2014 Arena Grand Prix in Orlando, Day 2 Interviews

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2014 Arena Grand Prix Orlando – Day 2 Finals Recap – Reported by Jared Anderson

Katinka Hosszu powered away from the field early, asserting her dominance in the 200 fly with her first of 3 swims tonight. Her 2:08.47 won by exactly one second and ranks as the 4th-fastest time in the world this year. She topped a pair of Canadians, Audrey Lacroix and Katerine Savard, both of whom also put up top-10 times in the world this year. Lacroix was 2:09.47, just a few tenths off what she went to win the Austin Grand Prix, and Savard was 2:10.94.
At 15 years old, Chattahoochee’s Lauren Case took home fourth place with a 2:14.25 – that cut almost two seconds off her prelims swim, but still isn’t quite a lifetime-best. She topped Cal’s Caitlin Leverenz, who was 2:14.66, and 18-year-old Isabella Paez of Metro Aquatic Club, who went 2:14.99.
Another 14-year-old was in the race; that was Delaney Walz of Greater Philadelphia Aquatic Club. She took seventh in 2:15.26.
In the B final it was Gator Swim Club’s Andreina Pinto who moved up from 10th to win the heat, going 2:12.62 . Claire Donahue led the field most of the way, but Pinto patiently pulled off the comeback to win over Donahue’s 2:14.40. Those were huge drops for both women from prelims: 6 seconds for Pinto and 7 for Donahue.
The men’s 200 fly will probably go down as the tightest 3-man finish of the weekend. American Tyler Clary and Singaporean Florida high schooler Joseph Schooling battled much of the way before Hungarian David Verraszto suddenly sprang into the dual on the last 50. The three came to the wall dead even, but it was Verraszto that got the touch, going 1:59.59. Clary was just behind in 1:59.63 and Schooling was even closer to him at 1:59.65 in a thrilling photo finish. That’s the second victory for Verraszto this weekend; he won the 400 IM in a huge time last night.
Island Swim Club’s Alec Page led the next pack of swimmers into the wall, going 2:01.03 for fourth place. Puerto Rico’s Yeziel Morales was fifth, Brazil’s Luiz Pedro Ribeiro Pereira sixth, Colombia’s David Arias Gonzalez seventh and another Canadian, Eric Hedlin, eighth.
The B final went to Swim Ontario’s Evan White. The 18-year-old went 2:03.18 to win by a second and a half.
SwimMAC’s Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace jumped to the head of the sprinting field to win the splash and dash. After narrowly taking the second seed out of prelims, the Bahamas Olympian roared to the wall at finals, cutting three tenths off her prelims time to go 25.55. That was enough to top the 1-seed, Amanda Kendall, who is making a career comeback with T2 Aquatics at just 23 years old. Kendall took second place, .04 ahead of Canadian Sandrine Mainville, who wound up third.
Mainville’s teammate Victoria Poon took fourth, just .02 behind. Melissa Gates of Cats Aquatic Team was fifth in 25.80 before U.S. National Teamer Megan Romano came in at 25.87. The rest of the A final was 15-year-old Fernando Delgado (7th) and SwimMAC breaststroker Katie Meili (8th).
Canada’s Hannah Riordan dipped under 26 to win the B final, going 25.97.
The men’s sprint event of the night was a race of Brazilian domination. 24-year-old Bruno Fratus, who represents Auburn, topped his world record-holding teammate Cesar Cielo 22.00 to 22.15. The two were a head above the field from the get-go, powering away in the middle two lanes. Fratus’s time puts him 3rd in the world this year, and Cielo now sits 4th.
Third place went to American Jimmy Feigen in 22.48 before a bigger dropoff to fourth, Adam Brown with a 22.74. After Brown, things tightened up, with Cullen Jones going 22.77, Michigan post-grad Miguel Ortiz hitting 22.79 and Karl Krug going 22.80.
Two swimmers in the B final dropped under 23. Hungary’s Krisztian Takacs went 22.93 for the win, with Club Wolverine’s Zachary Hayden 10th overall in 22.98.
Great Britain’s Elizabeth Simmonds denied Katinka Hosszu her fourth win of the weekend, riding a huge front half split to a win of the 100 back. Simmonds went 1:01.26, leading by quite a bit early and weathering a late comeback by Hosszu, who finished second in 1:01.55.
Gator Swim Club’s Fernanda Gonzalez Ramirez took home third and was also the last 1:01 of the field; she went 1:01.80. Swim Ontario’s Dominique Bouchard was fourth in 1:02.03 and fellow Canadian Hilary Caldwell was fifth in 1:02.23. The rest of the A final was T2′s Elise Haan, Guatemala’s Gisela Morales and Athens Bulldogs’ Megan Romano, coming off the 50 free just one event earlier.
Karin Tomeckova won the B final with a 1:02.48.
Though German Yannick Lebherz was the top seed coming out of prelims, former Russian Olympian Arkady Vyatchanin denied him his second event win, dropping two full seconds from prelims to win in 54.07. That easily outdistanced the field, as second place Junya Koga of Club Wolverine finished in 55.64. Lebherz wound up third, just a few hundredths off his prelims swim. His German countryman Carl-Louis Schwarz finished right behind, going 56.21 for fourth place.
