The Minneapolis stop of the 2015-2016 Arena Pro Swim Series has wrapped up in Minnesota. Here are 5 big things we noticed on night 3:
- Becca Mann blowing up: It was a given that tonight’s 800 free final would feature one world-ranked swim from an 18-and-under with world champ Katie Ledecky in the race. But North Baltimore 17-year-old Becca Mann made it two with an 8:21.77 that ranks her 2nd in the world for this season. That time is a lifetime-best for Mann and moves her to within striking distance of the top 4 in USA Swimming history for the 17-18 age group. That time also would have been 6th at this summer’s World Championships.
- Phelps still rules 200 IM: Despite a solid field that included international and domestic threats, Michael Phelps was untouchable in the 200 IM. Phelps looked as aggressive as ever, blasting his way to a full body-length lead by about 75 meters in. Maybe most promising? His backstroke split of 29.7 obliterated the field, and he was also faster than everyone but breaststroke specialist Carlos Claverie on that split. Conor Dwyer outsplit Phelps on the freestyle leg, but if rest can bring around the closing speed for Phelps, this coming summer could be a big one in the 200 IM.
- Past and Future Pac-12 Rivalries in 100 free: The women’s 100 free was a battle of some of the best and brightest young talents in the nation – talents who all gravitated to the Pac-12. Stanford’s Simone Manuel won in 54.19, just outside of the world’s top 5 for the season. She had to pass up future Cal Bear Abbey Weitzeil to do it, though, and Weitzeil went 54.46 for second. Meanwhile future Stanford Cardinal Ledecky was 4th in 54.95 and former Cal Bear Missy Franklin 6th in 55.26. Manuel is redshirting this season for Stanford, and Weitzeil and Ledecky have both deferred their enrollments until next year. But within 12 months, we’ll likely see all three of those young talents competing together in the Pac-12.
- Nathan Adrian tops international field in 100 free: 5 different nations were represented in the A final of the men’s 100 free, but American Nathan Adrian topped them all. The Olympic champ was 48.49, a nice starting point for his Olympic title defense, and he beat young Canadian hotshot Santo Condorelli. The A final also featured a pair of Brazilians in 3rd and 4th (Joao de Lucca and Marcelo Chierighini), a Surinamese record-holder (Renzo Tjon-A-Joe) and Hong Kong’s Geoff Cheah.
- McBroom rock solid in 1500: It was Michael McBroom who paced the men’s 1500 free, and he did it with remarkable consistency. Outside of his first and last splits, every single 50 McBroom swam fell within a one-second margin – his fastest split was a 30.13, his slowest a 31.07. In fact, he only dipped above 31 twice in his race, both times going 31.0. That led to an excellent early-season swim of 15:14.82 in a race that saw him best international vets Connor Jaeger and Ous Mellouli by wide margins.