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AUSTIN, Texas, January 20. THE final session of the Arena Grand Prix in Austin proved to be a good one for the local fans as Longhorn Karlee Bispo pulled off a stunning double that included an upset of Olympic star Missy Franklin.
Women's 200 fly
Canada's Audrey Lacroix raced to her first gold medal of the meet with a 2:09.55 after claiming a silver earlier in her first meet after last summer's Olympics. Lacroix is a two-time Olympican for Canada, having competed at both the 2008 and 2012 Olympiads.
Mission Viejo's Kathryn McLauglin nearly caught her with a 2:10.37 for second, her fourth medal of the series overall after earning two medals in Minneapolis and two here in Austin. Canada's Noemie Thomas raced to third in 2:11.43.
Palo Alto's Ally Howe (2:14.16), Crimson's Margaret D'Innocenzo (2:16.27), SMU's Danielle Villars (2:20.48) and Golden West's Stephanie Samudro (2:24.38) completed the championship heat, while Mission Viejo's Chloe Sutton scratched finals to focus on the 800 free.
Men's 200 fly
Stanford's Bobby Bollier snatched his second gold medal of the circuit with a 1:58.18, coming home strong as he pulled away from the pack. His win pushed his overall medal tally to five for the series with two golds, a silver and two bronzes to now sit at $1,500 in winnings. With Michael Phelps out of the way in the 200 fly heading into 2016, Bollier is now in contention for an Olympic bid after a third-place finish at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials last summer.
Olympic gold medalist Tyler Clary raced to second-place honors with a 1:59.43, while Club Wolverine teammate Dan Madwed finished third in 1:59.73 to comprise the sub-2:00 times. Club Wolverine's Michael Klueh also earned fourth with a 2:01.58 for a strong outing by the club.
Island's Alec Page (2:01.74), Santa Clara's Alex Wold (2:03.23), ITESM's Ramiro Ramirez Juarez (2:04.14) and Palo Alto's Andrew Liang (2:07.70) also competed for the title. Island's Keegan Zanatta topped the B finale in 2:05.55.
Women's 100 breast
After turning in a 1:13.48 this morning to just miss her personal best, Longhorn's Karlee Bispo just blasted her lifetime best of 1:13.40 with a 1:09.37 to win this evening. Her previous top time had been from back in 2008. Bispo jetsetted into Austin today after being out with fellow Longhorn Kathleen Hersey at a clinic.
SMU's Rachel Nicol touched just behind with a time of 1:09.81 for her second medal of the meet, while Ashley Wanland secured her third series medal with a bronze-winning 1:10.03. Nicol fell just a bit off her top time of 1:09.12 from the 2012 Canadian Summer Nationals.
SMU's Raminta Dvariskyte (1:11.50), Central Bucks' Allie Szekely (1:12.34), Lakeside's Peyton Greenberg (1:13.22) and Golden West's Stephanie Samudro (1:18.45) wrapped up the rest of the seven-swimmer finale.
Men's 100 breast
Mike Alexandrov closed out the field with a powerful final five meters with a 1:01.76 for the win, giving him a third victory on the Arena Grand Prix tour thus far, as well as a bronze earlier in Austin. Alexandrov is now up to $1,600 in race winnings so far in just two meets of racing.
Alexandrov was likely motivated by the fact that he had a flight to catch.
– Mike Alexandrov (@alexandrov59) January 21, 2013
Palo Alto's BJ Johnson touched second in 1:02.23, while New York Athletic's Mark Gangloff touched third in 1:02.43 to finish in the money. Trojan's Glenn Snyders (1:03.31), Imri Ganiel (1:03.65), Daytona Beach's Ryan Lochte (1:04.83), Crimson's Nick D'Innocenzo (1:05.09) and Guillermo Cardenas Sanchez (1:06.09) rounded out the field.
Women's 100 back
In the first of a quick double, Colorado Stars' Missy Franklin just missed breaking 1:00 for the 15th time in her career as she won gold in 1:00.00. That effort produced her fourth gold medal of the meet, and ninth overall. Franklin's time is her 15th best ever, and is the first time she's hit 1:00 on the nose. Her top time overall is a sizzling 58.33 from the 2012 Olympic Games.
Depending on whether USA Swimming can find NCAA-legal ways of getting race money to Franklin, her continual wins at the Arena Grand Prix meets are definitely saving Arena part of the $150,000 earmarked for podium placers.
Canada's Hilary Caldwell raced into second with a time of 1:01.82 for her second silver of the meet, while SMU's Isabella Arcila turned in a 1:02.22 to complete the top three. Miyuki Takemura wound up fourth in 1:02.25, while Canada's Lauren Lavigna took fifth in 1:04.05.
