2016 Arena Pro Swim Series Charlotte: Day 2 Prelims Live Recap



Top 8:

1. Leah Smith, Unattached, 1:57.42
2. Lindsay Vrooman, Badger Swim Club, 1:59.74
3. Rose Bi, Club Wolverine, 1:59.78
4. Siobhan Haughey, Club Wolverine, 1:59.89
5. Taylor Ruck, Swim Canada, 2:00.01
6. Jen Marrkand, Unattached, 2:00.79
7. Gillian Ryan, Club Wolverine, 2:01.13
8. Alex Norris, Ohio State Swim Club, 2:01.40

This year’s NCAA Champion in the women’s 500 and 1500 freestyle events, Leah Smith from Virgina, showed some major speed in this 200m freestyle prelim, clocking the only sub-1:59 time of the morning. 1:57.42 is what took Smith to the top of the prelims, a time which represents Smith’s own personal best by a tenth.

Entering the meet Smith’s career-best was the 1:57.52 she registered as Team USA’s lead-off of the 800m freestyle relay at last year’s FINA World Championships. So the fact that the 20-year-old just scored her own lifetime best has got to give the former Cavalier swimmer a good feeling headed into the final stretch before the U.S. Olympic Trials.

The top 8 also contains 3 Club Wolverine swimmers in the form of teammates Rose Bi, Siobhan Haughey and Gillian Ryan, who earned the 3rd, 4th and 7th seeds, respectively.  These 3 wreaked havoc at this year’s Big Ten Championships, led by Haughey who earned the conference title in the 200 yard freestyle event at the meet.

Lurking as the 5th seed is young Taylor Ruck out of Canada. At her nation’s Olympic Trials last month, the 15-year-old earned 5th place in this 200m freestyle event, clocking a time of 1:58.67.


Top 8:

1. Conor Dwyer, Trojan Swim Club, 1:48.43
2. Zane Grothe, Badger Swim Club, 1:49.03
3. Anders Nielsen, Michigan, 1:49.66
4. Michael Klueh, Club Wolverine Elite, 1:49.80
5. Tyler Clary, SwimMAC Elite, 1:50.57
6. Norbert Szabo, Unattached, 1:50.60
7. Blake Pieroni, Indiana, 1:50.67
8. Joao De Lucca, Cardinal Aquatics, 1:50.68

One of the favorites to make the U.S. Olympic team in this event, Trojan Swim Club’s Conor Dwyer, indeed claimed the top seed this morning with his swim of 1:48.43. That’s a solid effort from the former North Baltimore Aquatic Club swimmer whose personal best sits at the 1:45.32 he scored at last year’s World Championships.

Michigan also cleaned up on the men’s side of this 200m freestyle event, led by Danish national Anders Nielsen in his mark of 1:49.66. Teammate Michael Klueh is right behind in 1:49.80, while former Wolverine-turned-SwimMAC Elite ace Tyler Clary checked in as the 5th seed in 1:50.57. For Clary, he’s opting out of the 400 IM, an event he’s doubled up on before in the past, so he should have a good amount of energy left in the tank to pull of a much swifter outing tonight in this 200m free.

Cardinal Aquatics’ Joao De Lucca, for instance, claimed his Pan American gold medal in a time of 1:46.42, so he was over 5 seconds off that mark this morning. Overall, with just the top 4 dipping beneath the 1:50 threshold, the race was on the sluggish side, although no male in this event’s prelim in Atlanta went sub-1:50.

Look for things to step up come tonight’s final, where any number of men are capable of clocking times in the 1:46-zone now that we’re 5 weeks out from Trials.


Top 8:

1. Lilly King, Indiana, 1:07.06
2. Katie Meili, SwimMAC Elite, 1:07.72
3. Alia Atkinson, South Florida, 1:08.10
4. Rachel Nichol, Swim Canada, 1:08.64
5. Kierra Smith, Swim Canada, 1:08.93
6. Haley Spencer, Minnesota, 1:08.96
7. Emily McClellan, Badger Swim Club, 1:08.96
8. Annie Lazor, Auburn, 1:09.15

A showdown in this women’s sprint breaststroke event is on the horizon, as NCAA Champion Lilly King and Pan American gold medalist Katie Meili lead the charge with the top 2 seeds of the morning. Both women ventured into sub-1:08 territory, led by King in 1:07.06 and Meili in 1:07.72. Look for each to push each other during tonight’s final, where SwimMAC Elite star Meili could potentially have a small advantage with her home crowd of Charlotte roaring behind her.

