Ledecky Swims to World Leader in 800 Free; Breeja Completes Breaststroke Sweep

Women’s 200 Fly – Final

At both the 2011 and 2012 NCAA Championships, Katinka Hosszu took the NCAA titles in the 200 fly with Cammile Adams chasing. Hosszu is graduated for just over a year now, which left Adams to win last year’s NCAA Championship, and with another head-to-head opportunity, the script was flipped.

Adams took the race out very hard, turning in 1:02.63, and though she got a good push from Hosszu and 15-year old Katie McLaughlin, Adams still had enough to hang on for the win in 2:09.45.

Hosszu and Adams are two of the most back-half-leaning swimmers in the world in this race, and Hosszu actually made up ground on Adams in that last 50, though the two were easily better than anyone else. That includes Hosszu running down McLaughlin in the final 15 or so meters of the race for 2nd. McLaughlin was 3rd in 2:10.86; that’s about half-a-second off of the Mission Viejo swimmer’s lifetime best, but still only three women in the last decade have been faster at this age.

Cal’s Caitlin Leverenz was 4th in 2:13.49. This is a race that the IM’er really made huge improvements in after NCAA’s last year, not so much with any intent on trying to swim it at Worlds but as a training event for her IM races.

Michelle Cefal was 5th in 2:14.92, and Sonia Wang was 6th in 2:16.17.

Men’s 200 Fly – Final

Tyler Clary, like we’ve seen from a lot of the other swimmers taking on big schedules at this meet, has done a really good job of conserving energy in morning sessions and using these finals swims to really practice on their tough doubles. That’s why despite being only third in the morning, he took this race out hard early (“like a man” in his words) and won wire-to-wire in 1:58.10.

Clary said in his post-race interview that the 200 IM probably wasn’t in his end-of-season plans, despite a spot opening up with Phelps’ retirement.

The only swimmer who really hung with him was Bolles High School junior Joseph Schooling, who was 2nd in 1:58.83 and had the benefit of swimming next to Clary. Schooling was a 2012 Olympian for Singapore in this 200 fly; though in yards, he’s the National High School Record holder in the 100, this 200 is his better race internationally-speaking.

Stanford’s Bobby Bollier was 3rd in 1:59.80, followed by Club Wolverine’s Dan Madwed (2:00.22), Cardinal Aquatics’ Pedro Oliveira (aka Louisville), and Terrapins Swim Team’s Justin Lynch in 2:02.23.

Cal’s Tom Shields was 7th in 2:02.45.

In the B-Final, notably 14-year old Maxime Rooney of the Pleasanton Seahawks took 2nd in 2:04.27. That’s a second off of his previous lifetime best, and improves his hold on the 5th-place spot on the all-time 13-14 age group list.

Women’s 100 Breast – Final

In a battle of underwater-titans, Texas A&M’s Breeja Larson and South Florida Aquatics’ Alia Atkinson went toe-to-toe in this race. Larson would say after the race that her goal was to go out faster, and though she did that a little bit, the big difference in this final was her back half. Coming off of the turn, Larson just blew past Atkinson (also a former NCAA Champion for the Aggies). That shows just how deadly Larson’s turns can be even in long course, because Atkinson (the 4th-place finisher at the Olympics) has had one of, if not the best, pullouts in the world for the last few years.

Jessica Hardy scratched the final, so those two were pretty comfortably ahead of the rest of the field, with Swedish swimmer Rebecca Ejdervik taking 3rd in 1:09.28. SMU’s Rachel Nicol was 4th in 1:09.88, and Catherine Meili from Columbia (University), who had such a big college season, placed 5th in 1:09.98.

T2 Aquatics’ Erika Erndl, who even at 34 years old continues to find new ways to improve her versatility and expand her repertoire, was a 1:11.64 for 10th overall.

Men’s 100 Breast – Final

Mike Alexandrov had a solid Olympic Trials last year, but in finals couldn’t make the final jump and placed 6th overall. This year, there’s a big, big opening for spots in the 100 breaststroke on the World Championship team, and Alexandrov was using this meet as a bench-mark for where he is.

The answer is that he’s in a very good spot. He won the men’s 100 breaststroke in 1:00.63, which was about three-tenths better than he was at the last stop in Orlando, and better than he was at the Olympic Trials as well. Alexandrov said after his race that he took about a week to rest coming into this meet, and even with that taken into account this is a very good swim for him.

