The final day’s preliminary session at the 2013 Santa Clara International Grand Prix will see more good races, though perhaps much of the excitement on this day will shift to the women’s side (as compared to the men who have stolen the show thus far.) That includes the 100 backstroke, where Australian Emily Seebohm, who has looked tired at this meet, will swim against Missy Franklin, Megan Romano, Rachel Bootsma, and Liz Pelton, among others.
We’ll also get to watch Franklin race the 200 IM, which is a potential final-day, nothing-to-lose race for her at the World Championship Trials later this month.
On the men’s side, Kevin Cordes will go for another big breaststroke swim, but this time will run up again Mike Alexandrov, who has been hard to beat in the 100 at this year’s Grand Prix Series.
Women’s 200 Fly Prelims
Canada’s Audrey Lacroix, the veteran, put up the top time in prelims of this women’s 200 fly with a 2:11.14; she was followed by Mexico’s Rita Medrano in 2:12.78 and American Jasmine Tosky in 2:12.78.
None of the really big-name American 200 butterfliers are at this meet, aside from Tosky who swam it at Worlds in 2011. She looked strong coming into the wall, so she may have enough to get down to a 2:10 in finals.
For Medrano, who didn’t have a great meet at the Olimpiada Nacional earlier this year, that’s easily a season-best time.
There were lots of off-event entries in this race, including Elizabeth Beisel, who was 4th in the heats in 2:13.31.
Maya DiRado from Stanford didn’t swim the 400 IM, perhaps her best race, at this meet, but taking on her first 200 fly of the long course season she clearly still had it on her mind. She was a 2:13.63, which is a lifetime best, to place 5th in the prelims.
Another 400 IM’er, Caitlin Leverenz, was 6th in 2:13.80, followed by Andie Taylor (2:14.56) and young Oregonian Michelle Cefal (2:14.60.) Sonia Wang, a 16-year old from the Redlands Swim team, rounds out the A-Final.
Men’s 200 Fly Prelims
One of the lesser-spoken-of names from the Junior Pan Pacs team is 16-year old Justin Wright from Fresno, but if he continues to swim this well, he’ll have a name for himself in no time. He was the lone swimmer under two minutes in prelims of the men’s 200 fly, swimming a 1:59.69 to just miss his personal best.
Tyler Clary (2:00.21) and Dan Madwed (2:00.52) aren’t far behind, and will probably join him there in finals, as could Tom Luchsinger (2:00.63) and Bobby Bollier (2:00.64.) With Michael Phelps’ retirement, the American men’s 200 fly group is looking for a new leader, but this race has most of the contenders in it.
Michael Klueh, Nico van Duijn, and Tom Kremer were also 2:00’s, and Zack Chetrat from Ontario rounds out the A-Final in 2:01.14.
Note: Tom Shields, who is the fastest ever (tied with Phelps) in yards of the 200 fly, scratched the event, as did Conor Dwyer.
Women’s 100 Breast Prelims
Jessica Hardy went out fast in this women’s 100 breaststroke, turning in 32.33, but she won’t be alone with her early speed in tonight’s final. She’ll be front-and-center after a 1:08.32, but Laura Sogar (1:08.72) and Alia Atkinson (1:08.84) were both as fast, if not faster, over those first 50 meters. One would imagine that Sogar, who is a great 200 breaststroker as compared to the other two, will have more on the back-half of her race in finals.
Katlin Freeman of the Santa Barbara Swim Club took 4th in 1:09.43, and Australia’s Sam Marshall had an early pace-setter of 1:09.46 for 5th.
Canada’s Martha McCabe, Wisconsin’s Ashley Wanland, Mexico’s Erica Dittmer, and Michigan’s Angie Chokran round out the A-Final.
For Dittmer, in 1:10.45, that’s a new Mexican National Record, though unofficially as Mexico hasn’t updated their official records listing since 2011.
Men’s 100 Breast Prelims
American Kevin Cordes had a controlled prelims swim in the men’s 100 breaststroke, just like he did in the 200, but still put up the second-fastest seed of the morning in 1:01.54. He sits behind New Zealand’s Glenn Snyders, who’s training at the Trojan Swim Club, who was a 1:00.79 in prelims.
