2016 Arena Pro Swim Series At Austin: Day 2 Prelims Recap


Women’s 200 Freestyle:

Missy Franklin was the first swimmer to dip under 2:00 minutes this morning, although she looked very reserved winning her heat in 1:59.65.

Once Franklin broke the seal, Katie Ledecky once again showed that she is the world’s most dominant swimmer. She absolutely crushed her heat, leading from the very beginning and swimming an under control 1:56.

This will probably be the most anticipated race of the night, with Ledecky and Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom both on top of their games last night in the 400 and 100 respectively. Now the two champions will meet in the middle. Sjostrom didn’t show much in the prelim, but expect her to challenge Ledecky with her speed tonight.

Men’s 200 Freestyle:

Much as they did yesterday, most of the top contenders were very conservative in the preliminary session. However, several of them took it a bit too far. Maxime Rooney found himself in the C-Final based, four seconds slower than his seed. Connor Jaeger was well back of his potential as well to make the B-Final.

On the flip side, Townley Haas and Long Gutierrez both made their way into the mostly veteran final tonight. Michael Phelps was sharp last night and will improve greatly from his 1:49 this morning. He’ll have to in order to get past the two French swimmers, Jeremy Stravius and Jordan Pothain, who qualified 1-2.

Women’s 200 Backstroke

Quinn Carrozza was the early pace setter in her home pool, breaking off a solid 2:12 that was a nice improvement over her seed. That swim earned her a spot in tonight’s final.

Katinka Hosszu once again showed her willingness to race hard at all times. Hosszu was a little shaky last night, especially in the 400 freestyle. She is competing despite a statement from the Hungarian Swimming Federation chiding her for not seeking permission to compete.

Tonight will also mark another significant step in the comeback of Kirsty Coventry, who put up a well paced 2:10. Missy Franklin will be in the final, so will her former teammate Kathleen BakerBaker’s time was her first personal best in this event since 2013.

Men’s 200 Backstroke

Ryan Murphy put up an extremely fast winter time in his heat, and that time would ultimately qualify him first in 1:56.37. His teammate Jacob Pebley put up the next best time in 1:57.83, suggesting perhaps that the Cal men were making a team effort to put up strong performances this morning.

Don’t let the six second spread in times for the A-Final fool you, there should be a really competitive race tonight. Tyler Clary did not show everything he had, and a pair of huge (literally) veteran swimmers in Arkady Vyatchanin and Matt Grevers have also made it through.

Women’s 50 Freestyle

Dana Vollmer snuck in a decent swim (25.62) in the second heat. Vollmer’s comeback has showed good progress as she had a pretty fast second place showing last night.

The real action started with Madison Kennedy putting up the morning’s top time. No swimmer made it under 25, meaning this preliminary was still well back from a high world swimming standard. However, Sarah Sjostrom is in this final as well and should get well under tonight.

Abby Weitzel was also close to the barrier and is the youngest swimmer in the final. 38 year old Therese Alshammar just missed making the A-Final with a 25.42.

Men’s 50 Freestyle

Foreign swimmers dominated the top end of the 50 freestyle. NC State’s Simonas Bilis was the top qualifier. Don’t expect him to stay there however, with world leader Bruno Fratus just behind in second. Fratus was over a second slower than that world best set just last month.

Nathan Adrian was also well slower than his world #2 time. Michael Andrew made his first A-Final of the meet. Andrew already owns the NAG record (22.34) in this event, but he could lower it this evening.

Women’s 400 IM

Katinka Hosszu continued to have a nice comeback morning and qualified well ahead of any competitors. She’ll be joined in the final by a strong contingent of international medalists. Elizabeth Beisel, hunting for her third Olympic team, qualified 3rd. Caitlin Leverenz was unimpressive but made it into the final.

Becca Mann is the youngest swimmer to make the top eight. Brook Forde was seeded to do so but slid well back of her entry time into the B-Final.

Men’s 400 IM

It’s still unclear whether Ryan Lochte really has the will to continue to compete at the top level in this event. Although at one time it seemed like him and Michael Phelps would dominate this event as long as they were competing, today that is far from the case.

