2014 Mesa Grand Prix-Prelims Recap Day 3: Katie Hoff Blows Away The Field In 200 IM On A Windy Morning In Mesa

Refresh this link frequently, as we’ll be updating results live as we go through the morning session.

Hate to break it to you swim fans but 250 yards of Michael Phelps‘ swimming is all we get from him at the Mesa Grand Prix. Unfortunately, there were no surprise deck entries or anything of the sort,  but fear not, we still have plenty of exciting, and even interesting, swimming on tap for today.

Allison Schmitt finds herself entered in the 200 fly, and while she may not be the star of the A final tonight, with the meet she’s having, she could definitely sneak in there.

The women’s 100 breast looks to be one of the most exciting races for today.  Alia Atkinson has already proven she’s back and better than ever in the two hundred and I’m sure she’ll be the same in the 100.  She’ll have to battle American Record holders, Breeja Larson (SC) and Jessica Hardy (LC), but that’s a battle that will certainly be worth watching.

We’ll finally get to see Kevin Cordes do what he does best: breaststroke.  After scratching the 200 on Thursday and opting to do the actual 50 free instead of a 50 breast yesterday, fans will be delighted to see his superb short axis stroke in action.

In the 200 IM, we’ll find two of the most interesting races of the session.  Ryan Lochte will be swimming the event he holds the World Record in for the first time since injuring his knee in a freak fan accident.  While he’s looked sharp over the past two days, breaststroke puts the most strain on the knees in swimming; but let’s hope one lap is more than doable.  Katie Ledecky, who is taking down Junior World Records almost every time she swims, finds herself entered in a race that is only 25% freestyle. This isn’t the norm for Ledecky but let’s be honest, she’ll find a way to shock and surprise us all.

The races to be swum on day 3 are the 200 fly, 100 backstroke, 100 breaststroke, and 200 IM, in that order. All will be swum as a single A-flight.  The men’s 800 and women’s 1500 meter free will take place after the prelims session is completed.

Women’s 200 Fly

The women’s top eight field has a pretty big spread between the top seed and the eighth seed, but it should be a good race for the top spot tonight between Katie McLaughlin and Becca Mann.  Mann put up the top time with a few heats to go, touching in a 2:12.74 while McLaughlin cruised to an easy win in the final heat with a 2:12.51.  The field starts to drop off with Adreina Pinto in third with a time of 2:14.93, Caitlin Leverenz in fourth, 2:15.56, and Ally Howe in fifth with a time of 2:16.21.  Petra Soininen was right off her seed time, grabbing the sixth spot in 2:17.25.  Elizabeth Beisel, who added this event to her NCAA lineup in March is sitting seventh with a 2:18.11 and Victoria Edwards rounds out the top eight with a time of 2:18.64.

Men’s 200 Fly

The only man under 2:02 this morning will find himself in lane four for tonight’s final.  Bobby Bollier swam a smooth 2:01.84, finishing ahead of Tom Luchsinger (2:02.39) and Justin Lynch (2:02.71).  Tyler Clary, last night’s winner in the 400 IM, sits fourth with a time of 2:02.99 while Jesper Bjoerk is right behind him in fifth with a 2:03.34.  A group of teenagers close out the top eight with Mickey Mowry in sixth (2:04.63), Chris Nolan in seventh (2:04.99), and Cole Buese in eighth (2:05.11).

Women’s 100 Breaststroke

Alia Atkinson brought some fire to the gloomy morning session in the women’s 100 breast.  Touching in at a 1:07.96, which is the top seed by a second and a half, Atkinson was able to garner the 16th fastest 50 breast time in the world this year, going out in a 31.36.  She was a full second ahead of American record holder Jessica Hardy, who usually has impressive front end speed.  Hardy sits second with a 1:09.26 while Katie Meili is right behind her with a 1:09.68.  Breeja Larson and Micah Lawrence were the last two ladies under the 1:10 mark, finishing fourth and fifth with times of 1:09.71 and 1:09.93, respectively.  Tara-Lynn Nicholas, and All-American from SMU, almost got herself a best time, touching sixth in a 1:10.17.  Laura Sogar was able to get into the A final after falling ill the past two days from an allergic reaction; she’s currently seventh with a time of 1:10.94. Stina Colleou shaved .04 off her seed time to sneak in for eighth place touching in a time of 1:11.25.

Men’s 100 Breaststroke

The eight heats of the men’s 100 breast were delayed shortly due to a false start in heat six.  The delay had no effect on Kevin Cordes, who is the top seed for tonight, touching in a time of 1:01.99.  Azad-Al Barazi sits second behind him with a time of 1:02.47 while Damir Dugonjic is third with a 1:02.92.  Mike Alexandrov, who was a part of the false start heat, was able to regroup and claim the fourth spot in tonight’s final with a 1:03.45.  Carsten Vissering, who swam almost 65 meters in the false start heat before stopping, swam his way into the A final as well in a time of 1:03.57.  Gunther Cassell is currently sixth and was able to shave off .04 from his seed time, swimming a 1:03.94.  Bradley Craig and BJ Johnson round out the top eight with times of 1:04.21 and 1:04.33, respectively.  Shoutout to SwimSwam’s very own Jared Anderson who will be swimming tonight in the B final!

