By Reach for the Wall Staff; Photos courtesy of Marcus Chen
The first night of finals at the World Cup did not disappoint with exciting races from start to finish. The night started off with Katie Ledecky taking charge in the Women’s 400 Freestyle and making a run at the World Cup record set last week in Toronto. Without Summer McIntosh in the field, she swam a few seconds ahead of the field and finished just shy of the record time in 3:54.04. NCAP and Stone Ridge standout Erin Gemmell was in the mix for the entire race and touched the wall 3rd in 4:00.45, just behind Bella Sims who touched for 2nd in 3:58.85- a sweep for US swimmers!
In the Men’s 400 Freestyle, Kieran Smith also took charge from the start and swam his way to his first World Cup victory, while also setting a new US Open in 3:35.99. With this win he denied Matthew Sates from the ‘triple crown’ in this event.
In the Women’s 50 Backstroke it was a 1-2 finish for Team Canada as Kylie Masse touched 1st in 25.96, followed by Ingrid Wilm in 26.25. The top finisher for the US was Abbey Weitzeil who touched 5th in 26.38
In the Men’s 200 Backstroke, the top two seeds were a bit of a surprise with Kacper Stokowski and Brendan Burns in those spots, however, as the race unfolded Shaine Casas became the first Triple Crown champion, taking the win in 1:48.40. Canada’s Javier Acevedo touched 2nd in 1:49.74 which also set a new Canadian record. Touching 3rd was Ryan Murphy with a time of 1:50.56, picking up his first career World Cup medal. Brendan Burns touched 4th in 1:51.98, bettering his prelim swim and Kacper touched 6th in 1:52.48 a bit slower than his prelim swim.
Summer McIntosh was the top seed in the 200 Butterfly and remained that way throughout the final. Her time of 2:03.40 was her personal best and was well ahead of 2nd place finisher Katie Grimes who finished in 2:04.17. Alex Shakell who swims for Carmel Swim Club (Indiana) and won the Jr. National title in the 200 Butterfly in August, touched 3rd in 2:05.18!
Chad Le Clos was the next swimmer to complete the ‘triple crown’ by taking the title in the 100 Butterfly, relatively uncontested as the 2nd place finisher Ilya Kharun touched 2nd a full second behind.
Lily King led the way in the Women’s 200 Breaststroke touching 1st in 2:17.56, well ahead of Canadians Sydney Pickrem 2:19.77 and Kelsey Wog 2:20.59
Nic Fink was the next triple crown winner as he fended off the competition in the Men’s 100 Breaststroke. Nic touched the wall in a very swift 56.15, closely followed by Yoshiki Yamanaka 56.82 and Reece Whitley 57.14. Hometown favorite Cody Miller finished 5th in 58.07, just off his prelim swim of 57.75.
Katarzyna “Kasia” Wasick proved she is the queen of the 50 for this World Cup series as she swam to her third title, grabbing the triple crown, posting a personal best, which also is a new Polish record, finishing in 23.10. Abbey Weitzeil (23.62) out-touched Madison Wilson (23.73) for second place.
Dylan Carter made it three Triple Crown winners in a row with his victory in the 50 free. He touched in 20.72, norrowly defeating Kyle Chalmers who finished 2nd in 20.81 just less than a tenth of a second behind Carter. Justin Ress was the top finisher for the US, touching 3rd in 21.23.
The Women’s 100 IM was an incredible back and forth battle between Beata Nelson and Beryl Gastaldello. When the two touched at the finish it was Nelson, .01 ahead of Gastaldello, (57.81-57.82) denying her the ‘triple crown’. This was the first time Nelson beat Gastaldello in this event during the series having finished 2nd to her in the prior two Cup events.
The Men’s 100 IM was just as electric as the lead changed a few times during the race. Shaine Casas ultimately out dueled Michael Andre, taking the win in 51.04 to 51.22