Three Meet Records Fall on Day 2 at Charlotte UltraSwim Grand Prix

Missy Franklin is celebrating her 16th birthday in final. She took huge points in the night’s first event, the women’s 200 free, thanks to a top prelims time (which comes with 50 bonus points towards a share of the $50,000 purse), and an Event Championship, good for another 100 points and a meet record, worth yet another 100 points. In addition, her time of 1:57.66  pushes her to the 13th-best time in the world, and makes her the fastest American in 2011: resulting in a big FINA points score.

Franklin, despite being from Denver — roughly 1500 miles away — has a huge following in Charlotte. That’s because, to maintain her amateurism, she is ineligible to win money beyond that which covers her actual expenses. Thanks to Wendy’s the UltraSwim has a neat payout system, where any money above expenses, earned by amateur swimmers, goes to support Wendy’s Water Safety & Learn to Swim Program. So basically, if she wins the meet point race, a huge majority of her $20,000 prize will go to charity, which is a winning proposition.

US National Teamer Allison Schmitt took 2nd in 1:58.18, followed by Dana Vollmer in 1:59.65. We got our first glimpse of Franklin’s new teammate Kara Lynn Joyce in this race after her move to Denver, and so-far, so-good with a 2:00.66 (which is a solid time for the sprinter).

In the men’s 200 free, Ryan Lochte took the race out hard, but fell flat in the third 50 to finish 4th in 1:49.48. Michael Phelps closed well (he had the second-best back half by .01), but put himself in a huge hole on the front-side to finish only 6th. Swiss Champion Dominik Meichtry, however, put together two great halves (he’s the one who beat Phelps in the final 100) to win the race in 1:48.55. In second was Ricky Berens, who earned pole-setter points with the best prelims swim, in 1:49.25. That blew away his time from Maria Lenk last week, thanks to dropping the 100-fly double (which, at least in the short term, seems to be an event he’s not going to pursue). The Charlotte-native is still winless in his career at the Charlotte Grand Prix.

The Trojan Swim Club swept the breaststroke events, which shows why they have the best breaststroke training-group in the world. On the women’s side, they went 1-2, with Rebecca Soni repeating her win from the Maria Lenk Trophy in Brazil last week over Jessica Hardy. Though both swimmers look pretty rested in Brazil, they both dropped time and further distanced themselves from the rest of the world. Soni swam a 1:05.57 (a new UltraSwim meet record), which is the best time in the world this year, and already faster than anybody else went in 2010. Hardy chased her through the turn, falling off a bit at the end, but ended up taking 2nd in 1:05.90, slicing two-tenths off of her previous season best. The pair now is responsible for 7 out of the world’s 9 best swims this year.

This was a race loaded with names, and Minnesota’s defending NCAA Champion Jillian Tyler, who swims for Canada internationally, swam a solid 1:08.20. While this time pales in comparison to the top two, who along with Leisel Jones are well ahead of the world, nor is it her season best (that was 7-tenths faster at Canadian Nationals), it’s the second-time this year she’s cleared her 2010 best, which shows a huge carryover from the college season. US World-Championship Team member Amanda Beard took 4th in 1:08.42.

On the men’s side, Soni and Hardy’s teammate Eric Shanteau had a very solid swim of 1:01.49, that I think a lot of fans were very happy to see. Since making the move to Southern California a few weeks ago (after leaving Austin and Eddie Reese’s Longhorn Aquatic Club), he’s had a bit of a transition period early this year. This was easily his best 100 time of the season, and he was even with the field at the turn, which is a rarity for him. Still, his biggest hopes lie in the 200- the race he’ll be swimming in Shanghai. Based on this swim, don’t be surprised if he pushes his 200 on Saturday into the 2:10 range (which only 7 other swimmers have done this year) and nears his 2010 National Championship winning time.

USC college star Katinka Hosszu swam her first 400 IM long course of 2011, a long course season that she has definitely taken her time to work into. She won the women’s 400 IM, a race that many are picking her to medal in at the World Championships, but put up a rather pedestrian mark of 4:45.57. She has a lot of work to do prior to the Hungarian Championships at the end of June, which are one of the latest National Championship meets on the FINA schedule. Indiana collegian Alyssa Vavra took 2nd in 4:47.73, which blows away her career-best time by over 3-seconds. Elizabeth Beisel took 4th in 4:50.40, which is not a good time for her, but fits predictably into the Gator Swim Club mold of not swimming fast in-season, followed by huge Championship drops.

The men’s 400 IM’ers clearly avoided resting for this race, which is not unusual in-season for 400 IM’ers. Germany’s Yannic Lebherz won in 4:21.40, followed by UNC’s Tyler Harris in 4:23.51. Both marks are roughly six seconds off of the respective swimmers’ season-best times. Michigan’s Kyle Whitaker took 5th in 4:31.57.

In the women’s 100 fly, Dana Vollmer took her 3rd-straight Grand Prix win in 57.82, the third meet record of the day and a Wendy’s mystery event, meaning that she took home a $1,000 bonus for winning. She’s been nice and even this year, having swum 57-highs each of the last three months, which is a great number to be able to consistently produce in-season. Elaine Breeden took 2nd in 59.26, and Christine Magnuson was 3rd in 59.66.

In a Phelps-less 100 fly on the men’s side, Tyler McGill won in a season-best 53.15. The story here, though, was runner-up Eugene Godsoe, who is training with the hometown SwimMAC Carolina group. Godsoe, a former NCAA-Champion at Stanford, has started a great meet and is going to begin to put his stamp on long-course competition this year. In this race, he posted a career-best time of 53.22 in the 100 fly (bettering his previous mark by half-a-second). He followed that swim up with another career-best mark in leading off the victorious SwimMAC 400 free relay in 50.39. Godsoe is part of a great, much-needed youth injection into the American butterfly group that’s going to end in a great battle for the 2013 World Champs after Phelps’ 2012 retirement.

As mentioned above, SwimMAC Carolina won the men’s 400 free in a thrill for the home-crowd in 3:22.25. Godsoe’s career-best leadoff time of 50.39 was the best (qualitatively) swim amongst the entire field. 50-free swim off champ Cullen Jones swam a 50.53, and passed off to Josh Schneider who took a 51.10. Nick Brunelli had a solid anchor of 50.23. Outside of the SwimMAC relay, the only other swimmer to break 51 was Michigan’s Bobby Savulich, who swam a start-aided 50.65.

In the women’s race, the talented Colorado Stars quartet of three teenagers (Franklin, Jordan Mattern, and Caroline Piehl) teamed with their new, 25-year old teammate Kara Lynn Joyce to post a 3:45.73. Joyce led-off in a 56.03, and Franklin anchored in a 54.57. The only other swimmer in the field that was that fast was Tennessee freshman Lindsay Gendron, who anchored the 3rd-place Tennessee relay in 55.38. At only 18, Gendron is a unique talent in that she has the ability to stretch from the 50 all the way to the mile. Gendron is poised to set some career-best times at this meet, and I think would be a great darkhorse candidate to final at the 2012 Olympic Trials.

Full Meet Results Available Here.


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11 years ago

the men’ 200 free was also a trojan swim club 1-2-3 sweep

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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