2016 Arena Pro Swim Series At Austin – Ledecky Breaks WR At Day 3 Finals


The final night of action at the 2016 Arena Pro Swim Series at Austin should be a good one, with 10 events set to conclude the tour’s second stop.

In terms of unpredictability, both 100 breaststrokes should be outstanding. Jamaican icon Alia Atkinson leads the women’s event, but has budding American star Katie Meili hot on her heels. For the men, upstart Andrew Wilson leads short course yards American record-holder Kevin Cordes.

Katinka Hosszu looks for a pair of wins and leads the 200 IM. She’ll have to knock off Olympic champ Missy Franklin in the 100 backstroke, though. For the men, David Plummer, Matt Grevers and Ryan Murphy should be in line for a huge battle in the 100 back, with Junya Koga perhaps getting into the mix as well in a deep field.

Olympians Cammile Adams and Tyler Clary lead the 200 fly races. In the night’s last A final, the legendary Michael Phelps battles world champ Ryan Lochte in the 200 IM with college stars Josh Prenot and Andrew Seliskar in the mix.

And of course, there’s the distance heats to end the night, with the fastest 8 swimmers in the men’s 1500 free and women’s 800 free taking off. Olympian Connor Jaeger is the top seed for the men, and in the women’s race, Katie Ledecky is after her third win of the weekend and perhaps even her own world record after crushing the fastest short course 1000 yard freestyle in history last month.

Keep refreshing this page for live event-by-event recaps, and follow @SwimSwamLive on Twitter for up-to-the-second results from Austin.

Women’s 200 Fly – Finals

Without Katie McLaughlin in the field, it was the other U.S. entrant from the 2015 World Championships who was all alone out front by the end of this race. That was Cammile Adamswho won silver in Kazan. Adams was 2:08.21, using a great back half to shake the field.

Leading at the 100-mark was 16-year-old Cassidy Bayer, but the youngster fell off a bit down the stretch, fading to third in 2:10.14. Canada’s Audrey Lacroix passed her up in the back half for a 2:09.90 second-place effort.

Kentucky alum Christina Bechtel took fourth place in 2:10.29 before another teenager, Lauren Case, finished in 2:10.94.

Adams’ Texas A&M teammate Sarah Gibson was 2:11.67 for sixth, followed by a pair of 16-year-olds: Taylor Pike (2:12.47) and Dakota Luther (2:13.22).

The B final went to UCLA alum Noelle Tarazona, who went 2:12.34 to top 2012 Olympian Clare Donahue (2:14.28).

Men’s 200 Fly – Finals

Tom Shields jumped out to a big lead from lane 1 in the men’s 200 fly, but the middle of the pool tracked him down in a big way over the final 50. It was ultimately Singapore’s Quah Zhen Wen who got to the wall first, going 1:58.07. He had to touch out Sweden’s Simon Sjodin (1:58.27) and American 19-year-old Andrew Seliskar (1:58.47) by .2 and .4, respectively.

Also right in the thick of things was 200 back Olympic champ Tyler ClaryThe versatile SwimMAC swimer was 1:58.61. Clary has a wide range of events possible for U.S. Trials, and the 200 fly could wind up being a possibility for him along side both IMs and the 200 back. But Clary has continually run up against Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte in the IMs, and would probably have to battle Phelps for a Trials spot in this race too, along with the youngster Seliskar.

Great Britain’s Jay Lelliott was 2:00.55 for fith, followed by Canadian Zack Chetrat. Club Wolverine’s Michael Klueh took 7th in 2:00.73, and Shields faded all the way back to 8th in 2:01.10 with a 34-second closing split.

Redshirting Georgia Bulldog Chase Kalisz took home the consolation title in 1:59.15.

Women’s 100 Breast – Finals

The women’s 100 breast was a dead heat at 50 meters, with Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson leading American Katie Meili by just .05. It wa a rematch of the 2015 Pan American Games, where Meili topped Atkinson, and Meili ended up coming from behind to take this win as well. Meili went 1:06.75 with Atkinson going 1:07.47.

Tennessee’s Molly Hannis came up with a big back half to surge into third at 1:07.50. Olympian Breeja Larson had a similar back half, but couldn’t match Hannis’s early speed and ended up 4th in 1:08.09.

