It’s never easy to follow up a momentous performance. The adrenaline is still flowing, and routines can be thrown off. So, when Connor Jaeger found a way to notch an 11th-place finish in the semifinals of the 200 freestyle at Omaha 2016 on Monday night, it was a solid performance for the ARENA-wearing American.
Coming off a victory in the 400 freestyle that secured his place this summer, Jaeger posted a time of 1:48.27 in the 200 free. The time may have fallen short of a spot in the championship, but it was still a positive swim for Jaeger, as he targets his best event, the 1500 freestyle, at the end of the week. Jaeger is clearly carrying decent speed to go with his trademark endurance.
With several days off before contesting the preliminaries of the 1500 freestyle, Jaeger can adjust his mindset to tackling the 30-lap discipline and putting together a time that will capture the attention of the rest of the world. Among those Jaeger is chasing is fellow ARENA representative Gregorio Paltrinieri of Italy, who leads the world rankings in the 1500 freestyle at 14:34.04.
Jaeger is anxious to get the chance to duel with Paltrinieri this summer.
“Either race, it’s going to come down to that day and who is going to perform on that day,” Jaeger said. “Paltrinieri, that guy has been ripping it all year, right? But I’m excited to race him…I still have a week until I swim the 1500, but I’ve been thinking about that 1500 for a while now. Hopefully, I make the team and I’ll be there to swim Paltrinieri.
Breeja Larson was the recipient of good fortune in the 100 breaststroke. After finishing ninth in the semifinals, and just missing the final, Larson was moved into the championship final after Melanie Margalis decided to scratch the event and focus on the 200 individual medley. Larson was timed in 1:07.62 in the semifinals, just .02 out of the eighth position, and will now have the chance to take advantage of a second opportunity.
Haley Anderson nearly qualified for the finals in the 400 freestyle, finishing in ninth place in 4:10.90, just .38 off what was needed for a top-eight finish. In preliminary action, Laura Sogar was 22nd in the 100 breaststroke in 1:09.07. Her better event, the 200 breaststroke, is still to come.