After what has been a very fast meet thus far, the Speedo Grand Challenge sort of fizzled out on the final day in terms of speed, but still produced some interesting races.
Eric Shanteau won the men’s 200 breaststroke in 2:11.71, which is about eight-tenths off of where he was in Charlotte, but still the continuation of positive signs coming out of his time with Trojan Aquatics. Andrew Bree was 2nd in 2:15.46, with Sean Mahoney 3rd in 2:16.70. Mahoney was about 5 seconds faster at the Indy Grand Prix in March, though that was a mid-season taper meet, and many were hoping for him and Bree to give Shanteau a much better push in this race.
All the way back in 10th was Cal 100 breaststroke NCAA Record Holder Damir Dugonjic, of Slovenia, in 2:22.39. The big knock on him has always been that, despite having speed to burn for days, he barely has the endurance to finish a 100 in long course. a 2:22.39 might seem to support that theory, unless you consider that it’s a career-best time for him by over six seconds. He’s never going to be a great 200 breaststroker in long course, but improvements there point to even bigger things in his specialty, the 100.
In the women’s 100 free, Jessica Hardy took the win in 54.67 — four tenths off of her season best. Hardy has been doing a lot of racing, however, including what seemed to be a two-week rest period for the Maria Lenk Trophy and the Charlotte UltraSwim, so keeping her speed in that sub-54.7 range is a good performance. Julia Smit swam a personal textile-best time of 55.11 for 2nd-place (she’s had a fantastic meet overall). Jasmine Tosky, a high school junior who last week broke the oldest NFHS record in the 100 fly, was 3rd in 55.94.
Nathan Adrian, who looked very good in a 50 free win yesterday, took the 100 free in 49.14. His speed in th 50 indicated that he might have had a 48 in him for the 100, but his time still makes him the second-fastest American this year behind Michael Phelps.
Prior to her 3rd-place in the 100 free, Tosky took a win in the women’s 200 fly in 2:09.37. That’s her best time of the season by roughly two seconds, and sneaks her inside the top 20 in the world. In the men’s version of the same race, 15-year old Corey Okubo, who swims for Irvine’s Aquazot swim team, won in 2:03.37. That’s the best 15-year old time in the country this year (and second-best in the 15-16 age group).
New Zealand’s Daniel Bell won the men’s 100 back in 55.34, not his best time of the season, followed by Cal swimmer Guy Barnea in 56.48, who just out-touched Stanford rival Matt Thompson (56.49). Julia Smit took the women’s race in 1:02.32.
Former UCSB Guacho swimmer Katy Freeman won the women’s 200 breaststroke in 2:28.06. Stanford’s Liz Smith was 2nd in 2:30.69.
In the distance events, Andie Taylor won the women’s 800 in 8:40.41, after the 2-3-4 swimmers from Saturday’s prelims (Chloe Sutton, Christine Jennings, and Ashley Twichell) all scratched the final. Taylor was countered in the men’s race by Chad La Tourette, now training with Sutton and Mission Viejo, in 15:14.52. This is La Tourette’s first long course meet of the season.