Michael Phelps
Courtesy of: Azaria Basile
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SANTA CLARA, California, June 20. THE first full day of preliminary competition at the Arena Grand Prix in Santa Clara featured strong swims from some of the world's best as they prepare for the championship phase of the summer season.

Superstar Michael Phelps continued to round into form, especially having just trained at altitude in Colorado Springs. He took third in the 100 free with a sub-50 second swim before leading the way in the 100 fly with a sizzling qualifier.


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Results through A flights

Women's 100 free
California's Missy Franklin took the top seed of the morning with a time of 55.12 as she posted the top time out of the fastest-seeded heat. Franklin has only swum one long course meet so far this year -- the Mel Zajac. She should be able to put up some significantly faster times here in Santa Clara.

Bulldog Shannon Vreeland raced her way to second in 55.39 with First Colony's Simone Manuel chasing down the third seed in 55.57. Tucson Ford's Margo Geer rounded out the top four into the championship heat with a 55.69.

NBAC's Allison Schmitt, still on the comeback trail after a touch 2013, qualified fifth in 55.71 with Carmel's Amy Bilquist the youngest swimmer in the finale with a 55.74 at 17. SwimMAC's Madison Kennedy qualified seventh in 55.77.

Depending on the results of the B flight, Bulldog's Megan Romano and Stanford's Maddy Schaefer tied for the eighth spot in the championship finale with matching 55.83s. Fresno's Cheyenne Coffman was the only other sub-56 performer with a 55.89 for 10th.

Men's 100 free
Prelims produced an incredibly deep finale that could rival any international meet across the globe for depth and speed. California's Nathan Adrian raced to a 49.95 as he put up an easy-speed swim. He's been much faster this year with a third-ranked 48.08 from the Mare Nostrum circuit. NBAC's Conor Dwyer (49.96) and Michael Phelps (49.99) also joined Adrian under 50 seconds for the top three spots and should provide Adrian with some serious competition tonight.

Califronia's Anthony Ervin also made the finale with a 50.12, while NYAC's Adam Brown touched fifth in 50.24. Santo Condorelli (50.61) and Auburn's Marcelo Chierighini (50.66) qualified sixth and seventh, while NBAC claimed another spot in the championship heat as French gold medalist Yannick Agnel clinched the eighth spot in 50.71. Auburn's James Disney-May snared ninth in 50.86.

Women's 200 breast
SwimMAC's Micah Lawrence, who already ranks 11th in the world with a 2:24.68 from the Charlotte stop, proved to be the only sub-2:30 swimmer of the morning with a time of 2:29.26 as she led all qualifiers into the championship heat.

16-year-old Emma Schanz of Spokane Waves had a phenomenal breakout swim with a 2:30.63 for the second seed. That's a gigantic drop from her lifetime best of 2:44.24 from the 2013 Junior National Championships. Although the likelihood is not that high, if Schanz has another big drop in her, she could take a run at the 15-16 age group record of 2:25.35 set by Anita Nall back in 1992.

BlueFish's Laura Sogar (2:31.81) and Elizabeth Beisel (2:32.18) checked in with third and fourth-place finishes in the morning, while UBCD's Tera Van Beilen grabbed fifth in 2:32.74. NBAC's Annie Zhu (2:32.81), Tucson Ford's Emma Schoettmer (2:33.16), California's Caitlin Leverenz (2:33.53) and Madisyn Cox (2:33.65) also made their way into the championship finale tonight.

Men's 200 breast
NBAC's Chase Kalisz continues to demonstrate why breaststroke is his most dangerous leg of his already world-class IMs by leading the way in the 200 breast this morning with a 2:13.45. That's a lifetime best for the NCAA champion as he previously had a personal best of 2:14.06 from the 2013 USA Swimming Nationals. His potential for this summer is downright scary with potential national team bids in the IMs and the 200 breast.

Kalisz' Georgia training partner Nicolas Fink qualified second with a 2:14.02, while California's Joshua Prenot claimed third in 2:15.30. Matthew Elliott (2:15.41) and BJ Johnson (2:15.47) picked up fourth and fifth-place honors in prelims, while breaststroke star Kevin Cordes cruised to sixth in 2:15.87. Cordes has been nursing a bit of an injury since his Tucson Ford's Southwest Classic.