Snyders has largely struggled since the Olympics at in-season meets (though he was good at the NZ State Open Championships) in stark contrast to typical Salo swimers, but it seems like he’s now falling into a groove: this is his best in-season time of the year.
Mike Alexandrov, who has won the last two Grand Prix meets in this race, is the 3rd seed in 1:01.73. Brazil’s Felipe Lima, who is the last one to beat him in Orlando, sits 5th in 1:01.82.
Azad Al-Barazi, Richard Funk, BJ Johnson, Scott Weltz, and Clark Burckle are all in the A-Final as well; Weltz and Burckle were both 1:03’s.
Women’s 100 Back Prelims
The top three seeds in the women’s 100 backstroke were all Cal Bears, and all either freshmen-or-sophomores to be. Liz Pelton took the top seed in 1:00.91, Rachel Bootsma was 2nd in 1:01.31, and Missy Franklin was 3rd in 1:01.49. Despite the latter two being the Olympians, it would be hard to count out Pelton in finals given how well she’s swum at this meet so far.
Georgia’s Megan Romano is the 4th seed in 1:01.84, and Australian Emily Seebohm was 5th in 1:01.86. As good as she is, and she’s a World Championship contender, Seebohm is unlikely to be able to compete with those top three in finals.
Another Cal swimmer, Cindy Tran, is the 6th seed in 1:01.99, and USC’s Kendyl Stewart was 7th in 1:02.06.
Bonnie Brandon took 8th in 1:02.10, and Kylie Stewart from Dynamo was 9th in 1:02.55.
Men’s 100 Back Prelims
Ryan Lochte really seems to be challenging himself at his meet to go harder than he probably needs to in multiple rounds of multiple races, and in this 100 backstroke tonight will look for his 4th event win of the meet after taking the top seed in 54.95.
He was out in 27.0 at the turn, as was Australian Bobby Hurley and New Zealander Corey Main the 2nd and 3rd seeds, but Lochte was able to close a little bit better than his southern-hemisphere counterparts. Hurley was 55.17 and Main was 55.28.
Olympic Champion Matt Grevers was a 55.35 for the 4th seed, and was followed by Eugene Godsoe and Arkady Vyatchanin in 55’s as well.
Japan’s Junya Koga and American 19-year old Jacob Pebley were the last two under 56 seconds, and Wisconsin’s Drew Teduits found his way into the final with a 56.81.
Women’s 200 IM Prelims
Another sleepy preliminary race on Sunday saw Caitlin Leverenz and Liz Pelton with the only really strong performances of the morning heats of this 200 IM. The two Cal swimmers went 2:14.32 and 2:14.64, respectively, though they got there in totally different ways. Leverenz did it by way of a 37-second split on her beaststroke, and Pelton did it with a 1:02 on her front-half. The race tonight could come down to the final freestyle leg, where the advantage would have to go to Pelton.
Elizabeth Beisel was 3rd in 2:15.85; for the most part at this meet, she’s looked better in prelims than she has in finals. Missy Franklin is the 4th seed in 2:15.97, and Emily Seebohm from Australia was 5th in 2:16.24.
Maya DiRado, Jasmine Tosky, Marni Oldershaw, and Celina Li will round out the A-Final with three 2:16’s and a 2:17 for Li.
Men’s 200 IM Prelims
A member of the Gator Swim Club training group took the top seed in the men’s 200 IM, but it wasn’t the one you’re thinking of.
Conor Dwyer took the top seed in the 200 IM with a 2:02.35: that’s not really close to his best time, as we’ve seen him do time-and-time again at this meet, but a very fast opening half of 57.4 puts him in the top position for this evening’s finals.
Michigan’s Kyle Whitaker was the 2nd seed in 2:03.17, and Ryan Lochte sits 3rd in 2:03.44. Lochte didn’t really push anything too seriously until the last 50 meters, where he had the fastest freestyle split.
Also in the A-Final will be NBAC’s Chase Kalisz (2:03.69) and Club Wolverine’s Tyler Clary (2:03.79). If those two swim as well as they have been at this meet so far, they could both push toward the 2:00 mark (assuming there’s more energy in finals, that is.)
Cal’s Josh Prenot is the 6th seed in 2:03.98, then there was a drop-off in times to Gunnar Bentz, Adam Hinshaw, and Fernando da Silva in 2:05’s.