The final Arena Grand Prix kicks off tonight in Santa Clara, California. The 2014 Grand Prix series has been very interesting. Michael Phelps is scheduled to swim his first three day meet since his comeback. Missy Franklin is a little late to the party but will be swimming this weekend in her first Grand Prix meet of the season.
Tonight’s session includes time finals of the women’s 1500 freestyle and the men’s 800 freestyle.
The women’s mile should be exciting to watch tonight. Lotte Friis earned her first Grand Prix win at the Charlotte Grand Prix in the absence of the American distance sensation, Katie Ledecky. Ledecky is not entered to swim this weekend, leaving the distance events up for grabs. Lotte Friis will be strong as always, but don’t be surprised if the young Becca Mann makes a strong move to challenge her. Brittney MacLean is entered with an 800 time, but she had a fantastic NCAA season at Georgia and has the potential to be in the mix of things.
Michael McBroom is the top seed in the men’s 800 freestyle and will have some big names to hold off if he wants to stay at the top. Canadian record holder Ryan Cochrane and Connor Jaeger are both seeded within a second of McBroom. The top 8 swimmers are all seeded under 8 minutes tonight.
2014 ARENA GRAND PRIX AT SANTA CLARA
- Live results
- Live video (when meet starts)
- Psych sheets
- Thursday Night Heat Sheet
- Thursday, June 19-Sunday, June 22
- Fri-Sun: Prelims 9AM/Finals 5PM (Pacific Time), Thurs: Finals 4PM (Pacific Time)
This is the first Grand Prix meet of the year that has had multicolored lane lines. The swimming in the middle lane is surrounded by white lane lines. The outside lanes have yellow lane lines and the rest of the lane lines are blue.
Women’s 1500m Freestyle – Timed Final
Tonight’s session started with the fastest heat of the women’s 1500 and then alternated to the fastest heat of the men’s 800 freestyle. The entire session continued until all heats were finished, giving us a sneak peak of the results with the big dogs swimming out front. Of course we had to wait until everyone had finished their races to update this post.
Lotte Friis pulled ahead early in the opening heat of the weekend. She was out with her North Baltimore teammate, Becca Mann, but had a commanding lead by the 200 mark. She was out at the 800 just under 8:30, and brought the last half home on pace to finish with a final time of 16:00.35. The crowd seemed impressed Friis’ effort in the first heat; she posted the second fastest time in the world minutes before Katie Ledecky bumped her to third in the world from Texas. Becca Mann finished second in the heat and third overall with a time of 16:15.01.
In the second heat, Georgia’s star distance swimmer Brittney Maclean was running away with the second heat. She was looking really strong half way through the race when the announcer, Sam Kendrick, announced Katie Ledecky’s world record swim of 15:34.23. Brittney Maclean left her heat behind winning the heat with a time of 16:10.26, finishing second overall.
Men’s 800m Freestyle – Time Final
It seems Michael McBroom has stepped up to the pressure of being an American record holder. McBroom has always been a solid performer at the NCAA level in yards, but he hadn’t proved himself in meters until making the World Championship team last summer. In Barcelona, he was able to step up in finals and break the American record, beating Connor Jaeger. All season long he has been a consistent performer in the Grand Prix series. Tonight he held off Connor Jaeger and Ryan Cochrane in the opening heat of the men’s 800 freestyle. Taking the first 400 out in 3:57.21, he was sitting in fourth behind Cochrane, Jaeger, and Matt Mclean. His last 40o was dominant, just as it was last summer. His final time of 7:49.96 moves him to third in the world this year.
Connor Jaeger’s second half was also strong, bumping him into fourth in the world this year with his final time of 7:50.59. Jaeger was faster than McBroom at the 400 with his split of 3:56.72, but didn’t have as much in the final 100 meters.