Day 2 of the 2014 Arena Pro Swim Series – Austin will feature just eight individual events, with two of them really standing out. One is the men’s 400 IM, where Ryan Lochte is returning as a “prodigal son” of sorts (he didn’t scratch pre-race, but still could no-show the swim); and the 200 free, where Katie Ledecky, after an incredible 100-400 freestyle double on Thursday could do something really special.
The day will also see appearances from stars like Katinka Hosszu and Nathan Adrian.
2015 PRO SWIM SERIES AT AUSTIN
- Thursday, January 15 – Satuday, January 17
- Lee & Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center, University of Texas
- Prelims 9AM/Finals 6PM (Central Time)
- Psych Sheets
- Live stream
- Live results
- Friday’s events: 400 IM, 200 free, 200 back, 50 free, 800 free relay (timed finals)
Women’s 400 IM – Prelims
After going winless on the first day of the Grand Prix (which is rare in her world), Hungarian Katinka Hosszu is the top qualifier through to finals of the women’s 400 IM by two-and-a-half seconds.
In the evening session, she will be surrounded by a group that includes most of the best American swimmers in this event over the last three years. That’s a lineup topped by pros Caitlin Leverenz (4:45.37), Elizabeth Beisel (4:46.09), Texas A&M senior Sarah Henry (4:46.70), and SwimMAC Carolina pro cammile Adams (4:50.13).
The top high school swimmer in the heats is Leah Stevens of the Lakeside Swim Team, who was a 4:50.43 for 6th-best. She probably pushed a little harder than the five swimmer in front of her to get into this final.
West Vancouver 17-year old Emily Overholt took 7th in 4:53.05, and Incarnate Word freshman Alona Kyselova rounds out the A-Final in 4:54.86.
Other finishers of note include 14-year old Madison Homovich, who will swim in the B-Final after a 4:55.16; 15-year old Brooke Forde (a teammate of Stevens’) who will swim in the B-Final with a 4:56.08, and open water specialist Emily Brunneman, who will swim in the B-Final with a 4:56.87.
Men’s 400 IM – Prelims
In just his second attempt at the 400 meter IM since winning Olympic gold in London, Ryan Lochte was solid in prelims on Thursday to take the top qualification in 4:22.96. By comparison, he was a 4:19 last season in Santa Clara in prelims of this event (the last time he swam it), but he was much further into the season there than he is here in January (coming off of Short Course Worlds).
Sitting next to him in finals will be Josh Prenot, who was a 4:23.46 for the 2nd seed. Lochte was better on the front-half, but expectedly gave up some ground in the last 200 meters, especially on the breaststroke (Prenot’s specialty). None-the-less, Lochte’s splits were still solid on the breaststroke, even after undergoing another knee injury last year and battling it most of the season.
NCAP’s Andrew Seliskar is the 3rd qualifier in 4:24.09, and Connor Jaeger is 4th in 4:24.63.
Tyler Clary was 5th in the heats with a 4:25.78, which will put him in the A-Final. He said on his social media accounts that this was definitely a “training meet” (punctuated with an “ouch”), but getting the chance to go in the A-Final will be much more encouraging than his C-Final in the 100 fly from Thursday (which he wound up scratching).
Clary looked very strong through 200 meters, though he gave some back to distance free specialist Andrew Gemmell on the last 100 meters.
Nitro’s Sean Grieshop (4:27.07) and University of Calgary’s Tristan Cote (4:27.90) round out the A-Final.
Women’s 200 Free – PRELIMS
Katie Ledecky has taken the top seed in another freestyle event, swimming a 1:57.26 to build off of her wins in the 100 and 400 on Thursday.
Ledecky pushed the first 100 meters of this race hard, opening in 57.0, before settling into a strong finishing pace. With no Katinka Hosszu in the event, she’s a big favorite in finals.
The 2nd qualification spot goes to Elizabeth Beisel in 2:00.48, and the 3rd seed is 17-year old Katie McLaughlin from Mission Viejo in 2:00.66.
Megan Romano of the New York Athletic Club, but trained locally by Carol Capitani, is the 4th seed in 2:01.17. After a very good finals swim in the 100 free on Thursday, expect her to get under two minutes in the final.
Three Aggies follow Romano: Sarah Henry in 2:01.50 (on a back-to-back with the 400 IM), Sarah Gibson in 2:01.82, and Sycerika McMahon in 2:02.04.
Queens University’s Division II star Patricia Castro is seeded 8th in 2:02.41.
The B-Final will include Karlee Bispo (2:02.95) and 14-year old Taylor Ruck (2:03.65), the next big Canadian star who is currently trained in Arizona.
Men’s 200 Free – Prelims
After a foreshadowing 400 free on Thursday, Conor Dwyer took the top seed in the men’s 200 free, arguably his best event, in 1:49.08.
Dutch swimmer Dion Dreesens, who has spent some time training at SwimMAC Carolina, showed a spark with a 1:50.15 to be the 2nd qualifier. That puts him in position for this to be an outstanding swim for him given the timing, but that deisgnation will depend on him being able to improve incrementally in finals.
