PHOENIX, Arizona, May 10. AFTER a stellar opening session at the Arena Grand Prix in Charlotte, North Carolina, that saw Katie Ledecky posted a fast 1500 freestyle and Connor Jaeger negative split his way to the win in the 800 freestyle, the meet got into full gear this morning in preliminaries of six events. One of the races to watch tonight will be the men's 200 freestyle final, in which three of the four members of the gold medal winning 800 free relay from London will race. Obviously, Michael Phelps is not swimming, but Connor Dwyer, Ryan Lochte and Ricky Berens are in the final, as are Olympic relay alternates Matt McLean and Charlie Houchin. But the top seed tonight goes to Connor Jaeger, who was a surprise finalist in the 200 free at the NCAAs and looks to put himself in the mix for relay duty this summer at the world championships.
Joseph Schooling had a great morning, breaking two Singapore national records in prelims. He's the second qualifier in that 200 freestyle with a 1:50.33, and followed it up with the fastest 100 fly of the morning: 52.55. Obviously, with those being national records they are also lifetime bests for Schooling, who continues to have a great junior year at the Bolles School, highlighted by high school national records last fall.
Jessica Hardy is the top seed in two finals tonight, racing for the win in the 100 and 50 breaststrokes. Hardy is looking good in the 50, having posted a 30.70, which is third in the world right now.
We'll bring you instant updates for finals tonight on Twitter, plus a complete recap on swimmingworld.com. We already have video interviews on our Grand Prix landing page at swimmingworld.tv, so be sure to go there to see some of the meet's top athletes.
Last night in Riverside, California, Ella Eastin posted a 1:55.16 in the 200 IM to break the national independent high school record by more than a second. Eastin was on target to break the record after a 1:56.93 at the junior nationals last December and used strong butterfly and breaststroke legs to break Kaitlyn Jones' record. Eastin is just a sophomore at Crean Lutheran, so we'll have our eye on her in the next two years.
Other high school sectional championships are underway this weekend in California, and we'll bring you complete recaps of the meets throughout the weekend on swimmingworld.com.
The U.S. Masters Swimming short course yards nationals is in its first full day of competition in Indianapolis and as of this taping, we've seen 10 national records set and a host of other great swims. Adam Ritter, the 2007 NCAA champion in the 200 IM, swam a 1:36.89 in the 200 free, a great swim for the 28-year-old who was a semifinalist in the 200 free at last year's Olympic Trials. Elliott Keefer, who will be a factor in the breaststroke events at the USA world championships trials this summer, posted the fastest 50 breast of the day with a 25.36. We'll have a wrapup of all the records broken at the IU Natatorium later today on swimmingworld.com.