2016 Arena Pro Swim Series At Austin: Day 1 Finals Live Recap

2016 ARENA PRO SWIM SERIES AT AUSTIN

WOMEN’S 100 FREESTYLE – FINAL

Swedish showstopper, Sarah Sjostrom, just threw down sheer speed tonight, clocking a new U.S. Open Record in the women’s first event. Sjostrom’s 53.12 blasted over a tenth off of the previous mark held by Australian Cate Campbell since 2008. Sjostrom split 25.83/27.29 to surge ahead of the field and touch comfortably ahead of America’s Katie Ledecky.

Ledecky’s time in itself was extraordinary (53.75), however, as the 18-year-old world record holder blasted her first sub-54-second time in the event. Coming into this meet, Ledecky’s quickest mark was the 54.55 she clocked at this same meet last year. Not only does that place Ledecky in the world’s top 5 for the season, it absolutely enters her into the conversation for 4 x 100m freestyle relay contention. World-record times across 1500m/800m/400m and now a huge contender in the 200m and a sub-54 100?  Bow down.

2015-2016 LCM Women 100 Free

CateAUS
CAMPBELL
07/02
52.06*WR
2Bronte
CAMPBELL
AUS52.5804/11
3Penny
OLEKSIAK
CAN52.70*OR*WJR08/11
4Simone
MANUEL
USA52.70*OR08/11
5Sarah
SJOSTROM
SWE52.7804/01
View Top 26»

American Abby Weitzeil scored the bronze medal time tonight, registering 54.00 for her effort. Weitzeil was 54.21 in prelims, so she shaved a nice two tenths off of her morning swim to finish on the podium to finish with a personal best.

MEN’S 100 FREESTYLE – FINAL

Despite being the top seed of the morning, Frenchman Jeremy Stravius was overtaken by American Nathan Adrian tonight, although both clocked sub-49-second marks. Adrian registered a time of 48.91 to lead the field, with Stravius touching just behind in 48.96.  Adrian’s time is over half a second slower than the 48.31 he swam in Kazan and Stravius’ mark is well-off his 48.34 he swam earlier this November, most likely pointing to where these men are at in their training at the moment.

SwimMAC Elite’s newest member, Jimmy Feigen, rounded out the top three with his time of 49.20. That time is right where Feigen was at this time last year at the Aquatic Super Series in Perth, where he touched in 49.20. Nonetheless, for Feigen fans it’s encouraging to see the sprinter dip beneath the 50-second-threshold.

Remember, there have already been a handful of Brazilians who raged sub-49-second times at the 1st of 2 Brazilian Olympic-qualifying meets, putting the world on notice.

WOMEN’S 200 BREASTSTROKE – FINAL

It was a 1-2 American finish in the 200m breaststroke on the women’s side, led by Bluefish Swim’s Laura Sogar. Splitting 32.71/37.06/37.31/37.61, Sogar comfortably beat out the field by over two seconds to win the event.

Her partner in crime tonight was Tennessee Aquatics’ Molly Hannis, who touched in 2:26.73 for silver, knocking about a second off of her morning swim. Hannis has only been sub-2:26 3 times in her young career, so a 2:26-high is a nice swim for the 23-year-old.

Bronze this evening went to Nation Capital youngster Anna Belousova. At just 19, Belousova was the youngest swimmer of the A-final, although Lakeside’s Brooke Forde was the absolute youngest of both A and B Finals at just 16 years of age. Belousova touched painstakingly close to Hannis, only .03 of a second behind.

Of note, SwimMAC Elite’s Katie Meili roared to the B-Final wall with a winning time of 2:23.69, a mark which beat all of the A-finalists. That time is now positioned as the 5th-fastest in the world this season.

2015-2016 LCM Women 200 BREAST

RieJPN
KANETO
04/09
2.19.65
2Yulia
EFIMOVA
RUS2.21.4103/04
3Taylor
McKEOWN
AUS2.21.4504/12
4Rikke
PEDERSEN
DEN2.21.6905/20
5Jinglin
SHI
CHN2.22.2808/11
View Top 26»

MEN’S 200 BREASTSTROKE – FINAL

It was a tightly-contested race in the men’s A-Final, with the top 3 finishers touching less than 4 tenths apart. Josh Prenot was able to beat out the field, stopping the clock at 2:10.26. That sits as Prenot’s 4th-fastest time of his career, with his fastest ever being that of the 2:08.90 he scored last July at the World University Games.

Nic Fink swam swift enough for 2nd place after blasting the field’s only sub-30 split on the first 50m. His final time was 2:10.51, followed by Kevin Cordes who touched in 2:10.63.  For Cordes, that mark is towards the quick-ish end of his time spectrum, which ranges from 2:07.86 to 2:16.

