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Courtesy of: French Swimming Federation
Courtesy of: French Swimming Federation
ORLANDO, Florida, February 13. This morning, some of the top stars shined at the Arena Grand Prix in Orlando, even though Ryan Lochte looks like he'll miss the first two days of the meet due to travel issues from inclement weather.
This evening, however, Katinka Hosszu helped fill the void with a dynamic double victory in what proved to be a truly international evening that also featured eight different nations in the men's 100 fly.
Women's 200 free
She wasn't able to replicate her morning speed of 1:57.60, but still managed to power through the finale with the win as the Iron Lady Katinka Hosszu clocked a 1:58.09 for the victory and her first podium paycheck of the meet. That's what Hosszu is typically about, as she hunts down top prizes at money meets throughout the world. Although, she's event-limited here in Orlando, and won't be able to swim her typical 4-5 events a day. She's already swum more than 200 times this season before even setting foot in Orlando.
Agnes Mutina, Hosszu compatriot and Hungarian record holder with a 1:56.47 to her credit from 2009, raced her way to second in 2:00.50, while IX3's Chloe Sutton pocketed third-place money with a 2:00.61. That's just a second off her lifetime best of 1:59.38.
Bulldog's Megan Romano had paced her way into second at the halfway mark, but faded down the stretch with a 2:00.98 for fourth overall. York's Courtney Harnish, 14, snared fifth overall in 2:01.80 to smash her lifetime best of 2:02.66, while Great Britain's Elizabeth Simmons posted a 2:01.94 for sixth.
Rockwood's Jordan Stout touched in seventh with a 2:03.07, off her lifetime best of 2:02.58, while T2's Amanda Kendall comprised the rest of the championship heat with a 2:03.20 for eighth overall.
Gator's Andreina Pinto started off the night with a 2:01.14 to claim the consolation heat in the 200 free. That's her in-season best, beating the 2:01.74 she last posted at the 2011 Charlotte UltraSwim. She's just off her lifetime best of 2:00.79 from the 2011 Pan American Games as well. That's a strong note to start off this meet on for Pinto.
Men's 200 free
Germany's Yannick Lebherz survived a hard charge by Wisconsin's Michael Weiss in the men's 200-meter freestyle to claim a 1:50.27 to 1:50.31 touchout triumph in the process of the win. Lebherz, who took 15th in the 200 back at the 2012 London Olympics, is ramping up his event list as he continues to become one of the top swimmers out of his nation.
Weiss, meanwhile, is a World University Games gold medalist and is making a push for the Pan Pacs after a strong NCAA career. Dion Dreesens of The Netherlands raced his way to third overall in 1:50.77, while Canada's Ryan Cochrane took home fourth in 1:50.98 as the rest of the sub-1:51 swims.
Tucson Ford's Darian Townsend pocketed fifth in 1:561.55, while Colombia's Matteo De Angulo placed sixth in 1:52.99. The Woodlands' Michael McBroom (1:53.02) and Canada's Alex Page (1:53.05) closed out the championship heat. Meanwhile, Daniele Tirabassi closed out the competition in the B final with a 1:52.18 for the consolation win.
Women's 100 breast
Continuing the international theme of winners here, Jamaican Alia Atkinson of SoFlo Swimming crushed the meet record with a 1:07.15. That swim smashed her 1:08.51 from last year and moved her to second in the world behind only Jessica Hardy's 1:07.05 from the Austin stop of the Arena Grand Prix.
Atkinson really has had a breakout 2013-14 so far, and should continue to skyrocket through the breaststroke rankings. She also posted the second-fastest 50 breast in the world as well with a sterling 31.01 split before coming home in 36.13. Only Ruta Meilutyte has been faster in the 50 this year with a 30.88 in Nice, France.
Laura Sogar of BlueFish, who had been second in the world with a 1:07.76 from Austin, took second in 1:09.00 with SwimMAC's Katie Meili posting a 1:10.00 for third in a bit of a statistical anomaly if the official results are to be believed.
SwimMAC's Micah Lawrence finished fourth in 1:10.04, while T2's Justine Mueller posted a fifth-place time of 1:11.57. T2's Ashley Wolter (1:12.98), Hungary's Fanni Ferenczi (1:13.05) and Bolles' Valentina Artemyeva (1:13.24) completed the rest of the A final with sixth through eighth-place honors.
Theresa Michalak, who currently trains in Florida with the Gators as she gets her NCAA eligibility settled before the championship season, won the B final in 1:11.84.
Men's 100 breast
Trojan's Mike Alexandrov used every part of his world-class finish to snatch victory from the grasp of Felipa Lima at the wall in the 100 breast. Lima, who had led throughout the rest of the race, just couldn't hold off Alexandrov as the Trojan popped a 1:01.71 to win. Lima of Brazil, meanwhile, snared second in 1:01.85 as he just missed taking the title.
Alexandrov was the first American to win this evening, although he did represent Bulgaria for quite some time as a double citizen. Tennessee's Brad Craig posted a 1:02.68 to take third overall in the event, just clipping Trojan's Azad Al-Barazi for the final podium check.
Tucson Ford's Marcus Titus raced his way to fifth in 1:03.17, while Canada's Matt Ackman (1:03.79), Club Wolverine's Zach Hayden (1:03.84) and Grand Canyon's Eetu Karvonen (1:04.61) also vied for the podium this evening.