Grand Canyon University’s Eetu Karvonen, a Finnish national and two-time NCAA Division II Champion in the sprint breaststroke, took 2nd in 1:01.97, which is a lifetime best.

BJ Johnson was 3rd in 1:02.68, and Mark Gangloff took 3rd in 1:02.72. Venezuela’s 16-year old Carlo Claverie, who’s had a fantastic meet of his own, was 5th in 1:02.94.

Imri Ganiel, an Israeli international, won the B-Final in 1:02.41. He’s been training with Eddie Reese and the Texas Longhorns for a while now, but will begin his official collegiate competition next year and will help to fill the Longhorns’ big breaststroke hole.

Women’s 100 Back – Final

Teri McKeever has to be absolutely salivating at the prospects of her backstroke group coming up. Not that this is a new story, but between her current freshmen, and her next-year freshman, the Golden Bears went 1-2-3 in the women’s 100 backstroke final.

That was led by Missy Franklin in 1:00.15, and followed by her Olympic counterpart Rachel Bootsma in 1:00.54 and Liz Pelton in 1:00.84. Franklin, who is still training with Todd Schmitz and the Colorado Stars, is probably at a much different spot in her training than Bootsma and Pelton (who are just coming off of their NCAA Championship meet).

Future Georgia Bulldog Olivia Smoliga was 4th in 1:01.67. SMU’s Isabella Arcila completed a 1-5 sweep by teenagers and placed 5th in 1:02.47.

Clara Smiddy won the B-Final in 1:02.41; along with her brother Sam, the Smiddy siblings have had an outstanding meet so far.

Men’s 100 Back – Final

When asked what the key was to winning the men’s 100 backstroke. Matt Grevers’ answer was simple: “being 6’8″”. After a back-and-forth battle with Minnetonka’s David Plummer, the Olympic champion just got his hand on the wall first in 54.26, with Plummer taking 2nd in 54.28.

Plummer is by no means short, but Grevers’ 5 inch height advantage paid off at this finish.

Stanford post-grad Eugene Godsoe was 3rd in 54.77, and Bolles’ Ryan Murphy (a Cal commit) took 4th in 54.81. Murphy is more than a decade younger than Grevers and Plummer.

Matas Andriekus, a Lithuanian who trains with SMU, was 5th in 55.84. That’s another top-5 finish for the Mustangs.

Also of note, Redlands Swim Team 16-year old Kyle Gornay took 10th in 57.39. Ryan Lochte was 6th in prelims of this race, but scratched the final to focus on the 200 IM.

Women’s 200 IM – Final

Hungarian Katinka Hosszu has had a great meet, and in this, the last race of 8 (she ended up scratching the 800 free), she may have had her best. She had a great breaststroke leg, to match that of former training partner Stina Gardell, and won in 2:12.68. That’s the fastest that she’s been this early in a long course season in her career (which makes sense because it’s her first chance at not coming right off of NCAA’s).

Hosszu will finish the meet with four runner-up finishes, two victories, a 6th-place finish, and an 8th place finish.

Gardell finished 2nd in 2:13.81, and Caitlin Leverenz was 3rd in 2:13.90. Leverenz had a typically-great breaststroke leg to get back into this race, but couldn’t hold that position on the freestyle leg.

Missy Franklin placed 4th in 2:16.29, and Liz Pelton was 5th in 2:16.68.

Karlee Bispo of Longhorn Aquatics won the B-Final in 2:16.91, pulling away from Alia Atkinson (2:16.91). Bispo looked very smooth on the closing freestyle leg next to Atkinson’s relatively labored freestyle stroke coming home. After a 2:12 at the Austin Grand Prix earlier this year, Bispo should at least final at Nationals this summer, and could challenge for a spot in Barcelona in the 200 IM.

Men’s 200 IM – Final

Ryan Lochte and Darian Townsend were locked nose-to-nose in a battle in this men’s 200 IM final, taking every stroke and every turn at almost identical splits.

If there’s an IM’er in the world that you don’t want to be locked even with in a 200 IM, though, it’s Darian Townsend. The veteran from South Africa took off on the closing freestyle leg to win over Lochte by about half-a-second, splitting 28.36 en route to a 2:01.04 victory. Lochte finished 2nd in 2:01.90.

