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Courtesy of: Peter H. Bick
Courtesy of: Peter H. Bick
ORLANDO, Florida, February 15. THE last session of the Arena Grand Prix in Orlando is complete, and the world had the chance to see a successful return to swimming for Olympic star Ryan Lochte. Meanwhile, Iron Lady Katinka Hosszu closed out an extremely productive weekend here in Orlando before planned attendance in Mesa and Charlotte.
Women's 800 free
It wasn't the fastest swim that IX3's Chloe Sutton might have been able to post, but she had enough in the take to hold off Gator's Andreina Pinto as Sutton posted an 8:35.20 to win the 800 this evening. That swim gave Sutton her second title of the meet after taking home the 400 free last night ahead of the Iron Lady Katinka Hosszu.
Pinto, who has been a terror in the consolation heats of a multitude of events this weekend, turned in a second-place time of 8:36.35 setting herself up for another strong night of swimming. York Y's Courtney Harnish, who is just 14, dropped an 8:39.11 for third overall. That cut her previous lifetime best of 8:40.69 from last summer's junior nationals.
Minnesota's Ashley Steenvoorden finished fourth with an 8:46.63, while Clearwater's Alexandra Aitchison picked up fifth in 8:49.07.
Swim Florida's Kendall Brent (8:50.81), SPA's Summer Finke (8:52.99) and BSC's Kirsten Jacobsen (8:55.69) comprised the rest of the top eight in the timed final event.
Women's 200 IM
Hungary's Katinka Hosszu crushed her own meet record in the 200 IM from this morning with a scorching time of 2:11.27. That swim smashed her 2:14.18 from this morning that had taken down Becca Mann's 2:15.25 from a year ago. The win is Hosszu's fourth victory overall, even though she's been faster this year with a 2:10.97 from the Belgium Cup to rank third in the world.
California's Caitlin Leverenz picked up some valuable overall Grand Prix standing points with a second-place time of 2:14.24. That gave her three points to move to 25 points overall and surpass Megan Romano's 24.5 for the lead for the BMW lease. Hosszu leads overall now with 26 points, but the BMW lease is only for the top eligible American swimmer. Plus, with Hosszu being a signed Audi sponsor, there's little reason to think she would have accepted the award even if she won it.
T2's Justine Mueller snared third place overall with a 2:16.11, while York Y's Meghan Small touched fourth in 2:16.30.
SoFlo's Alia Atkinson (2:17.42), Clearwater's Sydney Pickrem (2:17.95), Hungary's Sara Joo (2:19.29) and BlueFish's Laura Sogar (2:21.79) also vied for the title in the finale.
In the consolation heat, Alessia Polieri smoked the rest of the field with a 2:19.45 to capture the consolation title.
Men's 200 IM
He hasn't been as flashy as compatriot Katinka Hosszu, but David Verraszto of Hungary has definitely been similarly dominant. Tonight, he captured his third meet title with a 2:01.90 in the 200 IM. That swim came up just short of Ryan Lochte's meet mark of 2:01.32, and just missed making the top 10 in the world currently anchored by Philip Heintz's 2:01.83 from Luxembourg.
Wisconsin's Michael Weiss, meanwhile, snared second-place honors with a 2:02.40, while Ontario's Evan White made a serious charge down the stretch to take third overall in 2:03.13.
14-year-old professional national age group hunter Michael Andrew posted yet another national age group revision.
Tonight, Andrew popped a 2:04.13 to take fourth overall, cutting his 13-14 U.S. National Age Group record down from a 2:05.13 set in 2013. Andrew split the 200 IM (26.15, 31.65, 36.88, 29.45), and challenged for a podium spot before falling just short.
That's the second national age group record of the meet for Andrew after taking down the 100 back with a time of 57.13 to finish 10th overall in the event.
Canada's Alec Page finished fifth in 2:04.58, while Hungary's David Foldhazi earned sixth in 2:04.69. Louisville's Carlos Almeida (2:06.53) and Trojan's Mike Alexandrov (2:07.17) comprised the rest of the championship field.
In the consolation heat, Mexico's Ezequiel Trujillo Aviles edged Ian Rainey, 2:07.00 to 2:07.44.
Women's 200 back
Great Britain's Elizabeth Simmonds captured the 200 backstroke title with a wire-to-wire performance that finished with a strong 2:10.44. That swim bettered her season best of 2:1.04 from Belgium that had put her seventh in the world. Her time tonight vaulted her to fifth overall behind only Belinda Hocking (2:07.42), Meagen Nay (2:08.19), Sayaka Akase (2:09.88) and Emily Seebohm (2:10.11).
