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.

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7 years ago

i say Thoman wins it

We Love Phelps
Reply to  calswimfan
7 years ago

ok…will see 😀
all the best to Nick Thoman!

Reply to  calswimfan
7 years ago

we shall see. I doubt he is in top form

Reply to  calswimfan
7 years ago

Why so many thumbs down for the comment “Thoman wins it” ?

Kevin T
Reply to  Diana
7 years ago

It’s just thumbs down trolls at work.

Reply to  Diana
7 years ago

Maybe they were just disagreeing with the assertion that Thoman would win it.

Reply to  calswimfan
7 years ago

Oh boy.. hahaha. I really think Thoman is going to show up later though.

Reply to  calswimfan
7 years ago

Anyone got the splits for Phelps and Lochte?

7 years ago

Cammile Adams went 2:08.45 in 200m butterfly!

7 years ago

Vanderpool-Wallace 24.67 50 free!

Reply to  Hswimmer
7 years ago

yay! She goes onto the Commonwealth Games soon

Reply to  Manyi Eta-Okang
7 years ago

Can’t wait to watch the action! Her vs. Campbell shall be good

Reply to  Hswimmer
7 years ago

I think it will be C. Campbell against the clock in Glasgow instead.

It will be tremendous if Arianna V. Wallace can medal at all. There are still other commonwealth swimmers faster than she: Bronte Campbell and Fran Halsall. Schlanger is also as fast.

Reply to  Hswimmer
7 years ago

…only .24 slower than Sjostrom’s 50 fly!

7 years ago

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,

Reply to  oldmanswimmer
7 years ago

Lazor swims for Auburn as well!

7 years ago

dang! Cullen Jones lost….again.

Justin Thompson
Reply to  Manyi Eta-Okang
7 years ago

I don’t expect a good time from Cullen until Nationals and even then I don’t know what to expect. I will say time is running out for him with the new talent coming up. Dressel 3 tenths off Jones time and he’s just ramping back up.

Reply to  Justin Thompson
7 years ago

I agree with you.

7 years ago

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 years ago

Anyone have insight on where Kathleen Baker is going to college?

7 years ago

Phelps 53.88 in the 100 back!

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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