Like Hosszu, Townsend seems to be benefiting from a big run at the World Cup in the fall.

Zac Dalby from Australia’s East Brisbane Swim team was 3rd in 2:04.72. Texas A&M’s Simon Frank took 4th in 2:04.88.

Mike Alexandrov placed 5th in 2:04.93, and Conor Dwyer was 6th in 2:05.97.

See also: Ryan Lochte’s reveals plans for after the World Championships this summer, and it involves a big move.

Women’s 800 Free – Final

Anybody who thinks they’re going to beat Katie Ledecky in this 800 for the next 5-10 years must be counting on her meteoric improvement to tail off, because it’s going to be a tall task to catch her in this race. She went out in a 2:01 at the 200 meter race and a 4:08.35 at the 400 en route to an 8:20.64 victory.

That halfway split was faster than any woman aside from her was in the individual 400 freestyle event.

The biggest question for Ledecky fans to wonder about this summer is how effectively she’ll go either up (1500) or down (400 and 200) this summer and challenge for medals in those races.

Looking objectively, that’s the fastest time in the world so far this year in the event by three seconds. Perhaps someone like Lotte Friis from Denmark or Lauren Boyle from New Zealand, who have both been swimming very well, could catch her. Maybe France’s Camille Muffat if she really focused on it would have a chance. But the smart money between now and Rio is all on Ledecky.

Chloe Sutton took 2nd in 8:36.81, and Gator Swim Club’s Andreina Pinto placed 3rd in 8:41.54.

Men’s 1500 Free – Final

In the men’s 1500 free, Club Wolverine’s Michael Klueh won running away as well, posting a 15:28.57 for the victory. That included a big kick to the tune of 57.81 on the last 100 meters.

Chad la Tourette took 2nd in 15:41.28, and Mission Viejo’s David Heron placed 3rd in 15:42.84.

Full, live meet results available here.

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Philip Johnson
8 years ago

Pretty incredible by Ledecky. Like I said earlier, I would want her to swim the 200-400-800. I know there is stiff competition with Franklin & Schmitt, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all is she beated one of them. Now if she doesn’t get an individual spot in the 200, I can see her swimming in the 400, 800, the 4×200, and the 1500.

To get a spot in the women’s 1500, doesn’t one has to just win the 800 at trials? I don’t think they race that event at trials.

8 years ago

If any local Shakespeare companies are looking for a young Queen Elizabeth the Ist , Katie is your gal. Elizabeth was not much olde when she took the throne.

Philip Johnson
Reply to  Jg
8 years ago

Keep your petty personal insults to yourself.

Reply to  Philip Johnson
8 years ago

What is insulting about that comparison ?

D o you think Cate Blanchett was insulted to be cast as Elizabeth One.

Lane Four
Reply to  Jg
8 years ago

I didn’t read it as as insult. Quite the opposite. I read it as a compliment.

Reply to  Lane Four
8 years ago

Yep – every British actress of all ages was clamouring for that role. The alabaster skin cannot be replicated – especially the t,one that goes with a slight red .

Philip does not know his history – that Henry the Eighth ditched the pope & obliterated the Catholic Church in England so as to marry Elizabeth’s mother who can’t have been half bad .

It changed the world.

Reply to  Jg
8 years ago

My mistake – Liz had to wait around till a few others on the throne popped off & was 25 whilst avoiding the head choppers .Victoria was 17 .

8 years ago

Ledecky should do 200-400-800.
Granted, she may not win medal in the 200 in Barcelona, but I think in the next few years she will be dominant in the event.
1,500 is not an Olympics event, at least not until Rio, and I think Friis is absolutely great in the 1,500 so there’s no guarantee she will win 1,500.

bobo gigi
Reply to  aswimfan
8 years ago

I would prefer for this year the 400 free, the 800 free, the 1500 free and the 4X200 free relay. I think it’s a little too early for the 200 free. I have predicted 1.55 for her next summer but although she has already much improved, she hasn’t enough speed yet to play with Allison Schmitt and Camille Muffat. She could win 3 individual gold medals in Barcelona like Sun Yang. It’s a good place to do this tough freestyle triple. The last time a swimmer has done this triple, it was in 2003 in…Barcelona. It was Hannah Stockbauer. And this year 2 swimmers can do it. Predictable for Sun Yang. Harder for Miss Ledecky with Camille Muffat in the… Read more »

Reply to  bobo gigi
8 years ago

Sun will probably win the 400 and 1500 free.. but he will have to sacrifice some endurace of the 1500 ( Still can win ) to break the 400 WR and face Agnel in the 200..

