Arizona swimmers make records at Phillips 66 Nationals and World Championship Trials
Arizona swimmers Kevin Steel and Kevin Cordes captured first-place finishes last weekend at the Phillips 66 Nationals and World Championship Trials to earn a spot at the World Championship in Barcelona, Spain. Steel, a senior next season, broke his own record to win the 50y-breaststroke, while Cordes, a junior, placed first in the 100 and 200y-breaststroke.
Only the top two finalists of each event qualify for World Championships which begin in late July.
The five-day meet concluded with the finals on Saturday. Cordes already had the 200-yard title and added to it with a first place finish in the 100y-breaststroke event.
Cordes compiled a time of 59.99 in the finals and is now in possession of the third fastest time in the world rankings. He became the third sub-1:00 time this year.
Former Wildcat Clark Burckle finished after Cordes in the event, placing fifth, with a time of 1:01.14 while Steel touched the wall in seventh place (1:01.80).
During his first event, Cordes fell just short of Akihiro Yamaguchi’s world-record of 2:07.01, but still managed to finish with the best mark in the world this season.
The Naperville, Ill., native beat all competition in the 200y-breaststroke event with a time of 2:08.34, clearing Vyacheslav Sinkevich’s previous world season best of 2:08.62. Cordes also shattered his own personal best of 2:09.16 from that morning’s prelims.
Cordes didn’t sweep the events, though, as fellow teammate Steel bested him in the 50y-breaststroke event with a time of 27.26. Cordes finished second with a time of 27.38.
Steel’s time shattered his U.S. Open record of 27.33 from prelims and topped the previous best mark of 27.34 set by Mark Gangloff. Steel’s time is now the third fastest in the world.
Olympian Matt Grevers, who swims for the Tucson Ford Dealers Aquatics, earned a spot of the national team, placing second with his 53.23 time in the 100y-backstroke event.