Shields Hits 51.73 100 Fly in Last Session of LA Invite

The final night of the 2015 L.A. Invitational saw Dana Vollmer swim her first finals race since the 2013 World Championships. American backstroke stars Matt Grevers and Ryan Murphy matched up in the 100 back. Tom Shields lead the 100 fly finals after posting a season best this morning. In the men’s 100 breast, Team USA’s Brendan McHugh took on Japan’s Kosuke Kitajima. Margo Geer returned to finals to try and capture her first win of the meet over Camille Cheng in the 200 free. Day 4 finals highlights:

Women’s 100 Fly

The meet opened with the finals of the women’s 100 fly, as Dana Vollmer stepped onto the block for her first finals swim in years. She swam out of lane 5, right next to the top seed, Cal’s Farida Osman.

Osman brought the heat in finals, taking the win with a sizable lead in 58.76. Her teammate Kelly Naze was the only other woman under 1:00. She clocked a 59.93 for 2nd.

Ella Eastin and Eva Merrell raced for 3rd closely behind Naze. Those two were close to even the entire race. They both went best times, with Merrell knocking .07 off her time to take 3rd in 1:00.04. Eastin dropped nearly 6 tenths off of her previous best of 1:00.72 from 2014 Jr Pan Pacs. She touched 4th in 1:00.14.

Vollmer slid back to 6th in 1:00.72, about 6 tenths of her prelims time of 1:00.05. Tongiht she was 28.15/32.57 compared to her prelims splits of 27.99/32.06.

Top 3: 1. Farida Osman 58.76  2. Kelly Naze 59.93 3. Eva Merrell 1:00.04

Men’s 100 Fly

In prelims of the men’s 100 fly, Tom Shields moved himself up to 18th in the world rankings with a 52.00. Tonight, he broke 52 to win the event and further boost his ranking.

Shields crushed the field to finish in 51.73. Before today he was ranked 20th in the world. That swim rocketed him into the top 10, sitting at 9th.

Cal’s Justin Lynch and Tucson Ford’s Masha Kishida were neck and neck at the finish. Both swam 53 lows, with Kishida getting his hand on the wall first. His 53.14 gave him 2nd over Lynch, who touched at 53.16.

Marcus Schlesinger followed for 4th in 53.82. Kishida’s teammate Bryce Bohman swam to 5th in 54.71

Top 3: 1. Tom Sields 51.73 2. Masha Kishida 53.14 3. Justin Lynch 53.16

Women’s 100 Back

Stanford’s Ally Howe took the early lead over UCLA’s Madison White in the 100 back. On the 2nd 50, White dropped the faster split of 31.14 to win in 1:01.80. Howe closed in 31.88 to finish 2nd, touching at 1:02.30.

Ella Eastin made a quick turnaround to compete in the women’s 100 back final. Eastin trailed Howe by just a tenth to finish 3rd in 1:02.40, nearly even splitting the race at 31.10/31.30.

White’s teammate Linnea Mack battled with incoming UCLA freshman Emma Schanz for 4th. Mack out-touched her future NCAA teammate, 1:02.67 to 1:02.80.

Top 3: 1. Madison White 1:01.80  2. Ally Howe 1:02.30  3. Ella Eastin 1:02.40

Men’s 100 Back

Defending Olympic champion Matt Grevers faced off with USA teammate Ryan Murphy in the final of the men’s 100 back. Both dropped a significant amount of time from prelims to finals, making it a 2 man race.

Murphy came out on top, splitting 26.23/27.41 on the way to a 53.64. That time sits him at 11th in the world for 2015. Grevers came in 2nd, close to a half second behind in 54.07.

Behind those two, Luca Spinazzola dropped from his prelims time to break 56. He had the fastest opening 50 of the field, flipping at 27.06. He couldn’t hold on in the 2nd half, but his 55.58 gave him 3rd.

AZOT’s Thomas Smith had a very good swim, hitting the wall at 56.60 for 4th. That time qualified him for the 2016 Olympic Trials, which will now give him a chance to swim both backstrokes at the meet.

Top 3: 1. Ryan Murphy 53.64 2. Matt Grevers 54.07 3. Luca Spinazzola 55.58

Women’s 100 Breast

2 women broke 1:10 in the women’s 100 breast final, lead by Stanford’s Sarah Haase. She had already gone a personal best in prelims, but she clipped a couple hundredths off of that to win in 1:08.59.

