2018 MEL ZAJAC JR. INTERNATIONAL
12-time Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte made some noise on day 1 of the Mel Zajac Jr. International meet with his performance in the 400 IM, clocking 4:15.80 and showing his best form since the 2016 Olympic Games. He continued the momentum on day 2, winning the 200 IM in a time of 1:58.90.
With solid splits all-around of 25.99(29.79)(34.63)(28.49), the 33-year-old is now the 2nd fastest American this year in both IM events, trailing only Chase Kalisz (who is the reigning world champion in both events). In fact, between Kalisz and Lochte, they’ve won the last five World titles in the event (Lochte had a record four straight from 2009 to 2015). Lochte’s Gator teammate Mark Szaranek took 2nd in 2:03.29, and U.S. junior team member Jake Foster was 3rd in 2:03.66. Foster had a win of his own in the 200 breast, going wire-to-wire in 2:16.55.
Lochte was also in action in the 100 fly, where he finished 4th in 53.71. Caeleb Dressel, who won two events on day 1, won the race in 52.45, making him the 3rd fastest American this year behind Jack Conger and Tripp Cooper. For comparison, Dressel was 52.29 exactly one year ago at the 2017 Santa Clara Pro Swim. U.S. junior Gianluca Urlando scored his second PB in the event for 2nd in 53.21, and Maxime Rooney was .01 off his season best for 3rd in 53.69. Szaranek, who was a sluggish 58.0 in the heats, dropped a 54.89 from the C-final.
Dressel also won the 50 free, making him 4/4 so far in the meet in terms of victories, with his first sub-23 of the year in 22.15. Noticeably wearing a Speedo suit after yesterday’s Mizuno, he’s now also 3rd among Americans in this event, trailing Michael Andrew and Nathan Adrian. Yuri Kisil (22.52), Sid Farber (22.61) and Alex Loginov (22.79) also cracked 23 for 2nd, 3rd and 4th.
Penny Oleksiak matched her performances from Friday, winning a butterfly event and also winning a freestyle B-final. She won the 100 fly in a very solid 59.12, well under her 1:00.92 from the Atlanta Classic, and went 25.80 in the 50 free B-final. Heidi Bradley (1:01.07) took 2nd in the 100 fly, and Phoebe Bacon (1:01.63) and Gretchen Walsh (1:01.64) both hit personal bests for 3rd and 4th.
Walsh also established a best on the day in the 50 free, when she went 25.46 in the prelims. She just missed that time tonight in 25.50, but still won comfortably over Sarah Fournier (25.80).
Like Dressel, Mackenzie Padington stood out with a pair of wins in the women’s 400 free and 200 IM. Her 400 of 4:10.63 was a season best, and just over a second off her lifetime best. Molly Gowans (4:16.46) was 2nd, and Savanna Faulconer (4:17.02) earned a PB for 3rd.
In the 200 IM, Padington out-sprinted breaststroker Kelsey Wog for the victory, touching in 2:15.25 to Wog’s 2:15.50. Kelly Fertel (2:16.58) was 3rd, as the top-3 all had their second fastest performance ever, and 15-year-old Bailey Herbert (2:16.66) posted a new lifetime best for 4th.
- Last night’s 200 back winner Isabelle Stadden of the U.S. junior team won the 50 tonight in 28.17, a new best time, moving into a tie for 3rd among Americans this year with Ali Deloof. Her teammate Katharine Berkoff (28.38) tied her best from prelims for 2nd, and Gator’s Emma Ball (28.47) also went a PB for 3rd.
- Markus Thormeyer cracked 26 for the first time in the men’s race, clocking 25.81 for the gold, while Wyatt Davis (26.28) got under his best by .02 for 2nd.
- Rachel Nicol of Calgary won the women’s 200 breast in a season best of 2:28.98, while the youngster Herbert continued her onslaught of personal best times for 2nd in 2:29.95.
- Mitch D’Arrigo crushed his season best to win the men’s 400 free in 3:51.93, with Ben Lawless (3:54.99) and Mikey Calvillo (3:55.54) narrowly missing their PBs for 2nd and 3rd.
- In the women’s 800 free relay, the U.S. juniors (8:18.97) had an epic battle with the Canadian juniors, as Kyla Leibel (2:01.36) nearly ran down Walsh (2:02.33) on the anchor leg. Berkoff was the main difference between the two teams, leading off in 2:03.93.
- For the men, the U.S. juniors won in 7:36.14, followed by Cascade (7:44.93) and Hyack (7:48.80).
Share if you enjoyed this post!