South Florida swimmer Alia Atkinson of Jamaica is well in the mix as well, sitting less than a half a second behind Meili with her morning outing of 1:08.10. Atkinson is followed by 2 Canadians in the form of Rachel Nichol and Kierra Smith, both of whom will look to improve their standing in tonight’s race.

Racing in the same final is familiar territory for Meili, Atkinson and Nicol, as the 3 women finished atop the podium in Toronto, the site of last summer’s Pan American Games. Behind Meili and her aforementioned gold (1:06.26), Atkinson snagged silver in 1:06.59, with Nicol taking home bronze in 1:07.91.


Top 8:

1. Cody Miller, Badger Swim Club, 1:01.13
2. Miguel De Lara Ojeda, Mexico, 1:01.59
3. Azad Al-Barazi, Trojan Swim Club, 1:01.88
4. Youssef El Kamash, Grand Canyon, 1:01.97
5. Richard Funk, HPC-Ontario, 1:02.12
6. Jason Block, Swim Canada, 1:02.47
7. Jorge Murillo Valdes, South Florida, 1:02.56
8. Zach Hayden, Club Wolverine, 1:02.63

America’s 9th place finisher at last year’s World Championships, Cody Miller of Badger Swim Club, maintained his top seeded status, touching in 1:01.13 to land lane 4 for tonight’s final.

Last summer in Kazan, Miller wound up with a 59.86 to finish just out of the final, but the 24-year-old is still seeking a follow-up sub-minute outing. His fastest so far of 2016 is the 1:00.53 he dropped at the Arena Pro Swim in Orlando, so he’ll be looking to crack the minute mark tonight as a confidence boost with Trials in the very near future.

Challenging him in the evening session is a series of foreign athletes led by Mexico’s Miguel De Lara Ojeda in 1:01.59 and Syrian swimmer Azad Al-Barazi in 1:01.88 representing Trojan Swim Club. Of note, Louisville’s Carlos Claverie entered Charlotte as the 8th seed in this event, but the athlete from Venezuela was a ‘NS’ on the event today.


Top 8:

1. Ali DeLoof, Michigan, 28.22
2. Kylie Masse, Swim Canada, 28.29
3. Kirsty Coventry, SwimMAC Elite, 28.55
4. Dominique Bouchard, Swim Canada, 28.63
5. Fernanda Gonzalez, Mexico, 28.77
6. Clara Smiddy, Michigan, 28.92
7. Kathleen Baker, SwimMAC, 28.94
8. Claire Adams, Carmel Swim Club, 29.00

Although the non-freestyle 50’s lose a little appeal since they’re not Olympic events, the short distances make up for it with how tightly packed the contestants are, which means anything can happen. In this women’s 50m backstroke for instance, the top 9 competitors are all separated by exactly a second, with Louisville’s Kelsi Worrell positioned just out of the A final in 29.22

Michigan’s stand-out senior Ali DeLoof got the job done for the top seeded spot, notching a time of 28.22. She’s followed by Canadian Kylie Masse in 28.29. Masse is the Canadian National Champion in the 100m backstroke event with her gold medal-winning performance at Trials last month.

Canada’s Dominique Bouchard, who finished 2nd to Masse in that Canadian Trials’ 100m backstroke final, sits as the 4th-seeded swimmer after prelims, having nabbed a time of 28.63.

Two teenagers represent the 7th and 8th seeds, with home club swimmer Kathleen Baker of SwimMAC Elite holding 28.94 for 7th and Carmel’s Claire Adams ready to move up from 8th where she sits with a time of 29.00.

Of note, Baker, Worrell and Adams are all set to swim the 100m butterfly in the next women’s event.


