TUCSON, Arizona, June 8. THE Tucson Ford Southwest Classic kept on rolling into a third night of action with some strong in-season times going up on the scoreboard in Southern Arizona.
Bonnie Brandon was at it again, after taking home her second and third titles of the meet with a double last night, she kicked off Saturday evening with a 2:03.12 to win the women's 200-meter free. That's a lifetime best for the backstroker, as she bettered her 2:03.29 from the Arena Grand Prix stop in Santa Clara last week. Santa Clara's Catherine Ladd, 16, nearly posted a lifetime best with a second-place time of 2:03.95. That swim just missed her 2:03.71 from last summer's Speedo Junior Nationals, but smashed her in-season best of 2:06.48 from the 2012 Austin Grand Prix. Ladd's teammate Sarah Shimomura finished third in 2:05.63.
Tucson Ford's Darian Townsend followed up his 100 free win from last night with a 1:50.42 to capture the men's 200-meter free this evening. That swim fell just off his season-best this year of 1:49.61 from the Mesa stop of the Arena Grand Prix. Training partners Bobby Hurley (1:51.52) and Matthew Barber (1:53.60) rounded out the podium in the finale.
Tucson Ford's Ellyn Baumgardner and Emma Schoettmer put on a show in the women's 100-meter breaststroke as the duo battled to the finish with Baumgardner touching out Schoetmer, 1:10.50 to 1:10.55. Eve Sarris claimed third-place honors in 1:11.44.
Kevin Cordes, the top breaststroker in the nation at the moment, cruised through his 100-meter breaststroke finale with a time of 1:01.38. He didn't need the same speed he had in Santa Clara last weekend, where he blasted an in-season best of 1:00.47. But he is beginning to demonstrate some long course consistency as he attempts to translate his short course dominance.
In a high-profile sprinter match-up, Olympian Christine Magnuson beat teammate Margo Geer by the slimmest of margins, 25.82 to 25.83, in the women's 50-meter freestyle. Meanwhile, another Tucson Ford swimmer, Kait Flederbach, clinched third-place honors in 25.88 in what proved to be a close finish.
In another big-name battle, the Gentle Giant Matt Grevers beat training partner Townsend to the wall in the 50-meter free, 23.20 to 23.39. That's a bit off Grevers' season best of 22.79 from the Austin stop of the Grand Prix earlier this year, but is pretty solid considering the Tucson Ford-focused level of this meet. Adam Small, also of Tucson Ford, placed third in 23.68.
The 400 IMs closed out the show this evening. Shannyn Hultin topped the women's race in 4:56.76 with Brandon earning her fifth podium of the meet with a second-place 4:59.66. FAST of Colorado's Bailey Nero turned in a 5:02.09 for third place in the distance medley. Eric Solis of Tucson Ford prevailed in the men's 400 IM with a 4:28.83. El Paso's Sean Grieshop (4:38.51) and Santa Clara's Aidan Burns (4:43.31) took second and third.