Remember, not all of these athletes are sponsored by the brand for whom they are swimming. Some of them fall under the category of swimming for a sponsored federation, or swimming for a sponsored college. This includes swimmers like Matt Grevers and Kosuke Kitajima, both of whom are among Speedo’s 4 “federation sponsored” athletes. See the preview for full details on the rules.
Entering the final day of competition, Speedo has taken a sizable, 40-point lead. The Arena women look very strong on day 3, and yet the Speedo men look equally as strong (if not stronger).
With 12 races to go, both coaches have emptied their pockets in preparation for a celebratory final plunge. Team Speedo has a big lead, but the ever-confident Brett Hawke won’t let that phase him. It’s time to finish things up at the LZR-Powerskin Arena and get ourselves back on to civilization.
27. Men’s 100 free
1. Brent Hayden (Speedo)
2. Nathan Adrian (Arena College)
3. Cesar Cielo (Arena)
4. Alain Bernard (Arena)
5. Fabien Gilot (Speedo)
6. Eamon Sullivan (Speedo)
Braden- Brent Hayden had a banner season in 2010, where he posted the best time in the world, and repeated that performance here with the world’s first sub-48 time in 2011. Cielo recovered a little from a disappointing 2010 Pan Pacs, but couldn’t get past Nathan Adrian for 2nd. Those two combined with Bernard were very tight at the finish, but kept it all in the family for a 2-3-4 placing.
Team Scores after Event 27: Arena 280, Speedo 318
28. Women’s 100 free
1. Ranomi Kromowidjojo (Arena)
2. Fran Halsall (Arena)
3. Natalie Coughlin (Speedo)
4. Aleksandra Herasimenia (Arena Fed)
5. Dana Vollmer (Speedo)
6. Jessica Hardy (Speedo)
Braden- Team Arena is absolutely and completely loaded in the 100 free. They’re so good that Emily Seebohm and Sarah Sjostrom (ranked 6th and 7th in the world in 2010) couldn’t even earn an entry in this race. The great Natalie Coughlin is the only thing that broke up an Arena sweep in this race, though Aleksandra Herasimenia is hard-charging for that spot.
Team Scores after Event 28: Arena 296, Speedo 324
29. Men’s 200m Breaststroke
1.Kosuke Kitajima (SPEEDO FED)
2.Aelexander Dale Oen (ARENA)
3.Eric Shanteau (ARENA)
4.Fabio Scozzoli (SPEEDO)
5.Eric Friedland (SPEEDO College)
6.Cameron van Der Burgh (ARENA)
Reezy- Kitajima is continuing his amazing run in the breaststroke events, and beat the field by almost a second. We thought Dale Oen and Shanteau would would challenge him more, but they had to settle for second and third, respectively. Fabio Scozzoli, who is better at the shorter distances, comes in fourth. UT Swimmer Eric Friedland has been waiting all meet to show his stuff in this race, which is his best, and scored his first points with a 5th-place finish.
Team Scores after Event 29: Arena 305, Speedo 337
30. Women’s 200m Breaststroke
1.Rebecca Soni (ARENA)
2.Leisel Jones (SPEEDO)
3.Annamay Pierse (SPEEDO)
4.Sarah Katsoulis (SPEEDO Fed)
5.Micah Lawrence (ARENA College)
6.Suzaan van Biljon (ARENA)
Reezy- Right now, the queen of the pool is definitely Rebecca Soni. She has been amazing since since Beijing (I refuse to discuss Rome). She beat the field by over 3 seconds; she looks unstoppable and I think this is the first long course WR that will fall in textile suites. “Lethal Lesiel” fought for second pulling ahead of Pierse, the World Record Holder, in the closing meters. The future is bright for the young Katsoulis, beating Lawrence and van Biljon by over a second.
