ATHENS, Georgia, July 12. THERE's little doubt that Olympic superstar Michael Phelps is getting himself primed for another epic run this summer, and his second victory of the weekend at the Bulldog Grand Slam is just another indicator that he's fully back from retirement.
Courtesy of: Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports
Courtesy of: Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports
Phelps won his second title of the meet, and second head-to-head matchup with the recovering Ryan Lochte, as the two battled in the men's 100-meter back. Phelps raced his way to a 53.88 in the event for the win, moving to 14th in the world rankings with the effort. He's currently the third-fastest American with Matt Grevers (53.72) and David Plummer (53.86) not that far ahead of him. His time is just half-a-second off his in-season best of 53.42 from the 2008 Swimvitational, when he was at the peak of his swimming career prior to his epic eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Lochte, in his first meet back after re-injuring his knee at the Mesa stop of the Arena Grand Prix, took second overall in 54.40, while SwimMAC's Tyler Clary picked up third in 55.41 as part of an incredible triple tonight. Notably, SwimMAC's Nick Thoman posted a 25.34 split going out, before settling in for an eighth-place 1:15.83 in the 100. That split is just outside the top 20 in the world.
Cammile Adams, training with SwimMAC after her career as a Texas A&M Aggie came to a close, blasted a 2:08.45 for the win in the women's 200-meter fly tonight. That swim clipped her previous season best of 2:08.54 that ranked 14th, and leapfrogged Jemma Lowe (2:08.52) into 13th in the world.
Hali Flickinger, swimming at home as part of the Athens Bulldogs, took second in the 200 fly with a 2:09.48. That swim vaulted her to 20th in the world, pushing Zhou Yilin (2:09.81) out of the top 20. Coming into today, Flickinger's get 200 fly had been a 2:12.01 at the 2013 U.S. Open. That's quite a time drop. Flickinger's teammate Lauren Harrington rounded out the top three in 2:10.15.
Swimming in his collegiate pool, NBAC's Chase Kalisz certainly felt comfortable in the men's 200-meter fly as he raced his way to a lifetime best. Kalisz clocked a 1:58.09, that bettered the 1:58.60 he posted at the 2013 U.S. Nationals more than a year ago. That's scary news for the rest of the country in his IM as every part of his 400 IM keeps getting better.
SwimMAC's Tyler Clary, who is getting pounded with swims this week with doubles and triples all weekend, took second in 1:58.96. NBAC's Conor Dwyer, meanwhile, placed third in 2:00.55. That's a personal best for Dwyer bettering the 2:00.88 he posted at the Austin stop of the Arena Grand Prix.
SwimMAC's Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace just missed her eighth-ranked 24.65 from Charlotte with a sizzling time of 24.67 to win the women's 50-meter freestyle tonight. She almost won by a second in the splash-and-dash with teammate Madison Kennedy grabbing second in 25.44. SwimAtlanta's Amanda Weir picked up third-place honors in the finale with a 25.44. Notably, Megan Romano pocketed the B final win in 25.86.
Bruno Fratus, the second-fastest swimmer in the world with a 21.45 from the Maria Lenk Trophy meet, missed putting up another 21 by just a bit as he dominated the men's 50-meter free with a 22.09. SwimMAC's Cullen Jones checked in with a second-place time of 22.35, while SwimAtlanta's Caleb Weir had a similar finish as his sister with a third-place 22.64. He shared that bronze-medal finish with Bolles' Caeleb Dressel, who also turned in a 22.64 in the splash-and-dash.
SwimMAC's Kathleen Baker nearly posted another lifetime best tonight in the 100-meter back after winning the 100 fly last night in a PB 59.69. Baker took home the 100-meter back title in 1:00.66, just off her 1:00.62 best from last year's U.S. Nationals. Club Wolverine's Ali DeLoof touched second in 1:01.07, while Athens Bulldogs' Olivia Smoliga tracked down third in the event with a 1:01.36.
SPA's Melanie Margalis won a high-profile matchup against SwimMAC's Micah Lawrence in the women's 200-meter breast. Margalis clocked a lifetime best 2:27.06, blasting her previous top time of 2:28.39 from the Charlotte stop of the Arena Grand Prix. Lawrence placed second in 2:27.66, well off her 12th-ranked time of 2:24.68 from Charlotte. NBAC's Annie Zhu dropped in with a third-place effort of 2:27.68. That's a big personal best for Zhu, who came into today with a 2:38.58 top time from way back in 2006.
Athens Bulldogs' Nic Fink smashed the field in the men's 200-meter breast with a 2:11.76. That swim is an in-season best for Fink, trumping the 2:12.76 he clocked at the Santa Clara Grand Prix stop by exactly a second. NBAC's Chase Kalisz checked in with a second-place time of 2:15.30, while Bolles' Anton Lobanov finished third in 2:15.58.
NBAC's Cierra Runge demolished the women's 400-meter freestyle field en route to a lifetime best effort in the middle distance swim. She clocked a 4:07.67, bettering the 4:08.01 she clocked at the Santa Clara stop of the Arena Grand Prix. Runge is another top-flight swimmer coming out of Bob Bowman's Elite camp who could make serious noise next month at Nationals. Her time tonight is just outside the top 20 in the world. Athens Bulldogs' Jordan Mattern took second in 4:10.75 with teammate Amber McDermott claiming third in 4:12.95.
Club Wolverine's blitzed the men's 400-meter free with a time of 3:45.34 to move into the top six in the world rankings. Yannick Agnel posted a 3:49.14 for second, while Matt McLean (3:52.22) and Michael Klueh (3:52.50) rounded out the top four.
Notably, Gunnar Bentz of Dynamo had a huge swim in the B final. He won in 3:57.67, his first time under 4:00. His best time coming into today had been a 4:00.22 from the 2013 Georgia Sectionals.
Results: Bulldog Grand Slam: Day Three