Internationals Joseph Schooling (1:50.21) and Bobby Hurley (1:50.25) are the 3rd and 4th qualifiers in this race, followed closely by Michael McBroom (1:50.53). In what should be a competitive final, the spread-margins were very narrow, with Michael Klueh (1:50.75), Michael Weiss (1:50.76), and Stefan Milosevic (1:51.21) completing the top 8.
Leading up the B-Final is Ryan Cochrane from Canada, who swam a 1:51.32. That’s the fastest that he’s ever been in January.
Frank Dyer (1:51.41), Townley Haas (1:51.45), Connor Jaeger (1:52.39), and Andrew Seliskar (1:52.49) are also in the B-Final. Frenchman Gregory Mallet is in the C-Final with a 1:53.78.
Women’s 200 Back – Prelims
The Canadians took the morning in the women’s 200 backstroke, with Dominique Bouchard (2:11.93) and Taylor Ruck (2:12.04) taking the top two spots in prelims. Bouchard is historically a very strong finisher, but didn’t do much in the last 50 in the morning session, which indicates that she has more left for finals.
The 3rd qualifier is Texas A&M freshman, and U.S. National Team member, Lisa Bratton in 2:12.41.
Katinka Hosszu (2:12.97), Elizabeth Beisel (2:12.99), Hilary Caldwell (2:13.76), and Megan Romano (2:13.85) occupy the 4th-7th spots in what will be one of the most competitive finals on the women’s side at this meet.
Sneaking in among the heavyweights in this field is the 8th qualifier Emma Seiberlich. The 16-year old from the Phoenixville YMCA in Pennsylvania swam a lifetime best of 2:14.52 to make the A-Final ahead of Zimbabwean Kirsty Coventry (9th – 2:14.67). Coventry is a two-time Olympic gold medalist in this event who is making her first competitive appearance since the 2012 Olympic Games this weekend.
Men’s 200 Back – Prelims
Cal saw three men enter the top 8 after this morning’s 200 back prelims, as Ryan Murphy takes the top seed in 1:59.63, Jacob Pebley earns the 6th position in 2:02.16 and Connor Green enters tonight’s finals in 8th place with his time of 2:013.15
Doing double duty this morning already including a 400 IM, Tyler Clary eases into second place this morning in the 200 back with a time of 1:59.95, followed by third place Matt Grevers in 2:00.63.
Last night’s 100 butterfly slayer, Jack Conger takes the fifth spot for the 200 back final, touching the wall in 2:01.17, while his Texas teammate comes in fourth in 2:00.75. Ryan Harty rounds out the top 8 (2:02.93) in the highly anticipated final tonight.
UBC Thunderbirds’ Yuri Kisil was among the no-shows for the event.
Women’s 50 free – Prelims
19-year-old Farida Osman led the prelims of the women’s 50 freestyle, firing a 25.24 off the blocks this morning. That is a best time for the Cal swimmer, who managed a 26.04 at the Mel Zajac meet in May 2014.
Osman is followed by two SwimMAC Elite teammates, Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace in her time of 25.31 and Katie Meili whose time was 25.80. Vanderpool-Wallace was 25.24 in the finals of this event at the “Austin Grand Prix” last year, while Meili has added this event to her 2015 Austin schedule.
31-year-old Arlene Semeco sits in fourth headed into the final tonight, clocking a 25.92, just .02 ahead of Karlee Bispo in her time of 25.94. Even slimmer a margin than that, .01 behind Bispo is Hannah Riordan in sixth place with a time of 25.95. Then (can you guess?), there was a TIE for 7th between Isabella Arcila and Megan Romano, each touching the wall in 26.00.
As is usual, just a fraction of a second separates the field, which renders tonight’s final as one where anything can happen.
Men’s 50 free – Prelims
Just as in the men’s 100 freestyle final last night, today’s 50 free prelim was beyond stacked with fast-twitched talent. Leading the way this morning was Bruno Fratus in a time of 22.40, closely followed by Club Wolverine Elite’s Miguel Ortiz in his time of 22.45.
Alabama’s Kristian Gkolomeev earned the third seed headed into tonight’s final, clocking a 22.58 for his efforts. Last night’s 100 free powerhouse, Nathan Adrian, threw down a casual 22.66 to land fourth this morning. Erik Risolvato, representing Phoenix Swim Club in a meet for the first time, earned fifth with his time of 22.84. That’s just .02 off of his 22.82 he time-trialed in Greensboro back in December.
Anthony Ervin coasted into sixth with his time of 22.87, with SwimMAC Elite’s Roy Burch and NYAC’s Jimmy Feigen placed seventh and eight in 22.93 and 22.96, respectively.
Yes, it is only January, but remember that Adrian threw down a 21.89 for the win at this same meet last year, just crushing the field by half a second….in a 50. Just something to keep in mind.