2018 SPEEDO GRAND CHALLENGE
After swimming her first two races of 2018 this morning, Hungarian Katinka Hosszu managed to improve both of her prelim swims tonight on day 1 finals of the 2018 Speedo Grand Challenge.
In the heats, Hosszu swam a 2:11.91 in the 200 IM, which put her 18th in the world rankings. Tonight, she jumped into the top-10 with the world’s 8th best time of the 2017-18 season in 2:10.87, also lowering her own meet record of 2:11.12 set back in 2010. In a tight race for 2nd, USC’s Louise Hansson (2:14.40) edged out Cal’s Sarah Darcel (2:14.88). Darcel’s teammates Katie McLaughlin and Keaton Blovad tied for the B-final win in 2:16.61 (the Grand Challenge features a four-person A-final).
Hosszu also contested the women’s 50 freestyle, where after finishing in a three-way tie for 3rd with Caroline Baldwin and Amy Bilquist, the swim-off was scrapped and a five-person final was allowed. Abbey Weitzeil took the win in 25.11, a season best, followed by Anika Apostalon (25.52) and Bilquist (25.64). Hosszu took 4th, dropping her morning time by two tenths in 25.67.
The men’s 200 freestyle saw an intriguing four-way Cal battle, with Andrew Seliskar (1:49.24) using a 27.29 final 50 to out-sprint Ryan Murphy (1:49.57) for the win. Zheng Wen Quah (1:50.23) and Jacob Pebley (1:50.54) were close behind for 3rd and 4th.
Will Licon and Josh Prenot renewed their friendly rivalry in the men’s 100 breast, with Prenot getting out to a lead of four tenths at the halfway mark in 29.19. Licon charged back in 32.13, making up exactly four tenths on Prenot as they tied for the win in 1:01.72. Connor Hoppe lowered his prelim swim by over half a second for a season best 1:02.60 and 3rd place.
In the women’s race, Jorie Caneta (1:09.22) edged out Ruta Meilutyte (1:09.63) and Riley Scott (1:09.99). Caneta stormed back in 36.07 to run down Meilutyte, who opened up a big lead at the 50 in 31.90.
Licon was back in action shortly after in the 200 IM, using a 34.28 breast leg to close the gap on Ryosuke Irie and Trenton Julian, who were a clear 1-2 at the 100 wall. Irie wouldn’t relinquish his lead, closing in 28.13 for the win in 2:01.59, followed by Licon (2:02.53) and Julian (2:02.79).
The women’s 400 free final had a very exciting battle to close out the day, with 13-year-old Claire Tuggle (4:16.45) fending off a charge from Sarah Gibson (4:16.62) to get the win. Gibson made up nearly a second on the last 50, finishing in 30.89.