As seems to be the story in just about every swim meet that takes place in this part of the country, Trojan Aquatics dominated the 200 breaststroke on the 3rd . In the men’s race, day of competition at the 2011 TYR Fran Crippen Memorial Swim Meet of Champions.
Russia’s Yulia Efimova won the women’s event in 2:23.66, which smashed the Meet Record of training partner Rebecca Soni. That time moves Efimova to 2nd in the World Rankings this year and is just .04 off of her career-best time. Efimova is turning into one of the world’s most balanced breaststrokers, and the defending World Champion in the 50 has probably the best chance of anybody at winning three breaststroking medals. Soni is probably the only other swimmer who could pull this off, but she was only 5th-fastest in the 50 in 2010.
Lyndsay DePaul was 6th in this race in prelims, before dropping the final. She went a career-best time of 2:36.53 in a race that she hasn’t swum in three years. Though most of her focus the last two years has been in the butterfly events, remember that DePaul was the 2009 WUG silver medalist in the 400 IM. A good swim for her in an off-event might be an indicator that she’s thinking about getting back into that race for the 2012 Olympic Trials.
On the men’s side, another USC international, Kosuke Kitajima, won the men’s 200 breaststroke in another meet record of 2:11.02.That broke by two seconds the old meet record set by countrymate Genki Imamura in 2005. Also in this race was American comeback breaststroker Ed Moses in 2:20.35, which was good for 5th place. So far, Brendan Hansen’s comeback has definitely outshone that of Moses, but there’s still a long way to go before the meet that counts: next year’s Olympic Trials.
In other strokes, Katie Hoff of the Fullerton Center of Excellence posted a fantastic time in the women’s 200 free of 1:58.08. She’s been quick in this race all-season, and here she went a bit against her mold and took this race out very fast, and through the first 150 yards was just as good as she was at Nationals last year before fading off of that pace on the final 50. That means that she’s already got her pacing down, and that her final taper could mean very, very good things for her and the American 800 free relay.
Matt McLean, representing Snow Aquatics, took the men’s 200 free in 1:49.68 ahead of Tyler Clary in 1:49.98. McLean just barely missed a World Championship relay spot in this race, but will compete it both individually and in a relay at the WUG’s.
Clary has the potential and versatility, and will certainly enter a more mainstream consciousness after this summer’s World Championships. He will be a big part of the group effort that it will take to fill Michael Phelps’ shoes, but his weakness is that as of yet, he hasn’t shown that he can contribute to the American relays. Many speculate that this 200 could be his best chance at doing so, but McLean, who was the first-man out of the Shanghai relay, is a big roadblock for Clary to do so.
There was a real lack of sprint talent at this meet, and that resulted in no notable times in either the men’s or women’s 50. Erica Morningstar of Canada won the women’s race in 26.07 just ahead of New Zealand’s Hayley Palmer in 26.11. In the men’s 50, Irish swimmer Barry Murphy, who is training with Club Wolverine, won in 23.06.
USC junior Haley Anderson took the women’s 400 IM in 4:45.61.