Morozov cracks 22, Murphy and DiRado shine on day 2 of Speedo Grand Challenge

Each representing one of California’s powerhouse college/pro swimming hubs, Vlad Morozov, Maya DiRado and Ryan Murphy each came down with a win on the second day of the Irvine Novaquatics Speedo Grand Challenge.

Morozov won the opening event with perhaps the most impressive performance of the entire night. The former USC sprint dominator cracked 22 seconds to win the 50 free, going 21.95. That time would rank top 5 in the world, but Morozov already sits at #2 with his 21.65 from Russian Nationals.

Morozov is looking like a legitimate gold medal threat at this summer’s World Championships, trailing only France’s Florent Manaudou in the world rankings.

DiRado, a Stanford alum competing for the team’s professional group, won her third event of the meet so far in the 400 IM. DiRado won the race by over ten full seconds, going 4:40.61. That’s not a season-best, but if it were, it would rank within the top 25 in the world this year. She topped Cal’s Celina Li (4:51.27) who is no slouch in the event, herself.

Then there’s Murphy, the rising junior for the California Golden Bears. Seen by some as the heir apparent to the sterling American backstroking legacy, Murphy was just three tenths off a season-best to win the 200 back, going 1:57.20. Murphy is the fastest American in the event this season, and this time beats out all other American swims this season besides Murphy’s own 1:56.91 from the Austin Pro Swim Series meet.

His Cal teammate Jacob Pebley was second, cracking two minutes with a 1:59.40.

Cal also got two wins on the women’s side, courtesy of Elizabeth Pelton. Pelton was 1:58.86 to beat out talented Stanford youngster Simone Manuel in the 200 free early on. Manuel was a force in the event in short course, and was a solid 1:59.11 here, but is probably better suited for the 50 free and 100 free in the Olympic-sized pool.

Pelton would go on to win the 200 back as well, hitting a 2:12.25 to top USC’s Hannah Weiss (2:13.55).

Max Williamson won the men’s 400 IM, going 4:21.19 to beat Cal’s Adam Hinshaw. In the women’s 100 fly, USC’s Kendyl Stewart was a quick 58.68 to jump just inside the world’s top 25 for the year.

The men’s 100 fly was the only senior race where the winner came from outside of those ‘big three’ clubs. Clovis Swim Club’s Carl Weigley was 52.56 to touch out Cal’s Long Gutierrez (53.74).

The night closed with the men’s 400 free, where USC’s Cristian Quintero picked up the easy victory in 3:53.63. He beat teammate Nikita Lobintsev (3:57.40), avenging a loss to Lobintsev in last night’s 200 free.

You can find full results of the meet here, or on Meet Mobile.

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8 years ago

Vlad’s USC profile said he moved to the U.S. from Siberia to become a freshman at Torrance H.S. (alma mater of Louie Zamperini of “Unbroken” fame), but it doesn’t say anything about his citizenship and the circumstances of him coming to the U.S. I’m not sure if he has dual citizenship, but at one time there was an effort to “fast track” U.S. citizenship prior to the 2012 Olympics so he’d have a chance to join Team USA. But Vlad was just a college sophomore then and there were a number of other American sprinters ahead of him so he stayed with his Russian citizenship and ended up winning a bronze. Now he’s at the top of the sprint world… Read more »

Reply to  SwimPhan
8 years ago

He really wanted to swim for the USA and stated it as a goal when he was in high school, but when the fast-track bid for US citizenship in 2012 failed, he seemed to quickly lose interest after his good experience on the Russian team in London. I’m guessing that there was some financial incentive as well, not to mention political pressure from Russia given the political climate there, and that Kazan had already been awarded Worlds.

bobo gigi
8 years ago

Nice performance by Murphy (1.57 in the 200 back) and Stewart (58.68 in the 100 fly). Kendyl was in 59.39 at the same meet last year.
Very good women’s 200 free with Pelton and Manuel in 1.58.86 and 1.59.11. Liz was in 2.02.52 last year at the same period. Simone close to her PB totally unrested.
Maya DiRado also faster than last year’s meet. 4.40.61 vs 4.43.98.

Reply to  bobo gigi
8 years ago

Good signs! 🙂

8 years ago

@Hank, his family emigrated from Russia. He did attend high school in Torrance, CA, speaking very little, if any English, then attended USC.

8 years ago

Sorry maybe getting mixed up with Milorad. Morozov was actually born in Russia but move here for high school at Torrance. I am sure USA would expedite a path to citizenship if he doesn’t already have it given the condition of its sprinting corps should Vlad choose to no longer represent Mother Russia but that seems unlikely.

Reply to  Hank
8 years ago

Hank, Vlad originally sought to represent the US but the path to citizenship was NOT expedited. Back in 2009, he stated, “I’d like to stay here (United States) for the rest of my life, so I’d like to represent America,” however the time table didn’t work out and he wasn’t provided any short cuts to eligibility. According to the LA Times, “Morozov had hoped to compete for a spot on the United States team for the 2012 Olympics. But he said he made inquiries to see if the citizenship process could be sped up and was told he would have to wait until after the Games.”

8 years ago

You sure he was born in Russia? Maybe his parents are Russian and he is a dual citizen? I thought he went to Torrance high school.

8 years ago

Why does Morozov swim for Russia?

Reply to  Hank
8 years ago

Because he is Russian and was born in Russia

Reply to  Hank
8 years ago

What Markster already said: he’s Russian and was born in Russia. Yeah, he swam at USC but lots of internationals actually come to US colleges to swim because of the experience (and academics and other various reasons). Our college coaches are phenomenal, and our the NCAA programs ready people for the pressures to come.

I think there was a fun fact at the 2012 London Games where 7 of the 8 finalists in the 50m Free had actually swam college in the US, the infamous Milorad Cavic was a swimmer at Cal Berkley even. Aside from that, the US is also has a ridiculously hard Olympic team to make so anywhere else is much better. Partially why Arkady Vyatchanin decided… Read more »

8 years ago

As I alluded earlier today, we wouldn’t be having any articles expressing concern over the state of USA men’s sprinting if Vlad was representing the US. Since 2013…

Morozov – 47.62
Feigen – 47.82
Adrian – 47.84
Phelps – 48.45

Reply to  TheTroubleWithX
8 years ago

Don’t forget about Ervin splitting that monster 47.44 in 2013. Age just doesnt seem to catch up with him

Reply to  TheTroubleWithX
8 years ago

I think he is well compensated by Russia. Changing representation would cost him financial support.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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