Day Three Live Prelims At Arena Grand Prix – Charlotte: Clary and Vyatchanin Set Up Epic 200 Back Dual

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CHARLOTTE, North Carolina, May 18. THE final prelim session at the Arena Grand Prix in Charlotte will feature tight races for coveted spots in the A final, where cash prizes are up for grabs among the top postgrad swimmers.

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Women 200 IM

As expected, Iron Lady Katinka Hosszu of Hungary was dominant in her prelim swim of the 200 IM, posting a 2:13.40 to grab the top seed and lead the field by two seconds. She’ll be gunning for her fastest swim of the season, which stands at 2:10.60 and a tie for sixth-fastest in the world.

Melanie Margalis, who trains at Georgia but represents Saint Petersburg for USA Swimming, placed second overall with a 2:15.03. Brooke Zeiger of Bluefish qualified third with a 2:15.86.

Becca Mann of North Baltimore will have a tough double tonight, swimming in the 200 IM final thanks to a fourth-ranked 2:16.44 then racing in the fastest heat of the 800 freestyle at the end of the session. Placing fifth this morning was SwimMAC Carolina’s Kathleen Baker with a 2:16.69, while Louisville’s Tanja Kylliainen was sixth with a 2:17.23. Madisyn Cox of Texas qualified seventh with a 2:17.99 while Katie Meili from SwimMAC rounded out the top eight with a 2:18.00.

Emma Reaney (2:18.37), Theresa Michalak (2:18.42), Marie-Pier Couillard (2:18.47), Ellen Williamson (2:18.80), Elizabeth Beisel (2:18.89), Kaitlyn Jones (2:19.24), Shannon Vreeland (2:19.38) and Annie Zhu (2:19.83) qualified to swim in tonight’s B final.

Men 200 IM

Conor Dwyer of North Baltimore will lead a star-studded field in the men’s 200 IM with a 2:02.16 top time. Like Dwyer, most of the field held back in prelims and we could see an eight-way battle for first tonight, depending on swimmers’ strengths and their energy level on the final day of the meet.

NBAC’s Chase Kalisz, the winner of the 400 IM in Charlotte, qualified second with a 2:02.81 followed by Tynan Stewart of Georgia. Stewart was the third qualifier with a 2:03.07, while world championship bronze medalist Thiago Pereira of Brazil was fourth with an easy 2:03.32.

Tyler Clary, who tended to a personal emergency yesterday instead of racing at the Mecklenburg Aquatic Center, raced to the fifth-fastest 200 IM this morning with a 2:03.65. Steve Schmuhl of Indiana was sixth with a 2:04.22 while Kyle Whitaker of Club Wolverine qualified seventh with a 2:04.32. Joe Schooling of Bolles School Sharks initially had the third-fastest time, but was disqualified for a dolphin kick on the breaststroke leg. That moved Andrew Seliskar of Nation’s Capital into the final eight with a 2:04.65.

In the B final and qualifying ninth through 16th were: Jay Litherland (2:04.67), Lewis Coleman (2:05.12), Mike Alexandrov (2:05.32), Dylan Bosch (2:05.40), Cody Miller (2:05.54), Sebastien Rousseau (2:06.21), Diogo Carvalho (2:06.41) and Omar Pinzon (2:06.82).

Women 200 back

About 30 minutes after her strong 200 IM prelim swim, Hosszu posted another leading time in the 200 backstroke with a 2:13.17. In what is becoming a stronger stroke for the Hungarian, she’ll have a challenge from 17-year-old Hannah Moore, who posted a 2:13.29 to nearly neat her lifetime best of 2:13.02. Megan Romano of Athens Bulldog qualified third with a 2:14.65.

Carolina Colorado of Bolles School and Colombia qualified fourth with a 2:14.94, while Bluefish Swim Club’s Brooke Zeiger was fifth in 2:15.61. Bluefish alum Elizabeth Beisel, the Olympic bronze medalist in the event, took sixth in 2:15.93. Yin Yan Lau of Club Wolverine took the seventh spot with a 2:16.68 while Helen Moffitt of North Carolina got into the A final with a 2:16.80.

