The final day of the 2013 Minneapolis Grand Prix saw the host Gophers take control of the women’s side of the meet, especially with Caitlin Leverenz heading home before the session.
Women’s 1650 Freestyle – Timed FInal
First, Kiera Janzen won the women’s 1650 freestyle in 16:05.38, almost five seconds better than the rest of the field. That includes going out in 4:50.0 over the first 500 yards.
Janzen had a great summer, and is carrying it over into the new season so far.
That swim is
- the fastest in the country by 17 seconds among collegiate athletes (with the context of most teams not really racing the mile much until their upcoming mid-year invites).
- Faster than she was at the Grand Prix last year by 19 seconds
- only a second away from her lifetime best at last year’s Big Ten Championship meet,
Her training partner, Minnesota post-grad, Ashley Steenvoorden was 2nd in 16:10.13. 14-year old Isabella Rongione swam a lifetime best of 16:12.22 for 3rd, and Gophers Samantha Harding (16:18.57) and Breanna Siwicki (16:33.21) rounded out the top 5.
There wasn’t a lot of depth in this event, though 13-year old Frisco Aquatics (Dallas area) swimmer Gabrielle Kopenski was 6th in 16:33.95.
Women’s 200 IM – Final
With no Leverenz, the Minnesota girls again leaped to the front of the 200 IM. The battle was between Kierra Smith and Tori Simenec, though the two swim very different races.
Simenec got out to a big, two-second lead after the backstroke, but the breaststroke leg is where Smith does her damage. She split a very impressive 33.40 to just overtake Simenec and with the two splitting evenly on the freestyle leg, Smith earned the win 1:57.80-1:57.84.
Megan Kingsley, a senior from South Carolina who is committed to Georgia, was 3rd in 2:00.34.
Haley Spencer took 4th in 2:02.18, and Dynamo’s Katie Christy was 5th in 2:03.47.
Back to Smith, that is her lifetime best in the race; after seeing a conflict at the end of her freshman year in the United States with the Canadian World Championship Trials, Smith is really exploding at this meet as a sophomore. That’s no surprise either, as she came out of the Canadian junior ranks with high expectations.
Men’s 200 IM – Final
After a slow prelims of the men’s 200 IM, Darian Townsend and Conor Dwyer looked much better in finals, as just like the women’s meet, those two battled to the wire for the title.
Also unlike that women’s race, the two swimmers in this one are much more similar in stroke proficiency. Townsend is a bit better on the front-half and Dwyer a bit better on the back-half, but the gap wasn’t as big here.
Townsend turned halfway with about an eight-tenths of a second lead, and just held off Dwyer’s late charge for the win by margin of 1:43.73-1:43.76.
Austin Surhoff, the top seed out of prelims was a 1:44.92 for 3rd to collect $100 of prize money as he now begins his professional career.
Wisconsin’s Dan Lester took 4th in 1:47.77, and Minnesota 21-year old Austrian freshman Jakub Maly was 4th in 1:47.95.
Women’s 200 Back – Final
Whereas youth reigned in the prelims of this 200 back, the relative veteran Tess Behrens took the day, as she was a 1:55.83 in finals. That time is the second-fastest in the Big Ten this season, and ranks 6th in the NCAA.
Behind her was the prelims’ top seed, 14-year old Ashlyn Schoof from the Schroeder YMCA in Wisconsin. Schoof swam a 1:56.77; mind that her best time coming into this meet was a 1:59.64. She now jumps to 15th on the all-time age group list.
Note: She jumped just ahead of fellow Wisconsinite Beata Nelson, who broke the 15-16 National Age Group Record on Saturday.
Next was Mexican Fernanda Gonzalez Ramirez, who took 3rd in 1:57.68, and then another 14-year old, Erin Earley from the Hopkins Mariner Swim Team in Connecticut.
Texan Cameron McHugh was 5th in 1:58.13, and then 13-year old Rhyan White placed 6th in 1:58.91: even further youth in the race. White’s time is not the fastest ever by a 13-year old, but it is one of the 10 best in the last decade.
Men’s 200 Back – Final
Arkady Vyatchanin easily won the 200 back in 1:41.45, easily beating 17-year old Ryan Harty who took 2nd in 1:43.53.
Harty fought well, despite the 12-year age gap between him and the eventual champion, and very nearly went a lifetime best in his silver-medal performance. He’s a high school junior and one of the top swimmers in the class of 2015.
Louisville post-grad Pedro Oliveira was 3rd in 1:44.63, and Minnesota’s Carl Newenhouse was the top collegiate finisher in 1:45.93 for 4th.
Women’s 100 Free – Final
Megan Romano, for the third-straight day in a freestyle event, coasted through prelims a bit before leap-frogging the field in finals and winning in 48.62.
She had a very tight spread in this 100 free, going out in 23.6 and coming back in 25.0. Romano’s focus this year will lie partially in her starts to help improve her chances at qualifying for Pan Pacs in an individual event, and that’s part of why she doesn’t get off to all-that-fast of a start in this 100 free.
Lauren Votava took 2nd in 48.94, just off of her lifetime best on a flat-start.
The fastest first 50 in the A Final goes to Minnesota’s Rebecca Weiland, who was out in 23.3 before finishing in 49.40 overall. Erin Caflisch took 4th in 49.69, and another fast-starter Ariel Weech from Nebraska was 5th in 49.73.
The top finishing junior swimmer was 17-year old Kaitlyn Albertoli, who was 6th in 49.88.
Men’s 100 Free – Final
In the most exciting race of the night, the action came largely at the bottom of the pool, where Adam Brown in lane 7 and Cesar Cielo in lane 8 took some huge swings in this 100 free.
But turned about where you’d expect though not exceptionally fast, at least by the standards of their final times, and at the final touch, it was Brown in 41.89 and Cielo in 41.90. Cielo was battling an injured hand from the finish of his 50 free.
- Brown – 20.11/21.78 = 41.89
- Cielo – 20.22/21.68 = 41.9043.00.
Frenchman Yannick Agnel took 3rd in 42.63, and Russian Aleander Sukhorukov was 4th in 42.81. Darian Townsend was 5th in 42.83, Nikita Lobintsev 6th in 42.87, Conor Dwyer was 7th in 43.60, and the top amateur was Minnesota’s Derek Toomey in 8th with a 43.63.
Bruno Fratus won the B Final in 43.00.
Men’s 1650 Free – Time Final
Michael McBroom finished his meet with his best swim of the weekend, winning the men’s 1650 yard freestyle in 14:41.10.
Nobody else was even in his league in this race; his fellow Texas-Ex Michael Klueh was 2nd in 14:54.39. Ryan Feeley placed 3rd in 15:04.25.
Full, live meet results available here.