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CHARLOTTE, North Carolina, May 16. MICHAEL Phelps continued his comeback campaign, while Jessica Hardy and Mike Alexandrov led a tough day for sprint breaststrokers in the first prelim session of the Charlotte stop of the Arena Grand Prix.
Women 200 free
Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu didn’t hold back in the first of her two prelim swims today, blazing through the 200 freestyle with a 1:57.86. That’s just six tenths off her best swim of the season, a 1:57.24 from the Maria Lenk meet in Brazil a few weeks ago. She’ll be joined in the final by 2012 Olympic champion Allison Schmitt, who cruised through her swim with a 1:59.23. Schmitt posted a 1:56.90 at the Mesa stop of the Arena Grand Prix last month, so expect a much faster swim from her tonight.
Leah Smith, who just completed a strong season at Virginia, qualified third with a 2:00.18, followed by SwimMAC’s Kathleen Baker with a 2:00.79. Three North Baltimore Aquatic Club swimmers took spots five through seven: Gillian Ryan (2:01.25), Cierra Runge (2:01.29) and Becca Mann (2:01.48).
Melanie Margalis and Sam Cheverton both posted times of 2:02.36 and will likely have a swimoff later in the session.
Chloe Sutton (2:02.47), Megan Romano (2:02.54), Alex Norris (2:02.70), Shannon Vreeland (2:02.76), Elizabeth Beisel (2:02.90), Danielle Siverling (2:03.17) and Kate Mills (2:03.26) rounded out the top 16.
Men 200 free
Michael Phelps’ first 200 freestyle race since the 2012 Olympic Trials didn’t turn out like he might have hoped. Pushing the pace through the first 150 meters, the 2008 Olympic champion in the event found himself locked out of the championship final with a 1:51.69, good for ninth place.
Conor Dwyer, Phelps’ teammate at North Baltimore and the world championship silver medalist, led qualifying with a 1:49.31. Michigan’s Connor Jaeger, fresh off a strong 800 freestyle win last night, was second in 1:49.90. Matt McLean of NBAC rounded out the top three qualifiers with a 1:50.00.
Anders Nielsen and Michael Wynalda, both representing Club Wolverine, took fourth and fifth with times of 1:50.93 and 1:51.27, respectively. Tyler Clary, who formerly represented Club Wolverine but is now based in Charlotte at SwimMAC, was sixth with a 1:51.30. Swimming in the “B flight” of the event, after all the early heats of all events had swum, Club Wolverine’s Dylan Bosch posted the seventh-fastest time with a 1:51.40. Club Wolverine’s Michael Klueh, who won the heat that featured Michael Phelps, took eighth overall with a 1:51.52.
With Phelps in the consolation final was set to be Pete Brumm (1:51.70), Charlie Houchin (1:51.78), Mitch D’Arrigo (1:51.87), Lewis Coleman (1:51.93), Thiago Pereira (1:52.46), Doga Celik (1:52.57) and Stefan Miosev (1:52.72).
Phelps scratched from the final to focus on the 100 fly final tonight, moving Brumm up to the top seed for the B final. Matias Koski moved up to the 16th spot.
Yannick Agnel was originally reported to have placed eighth in the prelims, but was disqualified for a false start.
Women 100 breast
Micah Lawrence, known mostly for her 200 breast prowess, took the top seed in the 100 breast today with a 1:08.41 in front of a home crowd. Also with her in tonight’s final will be Lilly King, who took two hundredths off her lifetime best to qualify second with a 1:09.57, and SwimMAC’s Katie Meili with a 1:09.87.
The fourth, fifth and sixth qualifiers were all recently in the 100 breast final at the NCAA championships. Emily McClellan, who had a spectacular NCAA championships for Milwaukee-Wisconsin, was fourth overall with a 1:10.10. Emma Reaney, who broke the American record in the 200-yard breaststroke, is fifth with a 1:10.49 shortly after making the move to SwimMAC Carolina. Tennessee’s Molly Hannis qualified sixth with a 1:10.63.
Jessica Hardy, the former world record holder, was seventh overall with a 1:10.88 while representing Trojan Swim Club. Laura Sogar of Bluefish posted a 1:11.19 for eighth place.
Gretchen Jacques (1:11.49), Maija Roses (1:11.94), Amanda Lawson (1:12.17), Justine Bowker (1:12.57), Miranda Tucker (1:12.58), Andee Cottrell (1:12.64), Annie Zhu (1:12.74) and Madisyn Cox (1:13.03) qualified for the B final.
Men 100 breast
Mike Alexandrov of Trojan Swim Club coasted to the top spot in the 100 breast with a 1:02.52. Alexandrov was third at the last Arena Grand Prix stop in Mesa with a 1:02.07, and we should expect him to challenge that time in finals. Canada’s Matthew Ackman took the second spot with a 1:02.94, while Brendan McHugh qualified third with a 1:03.05.