Women’s 100 Backstroke

Surprise winner in the women’s 50 free last night finds herself at the top again, this time in the women’s 100 back.  Cheyenne Coffman swam a quick 1:02.19 to grab the top seed while Clara Smiddy, another surprise winner from last night but in the 200 back, is right behind her with a 1:02.44.  Spots three through seven sit close together, bunched around the 1:03 mark.  Fernanda Gonzalez-Ramirez sits third with a 1:03.08 while Carolina Colorado is right on her heels with a 1:03.19.  Megan Romano, who’s coming off a grueling sextuplet (prelims and finals), swam to fifth place with a time of 1:03.36.  Yekaterina Rudenko and Noriko Inada are currently sixth and seventh with times of 1:03.55 and 1:03.62, respectively.  Kathleen Baker out of SwimMAC closes out the top eight with a time of 1:03.90.

Men’s 100 Backstroke

The tallest man on deck was also the fastest man in the prelims of the 100 back this morning.  Matt Grevers grabbed the top spot with a strong 56.32 in the final heat.  This is going to be one of the best races tonight seeing as though places 1-5 are separated by a mere .32 seconds.  David Plummer its second with a 56.34 while Grigory Tarasevich is third with a time of 56.41.  Ryan Lochte, who will swim the 200 IM here shortly, swam to fourth place in 56.58 while Arkady Vyatchanin is right behind him in fifth with a time of 56.64.  Young gun Ryan Murphy will try to hang with the top dogs tonight as he sits sixth in a time of 57.16.  His Cal teammate, Jacob Pebley, grabbed seventh place with a 57.34 while the talented singer Eugene Godsoe closes out the top eight with a 57.36.  A notable name swimming in the B final tonight will be Michael Andrew who placed tenth with a time of 57.84.

Women’s 200 IM

One of our very own comeback kids, Katie Hoff, is starting to find lane four to be familiar once again.  While the wind was blowing every which way, Hoff was able to blow away the field finishing in a time of 2:14.47.  Caitlin Leverenz will challenge her tonight as she finished second with a 2:16.51.  Another Olympian will join them in the middle of the pool, Elizabeth Beisel, as she touched third in a time of 2:17.80.  Katie Ledecky proved that she can swim the other three strokes that make up the sport of swimming by grabbing the fourth spot in tonight’s A final with a time of 2:18.17.  Karlee Bispo and Katie Meili were right behind her with times of 2:18.65 and 2:18.77, respectively.  All-American in this event, Stina Gardell, sits seventh with a 2:19.53 while Justine Bowker rounds out the top eight with a 2:20.21.

Men’s 200 IM

While Ryan Lochte maybe helped the sun come out during his swim in the 200 IM, he won’t be the top seed for tonight.  Jakub Maly swam a quick 2:04.20 to grab lane four for tonight.  Darian Townsend is a little bit behind him with a 2:05.57 while Michael Weiss is third with a 2:06.51.  Lochte is currently fourth with a 2:06.91 but did have one of the faster breaststroke splits compared to the rest of the top eight.  Curtis Ogren swam a 2:07.77, good for fifth place while Matthew Josa finds himself sixth with a 2:08.68.  Sean Grieshop, the youngster who is having a great meet, snuck into another A final, and sits seventh with a 2:08.96.  Diago Decarvalho closes out the top eight with a 2:09.03.

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Question for anyone…why even have relays at these GP meets? 1 male and 3 female!

I don’t get it…


I should’ve specified – 800 F.R.


Yeah, nobody gets points for winning, but I’d say it’s good race relay practice. The USA could use some practice here. I wish more teams took part. The fact that NBAC and SwimMAC aren’t in the relays make it pretty clear that there won’t be a dual meet anytime soon.


My bad, SwimMAC did put women’s relays together.
The Mesa Aquatic Club (MAC) was kind of confusing, but they’re in there too somewhere.
Forget the points, but if there was any money involved, more people would enter. I love it how all the press releases say that there is a staggering $150,000 to be won at these Grand Prixes, and a one-year lease on a car(!) wow. It trickles down a bit as it it is divided through all the meets and events. Winning $100 for third place is probably a little more than what some kid in Mesa makes for mowing some rich person’s lawn. It looks like rain so that dude better hussle.

In theory some of these club teams could go after a NAG. But that’s not really a great reason.


I think 200 fly is US women’s weakest event, and it does not seem it’s going to change soon.

Bobos got it right… McLaughlin and Bayer will be the ones… whether they are ready in 2016 who knows. McLaughlin could be. But there is precious little depth there.


I agree that Bayer is the future of USA female flyer


Bayer is certainly one to watch but Rio might be a tad soon for her. Then again given the current weakness of the event who knows. I think McLaughlin has a good shot to make it. I wouldn’t take much notice of the times she’s doing in April.

bobo gigi

Katie McLaughlin will be in Rio.
And Katie is a good first name in US women’s swimming. 🙂

not a lot of depth in the women’s field


Has Hersey been taking a long break from swimming or has she officially retired? She just missed a medal in London (finished 4th on 2:05). You’d have to like her chances again given the way things look now. Although I don’t think she’d come back just to go to the Olympics. But Rio is really where it started for her internationally back at Pan Ams in 2007 when she won the 200 fly as a 17 year old (2:07).


Damn, that pool looks amazing.
I just want to jump in that and do some swimming

About Christine Wixted

Hailing from the Mile High city of Denver, CO, Christine Wixted is a current senior at Duke University. Her swimming career started at the age of 12 and is soon coming to a close with only one semester of collegiate compeition left. Throughout her four years at Duke, she has …

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