2014 Athens Bulldog Grand Slam: Phelps comeback train continues with 53.8 backstroke

  52 Jared Anderson | July 12th, 2014 | Club, Featured, News, Previews & Recaps

pinit fg en rect gray 28 2014 Athens Bulldog Grand Slam: Phelps comeback train continues with 53.8 backstroke

Perhaps the marquee matchup of the weekend will happen Saturday night, with Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte going head-to-head in the 100 backstroke. Both are testing the waters in the race while presumably mulling over event lineups for nationals, and hold the top two seeds going into tonight.

Other big races should include some tightly-bunched 50 free fields led by Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace and Cullen Jones, plus Tyler Clary vs Chase Kalisz and Cammile Adams vs Hali Flickinger in the men’s and women’s 200 flys.

Stay tuned and keep refreshing this page for live recaps of the finals session.

Athens Bulldog Grand Slam

  • Thursday, July 10-Sunday, July 13
  • Gabrielsen Natatorium, University of Georgia, Athens Georgia
  • Thursday finals 4PM, Friday-Sunday Prelims 9AM/Finals 6PM (Eastern Time)
  • Psych Sheets
  • Meet Website
  • Results available on Meet Mobile

Women’s 200 Fly

Texas A&M grad Cammile Adams won the 200 fly to open things up. Competing for SwimMAC, Adams went a season-best 2:08.45, just a tenth faster than her time from the Mare Nostrum series earlier this summer.

Adams won by about a second over Georgia’s Hali Flickinger, who finished at 2:09.48. Those two were pretty well checked out from the field, with third-place Lauren Harrington coming in at 2:10.15.

14-year-old Easop Lee was the youngest swimmer in the final, going 2:11.66 to beat incoming Georgia freshman Kylie Stewart‘s 2:12.73. Sixth was NBAC’s Becca Mann (2:12.75), just a tick behind Stewart, and Georgia’s Shannon Vreeland was a close 7th in 2:12.92. Chattahoochee Gold’s Lauren Case rounded out the A final at 2:13.64.

Men’s 200 Fly

The touted matchup between NCAA champ Chase Kalisz and Olympic gold medalist Tyler Clary turned out to be a great one, with Kalisz coming from behind to take the win in 1:58.09. Clary led by two tenths at the 100-mark, but the Georgia Bulldog ran him down over the back-half. Clary still held on for second in 1:58.96, topping Conor Dwyer‘s 2:00.55.

Fourth went to Dwyer’s NBAC teammate Tom Luchsinger, just two tenths behind at 2:00.76. A very tightly-bunched second wave of athletes continued with Michigan grad Kyle Whitaker (2:00.89) and NBAC’s Cole Buese (2:00.91). Two of the Georgia-bound Litherland triplets rounded out the final heat: Jay went 2:01.01 and Mick finished in 2:02.10.

Women’s 50 Free

Things looked close coming out of prelims, but Bahamian Olympian Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace turned the race lopsided in the final, going 24.67 to win by almost eight tenths.

Things got close after that, though, with Vanderpool-Wallace’s teammate Madison Kennedy and SwimAtlanta’s Amanda Weir tying for second place at 25.44. Just .04 back was Georgia’s Maddie Locus, and Katie Meili of SwimMAC took fifth in 25.56.

Allyx Purcell (25.82) topped new Auburn training group member Lara Jackson, the former American record-holder making a comeback at age 27. Jackson was 26.05, with SwimMAC’s Melissa Gates going 26.08 for 8th.

Men’s 50 Free

Second coming out of prelims, Bruno Fratus took over the final of the men’s splash and dash, going 22.09 to top American Olympian Cullen Jones. Fratus, a Brazilian who trains with Lara Jackson at Auburn, still holds the world’s second-ranked time in the 50 this year. He was well off that time (a 21.45), but still beat Jones with ease. Jones finished at 22.35.

Texas and SwimAtlanta sprinter Caleb Weir went 22.64 in tying for third with Bolles High School star Caeleb Dressel. That’s an outstanding swim for Dressel, relative to his previous times this season. After a lengthy break from competition, the Florida signee has dropped time in droves this weekend, which should clear up some doubts about his readiness for this summer’s nationals.

Also under 23 seconds: SwimAtlanta’s Michael Trice (22.80), SwimMAC’s Mark Weber (22.90) and SwimAtlanta’s Karl Krug (22.94).

