The University of Louisville All-American and NCAA National Champion Mallory Comerford won the U.S. National Championship in the 100M freestyle with a time of 52.81 to set the U.S. Open Record and National Championships Meet Record. The win punches her ticket to the World Championships to be held later this summer in Budapest.
To do so, she had to beat reigning Olympic champion Simone Manuel, who touched second and was also under the former U.S. Open Record of 53.05 . Comerford broke the U.S. Open Record of 53.12 set by Sarah Sjostrom, who leads the world in that distance and set the standard at the 2016 Austin Arena Pro Swim Series. The former Nationals Meet Record was Comerford’s prelim time of 53.26 put up this morning. Before today, it was a 53.28 set by Abbey Weitzeil at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.
Comerford was just .11 of a second short of the American Record, posted by Manuel at the Rio Olympics. The Americans will have two female swimmers to compete in the World Championships who have sub 53 seconds lifetime bests. Comerford is just the second American woman to break the 53 second barrier.
Louisville’s gold medalist Kelsi Worrell was fourth in the same race with a 53.99 in the 100M freestyle and assured herself of a spot on the 400M freestyle relay in Budapest.
“We always talk about putting ourselves in the position to ‘shock the world’ and I guess we did that tonight. Tonight was a paradigm shift for our program,” said UofL head coach Arthur Albiero. “What a swim by Mallory and for Kelsi Worrell too. She guaranteed her spot on the relay. We will wait for final selections for Team USA Junior Worlds and Team USA World University Games, but we believe we should have a few more selected.”
The Cardinals’ Zach Harting touched sixth in the 200M butterfly with a time of 1:56.65. Incoming freshman, Nick Albiero was 14th overall in the B-final of this event with a time of 1:58.88.
Nancy Allison Worley
Associate Director, Sports Information
University of Louisville Athletics