2014 Austin Grand Prix: Agnel caps dominant freestyle weekend with 1500 win on final night

  57 Jared Anderson | January 19th, 2014 | 2014 Austin Grand Prix, Featured, National, News, US Grand Prix

The final night of action at the 2014 Austin Grand Prix serves up a slate of good races. Budding superstar Katie Ledecky will swim an interesting double – she sits second to Caitlin Leverenz in the 200 IM after prelims and will also swim with the final heat of the 800 free against Denmark’s Lotte Friis.

French sensation Yannick Agnel will tackle the men’s distance event, the 1500 free, after he’s been first or second in every freestyle race so far this weekened excepting the 50, which he didn’t enter.

In addition, a loaded 100 back field including Matt Grevers, Nick Thoman, Ryan Murphy, Jacob Pebley, Eugene Godsoe and Arkady Vyatchanin will go to town late in the meet.

Find our Texas Grand Prix championships central here for links to everything you need, including live results and a live stream. In the meantime, keep hitting refresh after 6 p.m. Central to follow along with our live analysis of the night’s results.

Prelims recap here.

Afternoon Swims Update: The top times to come out of the early heats in the distance freestyle events are 13-year-old Madison Homovich‘s 8:49.49 in the women’s 800 free and 16-year-old Brian Tsau‘s 15:57.23 in the men’s 1500. Homovich swims for North Carolina Aquatic Club and Tsau represents Nation’s Capital.

Women’s 200 Fly – Finals

Canadian National Record-holder Audrey Lacroix held her top seed in the 200 fly to open things on night three, cutting two and a half seconds off her prelims swim to go 2:09.18. She needed that drop, too, as second-place Remedy Rule dropped enough time herself to get under Lacroix’s prelims mark, going 2:11.24.

Noemie Thomas, who won the 100 fly Friday night, took home third, going 2:13.04, just beating out Caitlin Leverenz. Leverenz was 2:13.25 – she’ll have a shot at taking the title in a different event tonight, as she’s the top seed in the 200 IM.

Mount Pleasant’s Megan Kingsley took fifth followed by Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics’ Ally Howe. Victoria Edwards, who swims for Longhorn Aquatics in Austin, was seventh and 13-year-old Madison Homovich wound up 8th – she’s the top swimmer in the 800 free so far today with the top 8 seeds yet to swim.

In the B final Longhorn Aquatics 14-year-old Dakota Luther cut about three and a half seconds off her prelims swim to outlast First Colony’s Alicia Finnigan. Luther was 2:16.67 while Finnigan was 2:16.97.

Men’s 200 Fly – Finals

North Baltimore took another event win in the men’s 200 fly with former UNC college star Tom Luchsinger, who went 1:57.93 to win. 17-year-old Andrew Seliskar hung around the whole way and started to make a late charge to keep things interesting, but Luchsinger had too much left in the tank, cruising out to the win ahead of Seliskar’s 1:58.57.

Cal’s Tom Shields almost snuck in for the runner-up spot, going 1:58.85 – he already picked up a win this weekend in the 100 fly.

Former Stanford Cardinal Bobby Bollier ended up fourth, the last swimmer under two minutes. Conor Dwyer, who’s been all over the place at this meet swimming everything from butterfly to IM to sprint freestyle, took fifth, going 2:00.88. Badger Swim Club’s Ryan Feeley was 6th, Ramiro Ramirez of ITESM 7th and Jersey Wahoo Zachary Fong 8th.

Alec Page ran away with things in the B final to hold his 9th spot. The 20-year-old went 2:02.76 to win the heat. Swim Ontario’s Evan White moved up to take 10th in 2:03.49.

Women’s 100 Breast – Finals

In a tough field of up-and-comers 26-year-old Jessica Hardy showed why she’s still a household name on the American breaststroking scene. The Trojan went 1:07.05 jumping out to a lead and riding open water to victory in the 100 breast. She beat top seed Laura Sogar, who needed a strong finishing push to pass SwimMAC’s Katie Meili for second place.

Sogar wound up going 1:07.76 and Meili, an Ivy League star for Columbia, went 1:08.46.

