2016 ARENA PRO SWIM SERIES – CHARLOTTE
- Thursday May 12th-Sunday May 15th, 2016
- Mecklenburg Aquatic Center – Charoltte, North Carolina
- Thursday May 12th – Timed Finals – 4:00 pm EDT
- Friday-Sunday – Prelims – 9:00 am EDT Finals – 6 pm EDT
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The 2nd night at the 2016 Arena Pro Swim Series – Charlotte, and the first full night of action after distance races on Thursday, will feature 5 events for each gender, including the non-Olympic 50 backstrokes. The highlights of the evening are expected to be the women’s 100 breaststroke and 100 fly. In the former, American Record holder Lilly King and Pan Ams champion Katie Meili will lead Olympic finalist Alia Atkinson and two of Canada’s best Rachel Nicol and Kierra Smith, among a host of other stars.
WOMEN’S 200 FREESTYLE – Finals
- Leah Smith, Virginia – 1:57.26
- Taylor Ruck, Canada – 1:58.84
- Siobhan Haughey, Michigan – 1:58.90
After a lifetime best in prelims of the women’s 200 free, U.S. National Teamer, and University of Virginia senior-to-be, Leah Smith did so again in finals with a 1:57.26. That’s a .16 second improvement over her morning swim.
Smith has a penchant for charging hard in early heats of her races, and while that approach is overkill at a meet like this, where she would’ve finaled either way, this swim shows that she’s honing the ability to master multiple rounds – a necessity at the Olympic Trials for sure, and perhaps at the Olympic Games if its in the cards.
15-year old Canadian Taylor Ruck, who is officially a part of Canada’s Olympic Team as an alternate for the 800 free relay, but could be battling for a 400 spot as well, took 2nd in 1:58.85. That’s among her top 5 personal best times in the event.
Overall, aside form the top 2, this A-final had a very Big Ten feel to it. Three swimmers hailed from the University of Michigan (Siobhan Haughey, 3rd – 1:58.90, Rose Bi , 5th– 1:59.73, and G Ryan, 8th – 2:03.40); with Indiana postgrad Lindsay Vrooman placing 4th (1:59.65) and Ohio State post-grad Alex Norris taking 7th (2:02.32). In and among them was Smith’s Virginia teammate Jen Marrkand at 6th in 2:00.50.
National Junior Teamer and Stanford Katie Drabot won the B-Final in 2:00.24.
MEN’S 200 FREESTYLE – Finals
- Conor Dwyer, Trojan – 1:46.68
- Zane Grothe, Badger Swim Club – 1:48.22
- Anders Lie Nielsen, Michigan – 1:49.18
Conor Dwyer, who’s coming down to Charlotte from an extended stay at altitude in Colorado Springs, reaped the rewards of his time spent in the mountains. He won the men’s 200 free in 1:46.68 – a second-and-a-half clear of the field.
That time is the second-best of Dwyer’s career outside of major championship meets – with the best being his swim at the PSS stop in Mesa in April.
Zane Grothe, a contender for the American relay in this event, placed 2nd in 1:48.22, and Danish swimmer Anders Nielsen was 3rd in 1:49.18.
WOMEN’S 100 BREASTSTROKE – Finals
- Lilly King, Indiana – 1:05.73
- Katie Meili, SwimMAC – 1:06.54
- Alia Atkinson, Jamaica/SOFL – 1:07.81
After crushing American Records in the 100 yard and 200 yard breaststrokes at NCAAs, Lilly King knocked seven-tenths of a second from her lifetime best in long course to win in 1:05.73.
That makes her the fastest American in the event this year (half-a-second better than Molly Hannis), and #2 in the world.
MEN’S 100 BREASTSTROKE – Finals
- Cody Miller, Badger Swim Club – 1:00.66
- Miguel De Lara Ojda, Mexico – 1:00.99
- Youssef El Kamash, Grand Canyon University – 1:01.39
After being absent from the last stop of the Pro Swim Series in Mesa, which overall was a dearth of male breaststrokers, Cody Miller returned in Charlotte to win the 100 in 1:00.66. In the process, he beat out the winner of that Mesa meet, Youssef El Kamash, who was 3rd in 1:01.39.
In between the two came Miguel de Lara Ojeda of Mexico. He’s one of 21 Mexican swimmers using this meet as a last-ditch effort to qualify for this summer’s Olympics after Mexico cancelled their Olympic Trials event over the riff with FINA.
