TUCSON, Ariz. – Arizona rising junior Kevin Cordes smoked the field with a world-best performance in the 200 breast at the USA Swimming Phillips 66 Nationals and World Championship Trials in Indianapolis on Wednesday night. The first place finish punched his ticket to the FINA World Championships, which will take place in Barcelona, Spain in July.
Cordes made a serious run at the world record but ended up with the best mark in the world this season. Cordes, who recorded a time of 2:08.34, finished just outside of Akihiro Yamaguchi's world-record of 2:07.01. However, the swim cleared Vyacheslav Sinkevich's previous world season best of 2:08.62 from Russian Nationals, and also blasted Cordes' personal best of 2:09.16 from this morning’s prelims.
Cordes is coming off an American record performance at the same venue just a few months ago at the NCAA Championships. He clocked a 50.74 and 1:48.68 in the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke events, and posted an unheard of 49.6 relay split in the 400 medley relay as well. Cordes also nearly took down the American record of 2:07.42 held by Eric Shanteau since 2009. Meanwhile, former Wildcat Clark Burckle turned in a fourth place finish in the event with a time of 2:11.70.
Several other Wildcats had strong showings on Wednesday evening as rising sophomore Bonnie Brandon came away with a solid fifth place performance in a stacked field in the 200 back with a time of 2:10.24. Another rising sophomore, Emma Schoettmer, made her presence felt in the 200 breast as she won the B-Final in 2:28.48 to finish in ninth place overall.
A pair of Wildcats earned top finishes in the 50 fly as volunteer assistant coach and Olympic Gold Medalist Matt Grevers placed second with a time of 23.50 and rising senior Giles Smith came in fifth in 23.96. On the women’s side, Christine Magnuson, who trains at Hillenbrand Aquatic Center with Tucson Ford Aquatics, swam a blazing 26.08 to win the 50 fly and almost assuring herself a spot on the national team.
The event continues tomorrow with the 400 IM, 100 fly, 50 breast and 50 back.
NBC will cover the event Saturday, June 29 from 1-2:30 p.m. ET. Beginning at 11:00 p.m. ET there will be one-hour coverage on NBC Sports Network.
Additionally, USA Swimming will offer a live webcast of the entire meet at usaswimming.org/nationals. Each day, prelims begin at 9 a.m. ET, followed by finals at 6 p.m. ET.
For continued coverage of Arizona Wildcat swimming and diving, visit ArizonaWildcats.com and be sure to follow the team on Twitter @ArizonaSwimming.