Right behind Larson were Jessica Hardy (1:08.22) , Laura Sogar (1:08.43) and Hilda Luthersdottir (1:08.45). Rachel Nicol of Canada rounded out the A final in 1:09.21.

Georgia alum Melanie Margalis won the B heat for Saint Petersburg Aquatics, going 1:08.20.

Men’s 100 Breast  – Finals

Swimming in his new training home, Division III NCAA champ Andrew Wilson picked up the win, going 1:00.42. Wilson swims in the NCAA for Emory University, but has moved to Texas where he is redshirting the season and training with the Texas Longhorns.

Just behind was Kevin Cordes, the Arizona NCAA star who is now training in Singapore with coach Sergio Lopez. Cordes was 1:00.53, and a tenth back was Missouri grad Sam Tierney at 1:00.63.

Nic Fink was the last guy under 1:01, taking 4th in 1:00.86. Behind him was a three-way tie for fifth place. 16-year-old Michael Andrew was out fast but fell off a bit in the back half as Richard Funk of Canada and Chuck Katis of Cal roared back. All three touched at 1:01.73, and Great Britain’s James Wilby was 1:01.82 for 8th.

In the B final, Canada’s Jason Block went 1:01.96 to take 9th place overall.

Women’s 100 Back – Finals

Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu made her first appearance of the night in winning the 100 backstroke on a big back half. Hosszu trailed 18-year-old American Kathleen Baker at the 50, but surged back to go 59.91 for the win.

Olympic champ Missy Franklin had an even better back half than Hosszu, and passed up Baker for silver in 1:00.03. Baker, a freshman at Cal, where Franlin starred for two seasons, was 1:00.04 to finish just behind in bronze.

Zimbabwean Olympian Kirsty Coventry, still challenging the world’s best at age 32, was 1:00.36, topping Mizzou’s Hannah Stevens (1:00.51) and Stanford pro Maya DiRado (1:00.77) for fourth.

Canada’s Dominique Bouchard was 1:01.11 for seventh, and U.S. Olympian Rachel Bootsma went 1:01.70 to take 8th for Cal.

Swedish butterfly star Sarah Sjostrom made a rare foray into backstroke, winning the B final in 1:00.49.

Men’s 100 Back – Finals

The men’s 100 back turned into a three-man showdown between Americans in a race featuring three of the top candidates for the two U.S. Olympic team spots. David Plummer led at the 50, but Olympic champ Matt Grevers rolled through the back half to win in 53.35. NCAA star Ryan Murphy actually had the field’s best closing split and just eked out second over Plummer at 53.46. Plummer was 53.50 in a very tight battle.

Club Wolverein’s Junya Koga, who competes for Japan, was 53.97 for fourth, with new Serbian national Arkady Vyatchanin going 54.33 for fifth.

In a loaded heat, Olympic 200 back champ Tyler Clary was 6th (55.10) with Rex Tullius (55.57) and Hennessey Stuart (55.75) closing out the heat.

In the B final, California Golden Bear Jacob Pebley went 55.01 to beat Australian Bobby Hurley (55.69).

Women’s 200 IM – Finals

Swimming in her second A final of the past half hour, Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu was unstoppable, winning the 200 IM in 2:10.69.

Hosszu is in the midst of some conflict with her federation, which she says is unwilling to adequately support her training needs, but it didn’t seem to affect her swimming much, as she won the race by more than a body length.

Also pulling a double tonight was Melanie Margalis, who got hot at the end of the race to sneak into second place at 2:12.67. Margalis was coming off a win in the 100 breast B final. She passed up Texas A&M Aggie Sarah Henry (2:12.77) and Zimbabwe’s Kirsty Coventry (2:12.86) for that spot.

Another Aggie, 18-year-old Sydney Pickrem, was 2:14.04 for fifth, beating in-state Texas Longhorn rival Madisyn Cox (2:14.05) by just .01 seconds. Just behind was Caitlin Leverenz (2:14.27) and 16-year-old Brit Georgia Coates (2:15.50) capped off that heat.

In the B final, 16-year-old Brooke Forde outlasted a veteran field, going 2:15.04.

Men’s 200 IM – Finals

In a showdown of last year’s world champ and world rankings leader, Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte went head-to-head for yet another time in their storied careers. Lochte jumped out to an early lead, but things were nearly tied by the 150-mark. At the end, though, it was Phelps who got to the wall first from the middle of the pool, going 1:58.00. Lochte, swimming in an outside lane, was 1:58.43 to take silver in one of the weekend’s most memorable races.

