For full coverage of the Arena Grand Prix — Mesa, including video interviews, full recaps, etc., check out our event coverage page.
MESA, Arizona, April 13. THE final session is complete at the Arena Grand Prix — Mesa, and a new world-leader in the women's 800-meter free is on the board with Katie Ledecky's epic swim.
Women's 200 fly
2012 Olympian Cammile Adams blasted through the butterfly event en route to a victorious 2:09.45. That swim pushed her into the outskirts of the top 10 in the world in the 200-meter fly. Adams competed in the event at the 2012 Olympiad, finishing fifth in the finale last summer, and is setting her table heading into Barcelona this summer.
FINA World Cup Queen Katinka Hosszu raced to her fourth second-place finish of the meet with a 2:10.24, pushing her winnings this week to $1,700. Kathryn McLaughlin, a 15-year-old out of California, turned in a third-place effort of 2:10.86 in what had to be an awe-inspiring swim for her as she competed with some of the top names in the sport.
California's Caitlin Leverenz (2:13.49), Tualatin Hills' Michelle Cefal (2:15.92), Redlands' Sonia Wang (2:16.17), Saint Andrew's Tasija Karosas (2:17.23) and Pleasanton's Celina Li (2:18.19) also competed in the championship finale. Chelsea Chenault cruised to a 2:17.44 to clinch the B final title.
Men's 200 fly
In what has proven to be a lucrative meet for the speed demon, Club Wolverine's Tyler Clary blasted the men's 200-meter fly with a time of 1:58.10. That's his third victory of the meet after a double last night. As Clary told Rowdy Gaines during his on-deck interview, he took it out like a man splitting a 56.73 at the 100-meter mark and held on for the win. His swim moved him into the top 10 in the world this year.
Bolles' Joseph Schooling closed the distance down the stretch but ran out of pool with a second-place time of 1:58.83, while Stanford's Bobby Bollier earned third-place honors in 1:59.80 to round out the sub-2:00 times in the finale.
Club Wolverine's Dan Madwed (2:00.22), Cardinal's Pedro Oliveira (2:01.23), Terrapins' 16-year-old Justin Lynch (2:02.23), California's Tom Shields (2:02.45) and Tucson Ford's Jason Alentado (2:05.49) rounded out the top eight. Golden West's Gabriel Hernandez picked up the B final win in 2:03.84.
Women's 100 breast
Hometown girl Breeja Larson, with huge support from her fans, blazed her way to a winning time of 1:07.32 in the women's 100-meter breaststroke. That swim jumped her to the top three in the world with Rikke Pedersen (1:06.40) and Ruta Meilutyte (1:06.75) ahead of her this year. The time might have been a bit faster with someone pushing her, but Jessica Hardy scratched to make a flight back home.
South Florida's Alia Atkinson grabbed second-place honors in the event with a time of 1:08.41, bettering her season best of 1:08.51 from the Arena Grand Prix stop in Orlando. Rebecca Ejdervik picked up third with a time of 1:09.28.
SMU's Rachel Nicol (1:09.88), Katie Meili (1:09.98), Santa Barbara's Katy Freeman (1:10.19), Venezuela's Mercedes Toledo (1:11.16) and SMU's Raminta Dvariskyte (1:11.27) also battled for the championship title in the finale. Tucson Ford's Ellyn Baumgardner put up a strong time with a 1:10.49 to win the B final.
Men's 100 breast
Trojan's Mike Alexandrov threw down a world-class mid-season time with a scorching 1:00.63 to claim victory in the event. That swim jumped him into the top five in the world, putting him in contention for a spot on the U.S. Worlds roster in Barcelona. Alexandrov said on deck that his goal is to return to Barcelona under the American flag after previously swimming there for Bulgaria 10 years ago before switching his sports citizenship a few years back.
Grand Canyon's Eetu Karvonen, who already dropped a Worlds cut in the 50-meter breast with a 27.88 during time trials earlier in the meet to lock down a spot for Finland, snagged second-place honors in 1:01.97. Palo Alto's BJ Johnson turned in a third-place time of 1:02.68 after a strong effort in the 200-meter breaststroke last night.
NYAC's Mark Gangloff (1:02.72), Venezuela's Carlos Claverie (1:02.94), Trojan's Azad Al-Barazi (1:02.99), Tucson Ford's Clark Burckle (1:03.55) and Kyle Duckitt (1:03.79) comprised the rest of the championship heat. Longhorn's Imri Ganiel clinched the B final win in 1:02.41.
Women's 100 back
The California Golden Bears have to be super happy after a 1-2-3 for the squad with future Bear Missy Franklin earning the title in 1:00.15. That's just off her smoking season best of 59.34 from the Arena Grand Prix in Orlando. Franklin's future Golden Bear teammates Rachel Bootsma (1:00.54) and Elizabeth Pelton (1:00.84) rounded out the podium in what proved to be an incredible 1-2-3 effort down the stretch.
GTAC's Olivia Smoliga raced to fourth in 1:01.67, while Isabella Arcila placed fifth in 1:02.47.
