Arena Grand Prix at Minneapolis: Day Three Prelims Live Recap

Arena Grand Prix at Minneapolis: Day Three Prelims Live Recap

Women 200 Yard IM

The fastest times leading into the circle-seeded heats came out of Marie-Pier Couillard of Les Riverains (2:03.44), Iowa Flyers’ Ruby Martin (2:01.82), and Greater Nebraska’s Caroline Thiel (2:03.37).

Caitlin Leverenz of California Aquatics, who in 2012 posted the fastest-ever women’s 200y IM with her 1:51.77, won the first championship heat with an easy 1:58.14. In the next heat, Saint Petersburg’s Melanie Margalis cruised to a 1:58.16 win. Maya DiRado of Stanford Swimming finished up the women’s event with 1:58.28. North Baltimore’s Becca Mann went a lifetime best 2:00.41 and just missed qualifying for tonight’s A-final; she finished ninth.

Needless to say, this will be an exciting final tonight, with three of the world’s best 200 IMers going head-to-head in the championship final.

Top Eight

  • Caitlin Leverenz – 1:58.14
  • Melanie Margalis – 1:58.16
  • Maya DiRado – 1:58.28
  • Karlee Bispo – 1:59.01
  • Beata Nelson – 1:59.11
  • Tori Simenec – 1:59.82
  • Brooke Zeiger – 1:59.98
  • Hilda Luthersdottir – 2:00.39

Men 200 Yard IM

Early rounds of the men’s 200 IM showed some good morning speed but nothing quite like the 1:49.16 that Frank Dyer of North Baltimore put up in heat 7. That was a 4.2-second drop from his seed time and easily the top time to that point.

The first circle-seeded heat produced great swims from the outside lanes. Guillermo Blanco of Purdue won the heat in 1:58.11 but Michael Weiss in lane 8 was right behind him with 1:48.68.

The penultimate heat looked like a NBAC showcase: Austin Surhoff and Conor Dwyer battled through the first 100 yards before being joined by teammate Alpkan Ornek at the 150 wall. The three raced home and it was Surhoff (1:48.68), Dwyer (1:48.91) and Ornek (1:49.40).

Finally, NY Athletic Club’s Darian Townsend and Tyler Clary of SwimMAC put up a great race. Townsend had a strong first 100 but Clary caught him in the breaststroke. The two traded stroke for stroke all the way home, touching in 1:45.51 (Townsend) and 1:45.61 (Clary), setting up a great final for tonight.

Top Eight

  • Darian Townsend – 1:45.51
  • Tyler Clary – 1:45.61
  • Guillermo Blanco – 1:48.11
  • Michael Weiss – 1:48.68
  • Conor Dwyer – 1:48.68
  • Austin Surhoff – 1:48.91
  • Jakub Maly – 1:48.99
  • Frank Dyer – 1:49.16

Women 200 Yard Backstroke

Highlights from the earlier heats include Katie McLaughlin of Mission Viejo who, entered with a bonus time of 2:04.1, dropped 4.3 seconds to win her heat with 1:59.80. In the next heat Megan Romano, who doesn’t even have a SCY times in the USA-S database and was entered in LCM, went 1:55.64 and won her heat by a good half a pool length.

Minnesota’s Brooke Zeiger and Zoe Avestruz of Aquajets had an excellent race in the first circle-seeded heat; Zeiger out-touched Avestruz by 3/100, winning 1:58.84 to 1:58.87. Former American record-holder Elizabeth Beisel won the next heat in 1:55.65, and Oakville’s Dominique Bouchard clocked a 1:53.17 to take the final heat.

Top Eight

  • Dominique Bouchard – 1:53.17
  • Megan Romano – 1:55.64
  • Elizabeth Beisel – 1:55.65
  • Beata Nelson – 1:57.57
  • Erin Earley – 1:57.85
  • Brooke Zeiger – 1:58.84
  • Zoe Avestruz – 1:58.87
  • Sophie Krivokapic-Zhou – 1:59.11

Men 200 Yard Backstroke

Braxton Flowers of Cypress Fairbanks was the first sub-1:50 in prelims of the men’s 200 back; he dropped about six seconds and hit the wall in 1:49.74. Jan Petric of Purdue lopped a couple seconds off his seed time and won the next heat in 1:47.83.

Badger’s James Wells put up a 1:44.19 to win the first championship-seeded heat. Ryan Harty of Greenwood Memorial took his in 1:44.33. The final heat pitted top seed Eric Ress of Santa Clara against SwimMAC’s Tyler Clary, the third-fastest SYC 200 backstroker of all time. Clary led at the 100 and kept his advantage through to the end, touching in 1:43.89 to Ress’ 1:44.36.

