2013LCNationalsRyan Murphy places third in the prelims of the 200 backstroke.
Courtesy of: Peter H. Bick
Speedo Champions Series editorial coverage this summer is proudly sponsored by SpeedoUSA. For all the latest coverage from sectionals this summer, check out our Summer of Speedo page.

ATHENS, Georgia, July 11. THE Summer of Speedo commenced with the Athens sectionals kicking off tonight in Georgia. Plenty of swimmers put up some special times as lifetime bests went up on the scoreboard with regularity.

Mason Manta Rays' Danielle Jansen posted a huge lifetime best in the women's 200-meter IM with a winning time of 2:18.64. That swim smashed her previous top time from five years ago when she clocked a 2:20.66 at the Ohio State Grand Prix back in 2008. Her second best time had been a 2:20.74 from Sectionals a year ago as well. Dynamo's Katie Christy is another swimmer with a big drop in her personal record after a second-place time of 2:19.87. She entered today with a 2:24.82 from the Orlando stop of the Arena Grand Prix as her best ever outing. Athens Bulldog Anna Neumeister, who took third in 2:20.35, also broke the 2:21 barrier for the first time, lowering her 2:21.32 from last year's Georgia Long Course Seniors.

There was no rest for the weary for Bolles' Ryan Murphy, who just had an amazing effort at the World Championships Trials. He was back tonight in sectionals with a lifetime best 2:01.23 in the men's 200-meter IM for the win. That smashed his best time of 2:03.88 from Trials just a few weeks ago. Athens Bulldog Ty Stewart raced into second with a 2:03.28, while Dynamo's Jay Litherland finished third in 2:03.43. Litherland chopped a huge amount of time off his lifetime best, clearing the 2:07.28 from last summer's Georgia Long Course Seniors.

Bolles' Kasey Schmidt touched out Rays' Sammie Bosma, 26.27 to 26.28, in the women's 50-meter free as she also clipped her lifetime best of 26.38 from last year's GSC Summer Invitational. Bosma also trimmed time off her personal record of 26.39 from the 2012 Longhorn Elite Invitational. Dynamo's Caitlin Cooper earned third-place honors in 26.31 -- a half-second best under her 26.65 from sectionals in March 2012.
SwimAtlanta's Karl Krug raced to victory in the men's 50-meter free in 22.61, just off his top time of 22.54 from 2011 Nationals, while Louisville's Caryle Blondell placed second in 22.97. GTCH's Andrew Kosic took home third in 23.07. That's a personal best for Kosic, lowering his 23.31 from the 2012 Betsy Dunbar Long Course Invitational.

Lauren Harrington of Athens Bulldog took down her lifetime best in the women's 200-meter fly with a 2:11.96. That swim smashed her 2:13.28 from the Charlotte stop of the Arena Grand Prix in May. MPSC's Megan Kingsley touched second in 2:12.23, while Kentucky's Abby Myers finished third in 2:13.70. That's a huge breakthrough for Myers who entered today with a 2:18.00 personal best from the 2011 Swedish Championships. Rays' Jimmy Yoder took home the gold in the men's 200-meter fly with a 2:01.39 with Dynamo's Mick Litherland earning second in 2:01.65. Kentucky's Maclin Simpson rounded out the top three in 2:03.96.

In the distance freestyle event, LINS' Stephanie Peters topped the women's 800-meter free in 8:49.98, while MOR's Victoria Mitchell snared second in 8:59.57. Dynamo's Julia Durmer touched third in 9:00.11. Dynamo's Matias Koski touched out Auburn's Zane Grothe, 8:05.41 to 8:05.73, in the men's 800-meter free. Dynamo's Kevin Litherland earned third in 8:09.59.

Results: Speedo Champions, Athens: Day One