2024 Speedo Grand Challenge: Day 1 Finals Live Recap


World record holder Leon Marchand highlights a star-studded opening night of the Speedo Grand Challenge in Irvine as the top qualifier in both the men’s 100 breaststroke (1:00.62) and 200 IM (1:59.53). The 22-year-old Frenchman is slated for a pair of exciting battles in the 100 breast against Michael Andrew (1:01.41) and in the 200 IM against Hubert Kos (2:00.44) and Chase Kalisz (2:00.98).

Friday night’s session also features other big names such as Drew Kibler in the men’s 200 freestyle, Simone Manuel in the women’s 50 free, Justin Ress in the men’s 50 free, and a women’s 400 free showdown between Paige Madden and Sandpipers of Nevada standouts Katie Grimes and Claire Weinstein.

Stay tuned for live updates below:

Friday’s Schedule:

  • Women’s 200 IM
  • Men’s 200 free
  • Girls’ 7-12 100 free
  • Boys’ 7-12 100 free
  • Women’s 100 breast
  • Men’s 100 breast
  • Girls’ 7-12 50 breast
  • Boys’ 7-12 50 breast
  • Women’s 50 free
  • Men’s 200 IM
  • Boys’ 7-12 100 back
  • Girls’ 7-12 100 back
  • Women’s 400 free
  • Men’s 50 free
  • Men’s 1500 free

Women’s 200 IM – Final

  • Meet record: 2:10.87 – Katinka Hosszu, 2018
  • U.S. Olympic Trials cut: 2:16.09

Top 4:

  1. Regan Smith (TXLA) – 2:09.05 *Meet record
  2. Katie Grimes (SAND) 2:13.35
  3. Isabelle Odgers (TROJ) – 2:15.84
  4. Ella Flowers (TROJ) – 2:17.69

Regan Smith erased Katinka Hosszu‘s 200 IM meet record with a winning time of 2:09.05, lowering her season-best mark from the U.S. Open (2:09.50) by almost half a second. The 22-year-old American was only about half a second off her personal-best 2:08.48 from last June.

Sandpipers 18-year-old Katie Grimes earned the runner-up finish in 2:13.35, not far off her personal-best 2:12.66 from last March.

USC graduate Isabelle Odgers placed 3rd in 2:15.84, within a couple seconds of her personal-best 2:13.85 from last July.

Men’s 200 Free – Final

  • Meet record: 1:47.33 – Ous Mellouli, 2009
  • U.S. Olympic Trials cut: 1:49.99

Top 4:

  1. Drew Kibler (NYAC) – 1:47.02 *Meet record
  2. Wen Zhang (AFA) – 1:48.52
  3. Chris Mykkanen (NOVA) – 1:51.08
  4. Andrew Maksymowski (NOVA) – 1:51.60

Drew Kibler toppled a 15-year-old meet record in the 200 free with a winning time of 1:47.02, taking a few tenths off Ous Mellouli‘s previous standard from 2009. The 24-year-old American owns a season best of 1:46.02 — making him the second-fastest American in the event behind Luke Hobson (1:45.26) — and a lifetime best of 1:45.01 from 2022.

Wen Zhang was the only other swimmer under 1:50 with a runner-up finish in 1:48.52. It was his first time sub-1:49 as the 23-year-old shaved half a second off his previous-best 1:49.03 from March.

Girls’ 7-12 100 Free – Final

  • Meet record: 59.47 – Justina Kozan, 2016

Top 4:

  1. Sammy Walseth (RSD) – 1:01.59
  2. Taylor Jones (AZOT) – 1:02.91
  3. Tie: Ella Guzman (NCA) – 1:02.99 / Chloe Yoon (RSD) – 1:02.99

After posting a personal-best 1:02.01 in prelims, Rancho San Dieguito 12-year-old Sammy Walseth kept lowering her lifetime best to 1:01.59 in the final en route to the victory. Her best time before today stood at 1:03.40 from last month.

Aquazot Swim Club 11-year-old Taylor Jones snuck under her previous best (1:02.99 from earlier this month) on her way to a runner-up finish in 1:02.91. That was just enough to eke past 12-year-olds Ella Guzman and Chloe Yoon, who tied for 3rd place in 1:02.99.