Canadian Rachel Nicol went 1:08.79 representing SMU in fourth place, and her countywoman Tera Van Beilen was fifth. Missouri’s Abigail Duncan took home sixth place, while 16-year-old Aquajets product Olivia Anderson took seventh. Justine Mueller of T2 finished 8th.

A pair of SMU swimmers paced the B final. Tara-Lynn Nicholas went 1:11.33 for 9th and Raminta Dvariskyte was 10th in 1:11.86.

Men’s 100 Breast – Finals

Ross Murdoch extended his dominance in the breaststroke races in Austin, winning the 100 breast in 1:00.58. The 20-year-old Scot won the 200 with ease and looked to do the same in the 100. Although he came up a good margin short of American Mike Alexandrov off the start, it didn’t take long for the speedy Murdoch to erase that lead with his high-tempo stroke.

Alexandrov finished second competing for Trojan Swim Club, going 1:01.38. Tennessee Aquatics Brad Craig was third in 1:02.20.

Alexandrov’s Trojan training partner Glenn Snyders was fourth. The New Zealander went 1:02.35, and Stanford pro BJ Johnson was a few tenths behind. Sixth went to 2012 Olympian Scott Weltz in 1:02.78, and Craig Benson and Brandon Fischer rounded out the field.

In the B final 14-year-old Michael Andrew provided some fireworks, cutting a full second off his prelims swim and his lifetime-best to smash the National Age Group record of 1:04.74. Andrew went 1:03.83 – he seems to be getting better and better with more swims this weekend after a quiet start, and he’s still got two races left to swim tonight.

Women’s 100 Back – Finals

She won the 200 back last night, and now Canada’s Hilary Caldwell has made it a sweep. The 22-year-old went 1:01.57 to nip current Grand Prix points leader Megan Romano at the wall. Romano was 1:01.72 for second place.

Another Canadian took third; that was Dominique Bouchard who is swimming for Oakville now after a stellar collegiate career with the Missouri Tigers.

SMU’s Isabella Arcila took fourth, while 15-year-old Swim Ontario backstroker Danielle Hanus was fifth. Future Stanford Cardinals Ally Howe and Simone Manuel wound up sixth and seventh, and T2′s Justine Mueller rounded out the field in her second-straight A final.

Remedy Rule touched out a pair of swimmers for the B final win – she went 1:04.55, just ahead of Helene Neuhaus and Cameron McHugh who tied for 10th.

Men’s 100 Back

A powerhouse 100 backstroke field did not disappoint, putting together a race that was up in the air until the very finish. Ultimately, though, Matt Grevers won, which maybe shouldn’t have been a surprise – he’s been the world’s best backstroker for several years now.

Grevers went 53.72 representing Tuscon Ford Aquatics of Arizona. That was enough to beat former Russian Olympian Arkady Vyatchanin, who made a big closing push to go 53.88 for second. Cal freshman Ryan Murphy was just a tick behind that, going 53.98 for third.

SwimMAC’s Nick Thoman settled for fourth (54.09) in a murderer’s row of a lineup. Behind him were Murphy’s teammate Jacob Pebley (54.53), Stanford pro Eugene Godsoe (54.66) and German nationals Christian Diener (55.68) and Felix Wolf (56.34).

Craig McNally of Scotland won the B final with a nice swim of 55.55. In that same heat, Michael Andrew was not able to break his second NAG record in a row, although he still went 57.41 for 11th place. That’s just .03 off of the NAG record he set this morning.

Women’s 200 IM – Finals

Coming off her 4th place 200 fly finish, Cal’s Caitlin Leverenz got a better result in the 200 IM. The U.S. Olympian went 2:13.44 to win easily over Palo Alto Stanford’s Karlee Bispo. Bispo moved up from the fourth seed, charging home on the freestyle leg to take second in 2:16.03.

SwimMAC’s Katie Meili picked up her second third-place finish of the night, going 2:16.13 – Bispo ran by Meili at the finish, but the SwimMAC postgrad was able to hold off a surging Katie Ledecky, who split an event-best 29.9 on the freestyle. Ledecky finished 4th in 2:16.27 and will now gear up for her 800 freestyle battle with Lotte Friis.

Former Texas Longhorn Laura Sogar went 2:18.69 competing for her original Bluefish club. Courtney Monsees, Destiny Nelson and Megan Kingsley rounded out the top 8.