Team Scores after Event 30: Arena 315, Speedo 349
31. Men’s 100 Back
1.Liam Tancock (Speedo)
2.Matt Grevers (Speedo Fed)
3.Aaron Peirsol (Arena)
4.Stanislav Donets (Arena Fed)
5.Daniel Bell (Arena Fed)
6.Aschwin Wildeboer (Speedo)
After winning the 50m backstroke everyone wondered how Liam Tancock would handle himself in the final of the 100. After that race, I think that all of the questions were answered. He is on fire! Grevers -who had his ups and downs in 2010-nailed his walls and beat fellow American Aaron Peirsol in what will likely be his final international race. Donets just beat out Bell for fourth, and he is definitely one to watch as Worlds grows closer.
Team Scores after Event 31: Arena 324, Speedo 362
32. Women’s 100 backstroke
1.Natalie Coughlin (Speedo)
2.Emily Seebohm (Arena)
3.Kristy Coventry (Arena)
4.Daniela Samulski (Speedo)
5.Teresa Crippen (Speedo College)
6.Julia Smit (Arena)
Reezy- I’m speechless after this event; what an amazing group of women in this final. Coughlin and Seebohm went stroke for stoke the entire race. It was amazing to watch, but with 10 meters to go, the 2x Olympic champion pulled ahead for the win. She still has a long road ahead of her because Seebohm is hungry for the title. Kirsty Coventry, the 200 meter champ, edged Daniela Samulski for 3rd, and as she works herself back into shape could challenge those other two. In a continuation of the Florida-Stanford rivalry forged at the 2010 NCAA Championships, Crippen out-touched Smit for 5th.
Team Scores after Event 32: Arena 333, Speedo 375
33. Men’s 1500 free
1. Ryan Cochrane (Speedo Fed)
2. Ous Mellouli (Arena)
3. Tae-Hwan Park (Speedo)
4. Peter Vanderkaay (Speedo)
5. Mads Glaesner (Arena)
6. Paul Biedermann (Arena)
Braden- Mellouli is the 2008 Olympic champ and 2009 World Champ in this race, but he’s been really turning his efforts towards slightly shorter races, while Cochrane has been straight man-moding his races for the past 9 months or so. Vanderkaay and Park were in a battle for 2nd, but Park just has too much form and quality right now, while Vanderkaay is still settling into his new digs in Florida. Biedermann is great in the 200 and 400, but this 1500 is just a little too long for him to score points in.
Team Scores after Event 33: Arena 340, Speedo 390
34. Women’s 800 free
1. Rebecca Adlington (Speedo)
2. Kate Ziegler (Speedo)
3. Lotte Friis (Arena)
4. Wendy Trott (Arena)
5. Silke Lippok (Arena)
Braden- Ziegler, Adlington, and Friis each ended at least one of the last 4 years ranked top in the world in this event, making this a tie-breaker of sorts. Adlington, who has been blazing fast early in 2011, had an extra edge. He was followed by Ziegler, whohas finally found her groove again after a few bizarre seasons of interrupted training. Silke Lippok from Team Arena considered scratching this event, but was glad that she didn’t after Speedo only entered 2 swimmers. With the 1-2 finish here, Speedo all but sealed up this meet. The teams were now swimming for individual glory.
Team Scores after Event 34: Arena 349, Speedo 403
35. Men’s 100 Butterfly
1.Michael Phelps (Speedo)
2.Pawel Korzeniowski (Arena)
3.Jason Dunford (Arena)
4.Milord Cavic (Arena)
5.Matt Grevers (Speedo Fed)
6.Eamon Sullivan (Speedo)
Reezy- Everyone was on there feet for this event; Phelps vs. Cavic III. We are still in shock at what took place. Phelps crushed the field, leaving the rest of the swimmers in his wake. Korzeniowski came from behind to beat Dunford by .01 seconds. Controversy has followed this event since Beijing and we are not sure what happen with Cavic but he does not look happy. Matt Grevers and Eamon Sullivan rounded out the top six.