WOMEN’S 100 BUTTERFLY – FINAL

Did we say showstopper after the women’s 100m freestyle race?  Multiply that by infinity and you have Sjostrom, tonight’s winner of the 100m butterfly event, again in a new U.S. Open Record. Sjostrom touched the just .01 of a second behind American Dana Vollmer at the turn (26.50 Vollmer, 26.51 Sjostrom), only to blast a 29.87 closing 50m split to take the win in a final mark of 56.38.

Sjostrom’s time surpassed the old U.S. Open time of 56.42 held by Vollmer since 2012, but Vollmer finished in fine fashion herself tonight in a time of 57.61. That time shaved just .01 of a second off of her morning swim, but is still the fastest since she returned to racing last year. Vollmer has only been improving since she has gotten back into the swing of competing, so her time tonight is good news for Americans, who still have Kelsi Worrell, Claire Donahue and a few youngsters in their butterfly arsenal.

For their efforts tonight, Sjostrom and Vollmer now own the top 2 times of the season in the event.

2015-2016 LCM Women 100 FLY

SarahSWE
SJOSTROM
08/07
55.48 *WR*OR
2Penny
OLEKSIAK
CAN56.46 *WJR08/07
3Kelsi
WORRELL
USA56.4806/27
4Dana
VOLLMER
USA56.5608/06
5Xinyi
Chen
CHN56.7208/07
View Top 26»

Noemie Thomas brought home the bronze with her time of 58.38.

MEN’S 100 BUTTERFLY – FINAL

30-year-old Michael Phelps raced his way to a solid win tonight, taking gold in the sprint fly event in a time of 51.94. That mark sits within MP’s Top 10 since coming out of retirement and is a solid start to his 2016 season. Phelps pulled a dirty double, having already swum the 100m freestyle tonight, where he finished out of the medals (6th, 49.77). Splits for Phelps in this fly race were 24.69/27.25 and his signature smooth stroke came on strong to beat out a surging Tom Shields. 

Shields split 24.85/27.54 to claim runner-up to Phelps in a time of 52.39. Tim Phillips registered a mark of 52.61 for 3rd place tonight.

Phelps now owns the world’s 2nd- and 5th-fastest times in the event so far this season.

2015-2016 LCM Men 100 FLY

JosephSIN
SCHOOLING
08/12
50.39*OR
2Laszlo
CSEH
HUN50.8605/21
3Michael
PHELPS
USA51.0007/02
4Chad
LE CLOS
RSA51.0911/07
5Tom
SHIELDS
USA51.2007/02
View Top 26»

WOMEN’S 400 FREESTYLE – FINAL

Speaking of dirty doubles, as if Ledecky didn’t already blow our minds with her scorching 53.75 100m freestyle, she turns right around and sets a new pool record in the 400m free event. 3:59.54 got the job done for Ledecky tonight, as she started out under World Record pace, yet finished about 5 seconds ahead of the rest of the field.

Ledecky’s time tonight was less than a second off of the U.S. Open Record, which she holds at 3:58.86. She now represents the only sub-4-minute swimmer of the season, but still holds the top 2 times in the world this season.

2015-2016 LCM Women 400 Free

KatieUSA
LEDECKY
08/07
3.56.46*WR*OR
2Leah
SMITH
USA4.00.6506/27
3Jazmin
CARLIN
GBR4.01.2308/07
4Boglarka
KAPAS
HUN4.02.3708/07
5Coralie
BALMY
FRA4.03.4008/07
View Top 26»

Additionally, Ledecky’s swim tonight was the 5th-fastest mark of all time.  (Guess who holds all but 1 of ’em?)

3:58.37 – Ledecky 2014
3:58.86 – Ledecky 2014
3:59.13 – Ledecky 2015
3:59.15 – Pellegrini 2009
3:59.54 – Ledecky 2016

Silver tonight went to Leah Smith with her swim of 4:04.74, the 4th-fastest time of her career. Bronze went to Becca Mann in 4:07.09, a personal best for the North Baltimore Aquatic Club swimmer.

MEN’S 400 FREESTYLE – FINAL

Solid swimming in the men’s final, with the top 3 finishers all scoring times under the 3:51 mark. Leading the pack was Frenchman Jordan Pothain, who touched first in 3:50.06. That time is the 2nd-fastest of Pothain’s career, with just the 3:49.66 he registered in Moscow last summer having been faster.

The Woodlands’ Michael McBroom made a move at about the halfway mark, with McBroom spouting out a couple of 29-low 50s to Pothain’s 29-high’s, but the Frenchman would ultimately not be denied. McBroom finished just .09 of a second behind in 3:50.17, with Trojan Swim Club’s Mads Glaesner also standing on the podium in 3rd in 3:50.81.  Glaesner actually threw down the swiftest final 50m of the field, clocking 27.65 to McBroom’s 27.77 and Pothain’s 28.27.

