No American records were set at the first U.S. championships of the post-technical suit era this past weekend in Federal Way, Wash., but the clock still told a few interesting tales.
A few notable moments siphoned from the results:
Katie Hoff earned a second in the 200-yard backstroke (1 minute, 53.65 seconds); second in 500 free (4:37.33, seven seconds off of her ’07 AR); and third in the 200 free (1:44.27) behind Dana Vollmer (1:42.36) and Dagny Knutson (1:42.61). Though the results were respectable, Hoff really impressed in the event she probably least wanted to impress — the grueling, painful 400 medley, which Hoff did not swim this past summer out of sheer dread of the event.
Hoff’s time in the medley (4:01.95) was not far from the American record Julia Smit set last March (4:00.56) and it was close to the 4:00.66 Hoff swam in ’07. Katinka Hosszu finished a distant second in the race in 4:04.17.
The men’s 400 medley, on the other hand, produced frightful times relative to Tyler Clary’s American record from the NCAA championships in March, when he posted a 3:34.98. The winner, Robert Margalis, came home in 3:45.24 and Clary, who finished third, registered a time (3:48.30) that was 13.32 seconds over his record. Ouch.
Dagny Knutson’s performance in the 500 free won her recognition for race of the meet; she gave Hoff’s ’07 American record (4:30.47) a run before falling short with her finish in 4:31.18.
Rebecca Soni gave chase to her own American record from last February in the 200 breaststroke, finishing in 2:05.12 — just .37 off the mark. She also claimed the 100 breast in 58.62, a bit farther behind Tara Kirk’s ’06 American record of 57.77.
Nathan Adrian won the 50 free (19.08, .37 off of his American record) and 100 free (41.80, the fourth-fastest ever) to further the argument that he is the fastest-rising sprinter in the United States.
Peter Vanderkaay won the 500 free in 4:12.60, four seconds off of his ’08 American record; he claimed the 200 free in 1:34.08, more than two seconds over David Walters’s AR of 1:31.72.
Ariana Kukors won the 200 medley in 1:55.40 — 2.61 seconds off of Julia Smit’s ’09 American best.
Eric Shanteau won the men’s 200 medley in 1:44.05, four seconds off of Ryan Lochte’s American record from 2007.
Vollmer won the 100 fly (51.39) and 200 free (1:42.36). She wasn’t chasing a suit-aided record in the 100 fly; that one (50.01) is still held by Natalie Coughlin from 2002. Vollmer holds the AR in the 200 (1:41.53).
In just his second competition since the Beijing Summer Games, four-time Olympic gold medal winner Kosuke Kitajima of Japan — who swims under Dave Salo at the University of Southern California — claimed second in the 100 breaststroke (52.44) behind Michael Alexandrov (52.07). Shanteau was third in 52.84.