Southwest Classic: U.S., Foreign Olympians Shine on Third Night

By David Rieder, Swimming World high school intern

TUCSON, Arizona, June 12. SWIMMERS from the University of Arizona or Australia took gold in all but one of the individual finals on the third night of long course meters racing at the Hillenbrand Aquatics Center. The top swims came from Aussies Meagan Nay and Kenrick Monk, who each won the 200 free for their respective gender.

Nay's 200 free win opened the night, as she clocked 2:01.63 to finish ahead of Tucson Ford's Leone Vorster (2:03.86) and Australia's Yolane Kukla. Meanwhile, Monk led an Aussie sweep in the men's race, beating out Thomas Fraser-Holmes by more than a second, 1:50.38 to 1:51.39, while Patrick Murphy claimed third in 1:52.26. Notably, the entire final field consisted of foreigners.

Australia's Marieke Guehrer out-dueled Kukla to take the ladies splash-and-dash in a strong time of 25.68, just ahead of Kukla's 25.75. Both have been much faster this year, as Guehrer swam 25.35 in March, which ranked her 19th in the world, while Kukla's time of 25.08 from March ranked her eighth in the world. Tucson Ford's Lara Jackson finished third in 26.56, followed by her teammate Christine Magnuson (26.87), a U.S. Olympian in the 100 fly.

Tucson Ford's Matt Grevers out-touched his teammate Masayuki Kishida in the men's equivalent, 23.42 to 23.43. Kishida's time is well behind his 22.11 that ranks eighth in the world.

Katelyn Weddle won the women's 100 breast in 1:10.16. Weddle, who swam collegiately for San Diego State this year but is not swimming unattached, finished just five one-hundredths ahead of Sun Devil's Katie Olsen (1:10.21), while Tucson Ford's Amanda Beard finished third in 1:12.11. Beard, the 1996 Olympic silver medalist in this race, is swimming in her first meet since the 2008 Games in Beijing. Notably, NCAA Champion Annie Chandler, representing Tucson Ford, finished fifth in 1:12.77, just one one-hundredth behind Curl-Burke's Ellyn Baumgardner (1:12.76), who finished third behind Chandler at the NCAA championships.

Marcus Titus led a Tucson Ford sweep in the 100 breast. Titus checked in at 1:03.08, just ahead of Mike Alexandrov, who clocked 1:03.13. Both have been much faster this year, as they posted times in the 1:01-range which rank them both in the top 25 in the world. Carl Mickelson finished third in 1:05.31.

Tucson Ford's Alyssa Anderson clocked the only sub-5:00 time in the 400 IM, posting a victorious 4:59.10, finishing ahead of Santa Clara's Charlotte Ruby (5:07.11) and Tucson Ford's Susana Helms (5:10.36). In the men's equivalent, Sun Devil's Xavier Mohammad posted a winning time of 4:32.92, followed by Bolles School Sharks' Miguel Molina, who out touched Tucson Ford's Darian Townsend for second, 4:36.22 to 4:36.43.

Tucson Ford's team of Vorster, Beard, Monica Drake, and Magnuson won the women's 800 free relay in 8:34.39, while Australians Murphy, Fraser-Holmes, Robert Hurley, and Monk won the men's relay in 7:30.45.

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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