The dust has finally settled on the 2013-2014 Arena Grand Prix series, and after last weekend’s Santa Clara finale, the official season points champions have been locked in.
It’s not much of a surprise that the winners are two of the most versatile athletes on the tour. North Baltimore’s Conor Dwyer officially claimed the men’s title by just a single point, while the Iron Lady Katinka Hosszu won the women’s championship in runaway fashion.
(As a quick refresher: athletes earn points for finishing top 3 in any single race at a Grand Prix meet. The points correlate to prize money earned as well, with a win earning 5 points and $500, runner-up honors garnering 3 and $300 and third place taking home 1 and $100).
Dwyer racked up 53 points over the series, which equates to $5300 in prize money. That was just enough to edge a hard-charging Arkady Vyatchanin, by a single point, and in fact, the points race came down to the night’s second-to-last event. Heading into Sunday’s final, Dwyer led by 1, but Vyatchanin won the 100 back in dominating fashion to claim the points lead with just three events to go. That was when Dwyer struck back, though, topping a murderer’s row of 200 IMers that included Chase Kalisz and Michael Phelps to earn 5 more points and nab the points championship by 1. Neither man swam the 1500 that closed out the session, so the points race was sealed by that point.
Vyatchanin is not an American citizen, and therefore wouldn’t be eligible for the winner’s prize (a 1-year-lease of a BMW), but was still eligible for the official crown of Grand Prix points champion.
Also ineligible for the car was Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu, but she still ran away with the women’s points title. Swimming just two of the Grand Prix’s 6 meets, Hosszu racked up 57 points to become the series’ overall biggest money-earner. The race for the car, though, came down to absolute fingernails. One-upping the 1-point men’s race, California Aquatics’ Caitlin Leverenz nipped Athens Bulldog Aquatics’ Megan Romano by just half a point for the Beamer lease.
Leverenz, second heading into Santa Clara, also sealed her win in the meet’s second-to-last event, the 200 IM. One event before Dwyer sealed his title, Leverenz ran away with the women’s 200 IM to tally 5 more points and move just ahead of Romano on the points standings. Leverenz had also taken third in the 400 IM earlier in the weekend, and that single point wound up being the difference-maker as she topped Romano 35 to 34.5. Romano also competed in Santa Clara, but was unable to crack the top 3 in any of her events.
You can see the full points standings in the Google Spreadsheet below, with the events each athlete earned points in on the third and fourth sheets:
You can also find the full spreadsheet by clicking this link.