2013LCNationalsNatalie Coughlin places third in the prelims of the 50 freestyle.
Courtesy of: Peter H. Bick
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AUSTIN, Texas, January 19.CALIFORNIA's Natalie Coughlin closed out a line of competitors in the women's splash-and-dash as she got her hand to the wall first by a smidgen at the Arena Grand Prix in Austin.

Coughlin posted a time of 25.17 for the win out of lane six in the women's 50-meter free finale, and could be looking at getting back into that 24-second range soon after posting a lifetime best of 24.90 last year at the Mesa stop of the Arena Grand Prix.

SwimAtlanta's Amanda Weir powered to silver as the two veterans topped the podium. Weir clocked a time of 25.23, just clipping SwimMAC's Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace. AVP, meanwhile, rounded out the podium with a third-place time of 25.24.

First Colony's Simone Manuel, one of the top young sprint stars in the world, wound up off the podium with a fourth-place time of 25.27 after having a strong 200 free earlier in the evening.

Canada's Victoria Poon (25.52), TPR's Vanessa Garcia Vega (25.54), T2's Amanda Kendall (25.61) and Canada's Hannah Riordan (25.62) placed fifth through eighth in the finale.

Canada had another strong outing in the B final as Sandrine Mainville claimed the consolation heat win in 25.45, topping the field by nearly half-a-second with SwimMAC's Kelsi Hall taking second in the heat with a 25.80.