Minneapolis Grand Prix Day Two Prelims: Live Recap

2014 Minneapolis Grand Prix

Women 200 Yard Butterfly

Shannon Vreeland, Caitlin Leverenz and Becca Mann put on a good show in the first of the circle-seeded heat of the women’s 200 fly prelims. Leverenz took control of the second half and came to the wall first in 1:56.60.  Katie McLaughlin and Devin Ste Marie battled for control of their heat. McLaughlin was out first but Ste Marie had an incredible back half and the two ended up tied for the heat win in 1:58.43. The final heat featured Elizabeth Beisel and Maya DiRado. Beisel led wire-to-wire and finished with 1:57.85 to DiRado’s 1:58.45.

Top Eight

  • Caitlin Leverenz – 1:56.60
  • Shannon Vreeland – 1:57.61
  • Elizabeth Beisel – 1:57.84
  • Katie McLaughlin – 1:58.43
  • Devin Ste Marie – 1:58.43
  • Maya DiRado – 1:58.45
  • Becca Mann – 1:58.55
  • Danielle Nack – 1:59.97

Men 200 Yard Butterfly

The men of the midwest put up a good showing in the 200 fly, populating half the spots for tonight’s final. Minnesota’s Andrew Hartbarger claimed the first of the circle-seeded heats in 1:48.76. The most exciting prelims race came from Tyler Clary and Kyler VanSwol in the second-to-last heat; the two nearly finished in a tie, with Clary edging VanSwol by 1/100. Bobby Bollier controlled the final heat from beginning to end and came up with the morning’s third-fastest time, 1:47.06.

Top Eight

  • Tyler Clary – 1:46.83
  • Kyler VanSwol – 1:46.84
  • Bobby Bollier – 1:47.06
  • Daniel Conway – 1:47.62
  • Guillermo Blanco – 1:47.70
  • Ben Bravence – 1:48.60
  • Frank Dyer – 1:48.66
  • Andrew Hartbarger – 1:48.76

Women 50 Freestyle

There were some strong swims in the early heats of the women’s 50 free, but the first sub-23 second swim belonged to Shannon Vreeland with a lifetime best by nearly a second, 22.84. Lisa Boyce of Longhorn Aquatics won the first of the circle-seeded heats with the fastest time at that point, a 22.68. Denver’s Annie Ochitwa‘s 22.84 led the field in the penultimate heat, and then Margo Geer of Tucson Ford posted a 22.21 to close it down.

Top Eight

  • Margo Geer – 22.21
  • Becca Weiland – 22.61
  • Lisa Boyce – 22.68
  • Zoe Avestruz – 22.72
  • Shannon Vreeland – 22.84
  • Annie Ochitwa – 22.84
  • Karlee Bispo – 22.91
  • Beata Nelson – 22.93

Men 50 Freestyle

Despite some strong early-round  times, only the sub-20 swimmers in the last three heats made the championship final. Miguel Ortiz of Club Wolverine turned in a strong performance to win the first circle-seeded heat. Danny Tucker of Boilermaker out-touched the field in a narrow victory with 19.65. American record-holder Nathan Adrian and Bruno Fratus went head-to-head in the final heat; Fratus got the win in 19.32 while Adrian touched in 19.71.

Top Eight

  • Bruno Fratus – 19.32
  • Miguel Ortiz – 19.40
  • Danny Tucker – 19.65
  • Nathan Adrian – 19.71
  • Marcelo Chierighini – 19.71
  • Derek Toomey – 19.84
  • James Disney-May – 19.87
  • Mark Weber – 19.88 / Junya Hoga – 19.88

Women 100 Backstroke

There were some really excellent morning swims out of the women in the 100 back prelims. Oakville’s Dominique Bouchard set the pace for making tonight’s championship final by winning the first of the circle-seeded heat in 53.03, the fastest time seen thus far by two full seconds. Zoe Avestruz  of Aquajets won the next heat out of lane 5, going 53.10. Beata Nelson from Southwest Aquatics, who won last night’s 100 fly with a new national age group record for 15-16 girls, touched in 53.31 to win the final heat of the backstroke. Annie Ochitwa had a nice back-to-back (no pun intended); she dropped a half-second in the back, just after the 50 free, to qualify seventh.

Top Eight

  • Dominique Bouchard – 53.03
  • Zoe Avestruz – 53.10
  • Melanie Margalis – 53.17
  • Beata Nelson – 53.31
  • Megan Romano – 53.62
  • Mickayla Hinkle – 53.66
  • Annie Ochitwa – 54.04
  • Tevyn Waddell – 54.07

Men 100 Backstroke

Headed into the circle-seeded heats the strongest swims had come from Life Time’s Connor Stirling, who dropped nearly 2 seconds to win heat 4 of the men’s back in 50.13, and Minnesota’s Jon Thielen who dropped 4/10 to win the next heat in 50.14.

Then came a 46.51 from Badger’s James Wells. Next up was Miguel Ortiz, whose 46.78 won his heat by a body length. Ortiz has had some strong performances in Minneapolis so far and he’ll have a chance to continue on his path tonight. In the last heat Junya Hoga went 46.49 to top-seeded Eric Ress’s 48.03 to earn lane 4 in tonight’s final.