Katinka Hosszu had a rare podium miss with a sixth-place time of 1:03.17, while Springfield's Yekaterina Rudenko picked up seventh place with a time of 1:03.49. Fresno State's Cheyenne Coffman closed out the top eight with a 1:03.89. AK Sharks' Clara Smiddy completed a breakout meet with a 1:02.41 to win the B final.
Men's 100 back
Tucson Ford's Matt Grevers touched out Minnetonka's David Plummer by just .02 seconds in the men's 100-meter back, 54.26 to 54.28. Rowdy Gaines asked Grevers what the key to the race was for the Gentle Giant. “Being 6'8,” Grevers replied. Grevers might have been able to put up a faster time, but obviously hasn't had training on his mind with his wedding to Annie Chandler last weekend. A 54.26 at this point in the season with little training could put a scare into the rest of the world.
Stanford's Eugene Godsoe rounded out the top three with a 54.77, while Bolles' Ryan Murphy placed fourth in 54.81.
SMU's Matas Andriekus (55.84), Marcin Tarczynski (56.24), Alexandros Theocharidis (56.58) and Cardinal's Pedro Oliveira (57.70) also swam in the final heat of the night. Palo Alto's Geoffrey Cheah snared the B final win in 57.21.
Women's 200 IM
FINA World Cup Queen Katinka Hosszu captured her second title, and sixth podium, of the meet with a 2:12.68 in the IM to close out an epic meet that included nine different events. That swim cleared her season best of 2:14.49 from the Luxembourg Euro Meet.
She shared the podium again with former USC teammate Stina Gardell, who raced to second in 2:13.81, while California's Caitlin Leverenz checked in with a third-place time of 2:13.90.
Missy Franklin of the Colorado Stars missed the podium with a 2:16.29 after putting up a strong time in the 100 back for the win. California's Elizabeth Pelton placed fifth in 2:16.68 just behind her future teammate.
Louisville's Tanja Kylliainen (2:17.30), T2's Erika Erndl (2:17.42) and Pleasanton's Celina Li (2:21.72) closed out the top eight in the finale. Longhorn's Karlee Bispo captured the B final win in 2:16.91.
Men's 200 IM
Tucson Ford's Darian Townsend held off the world-record holder Ryan Lochte in the event with a 2:01.04 for the win. The two turned fairly close together at the 150-meter mark, but Townsend dropped a 28.36 final 50 split to secure the win. Lochte, meanwhile, put together a 2:01.90 for second place as he just didn't have enough at the end to push past Townsend.
No one else came even close to the top pair as East Bribane's Zac Dalby picked up the third-place check with a time of 2:04.72. Erik Frank finished off the podium with a 2:04.88 for fourth, while Trojan's Mike Alexandrov touched fifth in 2:04.93.
Lake Forest's Conor Dwyer (2:05.97), Kristian Kron (2:08.39) and Redlands' Dmitriy Shvetsov (2:08.74) completed the top eight in the finale. Palo Alto's Curtis Ogren topped the B final with a time of 2:05.87.
Women's 800 free
Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky crushed the field in the distance freestyle event as she dropped a world-best time on the crowd for her third win of the meet.
Ledecky raced to an 8:20.64 for the win (28.83, 58.27, 1:30.72, 2:01.95, 2:33.63, 3:05.18, 3:36.93, 4:08.35, 4:40.00, 5:11.56, 5:43.45, 6:15.21, 6:46.96, 7:18.61, 7:50.15, 8:20.64) as she jumped to the top of the world rankings. She blasted the previous top time of 8:23.11 from Lauren Boyle of New Zealand from last month, sending a message to the rest of the world as everyone looks to Barcelona this summer.
Two-time Olympian Chloe Sutton finished second in 8:36.81, while Gator's Andreina Pinto placed third in 8:41.54 to round out the top-three finishers in the event.
Jewish Community's Leah Smith (8:43.16), Germantown's Rachel Zilinskas (8:47.75), FISH's 13-year-old Isabella Rongione (8:49.38), Germantown's Sierra Schmidt (8:49.77) and Chelsea Chenault (8:53.41) turned in the rest of the top eight times in the timed final event.
Men's 1500 free
Club Wolverine's Michael Klueh won the men's 1500-meter freestyle by 15 meters with a time of 15:28.57 in the men's distance freestyle event of the week. That win pushed his Arena Grand Prix circuit winnings to $2,300 with $800 in winnings this week in Mesa.
Stanford's Chad La Tourette checked in second in 15:41.28, while David Heron raced to third in 15:42.84. Heron, who swims for Mission Viejo, is headed to Tennessee after his senior season this year in what is looking to become one of the top distance programs in the nation.
Club Seminole's Mateo De Angulo (15:43.08), AK Sharks' Sam Smiddy (15:56.10), Aidan Burns (16:04.20), Nicholas Norman (16:08.90) and Argentina's Esteban Paz (16:11.46) closed out the top eight in the timed final event.