 

Tera Van Beilen took 9th place in her second swim of the night, winning the B final in 2:19.91 after taking 5th in the 100 breast a few events ago.

Men’s 200 IM – Finals

NBAC’s Conor Dwyer added to his lead in the overall Grand Prix points race by winning the 200 IM. The former Florida Gator went 2:00.03 for an easy win. He also won the 400 IM last night.

Second place was top seed Josh Prenot, a sophomore at Cal. The Golden Bear went 2:02.05, a solid 2 seconds better than his prelims swim. 17-year-old Andrew Seliskar took third – that’s his second top-3 finish of the night after taking runner-up position in the 200 fly. Seliskar was 2:04.32.

He was followed by two more 17-year-olds, Curtis Ogren of Palo Alto Stanford and Evan White out of Swim Ontario. Wisconsin’s Michael Weiss took sixth followed by Alec Page and Sean Grieshop.

Cal-Davis’s Scott Weltz went 2:05.47 to blow away the B final. Second place in that race was future Texas Longhorn Jared Butler and 14-year-old Michael Andrew, who went 2:09.77 (a second slower than prelims) in his sixth swim of the day. Two of those swims were 13-14 NAG records in a successful weekend for the Indie Swimming pro.

Women’s 800 Free – Finals

Danish national record-holder Lotte Friis led early, but Katie Ledecky completed a thrilling comeback, gaining on Friis steadily from about the 350-mark onward and erasing the two-second lead the Dane had built up. Ledecky first took the lead at the 650-meter turn and powered away from there to go 8:26.70. That’s a bit off her 8:13.86 World Record from last summer, but still an awfully good swim for January 19th.

Friis took second in 8:28.65. Those two were completely checked out from the rest of the pack early on.

Canada’s Savannah King finished third in 8:38.87, a tenth ahead of Chloe Sutton, who went 8:38.93. Ledecky’s new training partner Isabella Rongione finished fifth in 8:47.39 and behind her was the top swim out of the morning heats, 13-year-old Madison Homovich of NCAC. Leah Stevens was 8:49.68, just behind Homovich’s 8:49.49 and NCAP’s Megan Byrnes took 8th place.

Men’s 1500 Free – Finals

Yannick Agnel has owned the freestyles at this event. The Frenchman went 15:07.76 in his first true distance race in recent memory, winning against a field of seasoned distance specialists with big international resumes.

Agnel’s 15:07.76 would have ranked him in the top 20 in the world over all of 2013. Second place was American Michael McBroom swimming for The Woodlands. He went 15:16.62, losing track of Agnel early and never reeling him back in. McBroom actually ran third much of the way, passing Tunisia’s Ous Mellouli at around the 1000-meter mark. Mellouli, who now trains with Agnel at North Baltimore Aquatic Club, finished third in 15:19.09. Mellouli swam a gutsy race, but perhaps burned out his treads a little early trying to run with Agnel, and he felt it late in the race.

Eric Hedlin took fourth in 15:19.29, almost running down a decelerating Mellouli over the final couple 100s. Club Wolverine’s Michael Klueh took fifth in 15:28.17, and another NBAC-er, Matt McLean, ended up sixth.

Brian Tsau, the fastest time out of the morning heats, took seventh for NCAP, and the second-fastest morning swim was Chip Peterson, who ended up 8th overall.

Women’s 400 Medley Relay – Finals

Longhorn Aquatics won the last women’s event in their home pool, going 4:22.71 in the 400 medley relay. The team was made up of Victoria Edwards, Cationa Macgregor, Dakota Luther and Laine Reed and were buoyed by Edwards’ and Reed’s bookend splits. Edwards was 1:05.23 leading off and Reed went 56.71 on a blazing anchor leg.

MSSAC took second in 4:26.81, powered by Sherry Patel‘s 1:02.2 butterfly split. They got in just ahead of Cypress Fairbanks’ 4:27.51.

Men’s 400 Medley Relay – Finals

Swim Ontario won the final event of the night, going 3:49.42 in the 400 medley relay. The splits were solid across the board, but Evan Van Moerkerke‘s 50.9 anchor was a dagger for any team trying to make a late charge. Van Moerkerke was joined on the relay by Matthew Swanston, Evan White and Bryce Kwiecien-Delaney.

