Mission Viejo is on fire. In the last week, they’ve had a swimmer (Chloe Sutton) named among one of the 15 hottest athletes for London (by none other than Mr. American Idol Ryan Seacrest); they put 6 boys into the A-Final of the California High School Southern Sectional Championships; and now they’ve swept the non-Olympic distance freestyles to kick off the 2012 Charlotte UltraSwim Grand Prix.
The meat of the action will kick off on Friday (with a back-to-back-to-back triple from Michael Phelps), but Thursday’s prologue was Nadador-day at the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center.
First came Chloe Sutton in the women’s 1500, where she won in 16:23.96. This swim shows how much of a different place she is in this year than last year – 2011 was still a transition from her from the super-long open water swims, and at this same event she was 12 seconds faster; now that she’s more in the straight-pool rhythm, she’s sacrificed some of that endurance for speed – a worthwhile trade for the 400 and the 800 that she’ll need to focus on in June.
She was followed by teammate Ashley Twichell in 16:25.25. As Sutton moved out of open water, Twichell moved in, and is not a National Champion. That’s her best time in this race (though she hasn’t swum it that many times).
In the men’s 800, Chad la Tourette put up a nice 7:58.91 to win, which puts him in a (meaningless) world top 15. That time is in the same zone as he was at the Swim Meet of Champions a few weeks ago in the same race, so he consistency is good for him.
A pair of Michigan teammates, Connor Jaeger and Sean Ryan, were 2nd and 3rd in 8:00.81 and 8:07.43, respectively.
Full, live results available here.