Top 8:

1. Bryce Bohman, Unattached, 25.69
1. Bob Glover, Indiana, 25.69 (tied)
3. Paul Le, Unattached, 25.97
4. Arkady Vyatchanin, New York Athletic Club, 26.21
5. Javier Acevedo, Canada, 26.34
6. James Wells, Badger Swim Club, 26.39
Andy Song An, Bolles, 26.81
8. Ali Khalafalla, Indiana, 26.83

The youngest swimmer of the field, Canadian Javier Acevedo, sits right in the middle of this extremely close band of 50m backstrokers. The top 8 are all less than a second apart, with Bryce Bohman holding the top time in 25.69, however, only 28 swimmers comprised the men’s prelim.

Acevedo rocked the Canadian swimming world last month winning the men’s 100m backstroke and earning his spot on the nation’s Olympic roster. In doing so, Acevedo clocked a new World Junior Record in the event, so look for the 18-year-old to make his mark on this field in that longer distance later in the meet.

Indiana has 2 swimmers in this final with Bob Glover tied for the top spot, while Ali Khalafalla nabbed the final slot in 26.83.  New York Athletic Club swimmer Arkady Vyatchanin, who is still waiting on his Serbian citizenship to come through, lurks as the 4th seeded swimmer in 26.21.


Top 8:

1. Dana Vollmer, Cal Aquatics, 57.83
2. Kelsi Worrell, Louisville, 58.00
3. Penny Oleksiak, Swim Canada, 58.51
4. Hellen Moffitt, North Carolina Aquatic Club, 58.93
5. Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, SwimMAC Elite, 59.79
6. Farida Osman, Unattached, 59.89
7. Hannah Siaz, Schroeder YMCA, 1:00.30
8. Cammile Adams, SwimMAC Elite, 1:00.39

The women simply brought it this morning, with all but 2 of the top 8 clocking sub-minute outings. Cal Aquatics’ and ‘Momma on a Mission’ Dana Vollmer continues to impress since returning to the pool, notching yet another exceptional time. Her 57.83 prelim swim is less than a second off of her comeback best of 56.94 from the Arena Pro Swim in Mesa.

Of her swim, Vollmer stated via social media, “felt like a nice, smooth swim for me this morning. I’m pleaseed with how strong it felt the whole way.”

Chasing her and nabbing a time less than 2 tenths behind is Louisville’s Kelsi Worrell, the American Record Holder in the short course yards version of this event. 58.00 is what the Cardinals’ senior registered this morning to score the 10th best time of her long course career, one which includes a Pan American gold medal in Toronto last year in 57.24.

Also gunning for the gold tonight will be 15-year-old Penny Oleksiak of Canada, the youngster who stunned the world with her 56.99 outing at last month’s Trials. Blasting away her own personal best in that Trials race, Oleksiak also surpassed the previous Canadian National Record en route to becoming the youngest member of the Canadian Olympic swimming team.

Home swimmers Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace and Cammile Adams are also in tonight’s final, checking in as the 5th and 8th seeds, respectively.


Top 8:

1. Santo Condorelli, Swim Canada, 52.76
2. Tim Phillips, SwimMAC Elite, 53.30

3. Albert Subirats, Venezuela, 54.02
4. Dylan Bosch, Michigan, 54.08
5. Pavel Sankovich, Club Seminole, 54.10
6. Carl Weigley, Clovis Swim Club, 54.35
7. Bryce Bohman, Unattached, 54.61
8. Matthew Josa, SwimMAC, 54.91

USC student-athlete-turned-Canadian stud Santo Condorelli cranked out the morning’s fastest time in 52.76, the only sub-53-second mark of the field. Condorelli looked strong and smooth in his post-Canadian Trials-DQ swim. During his nation’s trials he was disqualified for failing to touch the wall with 2 hands.

SwimMAC Elite’s Tim Phillips was the top finishing American of the morning, registering a time of 53.30. That’s just slightly off his 52.91 from the Mesa stop earlier this year.

29-year-old Venezuelan swimmer Albert Subirats sits as the 3rd seed, scoring a time of 54.02, followed by Michigan man Dylan Bosch with his mark of 54.08.

