The 2010 Charlotte UltraSwim Grand Prix, hosted by the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center in Downtown Charlotte, was a huge success, as usual. We saw some great world-ranked swims, and some great races.
The 100 backstroke lived up to the hype, with Nick Thoman finishing at the front of a loaded field that included Phelps, Lochte, Grevers, Piersol, and Godsoe. Dagny Knutson finished fourth in her first meet post-Auburn. Although she hasn’t officially gone pro yet, if she were, that would’ve netted her a $3,000 check. Chloe Sutton, who was the last big name female swimmer to go pro straight out of high school, held on to and likely cemented her lead in the Grand Prix series race to win the $20k series grand prize.
Ryan Lochte seems to be fully recovered from his break-dancing injury, and made 6 finals, including a win in the 200 backstroke. Josh Schneider showed that he was ready to parlay his collegiate success into an international career by posting a 22.38 in the 50m free, a .02 second win over Cullen Jones, which is the best time by an American this year.
Rebecca Soni was simply outstanding in midseason form in the breaststroke events. She won the 100 by almost 3 seconds, and the 200 by over 6. The 100 time was the second best in the world this year, and the 200 time of 2:22.21 was the best in the world by more than a second.
And then there were the battles between the youth and the vets. On the same day as her National high school record was broken, Coughlin was beaten in her specialty, the 100 back, by 16-year old Elizabeth Pelton. But not to worry, Coughlin got her revenge in the 100 fly, where she bested 17-year old Felicia Lee. Coughlin also took home the win in the 100 free.
Missy Franklin was the youngest swimmer to win an event, taking the 200 back title at only 15 years-old. At the other end of the spectrum was Hunor Mate, who surprised everyone in taking the 100 breast title at 27. Mate seems to be getting better with age, as his time of 1:01.66 was less than a second off of his career best time of 1:00.78, swum at the 2009 Rome World Championships.
And then there was the prize money. Peter Vanderkaay walked away with the big prize o f $20,000, with Rebecca Soni winning a tie-breaker for the $10,000 second place prize. The two both broke meet records, which greatly boosted their scores
|1st-Peter Vanderkaay-$20,000 (37)||9th-Justine Mueller-$500 (30)|
|2nd-Rebecca Soni-$10,000 (35)||10th-Ryan Lochte-$400 (25)|
|3rd-Chloe Sutton-$7,500 (35)||11th-Todd Patrick-$300 (24)|
|4th-Dagny Knutson-$3,000 (33)||12th-Liz Pelton-$250 (22)|
|5th-Elizabeth Beisel-$2,250 (32)||13th-Nick Thoman-$200 (20)|
|6th-Michael Phelps-$2,000 (32)||14th-Felicia Lee-$150 (19)|
|7th-Natalie Coughlin-$1,750 (31)||15th-Missy Franklin-$100 (17)|
|8th-Eric Shanteau-$1,500 (30)||16th-Josh Schneider-$100 (17)|
The Charlotte stop on the Grand Prix is the crowned jewel of the series, and offers a great experience for both the swimmers and the fans. Even aside from the big prize money, the folks at Mecklenburg and UltraSwim put on tents, clinics, autograph sessions, and all kind of other swimming-centric events that really help to promote the sport.