PHOENIX, Arizona, November 19. THE Arena Grand Prix series got off to a rousing start last weekend with several members of the North Baltimore Aquatic Club postgrad team winning events. Two of them, Yannick Agnel and Conor Dwyer, provided us with two races that put them close to the top of the all-time rankings. The two started off with the 200-yard freestyle, with Agnel going a 1:31.90 in his first short course yards championship final and posting the seventh-fastest swim in history. Dwyer was right there as well with an almost-personal best 1:32.20. These are obviously two of the best freestylers the world has to offer, and it was amazing to see them push each other to those fast times.
The next day, they were at it again in the 500 freestyle. Agnel and Dwyer went stroke-for-stroke for a little more than four minute, with Dwyer getting the win this time with a 4:10.60 to Agnel’s 4:10.69. The 500 free might be viewed as the better of the two races, with both of them out in 2:04.2 at the 250-yard mark and coming home in — get this — 2:06.3. That’s a remarkable pace on that final half, but no doubt the two helped each other hold that speed. Agnel is the world record holder in the short course 400-meter freestyle and Dwyer is the 2010 NCAA champion in the 500, and I think these times portend something great if they race this against each other in December at the Duel in the Pool.
It appears great things are going on at North Baltimore Aquatic Club, and we can’t wait for an encore. Congratulations Yannick and Conor. You’ve won the Speedo Performance of the Week.