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. IT's getaway day at the Arena Grand Prix being held in Mesa, Ariz., at the Skyline Aquatic Center by Mesa Aquatics Club. This morning featured a full slate of swimming as competitors continued to round into form with the switch to long course.
Women's 200 fly
2012 Olympian Cammile Adams of Texas A&M turned up the heat in morning prelims of her pet event with a 2:10.20. That's a top-15 ranked time in the world rankings thus far this year, and she's definitely able to put on a show this evening in the event as she looks to chase down the likes of world-leading Jiao Liuyang (2:05.87).
15-year-old youngster Kathryn McLaughlin raced to second with a time of 2:12.93, while FINA World Cup Queen Katinka Hosszu qualified third in 2:13.90. Hosszu has definitely been piling up the meters this week, and piling up paychecks with regular appearances in the Awards Arena as a top-three finisher in multiple events this week.
California's Caitlin Leverenz (2:14.92), Redlands' Sonia Wang (2:15.72), Gators' Andreina Pinto (2:15.79), Tualatin Hills' Michelle Cefal (2:16.34) and Celina Li (2:17.29) also earned spots in the championship finale.
Nation's Capital's Katie Ledecky, after tuning up with a lifetime best in the 200-meter free last night, qualified 10th with a 2:19.06 this morning in what is definitely a completely off event for the freestyle stalwart.
Men's 200 fly
PEAK's Tom Kremer cruised to the top seed with a time of 2:00.53, while Cardinal's Pedro Oliveira finished second in 2:01.95. Club Wolverine's Tyler Clary, who now stands second in the Arena Grand Prix race winnings standings with $4,200 after a pair of first-place checks last night, qualified third in 2:02.93 and will be looking for more money tonight.
Stanford's Bobby Bollier put himself in position for a podium-placement with a fourth-place 2:03.02, while Bolles' Joseph Schooling finished fifth in 2:03.92.
Club Wolverine's Dan Madwed (2:04.32), California's Tom Shields (2:04.38) and Terrapin 16-year-old Justin Lynch (2:04.44) snagged the other transfer spots into the championship eight.
Women's 100 breast
A star-studded finale in the women's 100-meter breaststroke is almost assured of posting a world-leading time this evening. Rikke Pedersen currently owns the top time with a 1:06.40 from the Danish Open last month, but the likes of Breeja Larson, Jessica Hardy, Alia Atkinson and Rebecca Ejdervik are going to put some heat on that swim.
Larson qualified atop the standings with a 1:08.01 as her hometown crowd urged her to the top time of the morning. Hardy, who has been focusing on sprint freestyle, is starting to get a good feel for her breaststroke again, as evidenced by a 1:08.08 from this morning. South Florida's Atkinson checked in with a 1:08.42 for third as all three times are among the top 15 in the world this year.
Ejdervik (1:10.38), SMU's Rachel Nicol (1:10.42), Santa Barbara's Katy Freeman (1:11.16), Katie Meili (1:11.78) and SMU's Raminta Dvariskyte (1:11.89) also earned their way into the championship finale to vie for the prize money.
Men's 100 breast
Eetu Karvonen of Grand Canyon University, who qualified for the World Championship roster for Finland with a 27.88 time trial in the 50-meter breaststroke on day one, led qualifying in the 100-meter breast with a time of 1:02.03. New York's Mark Gangloff, a member of the Missouri college coaching staff, qualified second in 1:02.93 now that the NCAA season is complete.
Palo Alto's BJ Johnson, the winner of the 200 breast last night, took third in 1:03.43, while rising 16-year-old Venezuelan star Carlos Claverie qualified fourth in 1:03.51.
Trojan's Mike Alexandrov (1:0.58), Azad Al-Barazi (1:03.60), Kyle Duckitt (1:03.68) and Tucson Ford's Clark Burckle (1:03.69) qualified fifth through eighth to comprise the rest of the championship heat.
Women's 100 back
In another loaded finale for the women, some special times could be in the making this evening in the women's 100-metr backstroke.
California Golden Bear teammates Elizabeth Pelton (1:00.72) and Rachel Bootsma (1:00.89) put up the top two times in the morning, while future teammate Missy Franklin of the Colorado Stars raced into third with a 1:01.17 as all three swimmers are capable of blowing by the 1:00 barrier this evening.
Katinka Hosszu, the most versatile swimmer at the meet so far, qualified fourth in 1:01.74, while Bulldog's Cheyenne Coffman earned fifth in 1:02.57.
GTAC's Olivia Smoliga, who helped her friend score a prom date with an epic viral YouTube video yesterday, qualified sixth in 1:02.81.
SMU's Isabella Arcila (1:02.92) and Springfield's Yekaterina Rudenko (1:02.97) rounded out the top eight. AK Sharks' Clara Smiddy, who has had a career meet this week, topped the consolation heat field qualifying with a ninth-pace 1:03.29.
Men's 100 back
The men's 100-meter backstroke will provide some fireworks for the fans in attendance with a bevy of Olympic medals represented in the top eight.
Minnetonka's David Plummer earned the top seed out of the morning with a 55.49, while newlywed Matt Grevers finished second in 55.65. SMU's Matas Andriekus surged to third with a time of 55.88 as the top three all cleared 56 seconds. They will need 54s this evening to move into the top of the world rankings charts.
Bolles' Ryan Murphy (56.37) and California's Marcin Tarczynski (56.51) placed fourth and fifth, while Olympic superstar Ryan Lochte finished sixth in 56.76. A fun moment occurred this morning when Lochte came up to the blocks as a little girl's voice cut through the cheers with ultimate clarity screaming “Go Mr. Lochte!”
Alex Theocharidis (57.05) and Stanford's Eugene Godsoe (57.08) also picked up championship final spots.
Women's 200 IM
It could become another USC-connected 1-2 this evening after Katinka Hosszu and Stina Gardell took the top two spots in the 400 IM last night. Gardell qualified first this morning in 2:14.16, while Hosszu picked up second-seed honors with a time of 2:15.68 as she continues to compile championship swims this week.
California's Caitlin Leverenz (2:15.72) and Elizabeth Pelton (2:16.72) placed third and fourth with future Bear Missy Franklin qualifying fifth in 2:17.56.
Pleasanton's Celina Li (2:17.81), Louisville's Tanja Kylliainen (2:18.33) and T2's Erika Erndl (2:18.97) qualified sixth through eighth to make up the rest of the top eight.
Men's 200 IM
Ryan Lochte, who has been out of the water much of the last month with a focus on his reality TV show, finally put up a strong performance with a top-seeded time of 2:03.71 this morning in the 200 IM. That's well off the likes of a 1:57.50 from Wang Shun in China two weeks ago, but Lochte's at least looking at the chance of a win this week in Mesa.
Tucson Ford's Darian Townsend checked in with a second-seeded time of 2:04.76, while PEAK's Tom Kremer qualified third in 2:05.19.
Zac Dalby touched fourth in 2:05.68, while Texas A&M's Erik Frank claimed fifth in 2:05.72. Trojan's Mike Alexandrov posted a 2:06.87 to qualify sixth overall in the event.
Tyler Clary put himself into another difficult double this evening with a 2:06.89 to qualify seventh, while Conor Dwyer rounded out the top eight with a time of 2:06.95.