Canada's Hilary Caldwell also beat 2:11 with a second-place time of 2:10.94, just off her now seventh-ranked 2:10.78 from the Austin stop of the Arena Grand Prix series. Katinka Hosszu captured another Grand Prix series point to move to 27 overall with a third-place 2:11.74.
Ontario's Dominique Bouchard wound up fourth in 2:13.05, while Saint Andrew's Vien Nguyen placed fifth in 2:15.43. York Y's Courtney Harnish, just 14, continued her remarkable meet with a sixth-place 2:15.54.
Germany's Eileen Diener (2:15.76) and Oakland's Karin Tomeckova (2:17.00) finished seventh and eighth overall.
Clearwater's Sydney Pickrem clipped Ontario's Meryn McCann, 2:14.10 to 2:14.22, in the consolation finale.
Men's 200 back
Although the entire swimming world was focused on lane four with Ryan Lochte finally being back in the water in a swim of consequence in the finale, Russian Olympian Arkady Vyatchanin blasted the meet record in the distance dorsal with a winning time of 1:56.95. That performance smashed Tyler Clary's meet record of 1:57.85 set a year ago and bettered Vyatchanin's sixth-ranked season best of 1:57.57 from Austin. Vyatchanin now stands third in the world this year behind only Kosuke Hagino (1:54.77) and Ryosuke Irie (1:56.40).
Lochte, meanwhile, demonstrated that his knee isn't going to be a problem for his backstroke as he clocked a 1:58.12 for second. That vaulted Lochte to ninth in the world this year. Clary, the previous meet record holder, took third overall in 2:00.16.
Germany's Yannick Lebherz (2:00.47) and Hungary's Gabor Balog (2:01.99) took fourth and fifth, while David Cespedes Echeverry (2:05.56), Hungary's David Foldhazi (2:06.19) and Hungary's David Verraszto (2:06.65) comprised the rest of the championship finale field.
Gator's Jian Wang put together some outside smoke with a 2:04.25 to win the consolation heat from out in lane one.
Women's 100 free
Canada's Victoria Poon set her second meet record of the day in the event with a 55.20 to race her way to the title and the first-place check. This morning, she sprinted to a 55.27 to beat Missy Franklin's meet record of 55.37 from a year ago.
Bulldog's Megan Romano captured some much-needed points as the former Grand Prix points leader needed to keep pace with Caitlin Leverenz. Romano finished second in 55.25, also under the former meet record.
SwimMAC's Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, who already stands 10th in the world with a 54.94 from the Austin stop, took third in 55.41.
Canada's Sandrine Mainville (55.64), T2's Amanda Kendall (56.24), Canada's Katerine Savard (56.93), Hungary's Agnes Mutina (57.00) and Canada's Hannah Riordan (57.06) also vied for the championship title.
In a close battle, Lake Erie's Kaitlyn Johnson pipped Mexico's Fernanda Richaud Leyva, 57.39 to 57.51, in the B final.
Men's 100 free
In his first meet swimming the 100-meter free since 2012 London Olympics, Mesa Aquatics Club's Cesar Cielo blasted the meet record with a 49.28 to win in a stacked finale. That swim crushed Anthony Ervin's meet mark of 49.85 set a year ago, and moved Cielo up to seventh in the world rankings. That's a much-needed swim for Cielo as he continues to work out some kinks from a training location change.
Jimmy Feigen checked in with a second-place time of 49.63, also under the previous meet record, while Club Wolverine's Miguel Ortiz picked up third-place honors with a 50.33, tying NYAC's Adam Brown in the process.
Thiago Sickert (51.07) and Hungary's Krisztian Takacs (51.29) finished fifth ans sixth, while SwimMAC's Ryan Lochte took seventh overall in 51.54. Bolles' Mario Todorovic wound up eighth overall in 51.74.
In a heavyweight battle in the consolation heat, 50 free winner Bruno Fratus clipped SwimMAC's Cullen Jones at the wall, 50.48 to 50.65.
Men's 1500 free
The Woodlands' Michael McBroom cut two seconds off his fourth-ranked season best with a winning time of 15:14.23 this evening. That swim smashed his 15:16.62 from the Austin stop of the Arena Grand Prix, and puts him closer to the top three of Yannick Agnel (15:07.76), Mykhailo Romanchuk (15:09.21) and Nicholas Grainger (15:10.60).
Canada's Eric Hedlin finished well behind in second with a 15:17.29, while Venezuela's Andy Arteta posted a 15:29.27 to beat Germany's Maximilian Bock (15:29.31) for third place in the closest contest of the mile.
Canada's William Brothers clocked in with a fifth-place time of 15:34.03 with SPA's Calvin Bryant taking sixth in 15:48.42.
Ian Rainey (15:52.48) and Alejandro Gomez (15:55.17) made up the rest of the top eight in the timed final event.