AUSTIN, Texas, January 17. The first day of preliminary competition is complete at the Arena Grand Prix held in Austin, Texas. The sparse fields might have lacked in quantity, but several stocked finales will be on display during finals as the likes of Missy Franklin, Ryan Lochte, Nathan Adrian, Tyler Clary and Ricky Berens will be competing for top times this evening.
Swimmers will be vying for cash prizes this evening with $500 on the line for first-place, $300 for second place and $100 for third place.
Women's 100 free
With sparse competition and fresh off her final high school dual meet, Colorado Stars' Missy Franklin dominated the morning with a time of 55.06. That's not even in her top 20 times all time as a swimmer, but the Olympic gold medalist did not need that much to advance into the finale this evening.
First Colony's Simone Manuel qualified second with a time of 56.19, while Canada's Victoria Poon raced to third in 56.49. SMU's Nathalie Lindborg earned fourth in 56.52, while SwimAtlanta's Amanda Weir checked in fifth in 56.53.
SMU claimed two other spots in the A final as teammate Isabella Arcila and Nina Rangelova tied for sixth with matching 56.55s, while Canada's Heather MacLean wound up eighth in 57.58. Arcila is the only swimmer to have beaten her seed time in the finale. Longhorn's Karlee Bispo earned the top time heading into the B final with a 57.67.
Men's 100 free
While the men's 100 free proved to have one of the deeper talent pools of the weekend with some sprint studs, Longhorn's Ricky Berens emerged with the fastest time in the morning with a 50.22. Berens is swift, but typically focuses on some longer distance action. He just touched out teammate Jimmy Feigens, who qualified second in 50.23.
Olympic gold medalist Nathan Adrian raced into third in 50.33, beating fellow Olympic gold medalist Matt Grevers (50.69) to the wall in his heat. Meanwhile, another big name in Cal's Anthony Ervin qualified fifth in 50.75, with Club Wolverine's Michael Klueh taking sixth in 50.99. Palo Alto's Geoffrey Cheah (51.01) and Stanford's Eugene Godsoe (51.16) also made the championship heat.
Berens was excited after prelims about the prospect of such a star-studded finale.
— Ricky Berens (@RickyBerens) January 18, 2013
Ryan Lochte (51.19) and Conor Dwyer (51.72), both wearing briefs, will swim in the center lanes in the consolation heat after qualifying ninth and 10th in the morning.
Women's 200 breast
In one of the smallest fields of the weekend, SMU's Rachel Nicol led the way in prelims among five swimmers with a 2:31.42. Teammate Raminta Dvariskyte qualified second in 2:33.26. Central Bucks 14-year-old Allie Szekely cruised to third in 2:33.92, knowing she could save up energy to take a run at Amanda Beard's 13-14 U.S. National Age Group record of 2:25.75 from 1996 during finals this evening. Ashley Wanland (2:35.91) and Lakeside's Peyton Greenberg (2:36.51) also swam in prelims and automatically were pulled into the final.
Men's 200 breast
It took a 2:24 to make the championship final with Tucson Ford's Clark Burckle racing to a 2:19.13 for the top time this morning. Mike Alexandrov clinched the second seed in 2:19.48, while Jerome Boucher placed third in 2:20.08.
Palo Alto's BJ Johnson earned fourth-seed honors with a 2:20.40, while New Zealand's Glenn Snyders, now representing Trojan Swim Club, qualified fifth in 2:21.77. Imri Ganiel (2:23.47), Palo Alto's Curtis Ogren (2:23.83) and Aldo Vielma Gonzalez (2:24.66) also made the top eight. Notably, Nick D'Innocenzo placed 10th in the morning in 2:27.53 in his first swim back in Austin after leaving the University of Texas squad earlier this year.
Women's 400 free
Fresh off training time in Colorado Springs, two-time Olympian Chloe Sutton of Mission Viejo led the way in the morning with a 4:13.38. She has way more in the tank, as she finished nearly 10 seconds off her seed time. Longhorn youngster Quinn Carrozza, 16, qualified second in 4:14.23, smashing four seconds from her lifetime best of 4:18.32 set at the Austin Grand Prix a year ago.
Quickly after her swim, Sutton took to Twitter to let her fans know that she was happy with her swim this morning.
Felt good this morning, now we have a lot of down time before finals!
— Chloe Sutton (@csutswim) January 18, 2013
Mission Viejo's Ashley Twichell finished third in 4:15.37, while Canada's Barbara Jardin placed fourth in 4:15.74. Island's Alexa Komarnycky grabbed fifth in 4:16.14, while Colorado Stars' Missy Franklin picked up a second final tonight with a sixth-seeded 4:16.38.
The Fish's Kate Ziegler raced into seventh in 4:16.78, while Lakeside's Leah Stevens took eighth in 4:20.48.
Men's 400 free
Olympic silver medalist Ryan Cochrane clinched the top seed in the middle distance event with a 3:54.76, while Texas' Michael McBroom qualified second in 3:55.39. Santa Clara's Alex Wold snared third in 3:58.43.
Club Wolverine's Michael Klueh (3:59.03) and Island's Keegan Zanatta (3:59.16) and Alec Page (4:00.61) earned the fourth through sixth seeds, while Olympic gold medalist Tyler Clary, swimming for Club Wolverine, picked up seventh in 4:00.65 as part of a back-to-back double with the 100 fly. Mission Viejo's Arturo Perez Vertti grabbed the final transfer spot into the finale. Stanford's Chad La Tourette wound up in the B final with a ninth-seeded 4:01.26.
Clary foreshadowed the difficult double on Twitter before his 400 free swim.
400 free and 100 fly this morning, going to be a painfully fast turnaround…
— Scott Tyler Clary (@TylerClary) January 18, 2013
Women's 100 fly
In another sparse field, with just 10 swimmers, Canada's Noemie Thomas rocked prelims with a 59.35 to lead the way into the finale. That time finished just off her seed time of 58.68. Fellow Canadian Audrey Lacroix raced to second in 1:00.18, while Mission Viejo's Kathryn McLaughlin, a 15-year-old rising star, qualified third in 1:01.28.
SMU's Danielle Villars touched fourth in 1:02.21, while Palo Alto's Ally Howe earned fifth in 1:03.18. Golden West's Stephanie Samudro (1:04.13), SMU's Nina Rangelova (1:04.29) and Hilary Caldwell (1:04.38) completed the championship finale field.
Men's 100 fly
Bobby Bollier rolled through the preliminary session with a top time of 53.77, while Club Wolverine's Dan Madwed turned in a second-seeded time of 54.54. Stanford's Eugene Godsoe placed third in 54.67, while superstar Ryan Lochte snagged fourth with a 55.01 while wearing a brief.
Club Wolverine's Tyler Clary kept his finals double intact with a fifth-seeded 56.09, while Ramiro Ramirez Juarez finished sixth in 56.24. Palo Alto's Andrew Liang (56.34) and Geoffrey Cheah (56.61) rounded out the championship heat.