Arizona’s Emma Schoettmer took 2nd place in the final. After qualifying 7th in prelims, she dropped 3.5 seconds off her morning time to post a 1:09.08.

The race for 3rd between UCSB’s Charis Hoppe and New Mexico’s Kristin Walker was close from start to finish. Hoppe raced to the wall for 3rd with a 1:11.62. She was 2 seconds faster than her 1:13.71 coming into the meet.

Walker was narrowly behind, 4th in 1:11.76. Hoppe’s teammate Carissa Metcalf finished just behind them for 5th with a 1:11.96.

Top 3: 1. Sarah Haase 1:08.59 2. Emma Schoettmer 1:09.08  3. Charis Hoppe 1:11.62

Men’s 100 Breast

Brendan McHugh came into the finals of the men’s 100 breast with a mission. He used this meet as an opportunity to qualify for the 2015-16 U.S. National Team.

McHugh, who will head to Kazan to compete in the 50 breast, swam against Japanese veteran Kosuke Kitajima. While both were well ahead of their seed times, McHugh held on to first place in 1:01.04 over a 1:01.35 from Kitajima.

We’ll have to wait and see how things shake out in August to know if McHugh will land on the national team, but he’s been faster this year in 1:00.56 at Arena Pro Swim Orlando. He’s currently the 4th fastest American.

Behind Kitajima, USC’s Steven Stumph dropped from his best time set in prelims to place 3rd in 1:02.58. He was just ahead of Youssef El Kamash, who swam to 4th in 1:02.83.

Top 3: 1. Brendan McHugh 1:01.04 2. Kosuke Kitajima 1:01.35 3. Steven Stumph 1:02.58 

Women’s 200 Free

Camille Cheng and Margo Geer took control of the women’s 200 free at the start. They were closely matched at the 100, with Cheng leading narrowly in 58.33 to 58.52.

Through the final 100 meters, she stretched her lead, splitting 1:02.55 to claim the win in 2:00.88. Geer closed in 1:03.60 to take 2nd with a new best time of 2:02.12.

Cheng’s Cal teammate Rachael Acker swam to 3rd, posting a time of 2:04.41. She beat out 15-year-old Elise Garcia at the finish. Garcia raced to a new personal best, clocking in at 2:04.48.

Arizona’s incoming freshman Daniela Georges was within a tenth of her to claim 5th in 2:04.54. Madison White took 6th after winning the 100 back earlier, close behind Georges in 2:04.85.

Margo Geer, Camille Cheng, Elise Garcia, Rachael Acker, Lucy Worrall, Alexandra Wooden, Madison White

Top 3: 1. Camille Cheng 2:00.88 2. Margo Geer 2:02.12 3. Rachael Acker 2:04.41

Men’s 200 I.M.

Kosuke Kitajima took on a double tonight, claiming 1st in his final event with a 2:02.42. The breaststroke leg, as expected, gave him a huge edge over the field. His 34.23 split pushed him past Iegor Lytvenok and Corey Okubo, who finished in 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Lytvenok lead the race through 100 meters before Kitajima took over on the 3rd 50. His 2:03.73 was a new best time. He came into the meet with a 2:04.08.

Okubo edged out Anton Panferov for 3rd. Panferov was ahead through the first 150, but Okubo closed in 29.64 to his 30.30, passing him at the finish. Both men dipped under 2:05, as they finished in 2:04.71 and 2:04.84.

Top 3: 1. Kosuke Kitajima 2:02.42 2. Iegor Lytvenok 2:03.73 3. Corey Okubo 2:04.71

Women’s 1500 Free

The distance events this afternoon were timed finals, and the women swam the 1500 this afternoon.

The top 8 finishers were all 18& under. Alexandra Wooden lead the field of distance swimmers to the finish, winning with a time of 17:04.21. She was well ahead, coming into the wall 8 seconds before anyone else.

Blanca Daniela Luna Rocha and Martha Ruth Aguilar Ortega were separated by less than a tenth behind her. 15-year-old Ortega had the better split on the final 50, 32.07 to 33.52, but she ran out of room to catch Rocha for 2nd. They finished in 17:12.63 and 17:12.70.

