacon in 59.76, with Tennessee’s Josephine Fuller a half-second back in 1:00.33 and Carmen Weiler Sastre third (1:01.31). Emma Kern beat out fellow Texas newcomer Berit Berglund in Austin, 1:01.00 to 1:01.64.

Women’s 200 Breaststroke

Mona McSharry, the Tennessee-trained Irish swimmer, clocked 2:27.70 for the Atlanta win, followed by fellow Vols Alexis Yager (2:29.39) and Emelie Fast (2:29.91). The race in Irvine belonged to Kaitlyn Dobler in 2:28.64, a little less than a second clear of Isabelle Odgers (2:29.50), while Kaitlyn Nguyen took third (2:31.47). Grace Rabb led the way in Austin at 2:32.39

Women’s 200 IM

Katie Ledecky made a rare appearance in this event in Atlanta’s prelims, clocking a mark of 2:12.67 to knock seven hundredths off her lifetime best. With the seven-time Olympic champion opting out of the final, the win went to Kristen Romano, the former Ohio State swimmer now representing Puerto Rico in international competition. Romano clocked 2:13.09, ahead of McKenna DeBever (2:14.70) and Josephine Fuller (2:15.02).

Also posting a strong mark in the evening was Stanford swimmer Lucy Bell, who came in at 2:13.28 to beat Isabelle Odgers, back in the pool minutes after the 200 breast, by four-and-a-half seconds. Angie Coe had the best time in Austin (2:14.64).

Notify of

Welcome to our community. We invite you to join our discussion. Our community guidelines are simple: be respectful and constructive, keep on topic, and support your fellow commenters. Commenting signifies that you agree to our Terms of Use

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x