Top Eight

  • Junya Hoga – 46.49
  • James Wells – 46.51
  • Miguel Ortiz – 46.78
  • En-wei Hu-Van Wright – 47.44
  • Ryan Harty – 47.93
  • Eric Ress – 48.03
  • Daryl Turner – 48.30
  • Christopher Johnson – 49.07

Women 500 Freestyle

Tonight’s A-final of the women’s 500 free just might be the race of the night. Half the heat will consist of Golden Gophers swimming in home territory. Brooke Zeiger put up one of the more impressive swims, winning her heat in a personal best 4:44.01 with a body-length lead against veterans Lindsay Vrooman and Becca Mann. Shannon Vreeland went 4:41.78 to take the next heat by a wide margin over Sam Harding and Brooke Lorentzen of Minnesota. The final heat belonged to a very smooth Elizabeth Beisel, who at 4:42.19, turned in the second-fastest time of the morning.

Top Eight

  • Shannon Vreeland – 4:41.78
  • Elizabeth Beisel – 4:42.19
  • Brooke Zeiger – 4:44.01
  • Kiera Janzen – 4:44.50
  • Lindsay Vrooman – 4:44.75
  • Becca Mann – 4:44.92
  • Sam Harding – 4:46.28
  • Brooke Lorentzen – 4:47.71

Men 500 Freestyle

The men’s race won’t lack for excitement in tonight’s final, either. Connor Jaeger of Club Wolverine posted the top time with 4:18.49, but only 2.2 seconds separate the next seven qualifiers. Tyler Clary dropped two seconds to win the last heat in the absence of Conor Dwyer, and moved into fifth place for tonight’s final. Mission Viejo’s Nick Norman also put up a lifetime best, although just by a tick, and earned a start in lane 6 tonight.

Top Eight

  • Connor Jaeger – 4:18.49
  • Jeremy Bagshaw – 4:22.30
  • Frank Dyer – 4:22.52
  • Nick Norman – 4:22.89
  • Tyler Clary – 4:23.01
  • Michael Weiss – 4:23.16
  • Ryan Feeley – 4:24.37
  • CJ Smith – 4:24.56

Men 100 Backstroke Swimoff

Connor Stirling and Ted Curtiss had tied earlier in the day for 17th with 50.13, so in case of scratches they agreed to reswim the race. Stirling went out in 23.8 and answered with a 25.7 for a commanding lead and a new time of 49.65.

Women 200 Breaststroke

A couple of really big morning swims highlighted the women’s 200 breast prelims. To begin with, Katie Hoff of Hurricane Aquatics, seeded with a meters time and swimming in heat 3 of 7, dropped a 2:12.41 and won her heat by a good ten meters. Hoff did post lifetime bests in both the 100m and 200m breast this summer, but it was still quite a spectacular morning effort. Hoff stayed on top until Kierra Smith of Minnesota rocked her heat with a lifetime-best 2:05.89, again about a half a pool length head of the field. Caitlin Leverenz and Haley Spencer had an exciting finish in the final heat; Leverenz got the touch but they both qualified for tonight’s championship final.

Top Eight

  • Kierra Smith – 2:05.89
  • Caitlin Leverenz – 2:10.55
  • Haley Spencer – 2:10.87
  • Katie Hoff – 2:12.41
  • Melanie Margalis – 2:12.43
  • Hilda Luthersdottir – 2:12.97
  • Bronwyn Pasloski – 2:14.35
  • Emily McClellan – 2:14.65

Men 200 Breaststroke

The men’s 200 breast also featured some surprising prelims performances, but none more impressive than that of Purdue’s Marat Amaltdinov. Seeded with a meters time, Amaltdinov dropped almost four seconds off his lifetime best yards time to post the morning’s fastest qualifying time: 1:55.59. Carlos Almeida of Louisville Cardinals and North Baltimore’s Conor Dwyer had a great battle in their heat; Almeida managed to hold off Dwyer who posted a best time of 1:57.42. Perhaps the best race of the day took place in the final 25 yards of the heat pitting NY Athletic Club’s Mike Alexandrov against Purdue’s Lyam Dias. It looked as though they touched at the same time but Alexandrov got the edge, 1:57.42 to 1:57.59. BJ Johnson had an easier time in the last heat and ended up with the second-fastest time headed into tonight’s final, 1:56.81.

Top Eight

  • Marat Amaltdinov – 1:55.59
  • PJ Johnson – 1:56.81
  • Carlos Almeida – 1:57.11
  • Conor Dwyer – 1:57.42
  • Mike Alexandrov – 1:57.42
  • Lyam Dias – 1:57.59
  • Trevor Hoyt – 1:57.63
  • Matthew Anderson – 1:57.79


Finals will begin tonight at 6 p.m local time (7 p.m EST, 4 p.m Pacific).

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bobo gigi
6 years ago

Not very important but I believe the guy on the photo is not Conor Dwyer but Connor Jaeger.

Day 1 race videos.
Men’s 400 IM A-Final
Women’s 400 IM A-Final
Men’s 100 fly A-Final
Women’s 100 fly A-Final BEATA NELSON’S NAG RECORD!
Men’s 100 breast A-Final
Women’s 100 breast A-Final
Men’s 200 free A-Final
Women’s 200 free A-Final
Men’s 4X100 free relay A-Final
Women’s 4X100 free relay A-Final
Thanks to USA swimming for posting all finals on youtube very quickly. Great job.

Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

As always Bobo, you are awesome!

6 years ago

Alexandrov definitely took two dolphin kicks off the dive of his 200 breast

6 years ago

2 Breast – Boiler UP!!

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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