Night 1 of the 2015 Athens Sectionals was all Melanie Margalis, with the Georgia Bulldog grad winning two events and hitting the fourth-fastest 200 IM the world this year.
Margalis won the first two women’s events back-to-back, starting off with that 200 IM. Margalis went 2:10.26, a new season-best. That improved her previous best from the Arena Pro Swim Series at Charlotte by a couple tenths and strengthened her grip on the #4 time in the world this year.
Margalis beat Zimbabwean Olympian Kirsty Coventry in that race. Coventry, who trains and competes out of SwimMAC’s pro hub in Charlotte, NC, was 2:14.97.
Margalis was also able to show off her short speed, going 25.79 to nip NC State’s ACC Champ Riki Bonnema in the 50 free just a few events later. Bonnema was 25.88.
It’s been a great couple of months now for Margalis, who really seems to be heating up as she approaches the World Championships in Kazan, Russia. Margalis will swim the 200 IM there.
The other winner on the women’s side was SwimMAC’s Cammile Adams, who took the 200 fly by a wide margin. Adams was a 2012 U.S. Olympian in that event, and will represent the red, white and blue in the race again in Kazan. Adams was 2:08.06, only a half-second off her season-best, which still sits 6th in the world.
Things were a bit sleepier on the men’s side. Ryan Lochte was fast enough to win the men’s 200 IM by a wide margin, but his 2:00.00 was still nearly three second off his season-best. Lochte may now be the gold medal favorite in Kazan with the withdrawal of Japan’s Kosuke Hagino, but he’ll have to be much faster than two minutes flat to win the race at Worlds.
Club Wolverine’s Connor Jaeger was second in 2:02.28, a rare 200 IM appearance for the distance man.
SwimMAC’s Michael Chadwick won the 50 free. The rising junior at Mizzou was 22.39, beating another Club Wolverine pro, Miguel Ortiz (22.62) as well as SwimAtlanta/Georgia Bulldog Michael Trice (22.63).
The Wolverines finally broke through with a win in the final event, though. South African Dylan Bosch, a former NCAA champ, went 1:57.28 for the win. Dynamo’s Mick Litherland, a rising sophomore at Georgia, took second in 1:58.29.
Full results are available on Meet Mobile.