PHOENIX, Arizona, January 13. IAN Thorpe couldn't make it to the finals of the 100 free yesterday at the Victorian long course state championships in Melbourne, swimming a 51.05 in prelims for 13th place overall. Thorpe's best long course 100 free in this comeback is 50.84, so he's just slightly off that, but still well off the pace swum by his Australian competitors. Matt Targett, who is a strong candidate for Australia's 400 free relay at the Olympics, won the race in 48.71. Michael Klim fared better than Thorpe in the race, placing seventh with a 50.46 after posting a 50.15 in prelims.
Melanie Schlanger had a great 100 free, winning the women's event in 53.87, just off her lifetime best. Schlanger swam on the 400 free relay team for Australia at the 2008 Olympics, and could now be viewed as a hopeful for a relay spot this year.
The meet continues through the weekend in Melbourne with other top Australian swimmers. We'll bring you more highlights from the meet on Monday's Streamlined news.
The Austin Grand Prix began today with most of the top Americans shining in prelims, and a few swimmers from the Canadian national team posting impressive times. Missy Franklin and Graeme Moore will be in lane four for the women's and men's 100 freestyle, and Anthony Ervin, making another comeback attempt, will swim in the championship final of the 100 free as well. Rebecca Soni looks primed for a dominating swim in the 200 breast final. Brendan Hansen was scheduled to swim the 200 breast today, but did not compete, leaving Eric Shanteau as the top qualifier. Great Britain's Jemma Lowe will face off against Cal teammates Dana Vollmer and Natalie Coughlin in the 100 fly, and Michael Kleuh and Allison Schmitt will be the top seeds in the 400 freestyle. Janet Evans raced the 400 free as well, and got her Olympic Trial cut with a 4:17.27. The time gets her into tonight's B final. Editor's note: Gideon Louw will be the top seed in the men's 100 free final, not Graeme Moore.
Last night the Texas men's swim team had no problem beating the Auburn Tigers in Alabama by 30 points, winning all but two events. The top swim of the meet was Jackson Wilcox's 9:01 in the 1000 freestyle, which is the fastest in the country, but we should let you know that the 1000 is not contested in the NCAA championships, but is the longest event on the dual meet schedule. The two teams will race again today in exhibition races in Auburn.
SMU will be holding its annual Classic this weekend in Dallas. USC, Michigan, Florida, North Carolina and Purdue will also compete in this unique meet that limits each team to eight swimmers and one diver in the two-day competition.
Across the Pacific in New Zealand, open water swimmers will contest for a chance to qualify for the Olympic 10K swim. The top two New Zealand swimmers in the men's and women's 10K will be selected to swim in the official Olympic qualifier in a few months in Portugal. Kane Radford has been the top New Zealand open water swimmer for a couple of years, and will likely be selected.
The swimming community is reeling from the news of two arrests in Florida this week of coaches who were charged with possession of child pornography and soliciting a child for sex. Yesterday in Tampa, Jay Goldstein was arrested on 100 counts of possession of child pornography. Goldstein was an assistant coach at Berkeley Prep school. And on Tuesday, Swimming World learned that Bryan Woodward, the head coach of Gator Swim Club in Gainesville, was arrested on charges of the use of a computer to solicit a child for sex and for travel to seduce a child for sex. Woodward has posted his bond of $11,500 and is under house arrest awaiting trial. USA Swimming confirmed to Swimming World that Woodward had passed a background check under the organization's Athlete Protection Program.