Dan Wallace (2:16.38), Mike Alexandrov (2:16.55) and Club Wolverine's Richard Funk (2:16.73) also broke 2:17 to make the championship heat this evening.

Women's 400 free
NBAC's Cierra Runge put on a show in the morning in the middle-distance event as she ripped through her swim with a 4:09.86. That effort beat her previous lifetime best of 4:10.09 from the CeraVe Invitational earlier this year hosted by Berkeley Aquatics.

Gators' Andreina Pinto placed second in the morning with a 4:10.04, while BlueFish's Elizabeth Beisel set up a difficult double with a third-seeded time of 4:10.49. She'll be coming in right after having swum the 200 breast A final earlier in the evening.

A&M's Sarah Henry qualified fourth in 4:11.17 with NBAC's Lotte Friis cruising into fifth in 4:11.24.

Canada's Brittany MacLean (4:11.56), NBAC's Gillian Ryan (4:12.51), NBAC's Becca Mann (4:12.79) and Bulldogs' Amber McDermott (4:14.54) also managed to claim spots in the championship heat to be swum this evening.

Seal's Chloe Sutton wound up having a particularly rough swim with a 37th-place 4:24.93. She later explained on Twitter that she pushed through the swim despite illness and has elected to scratch the rest of the meet.




Men's 400 free
Club Wolverine's Connor Jaeger turned in an easy-speed effort of 3:51.22 to lead the way in the middle distance event this afternoon. That swim is a few seconds off his season best of 3:48.89 from the Charlotte stop that ranks him 17th in the world. Look for the newly-minted pro to produce a faster swim this evening in the finale.

Badgers' Ryan Feeley checked in with a second-place time of 3:51.28, while Tyler Clary snared third in 3:52.16 in his first fully-focused swim meet since his back-and-forth effort in Charlotte when he traded time between the pool, the emergency room and the NASCAR race track.

The Woodlands' Michael McBroom, who won the 800 free on night one, qualified fourth in 3:52.29, while Canada's Ryan Cochrane took fifth in 3:52.81.

Wisconsin's Michael Weiss (3:52.96), NBAC's Conor Dwyer (3:53.21), NBAC's Matt McLean (3:53.35) and Gators' Mitch D'Arrigo (3:53.63) also made their way into the championship heat.

Women's 100 fly
Stanford's Felicia Lee, who is swimming through the summer following her final season at Stanford before deciding on her future in the sport, put up a 59.62 for the top seed in the 100 fly this morning.

California's Kelly Naze took second in 1:00.44 with Bruin's Noella Tarazona taking third out of prelims with a 1:00.45. Missouri's Dani Barbiea rounded out the top four with a time of 1:00.63.

Hong Kong's Hang Yu Sze checked in fifth with a 1:00.70, while Theresa Michalak snagged sixth in 1:00.72.

Bulldogs' Lauren Harrington (1:00.80), Carmel's Veronica Burchill (1:00.81) and Ellen Williamson (1:00.84) also picked up transfer spots into the championship heat. Missy Franklin, meanwhile, took 20th overall in 1:01.69 in what is a complete off event for the Olympic superstar.

Men's 100 fly
The Greatest of All Time Michael Phelps had a strong preliminary double as he made the championship heat in both the 100 free and 100 fly. After taking third in the 100 free with a sub-50, Phelps blasted a 52.57 in the morning swim to lead the 100 fly qualifying. That's not far off his season best time of 52.13 from the Mesa stop of the Arena Grand Prix, which ranks him 10th in the world. There's little doubt that time is in jeopardy tonight and that Phelps will put up a 51-second blast this evening.

California's Tom Shields raced his way to the second seed in 52.90 with Stanford's Jason Dunford qualifying third in 53.32. Jack Conger rounded out the top four qualifiers with a time of 53.34.

Terrapins' Justin Lynch (53.53), Stanford's bobby Bollier (53.65), Stanford's Eugene Godsoe (53.82), Nitro's Matt Ellis (53.87) and California's Seth Stubblefield (54.05) all earned spots in the championship heat to swim along side Phelps.

Full results will be available once B flight swims are complete.


Results: Arena Grand Prix Santa Clara: Day Two Prelims