Sneaking a peek at the Atlanta Classic meet, the men’s 100m butterfly field, too, just had one swimmer dip beneath the 53-second threshold in Tom Shields’ 52.54. It took 54.35 to make it back to the top 8 at the Georgia Tech pool.


Top 8:

1. Cammile Adams, SwimMAC Elite, 4:44.96
2. Rose Bi, Michigan, 4:46.81
3. Kate Mills, SwimMAC, 4:46.98
4. Lindsey Clary, Ohio State, 4:50.39
5. Emma Barksdale, Unattached, 4:50.42
6. Kaitlyn Jones, Unattached, 4:51.96
7. Monika Gonzalez Hermosillo, Mexico, 4:52.60
8. Rachael Bradford-Feldman, University of Kentucky 4:52.97

Cammile Adams wrangled in her 2nd A Final appearance, doubling up on her 8th seed in the 100m butterfly event with a field-topping performance in this 400m IM race. Adams rendered the fastest time of the morning by just under 2 seconds (4:44.96), with Michigan’s Rose Bi touching in 4:46.81.

Bi is also looking at her 2nd A final of the first day after already having claimed the 3rd seed in the women’s 200m freestyle. For Adams, it wouldn’t be shocking for her to drop the 100 butterfly event in favor of this longer swim. Bi, however, may keep both swims, as she is in the top tier of each event after the morning session.

Lindsey Clary, the Buckeye sophomore who earned runner-up status in this event at this year’s NCAA Championships, is within striking distance and positioned nicely as the 4th seed in 4:50.39. Her career-best sits at the 4:45.00 she earned at last year’s OSU Invite in the fall, so she’s less than 5 seconds away from that performance.


1. Tom Periobonio, Unattached, 4:18.72
2. Ryan Lochte, SwimMAC Elite, 4:24.71
3. Michael Weiss, Wisconsin Aquatics, 4:26.16
4. Ian Rainey, Michigan, 4:26.54
5. Kieran Smith, Ridgefield Aquatic Club, 4:27.24
6. Cameron Stitt, Michigan, 4:29.09
7. Jarrett Jones, Cape Cod Swim Club, 4:30.54
8. Alarii Levreault-Lopez, Unattached, 4:31.31

Tom Peribonio claimed the top seed with his prelim swim of 4:18.72, but look for 31-year-old seasoned Olympian Ryan Lochte to make his move in tonight’s final. Lochte enters the night race as the 2nd seeded swimmer in 4:24.71, an easy-speed walk in the park for the man who owns half of the top 10 all-time performances in this event.

For 20-year-old Peribonio, who competes for Ecuador internationally, he just rocked a personal best in this grueling event, however. His time this morning marks the first time the University of South Carolina student-athlete has been sub-4:20, out doing his 4:21.07 outing that garnered him a 7th place finish at last year’s Pan American Games.

Wisconsin Aquatics’ Michael Weiss nabbed the 3rd seed in his time of 4:26.16. Weiss is usually a major player in the 200m freestyle, so the fact that he opted out of that event points to his most likely going all-in against Lochte in tonight’s final. Weiss’ best 400m IM LCM time is the 4:12.00 he earned back at the 2013 World University Games. His best within the last 2 years is the 4:14.85 he clocked at the 2014 Pan Pacific Games, so we’ll see if he and Lochte can push Peribonio to drop additional time tonight.



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Loretta Race: I don’t know whether you already planned on listing the top 8 finishers before your commentary or you were responding to the request Bobo and I made re: yesterday’s results; but either way, I want to thank you for your excellent reporting! 🙂

Irish Ringer

I second that. Very nice having the top 8 times listed.

ice age swimmer

wow. 49 down votes? People are grumpy today!


Very impressed by Smith’s 1:57 in the 200 free. Curious for tonight to see if she was going all out, or has more in the tank.

bobo gigi

DanJohnRob, Retta takes into account swimswam readers’ requests. She’s a pro.
Her recap is clear and very nice to read.
She’s a model for all other swimswam contributors who make live recaps.

Hopefully she doesn’t blush too much after all these praises. 🙂

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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