Boys’ 7-12 100 Free – Final

  • Meet record: 56.14 – Justin Schneider, 2017

Top 4:

  1. Ben Yang (MVN) – 57.96
  2. Noah Im (NOVA) – 59.23
  3. Jonathan Li (NOVA) – 1:00.64
  4. Tyler Douglas (RSD) – 1:00.77

Mission Viejo Nadadores 12-year-old Ben Yang dropped almost a second off his best 100 back time with a personal-best 57.96, lowering his previous-best 58.86 from last August.

Irvine Novaquatics 12-year-old Noah Im broke the one-minute barrier for the first time with a runner-up showing in 59.23, knocking almost a second off his previous-best 1:00.14 from prelims this morning. His best time before today was 1:00.98 from last August.

Women’s 100 Breast – Final

  • Meet record: 1:06.39 – Jessica Hardy, 2008
  • U.S. Olympic Trials cut: 1:10.29

Top 4:

  1. Aliz Kalmar (FRES) – 1:08.69
  2. Isabelle Odgers (TROJ) – 1:09.74
  3. Chloe Braun (TAC) – 1:10.13
  4. Kaitlyn Nguyen (NOVA) – 1:10.52

Rising Fresno State sophomore Aliz Kalmar pulled off an upset victory over USC graduate Isabelle Odgers in the 200 IM.

Kalmar won with a personal-best 1:08.69, taking more than half a second off her previous-best 1:09.31 from 2022. Odgers was about a second behind in 1:09.74 after placing 3rd in the 200 IM to kick off the session. She was faster during prelims this morning at 1:09.55.

Men’s 100 Breast – Final

  • Meet record: 1:00.62 – Leon Marchand, 2024
  • U.S. Olympic Trials cut: 1:02.19

Top 4:

  1. Leon Marchand (TXLA) – 59.06 *Meet record
  2. Ben Cono (TOC) – 1:01.94
  3. Pavel Romanov (ALPH) – 1:02.00
  4. Bradley Prolo (MVN) – 1:03.11

Leon Marchand dropped more than a second off his own meet record from prelims (1:00.62) with a time of 59.06, taking the victory by more than two seconds ahead of 27-year-old Ben Cono (1:01.94).

Marchand’s best time before today was 1:01.02 from the 2023 French Elite Championships last June. Before today, the meet record stood at 1:00.63 by four-time Olympic champion Kosuke Kitajima.

Marchand now ranks 8th in the world this season.

2023-2024 LCM Men 100 Breast

3 Nic
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Marchand’s anticipated battle against Michael Andrew never took shape as the 25-year-old American didn’t end up swimming in tonight’s final. He will return to the pool later in the session for a 200 IM showdown against Hubert Kos and Chase Kalisz.

Girls’ 7-12 50 Breast – Final

Top 4:

  1. Anna Heumann (NOVA) – 35.49
  2. Olivia Pollack (NCA) – 37.46
  3. Chloe Tam (ARSC) – 37.66
  4. Rylee Neth (MVN) – 37.96

Irvine Novaquatics 12-year-old Anna Heumann dominated the girls’ 50 breast by almost two full seconds in 35.49, dropping almost a second off her previous-best 36.29 from prelims. Before today, her best time was 36.39 from last August. Heumann reached the wall exactly four tenths shy of Lauren McCormack‘s meet record from 2014.

Boys’ 7-12 50 Breast – Final

  • Meet record: 33.03 – Hank Rivers, 2016

Top 4:

  1. Raymond Jew (AZOT) – 33.45
  2. Sahiel Pai (NOVA) – 34.50
  3. Ben Yang (MVN) – 34.53
  4. Simon Song (RORA) – 35.46

Aquazot Swim Club 12-year-old Raymond Jew lowered his best 50 breast time from prelims (33.89) with a winning time of 33.45. He had never been under 34 seconds before today as his previous best stood at 34.91 from earlier this month.

Women’s 50 Free – Final

  • Meet record: 24.85 – Jessica Hardy, 2008
  • U.S. Olympic Trials cut: 25.69

Top 4:

  1. Simone Manuel (TXLA) – 24.69 *Meet record
  2. Caroline Famous (TROJ) – 25.58
  3. Gabi Brito (CITI) – 25.71
  4. Anicka Delgado (TROJ) – 25.81

The fourth meet record of the night fell courtesy of Rio 2016 Olympic champion Simone Manuel, who blazed a 24.69 to claim the 50 free crown.