Women’s 100 Back

SwimMAC’s Kathleen Baker went 1:00.65 to pick up the 100 back win. One of the top high school prospects in the country, Baker has had a great meet so far, and this race was just three tenths off of her lifetime-best, set at last summer’s nationals.

Second place was Club Wolverine’s Ali DeLoof, who has been starting to establish herself as a top-tier threat as well. DeLoof went 1:01.07 to beat Georgia’s stud rising sophomore Olivia Smoliga (1:01.36) and Bulldog grad Megan Romano (1:01.85).

3 more Bulldogs came in next, giving Georgia slots three through seven. Hali Flickinger went 1:02.04 for 5th, swimming a double with her 200 fly from earlier on. Rachel Zilinskas was 1:02.47, and Jordan Mattern took 7th at 1:02.87. The final championship heat slot went to the Bolles School’s McKenna DeBever at 1:03.45.

Men’s 100 Back

It’s been a banner weekend for Michael Phelps, who is gaining tremendous steam in his career comeback as of late. He followed up a great 100 fly on Friday night with a 53.88 in the 100 back to win tonight. That time ranks him just outside the top 10 in the world this year, and topped fellow swimming icon Ryan Lochte, who was 54.40 as he returns from a knee injury that has sidelined him for the better part of a year now.

Behind those two was Tyler Clary, 55.41 coming off his second-place 200 fly effort. He bridged the gap between Phelps/Lochte and the rest of the field.

Crews Wellford went 56.53 for fourth, just ahead of Jacob Kelsoe‘s 56.85. 15-year-old Michael Taylor went 57.08 for Dynamo, with Bolles School’s Dakota Mahaffey seventh in 57.71.

Maybe most notable in this race was Olympic silver medalist Nick Thoman, who had a rough prelims (57.42), but is listed at 1:15.83 in the final. It appears Thoman went for the first 50 split, crusing the second half of the race. He did go out in 25.3, which would be the second-fastest American time in the 50 back so far this year (David Plummer has been 25.2).

Women’s 200 Breast

The whole 200 breast field made some substantial improvements from prelims, highlighted by a great race for the win. Micah Lawrence, who has been crushing 200 breast fields on the Grand Prix circuit was dead even with Georgia star Melanie Margalis at the 100 mark. Things stayed shoulder to shoulder the rest of the way, with Margalis overcoming Lawrence by just over half a second down the stretch for the win. Margalis went 2:27.06, Lawrence 2:27.66.

A half-second behind the lead pair halfway though, Margalis’s Georgia teammate Annie Zhu went 2:26.68, almost running down Lawrence at the finish.

Auburn’s Annie Lazor took fourth at 2:30.25, and fifth went to new short course American record-holder Emma Reaney at 2:30.45. Reaney is spending the summer at SwimMAC after a breakout junior season at Notre Dame.

Bulldog Swim Club’s Emily Cameron was 2:32.24 to take sixth. North Baltimore’s Lauren James went 2:36.92, about the same as prelims. Another interesting finals swim for a SwimMAC swimmer: Katie Meili faded to 2:46.87. Her splits weren’t available on Meet Mobile, but we’re told she went for a 100 split and cruised the back-half, just like Thoman did in the men’s 100 back.

Men’s 200 Breast

Georgia’s Nic Fink had a great swim, coming within two seconds of his lifetime-best to go 2:11.76. That crushed the field by nearly four seconds, as Fink’s Bulldog teammate Chase Kalisz (competing for NBAC over the summer) was second back at 2:15.30.

Close behind Kalisz was the Bolles School’s Anton Lobanov at 2:15.58. From there, things spread out quite a bit. Gabriel DeSousa out of North Baltimore went 2:17.91, and Auburn’s Michael Duderstadt was 2:19.05 for fifth.

Michigan Wolverine Paul Corbae took sixth at 2:22.49. About a second back was Basil Orr, Dynamo’s 18-year-old, and Georgia Bulldog Ty Stewart, competing for SwimMAC, went 2:24.81 to round out the championship heat.

Women’s 400 Free

A lifetime-best for Cal signee Cierra Runge: the North Baltimore freestyler went 4:07.67 with a giant 400 free, blowing out a tough field by over three seconds. Runge knocked a half-second off her own lifetime-best as she continues to heat up this summer. That win is huge, coming over a field packed with Georgia and NBAC swimmers, two clubs that have done very well in the mid-distance events over the years.

