After two runner-up finishes on the first day of the 2011 Speedo Grand Challenge, Julia Smit came out hard on day two of the three day meet with two wins and meet records.
She began her day with a huge, 7-second win in the 400 IM to avenge her narrow lost to Katinka Hosszu on day 1 in the shorter distance. Smit’s 4:38.83 cleared Hosszu’s meet record of 4:39.89 set at last year’s meet. For Smit, that time moves her to 9th in the world rankings, and though she won’t travel with Team USA to Shanghai this summer, she’s certainly setting up for a huge run towards the 2012 Olympic Trials.
Hosszu’s runner-up time of 4:45.00 shows how far behind schedule she is (she was more than 5 seconds faster last year at the same meet, as was mentioned by the record above). It is her best time of the season, but doesn’t improve her 37th-place standing in the world rankings.
Smit posted another convincing win 5 races later in the 200 backstroke which she won in 2:12.72. This broke her own meet standard of 2:13.43 that she put up last season. The top qualifier after prelims, Felicia Lee, was DQ’ed in the finals.
Another meet record fell in the women’s 100 fly, when Katerine Savard, who in April broke the Canadian Record in this event, swam a 58.48. At only 18, she might be the next big star on the Canadian women’s side to follow in the footsteps of Julia Wilkinson.
Another teenager, 17-year old Jasmine Tosky from Palo Alto, won the women’s 200 free in a 2:00.00.
The two swims on the men’s side that everyone was looking for times from were both Cal bears: Nathan Adrian in the 50 free and Tom Shields in the 100 fly.
Adrian didn’t disappoint, with a 22.23 meet-record (bettering Jason Lezak’s 22.28 from 2009). This is his first long course meet of the year, and instantly jumps him into 12th in the world rankings, and .01 ahead of Cullen Jones’ swim-off mark as the top American. Adrian’s Cal teammate William Copeland came in 2nd in 22.57 We didn’t get the big Adrian-Morozov showdown, but USC’s Vlad Morozov did win the B-final in 22.92.
Shields won the 100 fly in 53.40 thanks to an awesome back-half of his race–he was 7-tenths of a second faster than anyone else on the closing 50. Shields said before the race that he and his coaches weren’t focused on an exact time, but the combination of that number (the second-best of his career) with the way that he closed the race, he had to have been pleased.
Markus Rogan took the men’s 400 IM in 4:19.84. This is the first time he’s swum that race long course since the 2006 European Championships, and he welcomed the event back to his repertoire with the second-best time he’s ever swum. It’s probable that he’ll continue to swim this more often between now and the Olympics. Though all three of his long course World Championship medals are in the 200 backstroke, he skipped that event for the 400 IM. This fits right in line with his announcement that he’s given up the backstrokes at the international level to focus his hopes on the 200 IM.
That 200 back was won by Rogan’s Trojan teammate Alex Lendrum, who just finished his sophomore year with USC. He won the race in 2:01.15. That’s less than a tenth off of his career-best time (which he swam in Charlotte two weeks ago).
Danish swimmer Mads Glaesner took the men’s 400 free in 3:52.28.