Agnel Takes Top Seed in 200 Free; Minnesota Women Look Very Good on Day 1 Prelims in Minneapolis

The individual events at day 1’s prelims session at the 2013 Minneapolis Grand Prix, the first Grand Prix meet of the 2013-2014 season, are completed, and given that we’re only in mid-November, and that this was only prelims, the results were pretty impressive.

In the men’s 200 freestyle, North Baltimore training partners Yannick Agnel (1:34.10) and Conor Dwyer (1:34.27) took the top two seeds, followed by Tucson Ford’s Darian Townsend in 1:34.73.

The men’s side of this meet early on is dominated by two themes: pro swimmers, and international swimmers. Four out of the top five seeds in that 200 free are not Americans.

The men’s 100 breaststroke saw a bit more of the stars-and-stripes at the top of the lineup, with Stanford post-grad BJ Johnson taking the top seed in 53.09.

But Portugal’s Carlos Almeida was the 2nd seed in 53.70. Mike Alexandrov (53.80) and Eetu Karvonen (53.85) were next, and in 5th place, we saw a breakthrough from Nebraska high school swimmer, and Auburn commit, Jacob Molacek, who was a 53.93. That’s his lifetime best by over a second.

In the 100 fly, Adam Brown from the UK was the top seed in 47.29, and Brazilian Cesar Cielo, swimming his first full 100 fly in a long time, was 2nd in 47.34. For Cielo, that’s only a second shy of his best from his college days at Auburn.

Minnesota undergrad Kyler Van Swol took 3rd in 47.37.

The men’s top seed in the 400 IM was Michael Weiss, buoyed by his recent appointment to Team USA for the 2013 Duel in the Pool. Purdue’s Guillermo Blanoc (3:48.70) and Minnesota’s Brandon Hatanaka (3:49.57) rounded out the top three, with Dwyer sitting 4th in 3:49.67.

In the women’s pool (two courses are being used for prelims), the meet began with two Minnesota Golden Gophers on top in the 200 free. Kiera Janzen (1:46.70) and Tori Simenec (1:46.83) were the two fastest in the morning heats, with the favorite Megan Romano taking 3rd in 1:47.07. Minnesota took all of the top 6 seeds aside from Romano’s postion, showing off their deep freestyle group that hopes to reclaim the Big Ten title in the 800 free relay from Indiana after the two school’s great showdown last season.

Cal postgrad Caitlin Leverenz was 8th in that race in 1:48.66, her first of three races in the session. She also took the 6th seed in the 100 fly in a 55.50, and the top seed in the 400 IM in 4:15.85.

Minnesota took the top two seeds again in the 100 breaststroke, with post-grad Haley Spencer touching 1st in 1:00.72, and undergrad Kierra Smith touching 2nd in 1:01.77. Remember that this is their big mid-season invite, so in finals look for swimmers like Smith to try and make a statement.

The top seed in the 100 fly was yet another Gopher: Rebecca Weiland was the best in the morning in 52.42, followed by Olympian Claire Donahue (52.74) and former Division III NCAA Champion Hannah Saiz (54.35). The swimmer from the City of Mobile Swimming Association

Full, live meet results available here.

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7 years ago

Did I miss something – or did they not have heat sheets available this morning for the webcast? I tried to watch – but couldn’t find anything. It would be awesome if someone was in position to let someone know.

bobo gigi
Reply to  Coach
7 years ago

Correct. There were no heat sheets on the USA swimming website.They will probably fix that for the finals.

Reply to  Coach
7 years ago

Heat sheets were not even distributed on deck until just before the start of the session. Not sure what the issue was – but a bit odd. Meet Mobile had them before they were printed.

bobo gigi
7 years ago

Interesting battles to expect in this meet between Agnel and Dwyer.
For which times at the end? I don’t have any idea about their shape level.
But if he’s well rested, there’s no reason to not see Agnel in the 200 free around 1.31/1.32.

The young Andrew was very close to the 100 breast 13/14 NAG record. He swam 56.41. The record is 56.36. In the 100 fly he swam 49.35. His NAG record is 48.98. 2 more chances tonight to beat them.

Reply to  bobo gigi
7 years ago

Oh snap Bo Bo, you beat me to the punch on that one. Should have know.

7 years ago

Looks like the ‘most talked about 14 year old’ is off to a good start. Michael Andrew drops down to a 56.41 in 100 Breast, #2 all-time, just .05 behind Tanner Kurz’s 56.36 NAG. Don’t miss the Bonus Final tonight. He’s also in the Console in 100 Fly, look for him to dip back into 48s.

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Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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