Southwest Classic: Amanda Beard Completes Comeback Meet with Victory in 200 Breast

By David Rieder, Swimming World high school intern

TUCSON, Arizona, June 13. AS the home-pool swimmers from Tucson Ford and visiting Australians wrapped up the final night of long course meters swimming, four-time U.S. Olympian won her signature 200 breast, the race in which she won gold at the 2004 Olympics. Meanwhile, Australia’s Grace Loh recorded the most impressive swim of the night in the 100 back.

Loh clocked a time of 1:01.99 to take the dorsal race, beating her more-heralded Australian teammate Meagan Nay by six-tenths of a second. Nay clocked 1:02.60. Rachel Goh completed the Australian sweep in 1:04.17, just ahead of Tucson Ford’s Hannah Ross (1:04.22), the top American swimmer.

Beard dominated the 200 breast, posting a time of 2:31.29, nearly a second and a half ahead of Katelyn Weddle. Weddle, swimming unattached from San Diego State, came in at 2:32.68, while Sun Devil’s Katie Olsen clocked 2:38.45 for third.

Olympic silver medalist Matt Grevers claimed the men’s 100 back, clocking 56.38. Tucson Ford’s Grevers finished more than three seconds off his second-ranked time of 53.05 from March. He outdistanced the field by nearly a second, as Australia’s Robert Hurley (57.27), Tucson Ford’s Jake Tapp (57.35), and Tucson Ford’s Cory Chitwood (57.76) finished second through fourth.

Tucson Ford’s Mike Alexandrov came in just under 2:20 in the men’s 200 breast, clocking 2:19.97, well off his season-best of 2:14.79. Bolles School’s Miguel Molina finished just behind in second, in 2:20.26, while Alexandrov’s teammate Carl Mickelson came in third in 2:20.45.

Australia’s Yolane Kukla upset Tucson Ford’s Christine Magnuson in the women’s 100 fly, 1:01.54 to 1:02.12. However, Magnuson, the Olympic silver medalist, clocked the fastest time of the day, with a 1:01.38 in prelims. Tucson Ford’s Whitney Lopus finished third in 1:02.41.

Tucson Ford’s Masayuki Kishida dominated the 100 fly, winning in 54.04, well off his fourth-ranked time of 51.98 from April. Kishida won by more than two seconds over his teammate AJ Tipton, who clocked 56.16, while Australia’s Thomas Fraser-Holmes claimed third in 56.16.

Tucson Ford’s Alyssa Anderson took the 200 IM in 2:21.39, about a second ahead of Santa Clara’s Courtney Monsees, who clocked 2:22.31. Tucson Ford’s Leone Vorster took third in 2:24.80. Fraser-Holmes took out Tucson Ford’s Darian Townsend in the 200 IM, clocking 2:05.42, to Townsend’s 2:06.68, while Molina finished third in 2:07.44.

Tucson Ford swept the 400 medley relays, as the team of Ross, Annie Chandler, Magnuson, and Vorster clocked 4:18.81 for the win in the women’s relay, while Grevers, Marcus Titus, Kishida, and Nicolas Oliveira won the men’s in 3:47.30.

Swimming World high school intern David “The Swim Geek” Rieder is a high school swimmer in Charleston, S.C. He swims for the Southern Marlins Racing Team and often negative splits his races. He can be found on the web at swimdr549.blogspot.com and twitter.com/david2swim.

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