Kameron Chastain of the University of Louisville took fourth with a 1:03.38, just ahead of Tennessee’s Brad Craig and his 1:03.69. Cody Miller, who just wrapped up his collegiate career for Indiana, was sixth with a 1:03.95. Ross Plazzo of Hudson Explorer took seventh with a 1:04.29 and Thomas Dahlia posted the eighth-fastest time with a 1:04.33.
Christopher Steeples (1:04.45), Zach Hayden (1:04.49), Addison Bray (1:04.54), Andy Schuehler (1:04.61), Kyle Whitaker (1:04.82), Niclas Eriksson (1:04.94), Juan Arellano (1:04.98), and Gabriel deSousa (1:05.26) qualified for the B final.
Women 50 back
Ali DeLoof of Club Wolverine posted the sole swim under 29 seconds with a lead qualifying time of 28.97. She’ll be challenged in the final by Bolles’ Carolina Colorado, who was second in 29.03 in prelims, and Megan Romano of Athens Bulldog after qualifying third with a 29.18.
In her second final of the day, SwimMAC’s Kathleen Baker posted the fourth-fastest time with a 29.22, just ahead of Sveta Khakhlov of Belarus and her 29.23. Isabella Arcila of Valle Elite was sixth with a 29.33, while Fernanda Gonzalez of Gator Swim Club took seventh with a 29.54. Rounding out the top eight was SwimMAC’s Ashlyn Koletic with a 29.57.
Emma Ball (29.67), Marie-Pier Couillard (29.69), Kenzie Buss (29.77), Christina Paspa (29.83), Madison Kennedy (29.87), Allie Day (29.98), Madison Myers (30.05) and Christina Leander (30.06) will swim in the B final.
Men 50 back
Junya Koga of Club Wolverine is the defending champion in this event, and he set up for a successful return to the top of the podium with a 25.57. David Plummer of Minnetonka, second last year, was second in prelims today with a 25.70 while Charlie Boldison of Great Britain took third with a 25.96.
James Wells of Badger Swim Club took fourth in prelims with a 25.97 to round out the sub-26 swims. Shane Ryan, who swam collegiately for Penn State last season, is fifth for finals with a 26.04. Miguel Ortiz of Club Wolverine took sixth with a 26.19 while Auburn Aquatics’ Albert Subirats is seventh with a 26.24. Michael Andrew of Indie Swimming qualified eighth with a 26.31.
Omar Pinzon (26.55), Matt Josa (26.55), Drew teDuits (26.64), Zach McGinnis (26.74), James Peek (26.82), Jonathan Carlisle (26.87) and Michael Klueh (26.94) made their way into the B final. Javier Acevedo and Jimmy Dagley tied with times of 27.00 and will participate in a swimoff.
Women 100 fly
Katerine Savard, fresh off resetting her Canadian national record in the 100 fly with a 57.27 at nationals last month, qualified first in Charlotte this morning with a 59.29. Also joining her in the sub-1:00 grouping this morning was Alabama’s Kristel Vourna (59.51) and Claire Donahue (59.85).
SwimMAC’s Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, known for her sprint freestyle prowess, showed off her butterfly speed with a fourth-ranked 1:00.59 to the delight of the home crowd. Ellen Williamson of Virginia took fifth overall with a 1:00.72. Another sprint freestyle specialist impressed with her butterfly skills, as Ivy Martin of Wisconsin posted a 1:00.89 for sixth. Kate Mills of Real Canoe was seventh with a 1:01.20, while Louisville’s Kelsi Worrell posted the eighth-fastest time with a 1:01.21.
In the B final are Aliena Schmidt (1:01.41), Courtney Weaver (1:01.67), Lauren Harrington (1:01.71), Monica Babits (1:02.08), Emma Reaney (1:02.11), Helen Moffitt (1:02.11), Jessica Campos (1:02.15) and Elsa Welshofer (1:02.19).
Men 100 fly
Phelps made sure to leave nothing to chance in qualifying for the A final of the 100 fly, posting a 53.26 to qualify second behind the 53.23 by Belarusian (and Florida State standout) Pavel Sankovich. Dylan Bosch, who took down the shared U.S. Open record in the 200-yard fly by Phelps and Tom Shields, will swim the final in the third spot thanks to a 54.01. Joe Schooling, the national high school record holder in the 100 fly representing Bolles School, is fourth with a 54.12. Tim Phillips, now in the first few weeks of a postgrad career with SwimMAC after representing Ohio State, was fifth in 54.16.
Brazil’s Thiago Pereira, skipping out on the 400 IM today, got into the 100 fly A final with a 54.26, while Benjamin Colley of North Carolina was seventh with a 54.48, smashing his lifetime best of 56.05. Mario Todorovich of Bolles School rounded out the A final with a 54.51.
