PHOENIX, Arizona, February 14. OLYMPIANS stole the show this morning in the first prelim session at the Arena Grand Prix in Orlando, Florida, taking the top seed in just about every event. Missy Franklin started things off with some easy speed in the 200 free with a 2:00.51, then it was German Olympian Yannick Lebherz who posted the quickest time in the men's 200 free with a 1:50.31. We'll see Ryan Lochte and Conor Dwyer, teammates on the 800 free relay in London, in that final as well.
Mike Alexandrov, who swam in the 2008 Olympics for Bulgaria before switching sports citizenship to the United States, will be the top swimmer in the men's 100 breast and looks to be the heavy favorite for the win in the absence of his domestic rivals.
Dana Vollmer raced for the first time since the Olympics with a smooth 59.01 in the 100 fly, ahead of Olympic finalist Jeanette Ottesen of Denmark. And it was Ryan Lochte, not Olympic finalist Tyler McGill, who grabbed the top seed in the men's 100 fly. Bolles School junior Joe Schooling placed second in the prelims ahead of McGill, with the top three all under 55 seconds.
Tyler Clary coasted through his prelim swim in the 400 IM, posting a time of 4:31.42. He'll be a lot faster tonight and likely many body lengths ahead of the field.
Becca Mann, who made three finals at the Olympic Trials last year, looks like the heavy favorite in the women's 400 IM with a prelims time of 4:42.69. She's 12 seconds ahead of the next qualifier, Kylie Stewart, so we'll see how big of a gap Mann will have between her and the rest of the field tonight. In the women's 100 breast, it was Katie Meili who took the top seed ahead of Olympians Rebecca Ejdervik and Martha McCabe with a 1:09.09.
Finals in Orlando begin at 6 p.m. Eastern time, and we'll be bringing you live coverage of the finals on swimmingworld.com, with complete race results. I'll be hosting our Race Day show tonight after finals, so be sure to stay with swimmingworld.com for all the latest from Orlando.