Day 2’s preliminary session at the 2013 USA Swimming Grand Prix stop in Minneapolis, an all-yards meet, was a bit of a lackluster preliminary session, with one big, big exception.
In the men’s 50 free, the Brazilian men began to really heat things up early, with defending World Champion Cesar Cielo storming home to a 19.21 seconds mark for the top seed. Remember that Cielo, who is the fastest man ever in the 50 yard free, already has a lifetime best from his first event at this meet, the 100 fly, on Thursday. His country mate Bruno Fratus, who likewise is returning from injury, took the 2nd seed in 19.49, followed by Britain’s Adam Brown in 19.50 for an international 1-2-3.
The top finishing American was Minnesota senior Derek Toomey in 4th with a 19.61, which is the top collegiate time this season, and Nebraska High School swimmer Jacob Molacek took 4th in 19.82. That knocks almost 4-tenths of a second off of Molacek’s Midwestern LSC Record of 20.20, making him the first Nebraska junior ever under 20 seconds in the event.
Tom Luchsinger was the fastest in the morning int he 200 fly with a 1:45.22, followed by Minnesota’s Kyler Van Swol (1:46.11) and Nickolaus Orf (1:46.47). Expect to see much faster swims there in finals.
The man-without-a-nation, former Russian Arkady Vyatchanin, who is in the process of changing his sporting nationality, took the top spot in the men’s 100 back in 47.18. Hometown hero David Plummer was 2nd in 47.19, and University of Minnesota freshman Daryl Turner sits 3rd in 47.71. Through prelims, there’s a solid gap between those three and the rest of the field.
Note: ok, Vyatchanin is still a ‘Russian,’ just not in his swimming nationality.
In the men’s 500 free, another Russian took the top seed: Nikita Lobintsev was a 4:19.13 for the top seed, followed by Frenchman Yannick Agnel in 4:19.24. Agnel’s training partner Matt McLean was 3rd and Michael Klueh was 4th in 4:20.88.
After the 1:31 that we got from Agnel in Thursday’s finals session, expect the 400 SCM freestyle World Record holder to raise the bar on Friday night.
In the men’s 200 breaststroke, the defending U.S. National Champion BJ Johnson took the top seed in the 200 breaststroke in 1:56.55, with Purdue’s Liam Dias 2nd in 1:57.39. Dias, who was the fastest college 100 breast time in the country on Thursday, sits 2nd nationally after prelims in this 200, and will probably jump to number one tonight.
On the women’s side of the meet, Cal’s Caitlin Leverenz took the top seed in the 200 fly with a 1:58.16. She was one of only two women under two minutes in the morning, with fellow Olympian Claire Donahue taking 2nd in 1:59.47.
Bookending that swim with the 200 breaststroke, Leverenz took 3rd there in 2:13.62, behind Minnesota training partners Haley Spencer (2:10.21), who is a postgrad, and Kierra Smith (2:11.37), who is just a sophomore.
Once again, the Minnesota women looked really good in a freestyle event, just like they did in the 200 on Thursday. Rebecca Weiland took the top seed in 22.61, followed by Megan Romano and her 22.67.
Another Gopher, Blake Zeiger, was 3rd in 22.92, followed by Erin Caflsich in 23.04. Of that top 4, only Romano is not a Minnesota undergrad.
Tess Behrens from Minnesota took the top seed in the next race, the 100 back, with a 53.78, and Romano took another second-seed in back-to-back races with a 53.86. Local high school swimmer Mickayla Hinkle is the 3rd seed in 54.56, and 14-year old Ashlyn Schoof from Wisconsin is 4th in 55.00. That’s her lifetime best and moves her to 31st on the all-time 13-14 girls’ list in that race.
In the other women’s prelim, Kiera Janzen took another top seed with a 4:41.67 in the 500 yard free. She was far, far ahead of the field with almost a six-second advantage over teammate Samantha Harding in 4:47.38.