ORLANDO, Florida, February 14. CONTINUING the international theme of winners here at the Arena Grand Prix in Orlando, Jamaican Alia Atkinson of SoFlo Swimming crushed the meet record in the women’s 100 breast with a 1:07.15. That swim smashed her 1:08.51 from last year and moved her to second in the world behind only Jessica Hardy’s 1:07.05 from the Austin stop of the Arena Grand Prix.
Atkinson really has had a breakout 2013-14 so far, and should continue to skyrocket through the breaststroke rankings. She also posted the second-fastest 50 breast in the world as well with a sterling 31.01 split before coming home in 36.13. Only Ruta Meilutyte has been faster in the 50 this year with a 30.88 in Nice, France.
Laura Sogar of BlueFish, who had been second in the world with a 1:07.76 from Austin, took second in 1:09.00 with SwimMAC’s Katie Meili posting a 1:10.00 for third in a bit of a statistical anomaly if the official results are to be believed.
SwimMAC’s Micah Lawrence finished fourth in 1:10.04, while T2’s Justine Mueller posted a fifth-place time of 1:11.57. T2’s Ashley Wolter (1:12.98), Hungary’s Fanni Ferenczi (1:13.05) and Bolles’ Valentina Artemyeva (1:13.24) completed the rest of the A final with sixth through eighth-place honors.
Theresa Michalak, who currently trains in Florida with the Gators as she gets her NCAA eligibility settled before the championship season, won the B final in 1:11.84.