Phelps competes for the North Baltimore Aquatic Club but now trains in Arizona with the Arizona State Sun Devils, while Lochte has moved from Florida to SwimMAC in Carolina as both legendary athletes continue dominating into their 30s.

Those two were well ahead of the field, with Cal’s Josh Prenot taking third in 1:59.94. Prenot was himself a second ahead of the next-best competitor, Scotland’s Dan Wallace (2:00.90). Wallace was the first of three Gator Swim Club swimmers to finish in succession: Eduardo Solaeche was 2:02.18 for 5th and Nikita Denisyako 2:03.58 for 6th.

Swimming in his second A final of the night, Cal freshman Andrew Seliskar was 2:03.92 to take 7th, and Wisconsin alum Michael Weiss went 2:04.59 for 8th.

Another North Baltimore/Arizona State athlete, Chase Kalisz, won the B final, going 2:01.05.

Women’s 800 Free – Final Heat

Katie Ledecky has done it again. Anticipation had been building for this race ever since she pulled an amazing 100 free/400 free double on day 1, and Ledecky topped all of this weekend’s races with her last one, smashing her own world record with an absurd 8:06.68. We’ll have more coverage coming to properly cover all the aspects of Ledecky’s dominance, but as a teaser, that swim is a full 7 seconds faster than anyone else in history, and Ledecky now owns the fastest 8 swims in all of history in the 800 free.

Second went to 18-year-old Becca Mann at 8:24.49, which is a solid mid-season swim for her. Mann, a high school senior who will attend USC next year, is in the hunt for the second U.S. Olympic spot behind Ledecky this summer.

North Baltimore’s Lotte Friis took third in 8:27.23, with Virginia NCAA star Leah Smith going 8:28.31 for fourth.

Smith’s former ACC rival Stephanie Peacock, a North Carolina alum, went 8:31.90 for fifth, and Cierra Runge, who set an NCAA 1650 free record for Cal last year before transferring to Wisconsin, was 8:36.76 to take sixth.

Rounding out the top 8: North Baltimore’s Sierra Schmidt (8:38.73) and Triangle Aquatic’s Ashley Twichell (8:41.23), who was the top swimmer out of the afternoon heats.

Men’s 1500 Free – Final Heat

Following up Ledecky’s blowout swim, American Connor Jaeger also won by a wide margin, going 15:06.24 to win the men’s 1500 free and cap off the night.

Jaeger topped his countryman Andrew Gemmell, who was 15:14.17 for second place. The top qualifier out of the afternoon heats, Tunisia’s Ous Mellouli, wound up third overall, with his 15:19.94 beating out everyone but Jaeger and Gemmell.

Fourth and fifth also came out of the early heats, with Tobias Robinson of Great Britain going 15:22.23 and NC State’s Anton Ipsen 15:25.51.

Swimming in front of his home University of Texas crowd, Michael McBroom went 15:25.83 for 6th overall and 3rd in that final heat.

Mexican 18-year-old Ricardo Jacobo was 7th from the early heats with his 15:28.93, and El Salvador’s Marcelo Acosta went 15:31.50 to take fourth in the final heat and sneak into the top 8 overall.

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6 years ago

200 men fly.Look small but really can fly. In swimming, not mainly on the size and strength count more importantly
swimming hydrodynamics.

7 years ago

I posted on Saturday that missy will have a hard time making the team in a lot of the events she did in London. Alexander pop off thanks for posting comparisons at the same meet from 2012 and 2013. U saved me some hassle and time looking it up. She seems to be slightly slower now than she was in her two banner seasons.
Here is my analysis event by event
100 free the event has progressed since 12 when hardy won the trials with a “slow” 54.2. Manuel is currently the best American and the OT favorite. Missy will have to beat Ledecky, Weitzel, Geer, Neal and coughlin to get the second individual spot. Unless she gets… Read more »

bobo gigi
7 years ago

Question from a non specialist.
Looks like altitude training is very successful for Katie Ledecky. In 2014 she was back from Colorado and had a tremendous meet in Texas with 2 world records. Another amazing meet this week after another Colorado trip.
I just wonder why almost all swimmers don’t prepare the last weeks before trials and olympic games in altitude?
I know that everybody doesn’t react in the same way from altitude and maybe it’s not the best place to taper just before a competition.
I don’t know. Just a question.

