By Jim Rusnak//Director of Media Properties | Sunday, August 12, 2018
TOKYO – It took everything Nathan Adrian had to get his hand on the wall first Sunday in the men’s 400m medley relay. He knew it would, and that’s the reason he scratched from 50m free in this morning’s prelims of the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships.
“I would be lying if I said I felt like I was at 100 percent,” Adrian said. “And I knew it was going to take a good one to make sure we won. You have to make calls like that to make sure you put yourself and your team in a position to win gold medals. That’s what we had to do.
“I would have loved to compete there and try to win a 50 freestyle title, but that wasn’t what I needed to do.”
In the 400 medley, Adrian dove in seven-hundredths of a second behind Katsumi Nakamura of Japan for the final leg and went stroke for stroke with him down the homestretch. When the waves settled, the United States came out on top, 3:30.20 to 3:30.25. Australia was third in 3:30.52.
Swimming on the relay with Adrian was Ryan Murphy, Andrew Wilson and Caeleb Dressel.
In a meet with lots of ups and downs, it capped a big night for the U.S., which won seven out of 10 events and set Pan Pac Championship meet records in four of them. On the final night of competition, the U.S. won 14 medals -- seven gold, five silver and two bronze.
The Americans led all teams in total medal count over the four-day meet with 43 – 18 gold, 14 silver and 11 bronze. They won the team title with 447.5 points, followed by Australia with 331.5 points and Japan with 318 points.
Here’s a rundown of the other events from Sunday:
Women’s 1500m Free – Meet Record
As expected, Katie Ledecky won the women’s 1500m freestyle decisively, touching in 15:38.99. It was the tenth-fastest performance of all time, and Ledecky now owns 9 of the top 10 performances of all time in this event. The only swimmer ever to swim faster than the time Ledecky turned in tonight was Lotte Friis of Denmark, who went 15:38.88 at the 2013 FINA World Championships.
Ledecky remains undefeated on the international stage in all distances over 400 meters since 2013. She finished Pan Pacs with three golds in the 400, 800 and 1500 free, a silver in the 800 free relay, and a bronze in the 200m free. She is now ranked third among women for most individual gold medals won at Pan Pacs with seven. Only Jenny Thompson (12) and Janet Evans (9) of the United States have more.
Teammate Leah Smith took bronze in 16:00.82. It was the fourth medal of the week for Smith, who won bronze in the 400, 800 and 1500, and a silver in the 800 free relay.
Men’s 800m Free – Meet Record
Zane Grothe won gold and set a meet record in the men’s 800m free, turning in a time of 7:43.74. It was just 14-hundredths of a second off the American record. It was Grothe’s top showing this week after taking silver in the 1500m free and bronze in the 400m free. It also marked the first time in the history of the Pan Pacific Championships that an American won a gold medal in this event.
Teammate Jordan Wilimovsky took silver in 7:45.19 for his second medal of the meet. He won gold in the 1500m free on the first night of competition. He will also represent the U.S. at the Pan Pac 10k open water race on Tuesday.
Women’s 200m Back – Meet Record
Kathleen Baker broke the third meet record of the night for the Americans in the women’s 200m backstroke, touching in 2:06.14. It was her best showing on the international stage in this event after taking bronze at last year’s World Championships. Baker also won bronze in the 100m back on the second night of competition, and a silver in the 400m medley relay tonight.
Teammate Regan Smith took bronze in tonight’s 200m back in 2:06.46. It was her first medal of the week after finishing fourth in the 100m back.
Men’s 200m Back – Meet Record
Ryan Murphy broke the Pan Pacs meet record in the 200m back twice Sunday – once in prelims in 1:54.07, and then again in finals in 1:53.57. It was his fourth meet record here in Tokyo after setting the marks in the prelims and finals of the 100m backstroke on Friday. He was named male swimmer of the meet for his efforts.
With Murphy’s win, the United States has won gold at every Pan Pacific Championships since the meet started in 1985.
Teammate Austin Katz won bronze in 1:56.00.
Women’s 50m Free
Simone Manuel took silver in the women’s 50m free in 24.22, behind Cate Campbell of Australia, who set a meet record in 23.81. That made it four silvers for Manuel this week, including one in the 100 free, one in the 400 free relay and one in the 400 medley relay. She also won bronze in the 400 mixed medley relay.
Abbey Weitzeil of the U.S. finished fifth in 24.58.
Men’s 50m Free
Michael Andrew and Caeleb Dressel took 1-2 for the United States in the men’s 50m freestyle, turning in time of 21.46 and 21.93, respectively. Andrew’s time was a personal best, just two-hundredths off the meet record set by Bruno Fratus of Brazil in 2014. It was Andrew’s second medal of the meet after winning bronze in the 400 mixed medley relay on the first night of competition.
Dressel won five medals this week. In addition to the medley relay, he also took gold in the 100 fly, silver in the 100 free and bronze in the mixed medley relay.
The U.S. has now won the 50 at four of the last five Pan Pacs.
Women’s 200m Breaststroke
Americans Micah Sumrall and Lilly King went down the wire in the women’s 200m breaststroke, but it was Sumrall who got the edge, 2:21.88 to 2:22.12. It was the best showing for both swimmers in this event in a major international competition. Sumrall finished fifth in this event at the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships. She also won bronze in the 200 breast at the 2013 World Champs and silver at the 2015 World Champs. King was fourth at Worlds last year in this event, 12th at the 2016 Olympic Games.
In addition to this race, King won gold in the 100 breast and silver in the 400 medley relay.
Men’s 200m Breast
After setting the meet record in this morning’s prelims of the 200m breast in 2:08.02, Josh Prenot finished fourth in tonight’s finals in 2:08.44. Ippei Watanabe of Japan won gold and broke Prenot’s meet record in 2:07.75. American Andrew Wilson scratched from tonight’s finals to save his legs for the 400m medley relay.
Women’s 400m Medley Relay
The American women took their third relay silver of the meet, finishing behind Australia in the 400 medley, 3:52.74 to 3:53.21. Australia’s time was a meet record. Swimming the relay for the U.S. was Kathleen Baker, Lilly King, Kelsi Dahlia and Simone Manuel.