By Jim Rusnak//Director of Media Properties | Sunday, July 29, 2018
IRVINE, Calif. – The 2018 Phillips 66 National Championships draws to a close tonight, with the final members of the U.S. Pan Pacific Championships being added to the roster.
Here’s a preview of tonight’s races:
Women’s 1500m Freestyle
U.S. National Team member Erica Sullivan is the top seed in tonight’s timed finals of the women’s 1500m freestyle. Sullivan won the national junior title in the 5k open water race in 2017, and placed second in the 1650-yard freestyle and third in the 500y freestyle at the 2017 Speedo Winter Championships. Fellow National Teamers Hannah Moore and Ashley Twichell are the seeded second and third. Moore was a finalist in the 400 and 800 free at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. Twichell has been one of the United States’ best open water swimmers for almost a decade.
Women’s 200m IM
Olympian Melanie Margalis, the defending national champion in the 200m IM, is the top seed for tonight’s finals in 2:10.13. Margalis was fourth in the 200 IM at both the 2016 Olympic Games and at last year’s FINA World Championships. Kathleen Baker, who set the world record in the 100m backstroke last night, will be trying her hand at the 200 IM tonight as the fourth seed. Other U.S. National Team members swimming in tonight’s finals will be Alex Walsh, Ella Eastin and Brooke Forde. Forde finished second in the 400m IM on Friday.
Men’s 200m IM
Olympian Chase Kalisz is the top seed for the final of the men’s 200m IM in 1:57.12. Kalisz is the defending national and world champion in this event, and also the seventh-fastest swimmer of all time. He won the men’s 400m IM on Friday. U.S. National Team member Abrahm Devine was runner-up to Kalisz at least year’s national championships, and then went on to finish 10th in this event at the 2017 FINA World Championships.
Men’s 800m Freestyle
Zane Grothe and Grant Shoults will have a rematch tonight, after Grothe beat Shoults in the last few strokes of last night’s exciting finish in the men’s 400m free. They are the top two seeds, with Grothe entered at 7:50.94, and Shoults at 7:53.83. Also in the mix is Olympian Jordan Wilimovsky, who took first in the men’s 1500m free on the first night of competition.
Women’s 50m Freestyle
Olympian Simone Manuel will be going for her fourth career national title in the 50m free tonight. She is the top seed in 24.61. Manuel is the American record-holder in this event and won silver in the 50 at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, and bronze at the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest. She also won the 100m free here in Irvine on the first night of competition. Olympians Abbey Weitzeil, Lia Neal, and Kelsi Dahlia will also be swimming in tonight’s finals.
Men’s 50m Freestyle
Michael Andrew has announced his presence big time this week in Irvine, winning three events – the 50 breast, 100 breast and 50m butterfly. His win in the 100 breast Saturday qualified him for the 2018 U.S. Pan Pacific Championships Team. He will be going for his second Pan Pacs event tonight in the men’s 50 free, turning in the top time in prelims in 21.64.
He will get a real test from the defending national and world champion Caeleb Dressel, the second seed in 21.89. Dressel is also the American record-holder in this event in 21.15.
Stalwart sprinter Nathan Adrian, the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist in the 50, is the fourth seed in 22.10.