Georgia’s Jordan Mattern was second at 4:10.75, a solid margin ahead of her teammate Amber McDermott (4:12.20). From there it was the North Baltimore show, with the club taking 4 of the final 5 spots in addition to Runge’s win. Becca Mann was 4:12.95, Sierra Schmidt 4:14.70 and Allison Schmitt 4:15.98. Georgia commit Stephanie Peters got in for seventh before NBAC’s final swimmer, Gillian Ryan, touched the wall.

In the B final, Georgia’s Shannon Vreeland went 4:15.57 to pick up the 9th overall spot.

Men’s 400 Free

Results of the 400 free are currently unavailable on Meet Mobile, but we’ve been told Connor Jaeger picked up the win in 3:45.3. That beat Yannick Agnel‘s 3:49.1, relegating the French star to the silver medal. Matt McLean went 3:52.2 for third, and Club Wolverine’s Michael Klueh was 2:52.5 to take fourth place.

Georgia commit Gunnar Bentz won the B final of the men’s 400 free, going 3:57.67.

Comments

  1. calswimfan says:
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    i say Thoman wins it

  2. Hswimmer says:
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    Cammile Adams went 2:08.45 in 200m butterfly!

  3. Hswimmer says:
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    Vanderpool-Wallace 24.67 50 free!

  4. oldmanswimmer says:
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    Alabama was represented in the final by Allyx Purcell, who went 25.82, the last swimmer under 26 seconds. Keeping up the Alabama-Auburn rivalry, …..
    Purcell swims at Auburn,

  5. 4
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    dang! Cullen Jones lost….again.

  6. SwimFam says:
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    NBAC all over that men’s 200 fly. 2:00 is a nice in season swim for the 17 year old in the final

  7. KM says:
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    Anyone have insight on where Kathleen Baker is going to college?

  8. lsswim says:
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    Phelps 53.88 in the 100 back!

  9. Stoyle says:
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    Meet Mobile said Thoman went 1:15, is that accurate, and if so, what’s going on with him?

  10. Chad says:
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    He took it out in 25 low

  11. Bossanova says:
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    .7 off his PR in the 100 back! Makes sense that he was so close to a PR in that one since (I believe) it wasn’t done in a super suit, but still very promising!

  12. david says:
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    Well done michael
    I’m happy as a fan, mainly because I want Phelpsy to get that 200IM WR back.
    The 200IM has always been so important to MIchael
    I’m still hurting from that close loss in 2011 and i’m just a stupid fan

  13. Spectator says:
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    Thoman swam for a 50 split then swam easy the second 50.

  14. TheTroubleWithX says:
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    That’s a lifetime best for Kalisz in the 200 fly. Phelps 3rd-fastest US swimmer in the 100 back this season, behind Grevers and Plummer (and him only by .02).

  15. 2
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    Phelps is on fire

    • Diana says:
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      I can’t help but wonder if he got a little fire lit under his backside by having his Nakedness on the cover of ESPN this week! ;-)

  16. oldmanswimmer says:
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    Alabama’s Annie Lazor took fourth

    Annie swims for Auburn not Alabama.

  17. Kevin T says:
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    Very solid 100 back time for Phelps. The best guys in the world are going, what, 52.0? So he is a bit off that. However after taper maybe he can get there yeah?

    • Justin Thompson says:
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      Nobody goes a 52 without tapering these days so a 53.88 is a pretty good mid season time. I don’t how much improvement Phelps will have on his upcoming taper considering he’s not putting in quiet the workload as before. The times may not be as dramatic of a drop as they’ve been in the past.

      I do think if he focused on the 100m back that he could swim a 52, but I don’t think we’ll see him swim it this year tapered.

  18. Bossanova says:
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    Quick, where is 112? I wanna see him spout some nonsense about this.

    • 112 says:
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      Wow I see I stay on you guys mind even when I’m not giving my opinion or what you guys like to call “trolling”.

  19. X-Man says:
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    Videos?

  20. weirdo says:
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    since when is Melanie Margalis Spanish? ha!

    Conor Jaeger’s 3:45 free was the best swim of the night!

    • ERVINFORTHEWIN says:
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      Conor had a super 200 previously ! he is on fire heading into Nationals in a few weeks . He will surely battle hard with the Aussies at Pan Pacs . It will be epic .

  21. PVK says:
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    Prediction: Dressel goes 21.8 and 48.3
    makes pan Pac team in one of the two.