In another exciting battle, Bolles' Melquides Alvarez Caraballo touched out Andrew Poznikoff, 1:03.74 to 1:03.93, for the B final title.
Women's 100 fly
After initially breaking Dana Vollmer's meet record with a 58.79 this morning, Canada's Katerine Savard posted an impressive 58.50 for the win and a new meet record. Her swim tonight vaulted her to fourth in the world, and bested Noemie Thomas' 58.54 from the Austin Grand Prix stop as the top Canadian in the world so far. Only a trio of Australians in Madeline Groves (57.43), Alicia Coutts (57.60) and Ellen Gandy (58.16) have been faster.
Audrey Lacroix made it a Canadian 1-2 with a 59.27 for second-place honors. That swim moved her into the top 10 in the world. Meanwhile, one of the top fliers in the U.S., Claire Donahue, wound up third overall in 59.60 to round out the sub-1:00 swims.
Lauren Case of Chattahoochee Gold downed her personal best again as the 15-year-old clocked a 1:00.37 for fourth. That beat her previous top time of 1:00.61. T2's Amanda Kendall picked up fifth overall in 1:01.11, while SwimMAC's Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace snared sixth in 1:01.32.
Lake Erie's Kaitlyn Johnson posted a 1:02.04 for seventh, while Canada's Sandrine Mainville clinched eighth in 1:02.18.
In a close contest in the B final, Hungary's Sara Joo topped compatriot Eszter Dara, 1:02.06 to 1:02.17 for the consolation heat win.
Men's 100 fly
In a fully international finale with eight different countries represented, Venezuela's Albert Subirats had just enough to take down 18-year-old Joseph Schooling of Singapore at the wall with a 53.43 to 53.69 victory.
Subirats, a two-time Olympian in 2004 and 2008, had initially retired before returning to the sport recently as he is now training at Auburn. Schooling, who swims for Bolles but is on his way to Texas for college, featured the other side of the experience spectrum.
Luis Martinez of Uruguay placed third in 54.58, while Great Britain's Adam Brown picked up fourth in 55.16. Suriname's Zuhayr Pigot finished fifth overall in 55.17, while Hungary's Krisztian Takacs took home sixth in the finale with a 55.21.
Brazil's Thiago Sickert (55.31) and Japan's Masayuki Kishida (55.48) rounded out the world-class finale.
The B final also featured all international swimmers as Michael Andrew was the top American to qualify in prelims in the C final. Luiz Pedro Ribeiro Pereira won the B final 55.02 with Canada's Evan White touching second in 55.09.
Women's 400 IM
The Iron Lady Katinka Hosszu had another slower time this evening than a meet record this morning, but her 4:39.85 this evening did the job. This morning, she blasted Becca Mann's meet record of 4:41.24 with a 4:38.84, but she cruised her way to a win in the distance medley tonight to complete a difficult double.
Saint Andrew's Vien Nguyen of Vietnam turned in a 4:41.68 as she remained close to Hosszu throughout the finale. That's a huge lifetime best for the 17-year-old, smashing her Vietnamese national record of 4:47.60 set last year.
California's Caitlin Leverenz, one of the few west coast swimmers to make it to Orlando this weekend, placed third in 4:44.94. Clearwater's Sydney Pickrem finished fourth in 4:49.65, while Hungary's Evelyn Verraszto touched fifth in 4:52.21.
Alessia Polieri (4:53.22), York's Courtney Harnish (4:53.54) and Tampa Bay's Christin Rockaway (4:58.37) comprised the rest of the heat. Harnish and Rockaway are both youngsters with 13-year-old Rockaway just missing her lifetime best of 4:58.23 and 14-year-old Harnish previously having a lifetime best of 4:57.03 to her credit from her preliminary swim.
In the B final, Gator's Andreina Pinto continued her strong consolation heat swims with a 4:51.38 to dominate the heat.
Men's 400 IM
Hungary's David Verraszto, a 2012 Olympian, left the rest of the field in the dust during the breaststroke leg, then powered his way to victory with a 4:16.03 for the win in the event. That swim jumped him to third in the world, behind only Kosuke Hagino (4:09.82) and Daiya Seto (4:13.60), but several seconds ahead of the field.
Here's Verraszto splits to see for yourself:
1 *Verraszto, David 25 Hungary 4:20.53 4:16.03
28.10 59.52 (31.42)
1:32.41 (32.89) 2:05.39 (32.98)
2:40.18 (34.79) 3:16.06 (35.88)
3:46.75 (30.69) 4:16.03 (29.28)
Club Wolverine's Tyler Clary, on the rebound from a back injury that scuttled his schedule at the Austin stop of the Arena Grand Prix, placed second in 4:20.70. Wisconsin's Michael Weiss, meanwhile, checked in with a third-place time of 4:23.67.
Wilton Y's Ian Rainey checked in with a 4:25.93 for fourth overall, while Hungary's David Folhazi placed fifth in 4:26.41. Island's William Brothers (4:29.42), Mexico's Andres Olvera Alejos (4:32.51) and Metro's Boleck De Pawlikowski (4:32.98) also vied for the podium as part of the championship heat.
Wilton Y's Stephen Holmquist blasted his lifetime best of 4:34.07 from the 2013 YMCA Long Course Nationals with a 4:31.42 to top the consolation heat.