Top 3: 1. Alexandra Wooden 17:04.21 2. Blanca Daniela Luna Rocha 17:12.63 3. Martha Ruth Aguilar Ortega 17:12.70

Men’s 800 Free

In the timed finals of the men’s 800 free, 3 Arizona men claimed the top spots.

Wildcat junior Ty Fowler earned his first win in his final swim of the meet, topping the field with an 8:12.95. That knocked a couple seconds off his previous best of 8:15.36 from 2014 Summer Nationals.

Incoming freshman Parks Jones swam under the 2015 Summer Nationals cut, qualifying to swim the event in August with an 8:14.60. That was a big drop from his previous 8:19.13 to earn him 2nd place.

To round out the podium sweep, sophomore Chris Wieser touched 3rd in 8:17.35 ahead of Michael Brinegar. Brinegar also cracked 8:20 to take 4th in 8:19.69.

Top 3: 1. Ty Fowler 8:12.95 2. Parks Jones 8:14.60 3. Chris Wieser 8:17.35

Women’s 400 Medley Relay

In the women’s 4×100 medley relay, Conejo Simi Swim Club claimed the win in the final relay of the meet. Deanne Umbay was the biggest difference maker for the quartet. Her 1:05.34 backstroke leadoff gave them a 2 second lead over Golden West Swim Club’s A relay.

Golden West’s A team started off 2nd after Madison Varisco‘s 1:07.68 100 back. Their B team quickly moved ahead through the back and breast legs. Despite a 57.96 anchor from Maddie Meisel, the A team couldn’t catch the B team’s Samantha Le, who closed in 59.06

Top 3: 1. Conejo Simi Swim Club A 4:22.41 2. Golden West Swim Club B 4:28.75 3. Golden West Swim Club A 4:30.52

Men’s 400 Medley Relay

Simon Fraser Aquatics won the final event of the L.A. Invitational, winning in 3:56.25. Andrew Poznikoff‘s 1:02.95 breaststroke split brought them from behind to lead the rest of the race. Ben Berg sealed the deal with a 52.58 free leg.

Coneji Simi Swim Club and Golden West Swim Club battled closely for 2nd. Coneji Simi lead by half a second through 200 meters, but it came down to Nate Biondi vs Golden West’s Chadd Maurer on the freestyle 100.

Maurer outsplit Biondi 53.53 to 55.19 to grab 2nd for Golden West. Both teams broke 4 minutes, 3:58.18 to 3:59.94

Top 3: 1. Simon Fraser Aquatics A 3:56.25 2. Golden West Swim Club A 3:58.18 3. Coneji Swim Club A 3:59.94

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PACFAN

Shields shaping up just in time. Good. I feel like he’ll be missing the A final in Kazan or getting a medal. But this swim makes me feel like he’s gaining some serious consistency. Let’s go Tom.

Billabong

Have no fear. Shields should dip below 51 this year, and he will have a good chance of getting a medal, as well as finishing the year as the Top flyer in the U.S.

Irish Ringer

I fear nothing, but I won’t be laying any money down on your prediction 🙂

SamH

I am getting so excited for Murphy this summer. I also really hope they put him on one of the prelims medley relays. Definitely think he can go 52.5 or faster. Break 53 at the bare minimum. 200 back was also pretty awesome at this meet. 1:53? Definitely 1:54, after that who knows.

carlo

SAMH, only ryosuke irie can go 1:53 in the 200 back at the moment.

SamH

Well he was the only one in 2014, doesn’t mean he is the only one who can do it. Murphy has been looking for his international breakout and Irie doesn’t have the greatest track record for big international meets (Lost to Clary at Pan Pacs with a 1:54-1:55, then goes on to go 1:53.3 a while later.) Plus no gold medals at worlds or Olympics. Could be his year, I think a lot of people also think that.

All I’m saying is that Murphy has a chance at 1:53. And possibly a 1:52 next year at Oly. Only Ryan Lochte has been under 1:53 since the suit era.

Sean S

I wouldn’t hold Irie’s loss at Pan Pacs against him, I think Asian Games was the clear focus for the Japanese last year. That’s not to say he hasn’t under performed in the past, only that the lost at Pan Pacs isn’t the best example of that.

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona and the University of Florida. While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She is now coaching for Loggerhead Aquatics in her hometown …

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