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SANTA CLARA, California, June 21. THE third day of action at the Arena Grand Prix in Santa Clara produced some stunning championship finale fields for the fans heading in to the facility tonight.
Nearly every single finale has an Olympian, with many of them sporting multiple Olympic medals up and down the program tonight. Michael Phelps helped set up an epic 200 free, while the women’s 200-meter backstroke features a star-studded cast that includes Missy Franklin.
Results through A flights
Women’s 400 IM
BlueFish’s Elizabeth Beisel used her patented breaststroke leg dominance in the distance medley to take home the top seed this morning. She clocked a 4:41.90 to lead the field by more than two seconds. She has much more in the tank, however, as she ranks 14th in the world with a 4:39.68 from the Mesa stop of the Arena Grand Prix.
A&M’s Sarah Henry placed second this morning with a 4:44.30 to win her heat, the fourth of five in the A flight of the event. Meanwhile, NBAC’s Becca Mann finished third in 4:44.55, having trailed Beisel in the final heat.
California’s Caitlin Leverenz finished fourth in prelims with a 4:48.23, while Gators’ Andreina Pinto took fifth in 4:49.75. Madysin Cox snared sixth in 4:50.89, while 16th-ranked Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson wound up seventh in 4:51.00. She’d posted a 4:40.07 at the Canadian Nationals earlier this year, and will see if she can challenge for the title tonight.
NOVA’s Emma Nunn (4:51.93) and Theresa Michalak (4:52.08) rounded out the top nine going into the championship finale.
Men’s 400 IM
Tonight should produce a scary time from NBAC’s Chase Kalisz as he powered his way to a sterling time of 4:17.10 in prelims. He’s already 18th in the world with a 4:16.38 from the Charlotte stop of the Arena Grand Prix, and nearly cleared that this morning. He could challenge for a top 10 time in the world tonight.
Gators’ Sebastien Rousseau raced his way to second in the event with a time of 4:18.57, while Dynamo’s Jay Litherland finished just behind with a third-seeded time of 4:18.93.
Dan Wallace grabbed fourth overall in 4:19.01 to round out the sub-4:20 swimmers this morning. Dynamo’s Gunnar Bentz (4:20.39), Aquazot’s Corey Okubo (4:20.83), Stanford’s Max Williamson 4:23.00), Gators’ Diago Decarvalho (4:23.97) and Club Wolverine’s Kyle Whitaker (4:25.81) also made the championship finale.
Notably, all three Litherland triplets picked up second swims in the event. Kevin took 12th in 4:27.45 with Mick placing 20th in 4:32.20.
Women’s 200 free
NBAC’s Cierra Runge is having herself a career meet already, and it continued this morning with the top seed in the women’s 200-meter free. Her swim of 1:59.64 lowered her lifetime best of 1:59.99 set at the Mesa stop of the Arena Grand Prix, and she should get faster tonight.
Runge will have some serious motivation considering the rest of the stacked finale that includes California’s Missy Franklin placing second in 1:59.78 this morning as the only other sub-2:00 swimmer of the morning.
Bulldogs’ Jordan Mattern claimed third in 2:00.30 with California’s Elizabeth Pelton taking fourth in 2:00.68. Canada’s Brittany MacLean also cleared 2:01 this morning with a 2:00.73, while First Colony’s Simone Manuel wrapped up the sub-2:01s with a sixth-place 2:00.82.
Bulldogs’ Shannon Vreeland (2:01.10), NBAC’s Allison Schmitt (2:01.28) and CFSC’s Alyson Ackman (2:01.43) also earned their way into the top nine tonight. NBAC’s Lotte Friis just missed the A final with a 2:01.51 for 10th.
Men’s 200 free
This evening will be an epic finale with an amazing cast of swimmers making their way into the A final. Longhorn’s Clay Youngquist had the top time of the morning with a time of 1:48.96, while Olympic champions Conor Dwyer (1:49.22) and Yannick Agnel (1:49.27) picked up the second and third-seeded times.
In a high-profile heat five, Gators’ Mitch D’Arrigo touched out NBAC’s Michael Phelps, 1:49.57 to 1:49.61, as the two wound up with fourth and fifth in qualifying when all was said and done.