Gabor Balog was fifth for Hungary, followed by Auburn trainer Albert Subirats. 15-year-old Ethan Young out of Carpet Capital and Club Wolverine’s Miguel Ortiz rounded out the A field.
Hungarian David Foldhazi, who trains full-time with Katinka Hosszu, won the B final in 57.00, just edging out 14-year-old pro Michael Andrew‘s 57.13 and former Virginia Tech star Zach McGinnis‘s 57.42. That time for Andrew breaks his old NAG record of 57.38 set at the Austin stop of the Grand Prix circuit.
American Chloe Sutton, now swimming for IX3 Sports after many years with Mission Viejo, won a duel with Hungarian sensation Katinka Hosszu in the 400 free, leading the whole way and holding off Hosszu by .4 at the final wall. Sutton was a fast 4:10.11, a very strong swim that was nearly three seconds faster than her prelims time. Hosszu had a solid swim for her part, going 4:10.50 with an incredibly quick turn-around off the 100 back, where she also finished second.
14-year-old Courtney Harnish of York YMCA came in third place, going a lifetime-best 4:12.41 to beat out Gator Swim Club’s Andreina Pinto by two seconds.
The B final was a tight race between 16-year-old Kirsten Jacobsen of Barrington Swim Club and Minnesota Aquatics pro Ashley Steenvoorden. Jacobsen went 4:18.26 for 9th, while Steenvoorden came in 11th at 4:18.72.
Canada’s Ryan Cochrane made it look easy, running away with the 400 free win by nearly 6 seconds. His 3:49.83 ranks him 5th in the world so far this year. Behind him was former Texas Longhorn Michael McBroom in 3:55.14 and Mexico’s Andres Olvera Alejos in 3:55.73.
Hungarian David Verraszto, who won the 400 IM last night and the 200 fly earlier tonight, took fourth overall, going 3:56.68. German 18-year-old Maximilian Bock was fifth, ahead of Canada’s Eric Hedlin and William Brothers, the last two swimmers under 4.
Michael Weiss dominated the B final, posting a huge 3:57.33 that would have gotten him fifth overall had he swum with the A heat.
SwimMAC’s Micah Lawrence rode a huge final 50 to a come-from-behind victory in the women’s 200 breast. The national teamer was third at the hundred mark and just barely second at the 150 before ripping off a 36.7 final 50 to fly past the leaders to go 2:25.97. Blue Fish’s Laura Sogar went out fast, leading by a full second at the 100 with Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson second. But Lawrence was not only the only swimmer under 39 on the final leg, she was the only swimmer under 38 and 37 as well, coming from nowhere to fly past Sogar for the win.
Sogar held on for second, going 2:28.32, while Atkinson took third just behind in 2:28.34. Those three were clearly checked out from the field early on to put up their entertaining showdown.
Olga Lapteva, 16, of the Bolles School Sharks went 2:35.45 for fourth place, touching out 24-year-old Venezuelan Mercedes Toledo by a tenth. T2′s Justine Mueller wound up sixth, ahead of Clearwater 16-year-old Sydney Pickrem and Cal’s Caitlin Leverenz.
The B final went to T2′s Ashley Wolter in 2:35.67.
The final individual event of the night saw a four-way battle early pare down to just two at the finish. Brazilian Felipe Lima led the field at the 100, just ahead of top seed Sean Mahoney, with 100 breast champ Mike Alexandrov and the Bolles School’s Melquides Alvarez Caraballo in tow. But Lima fell off the pace a bit in the back half while Caraballo surged, leaving two Bolles School Sharks, Mahoney and Caraballo, in the lead heading to the finish.
Ultimately, Mahoney won, defending his top seed and going 2:14.03 to Caraballo’s 2:14.57. Alexandrov made a late charge to take a solid third with a 2:15.29, while Lima ended up fourth in 2:16.48.
17-year-old James Guest of Point-Claire took fifth, coming in just ahead of Tennessee’s Brad Craig, and rounding out the A field were Andrew Poznikoff and Adam Ritter.
The B final was led by a pair of Canadians, Alec Page of Island Swim Club and Evan White of Swim Ontario, with Page 9th and White 10th.
The longest of the relay events went to a junior team from York YMCA, the same exact team that won the 400 free relay one night ago. Courtney Harnish (14), Nicole Price (18), Emily Ilgenfritz (16) and Meghan Small (15) went 8:21.24 to win the event by over 8 seconds and set a new meet record. The biggest split came from Small on the end, who went 2:03.69.
Second in the event was South Florida Aquatics at 8:30.02, and Rockwood Swim Club was just behind in 8:30.78, edging out Mexico for third place.
The men’s version of the event came down to a battle between two international teams separated by just .7 seconds. Germany managed to get to the wall first, knocking off Mexico 7:42.19 to 7:42.84. That German squad was powered by a 1:50.22 split from last night’s 200 free champ Yannick Lebherz.

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About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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