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Luigi
7 years ago

Bobo, what do you expect from a newspaper called “L’Equipe”? Of course they are going to write about team sports all the time (soccer and rugby would be my guess). 😀
At least they are honest, already from the title. The “Gazzetta dello Sport” presents itself as a general sport magazine, then they write about soccer, soccer and then more soccer. A missed penalty in a minor league match is given more headlines than a gold medal at the swimming WC.

bobo gigi
7 years ago

And finally about 17 hours later, a little news on the website of L’Equipe about Austin day 1!
Headline: Adrian dominates Stravius.
Never too late.

luigi
7 years ago

KL’s time in the 100 free IMHO has a relatively limited impact on the position of the US women 4×100 free relay team. It has a huge impact on her individual races, especially the 200 (there is no real contest over that distance).

She has now the whole package, from sprint speed to distance endurance. Federica Pellegrini, to name a contender in the 200, never went sub 54. The only other modern swimmer who comes to mind for a comparison is Thorpe, who was strong enough in the 100 to grab some good medals at WC or Olympics, and an unstoppable force in the 200, 400 and 800 (though he did have some serious competition in the 200, and that… Read more »

bobo gigi
7 years ago

And weirdly still no news and headlines about that Austin GP on French sports websites like L’Equipe or Eurosport.
Absolutely nothing!
I know swimming is far behind football or rugby in terms of coverage here in France but please, even not a single little news? With Katie Ledecky and Michael Phelps in the water? With a French win in the men’s 400 free?
It’s pathetic. Once again. 😥

TAK
Reply to  bobo gigi
7 years ago

BOBO – your comments are the best. Intelligent, knowledgeable and best of all they reveal a true love of the sport.

bobo gigi
7 years ago

Hopefully USA swimming will quickly post the videos.
I haven’t still watched the races yet.
I had planned to watch them on TV but nothing today.
Bein Sports France has bought the TV rights of each US GP that Universal Sports Network broadcasts.
But they are dependent on American TV. And because American TV inexplicably shows only 2 days out of 3 in Austin like in all others GP meets (this week day 2 and day 3), then French people can’t watch day 1 on TV. Time for Universal, NBC sports to change that and broadcast the 3 days!

bobo gigi
7 years ago

I didn’t watch live day 1 races. Based on the results it must have been cool to watch.
Quick thoughts.

Women’s 100 free
Sjöström always very fast in season. She hasn’t flown to USA just for tourism. Her main goal of the meet is probably to race KL in the 200 free. First race totally controlled. Miles ahead of the rest of the other true sprinters. Katie Ledecky under 54. It was just a matter of time. I think she can go at least 53.50 at trials in prelims just to impress the coaches. Game changer? Game changer of what? It’s better for the US relay. But nothing more. And as PVDH said above, it’s not a good… Read more »

GI
Reply to  bobo gigi
7 years ago

As always your recap are so funny 😉
I must say Ledecky went under 4 min wasn’t ordinary, it was spectacular, she only got 6 times under 4 min.
From 2013 until now, one or twice every year.
Another 5 times all swam at August, only this one come from January.
Without 1500m this year? She is building more on her speed.
One year defer to Standford? She is 100% focus on her training.
Sjostrom’s relay split faster than her winning time? Definitely fire her up.
And we all know she likes to win everything, tomorrow 200 free will be epic.
Schmitt had scratches the whole meet.

northern sue
Reply to  bobo gigi
7 years ago

Just backing up what you said about how going under 4:00 is never ordinary–I remember how excited Katie was when she first went under 4:00 at Barcelona Worlds. When the TV reporter asked her how that ranked with her best swimming accomplishments, Katie quickly answered that it was by far her best swimming accomplishment. Considering that Katie had also won an Olympic gold, I thought Katie’s emphatic answer showed how much sub-4 meant to her.

GI
Reply to  northern sue
7 years ago

I remember her interview at 2013 too. Try to compare her reaction after both under 4 min 2013 and 2015 Worlds ;P
She is spoiling her fans, sometimes she swim a sub 4(or something 4:02), some fans are feeling normal.
It is not, what she been doing is not easy.
Still remember she almost swam her heart out at Irvine to get that WR.

sjt
7 years ago

did Anthony Ervin switch to trojan swim club?

Admin
Reply to  sjt
7 years ago

Hey sjt – Ervin has been at Trojan for a few months now, switched after Worlds. More details here: http://swimswam.com/anthony-ervin-to-move-to-los-angeles-join-dave-salos-training-group-at-usc/

FOG
7 years ago

Really? Spell? Auto correct

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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