Manuel races to national swimming title in the 50 free


Incoming Stanford freshman Simone Manuel has the kind of speed in the swimming pool that ranks her among the best in the world, let alone the United States.

She showed that again on the final night of the Phillips 66 National Championships at the William Woollett Jr. Aquatics Center in Irvine on Sunday.

Manuel qualified in her second event for both the U.S. Pan Pacific Games team and the 2015 FINA World Championship team by winning the 50-meter freestyle in a blistering 24.56.

Manuel is joined on the Pan Pac team by Stanford grad Maya DiRado, who finished second in the 200 IM with a time of 2:10.57 on Sunday, Cardinal grad Felicia Lee in the 100 fly and Stanford commit Katie Ledecky in the 200 free, 400 free and 800 free.

Manuel, Ledecky and DiRado are also on the world championship team along with Stanford sophomore Lia Neal, who qualified for the free relays.

Manuel qualified for the 100 free by finishing second to Missy Franklin on the first night of competition.

"I just wanted to have a good finish," Manuel said. "It's something I've been struggling with, so I wanted to stick my finish because everything has to be perfect in the 50 free."

DiRado, who qualified with a second place finish in the 400 IM on Friday, led the IM midway through the race and then fell back to third heading into the final 50 meters.

Georgia's Melanie Margalis, who won the race in 2:10.20, the third-fastest time in the world, had to hold off a charging DiRado down the stretch.

Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics' Karlee Bispo, an All-American at Texas who now lives in Palo Alto, finished sixth in 2:12.66. She was within .60 seconds of DiRado at 100 meters.

PASA's Ally Howe, a Sacred Heart Prep grad who is entering her first year at Stanford, finished second in the 'C' final.

Stanford senior Maddy Schaefer, the school recordholder for the 50-yard free, was eighth with a 25.07. Neal finished 12th overall and incoming freshman Janet Hu was 22nd.

On the men's side, incoming freshman Liam Egan recorded the top finish on the final day with a seventh-place showing in the 800 free with a time of 8:02.98.

Stanford sophomore Justin Buck (8:12.42) and junior Danny Thomson (8:16.51) finished among the top 35 in the event.

Cardinal sophomore Max Williamson finished second in the 'B' final of the 200 IM, swimming a 2:00.12. Incoming freshman and PASA swimmer Curtis Ogren was seventh in the 'B' final with a 2:02.71. Ogren won the junior national 200 IM title last week.

Pan Pacific ticket information

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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