The 27-year-old student of Bob Bowman broke Jessica Hardy‘s meet record of 24.85 that had stood since 2008. Manuel owns a season best of 24.34 from last month and a lifetime best of 23.97 from 2017.

Recent USC graduate Caroline Famous touched almost a second behind Manuel in 25.58, shaving a couple tenths off her previous best from prelims (25.77). Her lifetime best before today stood at 26.55 from way back in 2016.

Beach Cities Swimming 13-year-old Gabi Brito impressed with a 3rd-place effort in 25.71, narrowly missing the U.S. Olympic Trials cut of 25.69. She toppled a 42-year-old Southern California LSC record belonging to Dara Torres (26.04) in prelims with her previous-best 25.97 this morning.

Men’s 200 IM – Final

  • Meet record: 1:59.40 – Thiago Pereira, 2010
  • U.S. Olympic Trials cut: 2:03.49

Top 4:

  1. Leon Marchand (TXLA) – 1:55.74
  2. Chase Kalisz (TXLA) – 1:58.76
  3. Hubert Kos (TXLA) – 1:59.83
  4. Trenton Julian (MVN) – 2:00.57

Leon Marchand captured the 200 IM crown with a meet record of 1:55.74, which appears to be the third-fastest time of his career behind his World Championship wins in 2022 and 2023. His winning time tonight is the second-fastest time in the world this season behind Wang Shun‘s 1:54.62 from last September.

2023-2024 LCM Men 200 IM

View Top 31»

The 22-year-old Frenchman absolutely annihilated Thiago Pereira‘s meet record of 1:59.40 from 2010 by almost four seconds. Marchand reached the wall a few seconds ahead of his Longhorn Aquatics teammates Chase Kalisz (1:58.76) and Hubert Kos (1:59.83), who also broke two minutes tonight.

Kalisz, the reigning Olympic champion in the 400 IM, has been as fast as 1:55.40 back in 2018 while Kos owns a lifetime best of 1:56.99 from 2021.

Girls’ 7-12 100 Back – Final

  • Meet record: 1:07.02 – Justina Kozan, 2016

Top 4:

  1. Olivia Chi (CITI) – 1:10.96
  2. Chloe Yoon (RSD) – 1:11.46
  3. Lyric Radke (AZOT) – 1:11.54
  4. Sammy Walseth (RSD) – 1:12.30

After leading prelims in 1:12.20, Beach Cities Swimming 12-year-old Olivia Chi took the 100 back title in 1:10.96. It looks like she has dropped almost 10 seconds over the past year with her best time from last summer at 1:20.25.

Rancho San Dieguito 12-year-old Chloe Yoon earned the runner-up finish in 1:11.46, less than a tenth ahead of Aquazot Swim Club 11-year-old Lyric Radke (1:11.54).

Boys’ 7-12 100 Back – Final

  • Meet record: 1:03.93 – William Kim, 2017

Top 4:

  1. Liam Chung (MVN) – 1:06.43
  2. Michael Peterson (TSM) – 1:08.25
  3. Vincent Casciaro (NOVA) – 1:08.96
  4. Ben Yang (MVN) – 1:09.05

Mission Viejo Nadadores 12-year-old Liam Chung cruised to victory in the 100 back with another huge drop. His best time before today was just 1:13.08, but he ripped a 1:08.50 in prelims before triumphing tonight in 1:06.43.

Women’s 400 Free – Final

  • Meet record: 4:05.37 – Paige Madden, 2024
  • U.S. Olympic Trials cut: 4:15.49

Top 4:

  1. Paige Madden (NYAC) – 4:03.02
  2. Katie Grimes (SAND) – 4:08.21
  3. Claire Weinstein (SAND) – 4:14.82
  4. Sammie Hamilton (NOVA) – 4:17.73

Paige Madden lowered her meet record from prelims with a personal-best 4:03.02, five seconds clear of Sandpipers 18-year-old Katie Grimes (4:08.21). The 25-year-old shaved almost a second off her previous-best 4:03.98 from the Tokyo 2021 Olympics in 2021, where she ultimately placed 6th in the final (4:06.81). Before today, the meet record stood at 4:07.96 by Jeanne Jackson from way back in 2005.

