Miller Lowers Trials Time in 200 IM to Open US Nationals
SAN ANTONIO, Texas – The longer the distance, the better Chelsie Miller is, and if Thursday’s teaser is any indication, the Kansas senior-to-be is in good shape to swim fast in her marquee event, the 400-meter medley. Miller lowered her Olympic Trials cut in the 200-meter IM and moved up 10 spots from her seeded position while opening the 2016 Phillips 66 National Championships with a runner-up finish in her heat and 37th-place overall.
Miller, who swam a 2:17.68 earlier this summer at Speedo Sectionals in Athens, Georgia, trimmed nearly four-tenths of a second off her time in Thursday’s homecoming to the Lonestar State to finish second in 2:17.34 behind Texas A&M’s Lisa Bratton in heat 10 of 15 at Northside Swim Center. Fellow Big 12 competitor Madisyn Cox, of Texas, turned in the fastest time in prelims with a 2:11.61, with finals scheduled for later Thursday evening.
Miller and Bratton, who faced each other in the 400-yard IM field at the 2015 NCAA Championships while both earning All-America honorable mention, were among four competitors around the same time after the first 50 meters Thursday. That’s when the Aggies’ backstroke specialist turned in a 33.04, the fastest backstroke leg of the day, to Miller’s 35.30 and distanced herself from the rest of the heat.
Miller drew closer with a strong breaststroke and was four-tenths of a second off Bratton’s pace through 150 meters (1:44.42), but couldn’t erase the gap in the freestyle leg.
Lawrence native Emma Reaney, a Notre Dame swimmer who Miller trained with at SwimMAC in Charlotte this summer, finished 22nd in the field of 108 entrants with a time of 2:16.08.
Miller, seeded seventh, will get another chance against both competitors – Cox (8th) and Bratton (74th) – in the 400 IM when she takes to the pool for the second of four scheduled events for the Houston, Texas native. Those heats will begin at 10:12 a.m., followed by the 800-meter freestyle. Miller will conclude her run at US Nationals on Aug. 9 with the 200-meter butterfly, with heats slated to begin at 9:15 a.m.
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