With the FINA “A” standard as a target, however, Ojda came up four-tenths short in 1:00.99.
WOMEN’S 50 BACKSTROKE – Finals
- Ali Deloof, Michigan – 28.03
- Kylie Masse, Canada – 28.11
- Kirsty Coventry, Zimbabwe/SwimMAC – 28.24
In the non-Olympic women’s 50 backstroke, Michigan’s Ali DeLoof, who just completed her final year of eligibility in March, won in 28.03.
She beat out Canadian Kylie Masse, who after a breakout season that included a National Record was named the CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport) Female Athlete of the Year across all sports.
Veteran Kirsty Coventry, who trains with the home team SwimMAC, took 3rd in 28.24.
MEN’S 50 BACKSTROKE – Finals
- Bryce Bohman, Unattached-West Virginia – 25.60
- Paul Le, Missouri State – 25.75
- Bob Glover, Indiana – 25.84
Bryce Bohman won the men’s 50 backstroke in 25.60, beating out a pair of college standouts Paul Le (25.75) and Bob Glover (25.84).
The race also featured Arkady Vyatchanin in 5th place with a 26.13. That is Vyatchanin’s first result since news broke last week that he was not cleared by FINA to change his sporting nationality from Russian to Serbian for the 2016 Summer Olympics.
WOMEN’S 100 BUTTERFLY – Finals
- Dana Vollmer, California Aquatics – 57.23
- Penny Oleksiak, Canada – 58.25
- Kelsi Worrell, Louisville – 58.37
With the headlines pre-written about the battle between the two best butterfliers, it was actually a Canadian teenager who came the closest to challenging the defending Olympic Champion Dana Vollmer (57.23).
Penny Oleksiak, a 15-year old who took a quarter-of-a-second from the Canadian National record in this event in April, held off a late-charging Kelsi Worrell to take 2nd in 58.25. Worrell was 3rd in 58.37.
As for Vollmer, the event champion, her 57.23 was another early hallmark that an extended competitive break to give birth to her child hasn’t hindered her battle to defend her gold medal this summer in Rio.
MEN’S 100 BUTTERFLY – Finals
- Santo Condorelli, Canada – 52.53
- Tim Phillips, SwimMAC – 52.83
- Matthew Josa, SwimMAC – 53.43
SwimMAC’s Tim Phillips charged out hard in front of a home crowd, splitting 24.22 at the 50 meter mark, by Canadian-American Santo Condorelli lay patiently and made up a four-tenths gap over the last length, and then some, to win in 52.53.
Phillips took 2nd, followed by his SwimMAC teammate Matthew Josa.
Belarusian champion and Olympic qualifier Pavel Sankovich took 4th in 53.66, and South Africa’s Dylan Bosch was 5th in 53.88.
WOMEN’S 400 IM – Finals
- Cammile Adams, SwimMAC – 4:38.97
- Rose Bi, Club Wolverine – 4:46.55
- Lindsey Clary, Ohio State – 4:46.75
Cammile Adams won easily in a 400 IM field that lacked the depth of the field nearby at the Atlanta Classic.
While Adams’ biggest focus of late has been the 200 fly, historically she’s been a very good 400 IM’er, including a 3rd-place finish at the 2012 Olympic Trials.
Her 3:38.97 win on Friday was the fourth-fastest time in her career and just seven-tenths from the time that got her a 3rd-place finish in Omaha the last time around. While a 4:38 may not even make the final in 2016, Adams posting a time as fast this early in the season will give some pause as to a run at this spot in June. The 400 IM comes on the meet’s first day, while the 200 fly doesn’t begin until day 4.
MEN’S 400 IM – Finals
- Ryan Lochte, SwimMAC Carolina – 4:16.92
- Tom Peribono, Ecuador – 4:18.92
- Michael Weiss, Wisconsin – 4:21.81
While Lochte’s first three 100’s were all much faster than any of the women’s in Charlotte or Atlanta tonight, it is interesting that Katie Ledecky out-split Lochte by 1.15 seconds in the freestyle leg of her 400 IM – reminiscent of his experience in London, where he won men’s 400 IM gold, but was out-split by Ye Shiwen, the women’s champion.
Peribonio, who finished 16th at NCAA’s this year, is nearing the FINA ‘A’ standard of 4:16.71. As a representative of Ecuador, Peribonio may get to go to Rio with tonight’s swim.
The field was small in Charlotte tonight, with only 26 competitors in the event.