Team Scores after Event 35: Arena 361, Speedo 413
36. Women’s 100m Butterfly
1.Sarah Sjostrom (Arena)
2.Christine Magnuson (Speedo)
3.Dana Volmer (Speedo)
4.Theresa Alshammar (Arena)
5.Jiao Liuyang (Speedo Fed)
6.Inge Dekker (Arena)
Reezy- The Phelps/Cavic race of ’09 was replayed tonight, only this time it was the women’s 100 butterfly. When Arena’s Sarah Sjostrom and Speedo’s Christine Magnuson touch the wall, all eyes were on the score board. Sjostrom beat Magnuson by the smallest of margins; a photo was issued showing a fingernail win. Speedo’s Dana Volmer powered in for 3rd, .07 seconds behind the top 2. Fourth place was close but Alshammar overcame Liuyang in the end.
Team Scores after Event 36: Arena 372, Speedo 424
37. Men’s 400 free relay
1. Speedo A (Brent Hayden, Michael Phelps, Fabien Gilot, Ryan Lochte)
2. Arena A (Nathan Adrian, Cesar Cielo, Alain Bernard, Paul Biedermann)
3. Speedo B (Eamon Sullivan, Matt Grevers, Tae Hwan Park, Austin Staab)
4. Arena B (Roland Schoeman, Jason Dunford, Adam Brown, Ous Mellouli)
Braden- This race was neck-and-neck the whole way through. Neither team took an advantage until Ryan Lochte hit the water on the anchor. He and Biedermann both had long grueling meets, but Lochte was the one who had just enough left in his tank to finish this race off and put another victory in the Speedo column.
Team Scores after Event 37: Arena 379, Speedo 440
38. Women’s 400 free relay
1. Arena A (Ranomi Kromowidjojo, Aleksandra Herasimenia, Emily Seebohm, Fran Halsall)
2. Speedo A (Natalie Coughlin, Dana Vollmer, Daniela Samulski, Jessica Hardy)
3. Arena B (Sarah Sjostrom, Silke Lippok, Therese Alshammar, Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace)
4. Speedo B (Katie Hoff, Christine Magnuson, Stephanie Rice, Marleen Veldhuis)
Braden- With the meet already decided, coach Brett Hawke had two choices: Attempt a 1-2 finish to make the score as close as possible, or shoot for records. After looking at the numbers, he decided that the 1-2 risk probably wouldn’t pay off, so he put his top swimmers in the A-relay. Still, even with 4 out of the top 6-ranked 100 freestylers in the world, they were half-a-second off of the best mark ever, which shows how great that 2009 Dutch relay (3 of whom are represented in this race) was. The Arena B almost caught the Speedo B anyways, thanks to some great form by Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace on the anchor, but Hardy had just enough to hold them off.
Team Scores after event 38: Arena 395, Speedo 447
The meet is over and Team Speedo is the champions. Though scoring amongst individually sponsored swimmers was very similar, what really tipped the meet in Speedo’s favor was their National Sponsorhips. With some of the best federations in the world, like the US, China, Australia, Japan, Great Britain, and Brazil, in their portfolio, they had a huge, talented, and deep pool from which to pull when looking to shore up those final 4 roster spots.
The Arena women must get a lot of credit, however, since they more than held their own in this battle. In fact, had this been a women’s only meet, it’s probable that Arena would’ve edged Speedo by a small margin. Similarly, if this was a meet swum in short-course rather than long-course, Arena also would have likely tightened this meet up significantly.
It would be interesting to run this meet again in a few years. Team Arena is definitely the younger of the two programs, with relative babies like Ranomi Kromowidjojo, Hannah Miley, Sarah Sjostrom, and Chad le Clos, whereas a huge chunk of Speedo’s scoring is likely to retire after the 2012 Olympics. Surely though, Speedo will reload their roster in the run up to 2016. Best of luck to both teams down the line!
It was a great battle, and we hope to be able to work with more groups to produce events like this in the future. One more big thanks to the ladies at Reezy Nation, who spent a ton of time helping us put this meet together.