Doubles Abound on Day 1 of Arena Pro Swim Series Austin

Despite only 8 events taking place on the first morning of the 2016 Arena Pro Swim Series at Austin, a number of athletes have pulled some amazing event doubles.

Here’s a look at some of the most notable doubles, some of which may wind up being repeated in quicker succession at tonight’s finals:

Sarah Sjostrom: 100 free/100 fly

  • The Swedish star’s 100 free is the top seed by nearly half a second, and her back-half split much better than everyone in the field except the distance-based Ledecky.
  • But Sjostrom’s true main event is the 100 fly, where she’s almost a second ahead of a field that includes Olympic champ Vollmer. Sjostrom’s 56.72 ranks just three tenths of a second out of the top 10 performances of all-time.

Dana Vollmer: 100 free/100 fly

  • Vollmer pulling the same double with almost as much success is perhaps more impressive at age 28 and coming after Vollmer had a baby and took a brief retirement. Her 100 free was only about a second off her lifetime-best, and puts her 3rd behind only Sjostrom and Abbey Weitzeil.
  • The fly was Vollmer’s best race post-retirement, and the veteran beat everyone in the field (excepting the world record-holder Sjostrom) by more than a full second.

Katie Ledecky: 100 free/400 free

  • A true master of freestyling range, Ledecky qualified fourth in the 100 free with a new lifetime-best of 54.45, an in-season drop that starts putting Ledecky legitimately within range of an Olympic relay spot (with a solid taper at Olympic Trials).
  • Her 400 free was as casually brilliant as Ledecky typically is in preliminary swims. Her 4:01.45 blew out the field and actually ranks just outside the top 10 swims of all-time in the event. It’s also easily the fastest time in the world this season (from fall 2015 through present).

Katinka Hosszu: 100 free/400 free

  • What’s a list of event doubles without the Iron Lady? Hosszu swam through an ongoing spat with her federation to earn two A final bids. The 100 free has her sitting right behind Ledecky and just about three tenths out of second place.
  • In the 400, she has a great shot to beat all non-Ledecky comers, sitting third behind Leah Smith at 4:06.58. That’s only about a second off her her lifetime-best and Hungarian record.

Michael Phelps: 100 free/100 fly

  • Compared to his career-bests, neither of Phelps’ times were mind-blowing. But for the 30-year-old to be this strong through a tough sprint double is a good sign for his prospects to swim a full lineup at U.S. Olympic Trials. Phelps was 49.94 in the freestyle, good for 6th place overall.
  • Phelps is one spot higher in the fly, sitting 5th, but the best sign was that his back-half split was better than everyone in the field except Tom Shields. It’s worth watching to see if Phelps perhaps scratches the freestyle tonight to go after a loaded fly field.

Ryan Lochte: 100 free/100 fly

  • Lochte, now 31 years old, also pulled the same double, with a little more success. His 49.55 sits #3 in the 100 freestyle, and not that far behind Olympic champ Nathan Adrian (though Adrian is notoriously good at saving extra speed for finals).
  • The fly was event better for Lochte, coming in as the top seed at 52.58 and showing nearly the best front-end speed of anyone in the event.

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4 years ago

Where has katie McLaughlin been?

Reply to  Stardust
4 years ago

Stardust – She’s injured. See our report from last night here:

Reply to  Braden Keith
4 years ago

Neck fracture sustained during training. Best wishes for speedy healing and getting back on track for Omaha and Rio.

Reply to  Braden Keith
4 years ago

Oh wow thanks. Such a bummer. Best of luck in recovery.

4 years ago

Speechless over ledeckys performance in the 100m . She is the queen of freestyle . I predict that one day she will break 53

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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