Top Eight

  • Tyler Clary – 1:43.89
  • James Wells – 1:44.19
  • Ryan Harty – 1:44.33
  • Eric Ress – 1:44.36
  • Carl Newenhouse – 1:46.06
  • Guillermo Blanco – 1:46.41
  • Austin Surhoff – 1:46.62
  • En-wei Hu-Van Wright – 1:46.77

Women 100 Yard Freestyle

The most notable swims coming out of the prelims of the women’s 100 free included a 1:14.03 from Paralympic gold medalist Mallory Weggemann, less than a second off her seed time. Oakville’s Dominique Bouchard popped a 49.86 to win her heat by a country mile. Similarly, Minnesota’s Madeline Hoch dropped 2.2 seconds from her seed time and won heat 10 out of lane 1 with 49.76.

Hoch remained the leader until the circle-seeded heats, in which Athens Bulldogs’ Shannon Vreeland went 48.87 while her teammate Megan Romano put up a 49.69. Coming in just ahead of Romano in the penultimate heat was Aquajets’ Zoe Avestruz, who dropped a half-second and won the heat in 49.26. Tucson Ford’s Margo Geer, the fourth-fastest 100y freestyler in history, closed it down with a 48.27 win in the final heat.

Top Eight

  • Margo Geer – 48.27
  • Shannon Vreeland – 48.87
  • Zoe Avestruz – 49.26
  • Becca Weiland – 49.47
  • Lauren Votava – 49.53
  • Rhi Jeffrey – 49.67
  • Megan Romano – 49.69
  • Madeline Hoch – 49.76

Men 100 Yard Freestyle

Felipe Lima got things started with a nice drop to win heat 7 in 45.15. Both he and Wisconsin Aquatics’ Michael Weiss in the following heat were entered in LCM times; both came up with big SCY swims. In Weiss’ case he won his heat in 44.99.

Weiss was the fastest qualifier all the way through until the last three heats, when Auburn’s James Disney-May went 43.03. Miguel Ortiz of Club Wolverine followed that up with a 42.73 in the next heat. American record-holder Nathan Adrian was in the final heat. Minnesota’s Daryl Turner challenged Adrian from the beginning; he led at the 50 and held off Adrian’s faster second half to finish with 43.19, a .3-second drop. Adrian went 43.25.

Top Eight

  • Miguel Ortiz – 42.73
  • James Disney-May – 43.09
  • Marcelo Chierighini – 43.14
  • Daryl Turner – 43.19
  • Nathan Adrian – 43.25
  • Danny Tucker – 43.27
  • Mark Weber – 43.43
  • Darian Townsend – 43.53

Women 1650 Yard Freestyle

While the final heat of the women’s mile will swim in finals, there were plenty of good swims in the earlier heats. Minnesota freshman Brooke Lorentzen, who came out of the Mission Viejo distance program, led heat 2 from wire-to-wire and came up with a lifetime-best 16:25.72. Next to her was La Mirada’s Taylor Ault, a member of the US National Junior Team. She came in second with 16:30.92, her second-fastest time ever. Emily Meckstroth of Michiana Stars placed third in that heat with 16:44.97. Claire Murray of Iowa Flyers went 17:28.00 for a best time and a win of heat 3.

Leading times to beat in tonight’s final

  • Brooke Lorentzen – 16:25.72
  • Taylor Ault – 16:30.92
  • Emily Meckstroth – 16:44.97
  • Heidi George – 16:50.58
  • Kathleen Sulkevich – 17:06.41
  • Mariajose Oceguera – 17:08.51
  • Katie Garrity – 17:26.77
  • Claire Murray – 17:28.00

Men 1650 Yard Freestyle

We got to see some of our favorite kind of distance swimming during the early heats of the men’s mile in Minneapolis: the kind where it all comes down to the last 25 yards.

Edina’s JohnThomas Larson and Donner’s Michael Brinegar duked it out for 1650 yards. Colin Murphy from The Woodlands was with them most of the way, too; the trio turned essentially together at the halfway mark. It was truly great racing to the end: Larson won with 15:39.39 to Brinegar’s 15:39.50. Murphy was 15:44.48.

Jared Graham of Penguin Aquatics and Jacob Wielinski of Great Wolf did the same thing in the very next heat. Graham led out of lane 1 most of the way, up several seconds over the rest of the field by midway. But Wielinski had a great finish and the pair touched in 15:40.25 (Graham) and 15:40.79 (Wielinski), racing to the bitter end.

Michael Messner of Santa Clara Swim Club, who was seeded with his 800m time, won heat 4 with a very solid 15:35.75, more than a pool length in front of second-place finisher Manuel Gutierrez of Purdue (15:54.24). Messner’s time was the fastest overall coming out of the early heats.

Leading times to beat in tonight’s final

  • Michael Messner – 15:35.75
  • JohnThomas Larson – 15:39.39
  • Michael Brinegar – 15:39.50
  • Jared Graham – 15:40.25
  • Jacob Wielinski – 15:40.79
  • Colin Murphy – 15:44.88
  • Brendan Meyer – 15:47.50
  • Jack Collins – 15:49.76


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Justin Thompson
8 years ago

A 1:52.79 for Michael Andrew in the 200IM? Is he feeling ok?

Sw IMer
Reply to  Justin Thompson
8 years ago

Andrew definitely didn’t look good after the race. He might just be having a bad day.

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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