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Current and former Hoosiers earn titles at Phillips 66 National Championships



pieroni

Then-sophomore Blake Pieroni dives off the starting block during the 100-yard breaststroke during a 2015 meet against Cincinnati at the Counsilman Billingsley Aquatic Center. Pieroni won the 100 freestyle at the Phillips 66 National Championships.  Rachel Meert Buy Photos

It was a common sight to find both current and former Hoosiers atop the podium at the Phillips 66 National Championships from July 25 to July 29 in Irvine, California.

In total, IU swimmers won five national championships and five qualified for the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships USA team. 

Senior Lilly King was the leading Hoosier, winning two of IU’s five titles. King won the 50-meter breast stroke with a time of 29.82 and the 100-meter breast stroke with a time of 1:05.36. King pulled away in the final 15 meters of the 100-meter race to seal a victory and won a very close race in the 50-meter, winning by just a quarter of a second. 

King qualified for the U.S. Pan Pacific Championships team. 

The two other IU national championships were won by pro former Hoosiers. On Saturday, Zane Grothe won the men’s 400-meter freestyle with a time of 3:46.53. Grothe also took the men’s 800-meter freestyle title with a time of 7:44.57, the fastest time in the world this year. Blake Pieroni won the men’s 100-meter freestyle in a time of 48.08 on Wednesday. 

Pieroni’s win goes down as an upset, as he took down Caleb Dressel and Nathan Adrian, both of whom have won Olympic gold medals. Both Grothe and Pieroni qualified for the U.S. Pan Pacific Championships team. 

Senior Zach Apple also qualified for the U.S. Pan Pacific Championships team. On Wednesday, he finished fourth in the men’s 100-meter freestyle, with a time of 48.34. In the preliminary round, Apple finished with a time of 48.06, a school record. 

Former IU swimmer Margo Geer was the final Hoosier to make the U.S. Pan Pacs team, finishing third in the women’s 100-meter freestyle on Wednesday, with a time of 53.44. 

Incoming freshman Michael Brinegar had already qualified for the U.S Pan Pacs team in the 10k at the French Open Water Swimming Championships in Gravelines, France, on May 31. 

25 Hoosiers recorded a top-25 finish at the Phillips 66 National Championships, and three incoming freshmen made the 18-and-under finals. 

Mackenzie Looze made the 18-and-under final in the 400-meter IM, and won with a time of 4:46.58, as well as the 200 IM and 100-meter breaststroke.

Mikey Calvillo was third in the men’s 400-meter IM and fourth in the 400-meter freestyle. Abby Kirkpatrick finished sixth in the 50-meter breaststroke. 

IU commit Emily Weiss, a rising high school senior, impressed at the Championships, qualifying for the A-Final, the top final, in both the 50 and 100-meter breaststroke races. She qualified for the Junior Pan Pacific Championships team, which will compete in Fiji from Aug. 23-26. 

The 2018 Pan Pacific Championships will take place in Tokyo from Aug. 8-13. 

IU Coach Ray Looze will be the head coach for Team USA's men's team.

Matt Cohen

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