Reply to  Rafael Teixeira
8 years ago

If not for Thorpe, Hackett would have won 200-400-800-1,500 in 2001 Fukuoka.

8 years ago

Ledecky could break the WR at Trials and not even swim the event at Worlds. Interesting scenario.

bobo gigi
8 years ago

Interesting session.
I like very much Katie McLaughlin in the fly races. This girl is to watch seriously in the next years.
It’s tough to say but the American men’s 200 fly is now very weak. But it’s not a surprise. Michael Phelps was the tree who hided the forest. Ok Tyler Clary is good but not a contender for a world podium. And behind him it’s the desert.
Again, Missy loses 1 meter after the first 15 meters in the 100 back. Does she work this part of the race or is her big height a disadvantage? But Olivia Smoliga and Matt Grevers are taller and have great starts and great underwaters. I can’t wait to… Read more »

Reply to  bobo gigi
8 years ago

i’d say the 1500 is weak for americans, not the 200 fly (not that it’s a new problem, we haven’t been great at this event for a while)

granted, china and canada have already had their trials, so their swimmers are expected to be going a little faster just to make the team. but klueh was 25 seconds behind cochrane, so we have some ground to make up if we want a medal

does “next summer” mean 2013 of 2014? i could see lochte getting two golds this summer but by 2014 i would agree with your assessment of on gold

Reply to  mcgillrocks
8 years ago

And there is still Mellouli.. Jaeger might have a bigger chance than Klueh.. but even so is difficult.. Sun and Cochrane is far ahead of the field.. Mellouli a little and Paltrinieri and Jaeger might make some ground.. but will be tough..

Reply to  mcgillrocks
8 years ago

Mcgill.. which would be the other Lotche Gold? He didn´t drop the 400IM too?

Reply to  Rafael Teixeira
8 years ago

unless i’m mistaken lochte has the textile record in the 200 back, which he hasn’t dropped as far as i know

i’m hoping cochrane will improve and we will see some great distance duels between now and rio. others just assume yang is unbeatable but cochrane is still going for the gold. i’m not sure, but i think that edge of beatable v unbeatable can make a difference in the close moments at the end of a race

Reply to  mcgillrocks
8 years ago

Yang unbeatable I think it comes from how easy he is breaking the WR.. even when Cochrane became the third fastest textile ever swimmer.. he still were 8 seconds behind Sun..

Reply to  mcgillrocks
8 years ago

Lochte could still win even 3 golds if he trims his events to only 200-400 IM and 200 back.

But I guess he still wants to swim the glamorous 200 free and maybe 100 fly/back.

Reply to  mcgillrocks
8 years ago

It will be interesting to see what Lochte can come back to this year. I know he loves that 400 IM race but not sure he has enough in the tank to get through the 200 400 IMs and 200 back.

I think this summer we will see the up and coming swimmers making the team with a few of the Olympians that have stayed on track with thier training. Greavers is looking good as is Clary and Murphy for those 100/200 back spots. If Greavers could slow down slightly the first 125 he may have enough to hold off Clary and Murphys back half speed in the 200. Sergio is going to have Murphy ready to come out… Read more »

8 years ago

Agnel 1:45:48
Stravius: 1:45:61
Mallet 1:46:69
Meynard only 1:49:53

If they had Lefert yet.. they would be unbeatable.. Gotta find a 1:47 at least to be a lock..

8 years ago

Agnel went out in 23.9…. and was faster at the 100 than he was in the Olympics. He really died at the end of that.

I have suspected that Stravius could swim a 144 when fully tapered. I definitely feel thats a possibility now. Even with a fourth place 149. Assuming that translate down to a 147 come crunch time, I would favor the French over the Americans in the 4x2free relay. Just barely, but I have a feeling about this one

Reply to  john26
8 years ago

John.. leveux did not swim the 200 free.. but he went 1:47 at the OG… maybe he will be at the team on prelim to see if he can stick to that time..

Reply to  Rafael Teixeira
8 years ago


If Leveaux swims 1:47 in Barcelona, FRA is the team to beat.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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