Matt Josa, the star of the recent NCAA Division II championships, took ninth with a 54.54 to lead the B final qualifiers. Subirats, a two-time NCAA Division I champ in the 100 fly, was 10th with a 54.64. Eugene Godsoe, the reigning USA national champion in the 100 fly, swam a 54.70 for 11th. Patrick Park (54.78), Nico van Duijn (54.98), Omar Pinzon (55.11), Eric Anderson (55.37) and Tom Luchsinger (55.39) will also compete in the B final.
Women 400 IM
As she did in the 200 free heats, Hosszu put in a strong morning effort in the 400 IM, posting a 4:39.53 to lead qualifiers by five seconds. Becca Mann of NBAC put up a strong 4:44.69 for the second seed, while Gator Swim Club’s Elizabeth Beisel cruised through prelims with a 4:47.18. Hosszu an Beisel have been under 4:40 so far this season, while Mann could be a part of the race and challenge her lifetime best 4:39.76 from the 2012 junior Pan Pacific championships.
Vien Nguyen, who smashed her Vietnamese national record in the 1500 free last night, qualified fourth with a 4:48.15. Brooze Zeiger of Bluefish took fifth with a 4:50.49 while Hannah Moore claimed sixth in 4:51.93. Rounding out the top eight were Louisville’s Tanja Kylliainen with a 4:52.40 and Nation’s Capital’s Kaitlin Pawlowicz with a 4:52.49.
Madisyn Cox (4:54.59), Megan Kingsley (4:55.81), Madison Homovich (4:55.92), Amanda Carner (4:57.48), Dorina Szekeres (4:57.53), Lindsey Clary (4:57.67), Victoria Mitchell (4:58.17) and Liz Zeiger (4:59.20) will swim in the B final.
Men 400 IM
As is his custom, Chase Kalisz dropped the hammer on the second half of the 400 IM, outsplitting the field on breaststroke and freestyle to post a 4:20.24 to lead qualifying. This marks Kalisz’s first long course meet since breaking the American record in the yards version at the NCAA championships.
Tyler Clary, the former yards American record holder, qualified second with a 4:24.81. Clary won this event in Mesa with a 4:19.00, and will need to beat that time tonight to keep up with Kalisz. Andrew Seliskar of Nation’s Capital, a rising star in this event, was third with a 4:26.78. Connor Jaeger, who was formerly a 400 IM specialist before switching primarily to distance freestyle, was fourth overall with a 4:27.25.
Two of the three Litherland triplets from Dynamo Swim Club got into the final. Kevin Litherland took the fifth qualifying spot with a 4:27.35, while Jay was sixth with a 4:27.38. Tynan Stewart, coming off a strong season at Georgia, qualified seventh with a 4:27.89 with Connor Green of Bluefish taking eighth with a 4:28.42.
The other member of the Litherland triplets, Mick, took ninth with a 4:29.88 to take the top spot for the B final. Sebastien Rousseau (4:30.75), Cameron Stitt (4:32.51), Diago Decarval (4:32.73), Ross Palazzo (4:32.75), Carlos Almeida (4:33.10), Montana Champagne (4:33.75) and Zachary Lierley (4:34.36) will also race in the B final.
Women 50 breast
The top eight qualifiers in the 50 breast looked eerily similar to that of the 100 breast from earlier in the session, with a couple of exceptions. Jessica Hardy took the top spot with a 31.39, while Micah Lawrence continues to show off impressive speed with a 31.58 for second. Lilly King (31.59), Molly Hannis (31.74), Emily McClellan (31.80) and Katie Meili (32.06) will all race in their second sprint breaststroke final tonight.
Gretchen Jaques and Laura Sogar round out the top eight with times of 32.51 and 32.75, respectively.
Miranda Tucker (33.05), Maija Roses (33.09), Andee Cottrell (33.27), Hannah Raspopov (33.31), Kayla Brumbaum (33.43), Lauren Barber (33.43), Liz Roberts (33.60) and Raminta Dvaris (33.89) qualified for the B final.
Men 50 breast
Brendan McHugh took the top seed in the splash-and-dash breaststroke, posting a 28.23 to beat Mike Alexandrov and his 28.31. Matthew Ackman took third with a 28.64, while Imri Ganiel’s 28.75 and Juan Arellano’s 28.88 rounded out the swims under 29 seconds this morning.
Also in the A final are Brad Craig (29.00), Christopher Steeples (29.02) and Kameron Chastain (29.14).
Swimming in the B final are Addison Bray (29.16), Zach Hayden (29.26), Napoleon Howell (29.29), Michael Andrew (29.32), Zhongtian Han (29.57), Andy Schuehler (29.59), Niclas Eriksson (29.64) and Glavez Capriles (29.64).