ITESM of Mexico was second in 3:56.90 and the Virginia Tide wound up third with a 3:57.30.

Comments

  1. bobo gigi says:
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    I have seen Mel Stewart with his camera in the live stream!

  2. bobo gigi says:
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    Now day 3 finals!

    Women’s 200 fly. Weak field. Audrey Lacroix should win.
    Men’s 200 fly. Luchsinger vs Seliskar.
    Women’s 100 breast. Hard to predict with Hardy but on paper she’s the big favorite.
    Men’s 100 breast. Murdoch easily.
    Women’s 100 back. I pick Romano.
    Men’s 100 back. Race of the night. Absolutely no idea. Perhaps Nick Thoman.
    Women’s 200 IM. Caitlin Leverenz easily.
    Men’s 200 IM. Conor Dwyer
    Women’s 800 free. Miss Ledecky around 8.20/8.22 even with a crazy 200 IM just before.
    Men’s 1500 free. Poor Agnel! Mellouli vs McBroom

  3. bobo gigi says:
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    2.09.18 for Lacroix who easily won the 200 fly.

  4. liquidassets says:
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    My picks:

    Lacroix
    Luchsinger
    Sogar out touches Hardy* (*though I don’t know why I bother to try to predict any race Hardy is a contender in)
    Murdoch
    Caldwell
    Grevers, though I agree w/ Bobo it could easily be Thoman.
    Leverenz
    Dwyer
    Meloulli, but could be great race with McBroom who could upset.

  5. liquidassets says:
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    I think the top 3 2Fly should be satisfied, 1:57 for Luchsinger ok for January. Seliskar continues to impress.

  6. swimmer24 says:
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    Did anyone else notice that former Longhorn swimmer Karlee Bispo is now swimming for palo alto?

    • liquidassets says:
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      Yeah I saw that. I believe she is from somewhere in Bay Area or NorCal originally. Not sure if she’s in grad school there.

  7. bobo gigi says:
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    Luchsinger with the win ahead of Seliskar.
    Average times overall but interesting race to watch. Good to see Shields work his endurance.

  8. bobo gigi says:
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    Logical win for Jessica Hardy. She’s the best US 100 breaststroker of the moment.
    I remember reading she focused again more on breaststroke in training.

  9. bobo gigi says:
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    Is it a new NAG record for Mr Andrew? He looks happy after his 100 breast win.

  10. liquidassets says:
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    The announcer didn’t say anything but isn’t that a NAG for Andrew 13-14 boys 1:03.83?? Maybe not.

  11. DRUKSTOP says:
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    He dropped a whole second off the NAG record.

  12. bobo gigi says:
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    NEW 13/14 100 BREAST NAG RECORD FOR MICHAEL ANDREW!
    It was 1.04.74 by Anthony Robinson.

  13. bobo gigi says:
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    And he dropped more than a second off his previous PB!

  14. bobo gigi says:
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    Fly and breast are clearly his best strokes.
    For the moment.

  15. bobo gigi says:
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    Missy. Come back! Backstroke races are slow without you! :)

  16. bobo gigi says:
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    Ready for the clash in the men’s 100 back. :cool:

  17. liquidassets says:
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    That is shocking. It was one of the “older” records, but still I never expected him to break it by a full second. His stroke looked fantastic, efficient.

    • bobo gigi says:
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      Agree with you. I’m not fan of his freestyle, butterfly or backstroke technique but his breaststroke looks great.

      • Anonymous says:
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        I like his backstroke with the back of hand entry and shallow pull. I think it is very efficient.
        He looks like a late breather in the freestyle.

        • PsychoDad says:
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          How do you catch water early if your entry is with the back of your hand? That cannot possible be efficient. He has to turn his hand to catch the water – pure waste of time.

  18. bobo gigi says:
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    Almost a new NAG record for Andrew in the 100 breast. 57.41 vs 57.38 in the prelims.

  19. bobo gigi says:
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    53.72 for Mr Grevers. He’s a huge racer! Congrats Liquidassets. :)

  20. Lane Four says:
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    So Michael swam BOTH 100 back and breast B Finals? Ok, this kid is tough. Good for him!

