Most minds were fully focused on the 50-meter showdown between Cullen Jones and Josh Schneider from the 1st night of the Charlotte Grand Prix, it wasn’t the only race of the night (we’ve given the swim-off its own post here, to keep everything nice and compartmentalized). The non-Olympic distance events sandwiched the big event, with the faster heats coming before.
Chloe Sutton started the meet off right with a 16:16.11. That ranks as the 9th-best time in the world this year, and is the 3rd-fastest time of Sutton’s career (just missing her suited times from the 2009 World Championships). After the race, she described the swim as “super easy,” and estimated that her heart-rate stayed below 120 until the final sprint to the finish. I think that my heart rate might get above 120 just thinking about her potential, if she can swim that fast and describe it as super easy.
The runner-up was Venezuelan National Record holder Andreina Pinto in 16:18.79. Pinto’s a little better in the shorter 400 and 800, but at only 19, she’s about 6-months younger than Sutton, and her mark puts her 11th in the world this year. Like Sutton, the Gator Swim Club trainee has a bright future.
Unlike most of the field, most of the big-time men’s distance swimmers – Michael Klueh, Arthur Frayler, Ous Mellouli – sat the meet out. Peter Vanderkaay was originally entered in this race, but unsurprisingly took a scratch. This gave 18-year old Michigan freshman Sean Ryan an open door to take the event title in 8:11.10: a solid, but not spectacular, time. This puts him .01 behind Frayler as the 3rd-fastest American this year in a race that the US doesn’t put much focus on as a nation.
The runner-up was Mission Viejo’s Joseph Arnold in 8:12.14.