Still, Lochte still dips his toes in for this event, and he did so once again this morning to lead the way into tonight. Chase Kalisz, who has the best chance to continue the American streak of success in Olympic 400 IMs, qualified second out of the next heat. 400 meter races are usually very reserved especially in the men’s competition in this sort of meet, so expect the two of them to swim significantly faster tonight.


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Ole 99

Rooney is in the B final, not C. Anyone know why no Conger or Smith?

Swim Fan

Clark Smith and Jack Conger are focusing on NCAA’s and training thru the meet. Many of the Texas swimmers have been sick this last week.

Becky D

Can someone explain why they circle seed just 2 heats? I must have missed the memo.

Becky D

Hey – Thanks for the down vote. I’m serious. I just looked up the USA Swimming rule book. It says to circle seed 3 heats as long as there are four heats or more. I don’t see an exception based on the number of heats swum in finals. What’s up? I’m assuming there’s a simple explanation.

Becky D

After looking at the heat sheet again, I see that the 400 IM is the only event with only 2 circle-seeded heats. I didn’t start watching until the 400 IM, so I didn’t pick up on that part right away. It still begs the question: Why only 2 heats?

Hey Becky – a new rule put in a few years back clarifies that races 400 meters and longer only circle seed two heats.

Becky D

Thanks, Braden. I assumed it was some kind of rule, although I can’t find it. 102.5.1 is the section for seeding preliminary heats, and there’s no mention of an exception based on event length there. Some aspects, like ordering of heats, isn’t spelled out in the rules (it says it needs to be stated in the meet information). Maybe this is a case where “everyone knows” what the rules are, and they act accordingly – regardless of what is actually written down.

Hey Becky – it’s definitely in FINA’s competition rules, seen here: http://fina.org/sites/default/files/finaswrules_20150907.pdf

Now, where FINA’s rules and USA Swimming’s rules aren’t identical, FINA’s rules stand…however the description by FINA of which events that these rules apply to is vague. I’ll ask USA Swimming to elaborate on what the “link” is to make FINA’s rules apply in this case.

Becky D

Thanks again, Braden. I see the FINA rule now and it is unambiguous. The meet info says USA Swimming rules will be followed unless otherwise noted. There is no reference to the 2- versus 3-heat circle seeding exception. SCANDAL!

USA Swimming confirmed that they’ve been following the FINA rule since it was put in place last year. The USA Swimming rule book just hasn’t been updated for whatever reason.


200 free outside Ledecky and Sjostrom is eh (no surprise Ledecky split a 1:58 in 4 free yesterday). Hoping to see a world leading time tonight by Katie. Smith is consistently solid, I love that about her, but she needs to light a fire under her to keep up with the top 2. What the heck is going on with Pelton? 3rd in two events at 2012 OTrials and struggling this season. Huge fan, I get her recent injury, but Pelton needs to get on it. I want her to so badly make the Olympic team. ’12 to ’16 has been great for yards for her, but not so much LCM. Whatever yardage limitations NCAA has might be affecting what… Read more »


Correction 3rd in three events; 100/200 back 200 IM


Per above “My question is where are these Cal injuries coming from? No other team seems to be having them…”

Answer A: Cal injuries coming out of, let’s see, Cal??? One coach only for both collegiate and pro teams??? Negative environment full of bullying and verbal abuse???? Injuries: Franklin’s back, Pelton’s hand, McLaughlin’s neck fracture???? How do these types of injuries occur in a swimming pool where elite athletes should be protected not endangered by training stunts????

Answer B: Cal won the NCAAs, so anything goes?????

I want to see the entire field healthy and reaching full potential cuz all swimmers work hard to be where they at.


Back problems are not necessarily due bad training, when train hard it is living on the edge of success or injuries… Three injuries

And your other negs, I will not even bother to answer, CAL is institution which seems to take these kind of things seriously so if you know something please contact approriate people like him ….. Associate Athletic Director, Performance, Health & Welfare Ryan Cobb, MS ATC ?


About Chris DeSantis

Chris DeSantis

Chris DeSantis is a swim coach, writer and swimming enthusiast. Chris does private consulting and coaching with teams and individuals. You can find him at www.facebook.com/cdswimcoach. Chris is a 2009 Graduate from the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology program at the University of Pennsylvania. He was the first professional athletic coach …

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