Day 1 prelims at the Austin Grand Prix have wrapped up, and there were a few exciting swims; for the most part, however, it would seem as though the athletes were coasting through a short prelims session and will ramp things up in finals.
In the first event of the meet, the women’s 100 free, Missy Franklin took easily the top seed in 55.06. Almost as exciting is that First Colony 16-year old Simone Manuel is the 2nd seed in 56.19, and will have the opportunity to swim next to Franklin (one of the few swimmers whose been better than Manuel at 16) in the final.
SMU, one of the few college teams swimming at this meet, put three in the final, led by Nathalie Lindborg in 56.52; her teammates Isabella Arcila and Nina Rangelova tied for 6th in 56.55. In a bit of poetic perfection, Lindborg is Swedish, and the three training partners hit in almost identical times. Texas post-grad Karlee Bispo was 9th in 57.67, and distance swimmer Chloe Sutton 11th in 58.48.
In the men’s 100 free, most of the big sprinters were safely through. That includes Ricky Berens as the top seed in 50.22 and Jimmy Feigen 2nd in 50.23: both home-team swimmers for hosts Longhorn Aquatics. Nathan Adrian, the Olympic Champion, was 3rd in 50.33, followed by Matt Grevers and Anthony Ervin.
Ryan Lochte and Conor Dwyer, Florida training partners, will headline the B-Final in 51.1 and 51.7, respectively. 13-year old Michael Andrew finished 25th in 54.27.
The women’s 200 breaststroke entries got even more comical than the psych sheets indicated they might be; the list was whittled from 7 to 5 by race’s beginning, with SMU’s Rachel Nicol taking the top seed in 2:31.42. Allie Szekely cruised to the 3rd seed in 2:33.92.
Nothing great happened in the 200 breaststroke; National Teamers Clark Burckle and Mike Alexandrov took the top two seeds in 2:19’s; New Zealand’s Glenn Snyders in 2:21 is also into the A-Final as is Imri Ganiel, the Israeli who had to redshirt for Texas this season.
Among those in a 4-swimmer B-Final will be former Longhorn Nick D’Innocenzo, who left school mid-season this year to return home. He was the 10th seed in 2:27.53 in what was his first race in Austin since his departure.
Sutton, after a good warmup in that 100 free, swam a nice 4:13.38 in the 400. In true Mission Viejo fashion, she negative-split the race (2:06.99-2:06.39). Longhorn Aquatics 16-year old Quinn Carrozza was 2nd in 4:14.25, and Kate Ziegler will also be in the A-Final.
Canada’s Ryan Cochrane led Texas swimmer Michael McBroom 3:54-3:55 in the 400 free semis; expect both to knock a few seconds off of that in finals. Michael Klueh is also in the A-final with a 3:59.0 (though he was a 28.95 on the last 50, just to make sure everyone knew he was coasting a little bit). Tyler Clary, who trains with Klueh at Club Wolverine, is back in action at this meet as well in 4:00.65; this is his first swim since the Olympics and since moving back to Ann Arbor where he spent his three NCAA seasons.
Canadian Noemie Thomas took the top seed in the women’s 100 fly in 59.35 as the only swimmer to break a minute. Her star really grew in Canada after she thrice broke the National Record in the 50 fly at Short Course Worlds in December to place 4th, despite being out-statured by 6+ inches by most of her competitors.
Finally, in the last event of the morning, Bobby Bollier topped the men’s 100 fly in 53.77, bettering Michigan postgrad Dan Madwed(54.54) and Eugene Godsoe (54.67): three outstanding college swimmers who are seeking to turn the corner as pros this year. Lcohte was 4th in 55.01.