The excitement of Day 3 certainly lived up to it’s billing, including the race of the meet: the men’s 100 backstroke, where Nick Thoman was able to hold off Michael Phelps and Matt Grevers for the win. Headed into the final day, the top 10 spots, who will split a 50k purse, is extremely tight.
- Peter Vanderkaay-37 pts.
- Rebecca Soni-35 pts.
- Chloe Sutton-35 pts.
- Dagny Knutson-33
- Michael Phelps-29
- Elizabeth Beisel-29
- Natalie Coughlin-23
- Eric Shanteau-21
- Justine Mueller-20
- Todd Patrick-18
- Ryan Lochte-17
- Liz Pelton-17
- Ricky Berens-16
- Nick Thoman-15
- Emily Brunemann-14
- Felicia Lee-13
Remember, the points are awarded for 1st-8th place finishes, at 10-7-6-5-4-3-2-1, with 4 points bonus given for a meet record and 2 bonus points given for having the top prelims time. Only the top 3 individual events by each swimmer will count towards the standings, and only Olympic events will be counted. This means that there are only 3 events left for swimmers to accumulate points in: the 100 free, the 200 IM, and the 200 backstroke.
The beauty of this Grand Prix is that to claim any prize monies, the swimmers must hang around until the awards ceremony at the end of the meet. That means that we will likely see some much better races on the last day of the meet than at other GP’s where many athletes decide to take off early.
Winner-Dagny Knutson (ASK)
Runner-Up-Elizabeth Beisel (ASK)
Darkhorse-Mattie Kukors (Club Wolverine)
I also Like-Liz Pelton (NBAC), Teresa Crippen (Germantown/UFlorida)
Comments-Knutson and Beisel have both had outstanding meets, and Beisel won the 400, but I think Knutson still has the advantage in the shorter event. Kukors (of the famed Kukors lineage) is very young, but very good.
Winner-Elizabeth Beisel (Bluefish)
Runner-Up-Gemma Spofforth (Gator Swim Club)
Darkhorse-Ali Roberts (Parkland Aquatic)
I also Like-Henriette Stenkvist (Raleigh Swimming)
Comments-If Beisel can recover well from the 200 IM, this is her race to lose. Spofforth, who is a 3-time NCAA Champ in the event, should be very competitive as she rounds into shape for the Commonwealth Games. Roberts was just named to the USA Youth Olympic Games squad, her first national team event, which can be a huge boost for a young swimmer.
Winner-Amanda Weir (Swim Atlanta)
Runner-Up-Natalie Coughlin (California)
Darkhorse-Hannah Riordon (Auburn)
I also Like-Dagny Knutson (ASK), Victoria Poon (Canadian National Center)
Comments-After a brief retirement, American Record holder Amanda Weir has looked fantastic in her comeback. I expect a great duel between her and Coughlin for the title. Riordin is formerly one of the top junior swimming prospects in the country, and after her first season at Auburn should start to see some good time drops. Poon is the holder of several Canadian sprint records, and could battle for the win, since she should be feeling fresh still at this point of the meet due to a relatively light schedule.
Winner-Chloe Sutton (Mission Viejo)
Runner-Up-Emily Brunemann (Club Wolverine)
Darkhorse-Heather Maitland (Swim Ontario)
I also Like-Taylor O’Brien (Parkland)
Comments-Chloe Sutton, the ultra-long distance open-water specialist, will win this non-Olympic event. Behind her should be Brunemann, who’s had a fantastic meet so far. I think that Maitland, who is another open-water native, will rise up from the 22nd seed to make at least top 8. This event doesn’t count towards the prize money, but should be a good race none-the-less.
Winner-Alex Vanderkaay (Club Wolverine)
Runner-Up-Michael Phelps (NBAC)
Darkhorse-Daniel Madwed (Club Wolverine)
I also Like-Aaron Piersol (Longhorn Aquatics)
Comments-This race will have a maize and blue feel to it, as all three of my picks are current or former members of Club Wolverine. Phelps hasn’t had a great meet thus far by Phelpsian standards, but the IM is his baby. It wouldn’t surprise me if he won, but Vanderkaay swam well in the 400 IM. Madwed has also had a very good meet, and I think can push for a top 5 finish.
Winner-Aaron Piersol (Longhorn Aquatics)
Runner-Up-Nick Thoman (SwimMAC)
Darkhorse-Max Murphy (Auburn)
I also Like-Matt Grevers (Tucson Ford), Kevin Darmody (SwimMAC)
Comments-The 200 doesn’t have quite the same punch as the 100, but Piersol, Grevers, Thoman, Lochte, and Godsoe will all still be in the mix. Piersol should have the edge over Thoman in the 200,he 200 doesn’t have quite the same punch as the 100, but Piersol, Grevers, Thoman, Lochte, and Godsoe will all still be in the mix. Piersol should have the edge over Thoman in the 200, and I like Max Murphy from Auburn to move up the seeds in a big way.
Winner-Cullen Jones (SwimMAC)
Runner-Up-Josh Schneider (Ohio Swimming)
Darkhorse-Gideon Luow (Auburn)
I also Like-The Auburn crew (Adam Brown, Tyler McGill, George Bovell), Peter Vanderkaay (Club Wolverine)
Comments-Cullen Jones and Schneider were 1-2 in the 50 free, and I think they will flip-flop in the 100 with Jones taking the win. Luow is already a well known name on the college circuit, and is becoming better and better known in club swimming worlds. The Auburn group ought to really be showing up huge after almost a full year with Brett Hawke as the head coach. Vanderkaay has been swimming well all meet, and should have a great showing here. Other big names in this race are Lochte, Grevers, Berens, and Weber-Gale (who hasn’t had a great meet thus far). Should be a heated final.
Winner-Josef Kinderwater (West Shore YMCA)
Runner-Up-Martin Grodzki (Athens-Unattatched)
Darkhorse-Christian Bayo (Puerto Rico)
I also Like-Vinny Donnelly (Brandon), Jason Taylor (Brandon)
Comments-Like the women’s 1500, this event won’t count towards the prize money, but should still be good competition. Peter Vanderkaay isn’t swimming, so that leaves the door open for a number of swimmers, including Kinderwater and Grodzki, who both swam well in the longer 1500. Bayo should move up a long ways from his 27th seed, like he did in the 1500. The boys from Brandon, Florida, who are seeded 4th or 5th could have an outstanding finish. Training with another top distance swimmer can really make for some great workouts.