    • ERVINFORTHEWIN says:
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      he seems very fast ! I wish him the best

    • Justin Thompson says:
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      I really like the kid, but those times would be something I would expect if he had continued training hard after the high school championships and hadn’t taken a break. This guy has surprised us in the past, heck I’m even surprised at his improvement since the last meet, but 21.8 and 48.3 would be amazing all things considered.

  22. TheTroubleWithX says:
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    My Meet Mobile is still showing the men’s 400 free as “in progress,” with Gunnar Bentz currently the winner. Anyone have the results of the last heat?

  23. therobotrichardsimmons says:
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    Even if Phelps isn’t top two at nationals, he can still enter the event at panpacs, provided he qualifies for something else. Many of us have been waiting for a long time for him to swim backstroke in a serious way at the international level. Hopefully we get to see it.

    • Kevin T says:
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      I always felt like MPhelps had unfinished business in the 100 and 200 back. He had world record potential back in his heydey in both of those events. Now, even though many years have passed since he was doing near WR swims in the backstroke events………it would be interesting to see if he could do it now in the 100 back since he has a lighter load than in years past. But as another commenter pointed out……we don’t know if he will have huge time drops like he did in years past when he tapers.

  24. Justin Thompson says:
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    We haven’t seen much from Michael Andrew lately and his LCM times seem to have plateaued in the last 6 months for most events while a couple are considerably slower . I’m wondering now that he’s slowing down on the physical growth if his progression will start to slow down?

    For example his 100m Breast has been 3-4 seconds slower in recent months and his 200IM was 7 seconds off his best from last fall (2:11 to 2:04). At any rate looks like a Lawrence Kansas news station did a piece on him recently:

    http://6lawrence.com/sports/10968-michael-andrew-future-of-usa-swimming

    • bobo gigi says:
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      Thanks for the video.
      Apart from the crazy stupid useless but usual comparison with MP, it was interesting.
      I like the rings above the pool. It’s funny.

  25. bobo gigi says:
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    I read the recap of Mr Anderson and there are a few things to say.

    MP in 53.88. I expected a sub 54. The job is done. Congrats MP! :)
    Very decent 54.40 for Ryan Lochte after his knee problem.
    It looks like Thoman swam a 50 in his 100 back. 25.3 you say? It would be very good.

    Good win for Chase Kalisz in the 200 fly. His butterfly has improved a lot in the last year. It’s a good thing he’ll swim the 200 back on Sunday. Backstroke is by far his weakest stroke and he should swim it more often in that kind of training meets.

    I’m disappointed by the women’s 100 back. I secretly hoped a sub minute for Kathleen Baker after the great 100 fly she swam on Friday. It’s just a question of time. It will happen in a few weeks. Olivia Smoliga only in 1.01.36. :cry:
    Talking about disappointments, I would add Emma Reaney. 2.30 in the 200 breast. :sad:

    Jaeger in 3.45? Are you sure? It’s hard to find the results. It worked better with the “old” system of live results! :mrgreen:
    If it’s real, 3.45 now is a huge performance. But it doesn’t look impossible. He swam a PB in the 200 free in 1.48 on Friday.

    I repeat very often since last year that CIERRA RUNGE IS THE NEXT AMERICAN BIG THING in the 200 free/400 free. She again showed why. 4.07.67 is a new PB for her. She will be ready for Rio!

    And what to say about Caeleb Dressel? WOW! :shock:
    I’m very happy to see he erased all my doubts!
    24.72 early June for his return.
    22.64 this weekend!
    I’m really impressed!
    HE’S DEFINITELY BACK! :cool:

  26. aswimfan says:
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    Kalisz will be very hard to beat in Rio.
    As of now, he’s my favorite to win 400 IM in Rio.

    • TheTroubleWithX says:
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      Aswimfan — totally agree. He could be in the mix for the 200 IM as well.

    • KeithM says:
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      What makes you pick him over Hagino? I think Kosuke will prioritize the IM by Rio and will cut out events like the 200 back that might interfere with his strongest chances. I don’t think he’ll repeat the mistake of over extending himself.

  27. ERVINFORTHEWIN says:
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    A few names are shining allready aside from M Phelps : Jaeger , Kalisz , Dressel , Runge and Fink . Very promising for Nationals . Usa will probably have a very strong team leading towards Pan Pacs . Can’t wait for next month ….

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About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson just can’t stay away from the pool. A competitive career sixteen years and running wasn’t enough for this native Minnesotan, who continues to get his daily chlorine fix. A lifelong lover of writing, Jared now combines the two passions as Senior Reporter for SwimSwam.com, covering swimming at every …

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