  21. weirdo says:
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    I think the 100 back for men was the deepest result of any event this weekend for top 5 or so swimmers! very well done men!
    Pebley needs to work in his start to keep up with the big boys in the 100….or maybe he slipped?

  22. bobo gigi says:
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    Katie, what are you doing in the 200 IM a few minutes before your 800 free? :roll:

  23. bobo gigi says:
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    Caitlin Leverenz won as expected.
    Katie Ledecky 4th with a last 50 in 29.98!
    Ok. It was a warm-up for the clash with Lotte Friis.

  24. Sam says:
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    Is Rebecca Soni going to continue to swim? I know she was taking a break but what the heck do I know.

    I remember reading she was having some type of surgery, I think.

    • bobo gigi says:
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      I ask regularly the question and nobody really knows the answer.
      I hope she will come back. She’s still young.

  25. bobo gigi says:
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    Mr Andrew was very tired. 2.09.77 for him in the 200 IM B-Final.

  26. bobo gigi says:
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    Easy win for Dwyer as expected in the 200 IM. Decent 2.00 for him.
    It’s a long meet for some swimmers who look really tired on this day 3.

  27. weirdo says:
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    I say no to Soni swimming again. No inside information, just a gut feeling!

  28. bobo gigi says:
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    Time to beat in the women’s 800 free is 8.49.49 by 13-year-old Madison Homovich.

  29. bobo gigi says:
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    Is it a replay of the world 800 free final from last summer? :lol:

  30. bobo gigi says:
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    It’s a replay.

  31. weirdo says:
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    I don’t think the UN swim club of the East (NBAC) is for everyone. Lotte Friis didn’t do best times in December when her home country hosted the Worlds. She didn’t take a big break cause she went LTB at Worlds LC, then went to World Cup right after then showed up at NBAC. She only swam one event a day here and wasn’t very good….especially since all the other NBAC swimmers were on fire this weekend so some focus was put on the meet.

  32. bobo gigi says:
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    And Katie has won.
    8.26.70?
    It looked much faster while I watched the race.
    Friis is really a machine. fast pace. But no speed change unlike Katie. If it was on track, I’d buy her as a rabbit. She would be perfect for a world record attempt. :)

  33. bobo gigi says:
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    Fast start for Yannick in the 1500 free!
    Please, stay alive!

  34. Philip Johnson says:
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    Agnel is a beast!

  35. bobo gigi says:
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    Agnel is well ahead!
    I didn’t think he would win that race.
    Where are Mellouli and McBroom?

  36. bobo gigi says:
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    15.07.76 for Yannick!
    Congrats!

  37. weirdo says:
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    Bobo, was that a good time for Agnel? What is his best time in 1500? Pretty average event for a Grand Prix. That was the only event any of them swam today so it wasn’t a matter of overswimming events this weekend for any of them.

    I think Sun is safe!

    • Braden Keith Braden Keith says:
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      That was Agnel’s best time by 9 seconds. The last time he swam the 1500 was about a year ago in Nice, he was a 15:16.

    • bobo gigi says:
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      It’s of course a good time for Yannick. New PB for him.
      And yes, Sun Yang is safe.
      But Yannick has no intention of swimming a 1500 free in a world meet.
      He isn’t crazy!
      200 free and 400 free are enough for him.

  38. liquidassets says:
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    That is very impressive; I thought 15:10 would win it and that it would be Meloulli or McBroom.

    That has Bowman written all over it. Bowman even made Phelps swim at least one 1500 for time in competition every year. But unlike Phelps, Agnel has the chops over it; he might be under 14:50 tapered if he trained for it specifically/tapered.

    • Rafael says:
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      14:50 is not a medal time.. and takes a lot of stamina for this race.. he would have much loss on 100/200 free to do a no medal 1500 free..

    • Flyin' says:
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      I think he can be faster than that. Mellouli is a World Champ medalist and he’s at about the same time he always is at this point in the year. Maybe a hair slower

    • Bossanova says:
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      Phelps once said the order in which he trains for events goes:
      1500 m freestyle
      400 IM
      200 fly

  39. Luigi says:
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    This is perhaps a bit off topic, but if Agnel can win olympic gold in the 200 freestyle twice in a row – and I believe he can – he will be a swimming legend. Not even Thorpe was able to do that.

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About Jared Anderson

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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 level. Read More »