Palo Alto's Ally Howe (1:04.07), First Colony's Simone Manuel (1:05.92) and Fort Worth's Summer Campbell (1:07.91) comprised the rest of the championship field.
Men's 100 back
Tucson Ford's Matt Grevers, who is currently in wedding planning mode with Annie Chandler, earned his second gold medal with a 53.75 after losing his backstroke goggles yesterday and having to rely on the goggles he wears during freestyle events.
Stanford's Eugene Godsoe finished a second back with a time of 54.75 for the silver-winning check, while Olympian Arkady Vyatchanin picked up third in 56.87.That's Vyatchanin's third bronze of the Arena Grand Prix circuit and fourth overall as he also took silver in Minneapolis.
LOSC's Jake Tapp (57.09), Canada's Kelly Aspinall (57.40), First Colony's Brett Pinfold (58.22), Palo Alto's Geoffrey Cheah (58.32) and Palo Alto's Andrew Liang (1:00.27) also vied for the championship title.
Women's 200 IM
Longhorn's Karlee Bispo pulled off a tremendous double with a lifetime best as she touched out a hard-charging four-time Olympic champion Missy Franklin, 2:12.49 to 2:12.57. Bispo's previous top time had been her 2:13.32 from prelims, that lowered her 2:14.56 from the 2010 national championships.
Bispo's breaststroke truly has been the key to a strong night. After winning the 100 breast earlier in the night, Bispo blew past Franklin on the breaststroke leg and had enough in the tank to withstand Franklin's freestyle.
The finish kept Franklin from pushing her Arena Grand Prix title tally to double digits as she finished the evening with nine golds and a silver during the course of the first two meets of the six-meet circuit.
Island's Alexa Komarnycky picked up the other money spot with a bronze-winning effort of 2:16.40, while Central Bucks' Allie Szekely placed fourth in 2:18.53.
Crimson's Margaret D'Innocenzo (2:21.28), First Colony's Simone Manuel (2:21.54), Longhorn's Quinn Carrozza (2:21.70) and Lakeside's Peyton Greenberg (2:23.70) also competed in the A final. Leah Stevens of Lakeside elected to scratch the finale after qualifying sixth.
Men's 200 IM
Daytona Beach's Ryan Lochte dominated the finale with a 2:00.98, beating the field by more than two seconds. After winning five golds in Minneapolis, Lochte is ramping back up his training after taking off the holidays before getting back into the water this month. His win tonight gave him six on the Arena Grand Prix series, and seventh medal along with a bronze.
Lochte is embarking on his first quad without Michael Phelps to chase, so this should be an interesting year heading into the 2013 World Championships.
Club Wolverine's Tyler Clary enjoyed a strong meet with four medals including a gold and three silvers as he touched in 2:03.02 for his third silver of the meet. Conor Dwyer cracked the podium barrier with a third-place time of 2:03.09.
Clary was happy with his weekend, as he tweeted to his followers shortly after the swim.
Light years ahead of where I thought I'd be at this point, pleased with my performance. Thank you all for your support, you keep me going!!!
– Scott Tyler Clary (@TylerClary) January 21, 2013
Santa Clara's Alex Wold (2:05.63), GMAC's Andrew Ford (2:05.78), Palo Alto's Curtis Ogren (2:09.27) and LR's Jerome Boucher (2:09.75) also competed in the finale.
Women's 800 free
Mission Viejo's Chloe Sutton won her second gold medal of the meet, and fifth overall medal of the Arena Grand Prix tour, with an 8:33.34. She's nearly broke $2,000 in race winnings with $1,900 overall. While Sutton had settled in with training partner Ashley Twichell throughout most of the race, she turned up the heat at the 600-meter mark to begin stretching her lead out. Twichell, meanwhile, wound up taking second overall with an 8:36.22 as just four swimmers competed tonight. Lakeside's Leah Stevens snared third in 8:48.93, while Mission Viejo's Brooke Lorentzen finished fourth in 8:56.92.
Men's 1500 free
Texas' Michael McBroom closed out the individual swims with a hometown win as he clocked a 15:16.41 in the men's metric mile. Club Wolverine's Michael Klueh finished second in 15:26.06, while Island's Eric Hedlin wound up third in 15:29.15. Mission Viejo's Janardan Burns (15:33.68), Island's Will Brothers (15:43.87), Mission Viejo's Arturo Perez Vertti (15:50.60) and Ian Wheeler (16:39.90) also swam in the event.