MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota, November 9. THE 2012-13 USA Swimming Grand Prix series has kicked off with action in Minneapolis, Minn. Olympic hero Missy Franklin dominated the night to start off with in the 200 free, before giving way to an impressive double by swimming superstar Ryan Lochte. Youngster Becca Mann, who demonstrated remarkable potential with several finals at the 2012 U.S. Trials, turned in a blazing 400 IM.
Women's 200 free
Colorado Stars Missy Franklin, fresh off an amazing outing at the 2012 London Games, threw down a lifetime best effort of 1:42.28 to claim the event title. That swim downed Dagny Knutson's 17-18 U.S. National Age Group record of 1:42.61 set back in 2009, and moved Franklin up to fifth all time in the event. Her previous best had been her high school record time of 1:43.15 in front of a nationally-televised audience on ESPN3.com in February. Franklin just missed joining Megan Romano (1:41.21), Dana Vollmer (1:41.53), Natalie Coughlin (1:41.66) and Allison Schmitt (1:41.90) in the 1:41 club.
Meanwhile, Knutson clocked a 1:46.70 in her return meet to take second for ASK Swim Club, while Mission Viejo's Chloe Sutton turned in a third-place time of 1:47.20.
? Missy Franklin (@FranklinMissy) November 10, 2012
This is the return meet for Knutson, who has battled an eating disorder as explained in a courageous recounting to Swimming World in April. She's been out of swimming since the Austin Grand Prix in January, and focused on her recovery. Sutton, meanwhile, is on the path for a potential third Olympic bid after returning from her second Olympics in London this summer. Her teammate Katie McLaughlin won the B final in 1:48.73.
Thanks to everyone for the continued support. I'm having such a great time at the #MinnGP 😊👍
– Dagny Knutson (@DagnyKnutson08) November 10, 2012
Men's 200 free
Ryan Lochte overtook Mads Glaesner down the stretch, exploding off the final to win the event in 1:35.15. Glaesner wound up racing into second with a 1:35.69, just falling off his lead due to Lochte's superior underwaters in the final 50 yards. Bobby Bollier turned in a third-place time of 1:37.86. Lochte set himself up for a potential double later in the evening, as he is the top seed in the 100 fly.
Women's 100 breast
Ashley Wanland posted a blazing time of 59.96 to win the A finale this evening. Clearing a minute while in-season is pretty impressive for Wanland, considering she is the 17th-ranked swimmer all time in the event with a lifetime best 59.14 from the 2009 NCAA Division I Championships.
Canada's Jillian Tyler, in her old college stomping grounds as a Golden Gopher alum, posted a swift time of 1:00.32 for second, while current Gopher Kierra Smith touched third in 1:00.43.
Men's 100 breast
Trojan's Mike Alexandrov touched out Cardinal's Carlos Almeida in the A final, 52.80 to 52.94. Alexandrov has great memories of this facility. He set an American record in the 100 breast while representing Northwestern back in 2007. The swim was controversial, as he represented Bulgaria internationally at the time, but is a dual citizen. His record of 51.56 to break Jeremy Linn's American mark of 51.86 was ratified, but led to a change in American-record bylaws requiring someone to not only be an American citizen, but also to represent the U.S. internationally. Olympian Scott Weltz checked in with a third-place time of 53.74 after being a wildcard coming out of the 2012 U.S. Trials.
Women's 100 fly
Olympian Claire Donahue is another of the stellar U.S. 2012 London Games roster to make her return this evening. She did so in dominant fashion with a sterling time of 52.71 to win the 100 fly. Mission Viejo's Katie McLaughlin, just 15, earned second with a 54.31 as she is having a strong session this evening. She took the B final triumph in the 200 free to start the night. Rebecca Weiland clinched third-place honors with a time of 54.33, while Blake Zeiger topped the B final with a swift 53.99 that would have placed her second in the A final.
100 fly finals-52.71 placing1st! Very happy! Luke Musser went 57.7 placing 12th. Represented WKU well here at the #MinnGP.
– Claire Donahue (@clairedonahue) November 10, 2012
Men's 100 fly
Ryan Lochte doubled up tonight with another victory, checking in with a smooth time of 46.73 in the 100 fly after edging Mads Glaesner for the 200 free victory earlier in the evening. Lochte definitely hasn't put in much time in the 100 fly in short course yards, as his lifetime best still stands at 46.02 from the 2006 Southeastern Conference Championships while representing the Florida Gators. Throwing down a 46.73 in-season compared to that personal record isn't a bad way to start off this short course season. Kyler Van Swol earned second-place honors with a time of 47.66, while Bobby Bollier checked in with a third-place 47.74.
Good finals swims tonight for my first meet back…. Now a nice burger at stub & herb's with @coachjackroach
— Ryan Lochte (@ryanlochte) November 10, 2012
Women's 400 IM
Clearwater's Becca Mann crushed the field in the distance medley with a sizzling time of 4:10.29. That swim fell just two seconds off Katie Hoff's 2004 13-14 U.S. National Age Group record of 4:08.44, but is the second fastest time by a 14-and-under of all time. USA Swimming had Ella Eastin as second in the age group with a 4:11.61. The Fish's Isabella Rongione finished a distant second with a 4:21.21, but is still a youngster to watch out for at just 13 years of age. SWAC's Reagan Cook, 16, earned third-place honors in 4:32.51 with Mission's Katie McLaughlin topping the B final in 4:22.54.
Men's 400 IM
Luke Bushman turned in a winning time of 3:53.93 in the distance medley, cutting more than three seconds from his preliminary time. David Dimitrov touched second in 3:54.24, while Katy's Austin Vacek earned third in 3:57.65.