Madden now ranks 9th in the world this season and 2nd among Americans behind only Katie Ledecky (3:59.44).

2023-2024 LCM Women 400 Free

Ariarne AUS
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Grimes was a few seconds off her personal-best 4:05.18 from last March, but still more than six seconds ahead of Sandpipers teammate Claire Weinstein (4:14.82).

Kentucky commit (’24) Sammie Hamilton dropped more than a second off her previous-best 4:19.29 with her 4th-place finish in 4:17.73.

Men’s 50 Free – Final

  • Meet record: 21.78 – Vlad Morozov, 2013
  • U.S. Olympic Trials cut: 22.79

Top 4:

  1. Michael Andrew (MASA) – 22.11
  2. Justin Ress (MVN) – 22.37
  3. George Ratiu (TRA) – 22.58
  4. Gregory Lichinsky (MVN) – 22.86

Scratching the 100 breast earlier in the session appears to have paid off for Michael Andrew, who claimed the 50 free crown in 22.11. The 25-year-old American has been as fast as 21.41 at the 2022 World Championships, with his season best sitting at 21.74 from the 2024 World Championships in February.

Justin Ress was a couple tenths behind Andrew in 22.37 for 2nd place. The Mission Viejo Nadadores 26-year-old owns a lifetime best of 21.91 from 2021.

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1 month ago

Maychand madness!

1 month ago

Regan split a ridiculous 30.65 in the backstroke. 57.77 front half lol

27.12 57.77 (30.65) 1:38.49 (40.72) 2:09.05 (30.56)

Reply to  Troyy
1 month ago

Yeah Smith and McKeown is the only two swimmers that is the most consistent that can go 57 on any meet.

The unoriginal Tim
Reply to  Troyy
1 month ago

That Breastroke split hurts though.

Reply to  Troyy
1 month ago

Also faster than MA…

1 month ago

59.0 is a serious time. If anyone else went that, you’d think they’d believe they have a shot at an olympic medal- especially if they’re not tapered. They’d certainly be in the conversation of finalizing.

But since its marchands ~6th best event, mans is probably not even going to swim it. This man is nuts and its a pleasure to watch!

Reply to  Owlmando
1 month ago

Bodes well for France’s 4×100 med tho!

Reply to  Smglsn12
1 month ago

Absolutely! This helps put them in the realm of contention. The 4x1MED looking more and more exciting!

Reply to  Owlmando
1 month ago

Put manaudou on the free and they are chilling

1 month ago

Leon has already had his trials and qualified in his events for the Olympics. He is not on the same schedule as the American swimmers. For the Americans it would be foolish and stupid to swim too many races and put stress and load on their bodies right before the Trials. Last weekend Jack Alexy and Caleb Dressel didn’t swim finals of the 50 free. Ryan Held is down to racing 25 meter event. So why dump all the hate on MA for not swimming a final of the 100 breast on a meet that is meaningless. Last weekend he swam it and was happy with the stroke rate and consistency and his walls were perfect.

Reply to  anonymous
1 month ago

No they haven’t. France’s trials are AFTER the American trials.

Reply to  ScovaNotiaSwimmer
1 month ago

My mistake but there is no doubt that he is on the team. He isn’t in the same position as the Americans and is still not on the same schedule.

1 month ago


The seller of the century Michael Andrew DOES NOT SHOW UP FOR THE 100 BUT ONLY SHOWS UP FOR THE 50


Reply to  RealCrocker5040
1 month ago

He didn’t want to race Marchand

Reply to  RealCrocker5040
1 month ago

The M 100 BR is 50 meters too far.

1 month ago

With Paige Madden posting a personal best time in the W 400 FR, does a 29 year old Leah Smith have anything left in the tank to respond?

Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
1 month ago

Leah has been out of the individual event conversation for awhile. Her best shot is a relay spot. Awkward phrasing pointing out her age, tho lol

I miss the ISL (go dawgs)
1 month ago

Paige Madden!!!

1 month ago

Why do the open A finals only have four entries?

Last edited 1 month ago by Troyy
dave durden burner
Reply to  Troyy
1 month ago

its bc they spin a wheel for money

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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