Caroline Arakelian (2:17.01), Vien Nguyen (2:17.04), Emily Meilus (2:17.04), Kennedy Goss (2:17.30), Tasija Karosas (2:17.45), Isabella Arcila (2:17.51), Melanie Margalis (2:18.05) and Victoria Mitchell (2:18.54) will race in the B final.

Men 200 back

Tyler Clary and Arkady Vyatchanin set up an epic battle for the win in the 200 backstroke tonight, with both posting 1:58s to distance themselves from the pack. Clary, representing SwimMAC Carolina, was fastest in the prelims with a 1:58.88 to Vyatchanin’s 1:58.94 while representing New York Athletic Club. Clary is the reigning Olympic champion in the 200 back, while Vyatchanin won bronze in the 2008 Olympics for Russia. He’s now seeking a new country to represent internationally after parting ways with his home country last year.

Qualifying third was Colombia’s Omar Pinzon with a 2:01.00, just ahead of Bluefish’s Connor Green and his 2:01.36. Corey Main, prepping for the Commonwealth Games for New Zealand, was fifth overall with a 2:02.03. Drew teDuits, the 2013 NCAA champion, was sixth with a 2:02.98 while James Wells of Indiana qualified seventh with a 2:03.52. Rounding out the top eight was Charlie Boldison of Great Britain with a 2:03.53.

Tynan Stewart and Carter Griffin tied for ninth with a 2:03.83 to lead the B final qualifiers. Eugene Godsoe (2:04.31), Yeziel Morales (2:04.95), Jonathan Carlisle (2:05.12), Koya Osada (2:05.66), Joey Reilman (2:05.70) and Jay Litherland (2:06.60) also will swim in the B final.

Women 100 free

Allison Schmitt of North Baltimore leads a talented field in the women’s 100 free, with a top time of 55.25. SwimMAC’s Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, the winner of last night’s 50 free, was second with a 55.36. Her teammate Madison Kennedy took the third spot with a 55.77.

Athens Bulldog’s Megan Romano, the Jason Lezak of women’s relay swimming, qualified fourth with a 55.92. Shannon Vreeland, who swam the 100 free at last year’s worlds, was fifth with a 56.04. Great Britain’s Rebecca Guy qualified sixth in 56.26, with Cierra Runge of North Baltimore (56.47) and Jessica Lloyd of Great Britain (56.54) taking the other A final spots.

Ivy Martin (56.56), Amanda Weir (56.78), Michelle Williamson (56.85), Jessica Hardy (56.87), Faith Johnson (56.96), Patricia Castro Ortega (57.25), Anastasia Bogdanovski (57.30) and Kelsi Worrell (57.30) are in the B final spots.

Men 100 free

With seven swimmers posting times in the 50-second range, some of the world’s top sprinters got bumped out of the A final, setting up an intense battle tonight. Bruno Fratus of Brazil posted the sole swim under 50 seconds with a 49.47. Fratus did not swim the 100 free at the Maria Lenk Trophy meet in Sao Paulo last month, and could be looking to post a time that could put him consideration for 400 free relay duty at the Pan Pacific championships. Nicolas Oliveira’s 49.12 was fourth at the Maria Lenk meet.

The remaining seven swimmers in the final all qualified within seven tenths of each other, setting up a thrilling race tonight. Anthony Ervin of Cal Aquatics was second with a 50.25, just ahead of North Balitmore’s Conor Dwyer, who will be coming off the 200 IM final. Dwyer posted a 50.58 to get the third seed ahead of SwimMAC Carolina’s Mark Weber and his 50.77. Yannick Agnel will be racing in his first A final of the meet, posting a 50.80 for the sixth spot. Jonathan Boffa of NC State got in the seventh spot with a 50.92 while Kristian Gkolomeev of Greece was eighth with a 50.95.

Cullen Jones (51.01), Yuri Kisil (51.05), Miguel Ortiz (51.10), Anders Nielsen (51.12), Dax Hill (51.19), Matt McLean (51.20), Shane Ryan (51.27) and Bruno Ortiz (51.39) will race in what will be an equally exciting B final.

Results For: Arena Grand Prix, Charlotte: Day 3 prelims A flight

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Author: Jeff Commings

Jeff Commings is the host of several shows on SwimmingWorld.TV, including "The Morning Swim Show," which features interviews with people making headlines in aquatic sports. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in journalism and was a nine-time NCAA All-American.

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