Club Wolverine’s Connor Jaeger (1:49.72), NBAC’s Matt McLean (1:50.26), Dynamo’s Matias Koski (1:50.29) and Seal’s Charlie Houchin (1:50.63) also earned spots into the championship heat in what is going to be a scary strong finale.
Women’s 200 back
In another star-studded finale for the fans tonight, California’s Elizabeth Pelton led the way with a 2:10.41 to nearly make the top 20 in the world. Meanwhile, Canada’s Hilary Caldwell touched out world-record holder Missy Franklin, 2:11.53 to 2:11.60, in the final heat for the second and third spots. Just that top trio of swimmers is liable to do some serious damage to the world rankings, but wait — there’s more.
BlueFish’s Elizabeth Beisel checked in with a fourth-place 2:12.48, while Canada’s Dominique Bouchard placed fifth in 2:12.79. Dynamo’s Kylie Stewart picked up sixth in 2:13.21.
California’s Melanie Klaren (2:13.78), Carmel’s Amy Bilquist (2:13.85) and Bulldogs’ Jordan Mattern (2:13.98) also made their way into the incredible finale.
Men’s 200 back
NYAC’s Arkady Vyatchanin led the top two swimmers under 2:00 out of prelims with a 1:59.16, while SwimMAC’s Tyler Clary took second in 1:59.76. These two Olympic medalists will certainly put on a show this evening in the event. The rest of the finale, however, is filled with some less veteran faces.
BlueFish’s Connor Green (2:00.91), Gators’s Corey Main (2:01.49) and California’s Jacob Pebley (2:01.63) all cleared 2:02, while Machine’s Jack Conger (2:02.53) also made the finale.
Bolles’ Omar Pinzon (2:02.71), Aquazot’s Corey Okubo (2:02.78) and Pleasanton’s Maxime Rooney (2:03.17) also picked up spots in the championship nine this evening as the rest of the field will be looking to push Vyatchanin and Clary to some strong times.
Women’s 50 free
Fresno’s Cheyenne Coffman is hoping her in-season success translates to Nationals this summer as the budding sprint star posted a 25.27 to take the top seed in the splash-and-dash this morning. Coffman is a former NAIA national titlist who has been making some serious waves since transitioning to a post-graduate schedule.
First Colony’s Simone Manuel picked up second out of prelims with a 25.49, while SwimMAC’s Madison Kennedy took third in 25.59. Stanford’s Maddy Schaefer touched fourth overall in 25.65.
Wisconsin’s Ivy Martin (25.77), Bulldogs’ Megan Romano (25.88), Carmel’s Amy Bilquist (25.91), WCAB’s Kasey Carlson (25.97) and Missouri’s Anna Patterson (26.10) also made their way into the championship nine.
The B final will have some big names as well. Tucson Ford’s Margo Geer qualified 10th in 26.11, while Olympic gold medalist Rhi Jeffrey is still putting her time in the pool with an 11th-seeded 26.14. Lia Neal also made the B final with a 12th-place 26.17.
Men’s 50 free
With 100 free winner Nathan Adrian scratching the 50 free, the door is wide open for someone else to clinch the title. Adrian’s head coach Dave Durden confirmed today that with Adrian having swum nine 50s in nine days, he felt it was a good time to give his charge a break.
It’s a disappointing way to end this morning’s A flight as the world was hoping to see the second and fifth-ranked swimmers battle head to head.
Bruno Fratus, who ranks second with a 21.45 this year, took the top seed in 22.53, while California’s Anthony Ervin will have to hold the Cal banner with a second-seeded 22.75. Stanford’s Alex Coville took third in 22.90.
NYAC’s Adam Brown (22.95), Paul Powers (22.97), NYAC’s Josh Schneider (23.03), Brad Tandy (23.03), John Murray (23.06) and Nitro’s Matt Ellis (23.07) also made the championship finale.
The B final is stacked as well with George Bovell (23.16), and Matt Grevers (23.20) some of the biggest making the consolation heat.
Full results will be available upon conclusion of the B flights.