Reply to  bobo gigi
7 years ago

I am not sure, but I know hypoxic environments do a few things athletes tapering would want to avoid…

1. Weaken the immune system
2. Metabolic rate is increased (at times dramatically) which can lead to a decrease in muscle mass.
3. Cause nausea, headaches, vomiting, dehydration & swelling.

Personally, I subscribe to the opinion that altitude training is only effective if you were born/live (Missy Franklin for example) at altitude. It takes 20 days for the body to acclimatise, and athletes rarely spend longer at altitude, so effectively it’s just 20 days of below-par training, in an environment that’s tougher on the body. Psychological? I know science backs up the idea that Altitude training has no effect… Read more »

bobo gigi
7 years ago

Day 3 quick thoughts

Women’s 200 fly
I’ve just learned that Katie McLaughlin was injured. I’m very sad to read that. Of course it could happen everywhere but I was not a fan at all to see her go to Cal or more exactly go to college (I have nothing against Cal while I remark that unfortunately many big names’ progressions like Pelton, Bootsma, Garcia, Runge and Missy have recently stalled or gone backwards there). Katie was on the best track possible and ready to medal next summer. Everything was great. She should have stayed in Mission Viejo until Rio. Hopefully it’s not too serious and she can quickly recover. Best wishes to her.
Back to Austin, Cammile… Read more »

7 years ago

I think she’s really set the stage for her 400m free WR to go way down. Beyond that, I’m not sure how much these swims hint at where she’ll be when she’s tapered. I get the sense that she does training for 200’s and training for 800’s- and sometimes her pacing in the 400 may suffer somewhat- leading to slower swims in that distance.

7 years ago

Hey all, I’m concerned about Missy too, but I had to dig into the archives so we could put this in perspective.
Comparing Missy’s results at Austin Grand Prix Jan 13-15, 2012 vs. Austin Arena Pro Jan 15-17, 2016. Thank me later.

100 free
2012: 54.46 (2nd)
2016: 54.78 (6th)

200 free
2012: 1:57.86 (2nd)
2016: 1:57.49 (3rd)

200 back
2012: 2:08.18 (1st)
2016: 2:09.21 (3rd), off a very tight double

100 back
2012: 59.92 (1st)
2016: 1:00.03 (2nd)

7 years ago

I will add
2013 of Austin Grand Prix
100 free: 54.68
200 free: 1:57.69
100 back 1:00.00
200 back 2:07.31

Missy is fine; never doubt a champion. The Missy bashing has been stale for awhile now, people.

Reply to  Rumbuns
7 years ago

You’re right, but it hasn’t really been Missy bashing, it’s been CAL bashing. And that’s gotten really stale. She is fine, and CAL didn’t “ruin” her. If ruined is dropping a 1:39 200 SCY free, I know a lot of college guys who would like to get “ruined.”

7 years ago

Sarah Sjostrom has only scratched the surface of her event repertoire. I hope she focuses on some new events after Rio. What could she go in a 100 or 200 back if she actually trained for them? Or a 200 IM? She has that rare combination of true speed and endurance that would be needed to crack that ridiculous Liu Zige record in the 200 fly. Will she ever make an attempt at the event? She has so many possibilities.

Reply to  aquajosh
7 years ago

Have you seen Sjoestroem swim breaststroke? It’s painful. That LCM 200IM is never going to be super-fast. As for Zige’s 200BU World Record – I couldn’t see Sjoestroem getting it. Liu was 56.0 at the meet she went 2.01, and she was never known for her speed. Out in 58 and home in 63… Only woman ever out faster was Gandy at British Olympics Trials (58.2) and she DIED coming home. Hard task.

I’d like to see Sjoestroem have a crack at the 100 backstroke.

Reply to  Dee
7 years ago

The strange thing about Sjostrom is that in 2009, it looked like the path she would take would be the 100 and 200, but she went for the 100 and 50. She would have give up her speed , but she could go after it if she trained for it. Besides that, I see only the 100 back and the 100 IM SC as events she could add.

7 years ago

Since Missy is back at Stars, instead of Cal I think she’ll get it back. 1:00.03 is good for January for Missy. I think well rested at trials she’ll get back to 59 low 58 high. Her speed is coming back while at Stars. Her 200 was very nice this weekend also. 200 free too.

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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