LONG BEACH, California, January 19. THE second night of finals featured some quick times at the Long Beach Grand Prix.
Women's 100 free
Kara Lynn Joyce dropped the hammer with a stellar time in the women's 100 free. She clocked a 47.85 as the lone sub-48 swimmer of the event. That time fell just a bit off her personal best time of 47.24 set last year at NCAAs and is among the top 20 times of all time.
Jessica Hardy placed second in the race with a 48.64 after leading prelims with a 49.68. Her time of 48.64 surpassed her personal-best time of 48.80 from last November.
Kim Vandenberg completed the top three with a bronze-winning effort of 48.79. She also cleared her best time of 48.91 set at the 2007 SCY National Championships in November.
Men's 100 free
Michael Phelps joined the exclusive 41-club in the men's 100 free with a blazing fast time of 41.93. That performance cut his previous best of 42.14 clocked at the 2007 SCY National Championships. The readout also moved him into seventh all-time in USA Swimming's record books behind Roland Schoeman's 41.91.
Meanwhile, Matt Grevers notched a time of 42.24 for second place, chipping away at his previous best time of 42.33 set at the 2007 NCAA Championships. Jason Lezak rounded out the podium with a third-place readout of 42.64, a bit off his best time of 42.22.
The top eight featured some top talent like Nick Brunelli (4th/43.23), Adam Ritter (6th/43.66) and Simon Burnett (7th/44.07).
Women's 200 fly
Mary DeScenza nearly joined the 1:52 club with a personal-best readout of 1:53.09 to grab the title. Her previous best had been a 1:53.51 set at the 2003 NCAA Champs. Her 1:53.09 time did, however, move her into the top five all time.
Dana Kirk, who qualified first, had a battle on her hands with Kim Vandenberg for second place. Kirk had just enough in the tank to get her hand to the wall first in 1:54.45. Vandenberg, meanwhile, grabbed third place in 1:54.66.
Other notable finishes came from Kaitlin Sandeno (4th/1:56.41) and Caitlin Leverenz (6th/1:58.73).
Men's 200 fly
Davis Tarwater cruised in the men's 200 fly to a triumph in 1:42.19, which was a huge drop from him prelim effort of 1:47.85. Tarwater, however, wound up a bit shy of his best effort of 1:41.84.
In a theme that is starting to develop, second place proved to be the most exciting race. Juan Veloz came from behind with a strong 27.16 final 50 split to take second place in 1:44.77. He overtook Patrick Cary, who placed third in 1:44.84.
Women's 200 back
Margaret Hoelzer picked up the hard fought victory over Mary DeScenza with a first-place time of 1:52.40, not too far off from her personal-best time of 1:51.68 set at the SCY Nationals in November.
DeScenza placed second in 1:52.44 to chop more than a second off her personal-best time of 1:53.70 also set at the national championship in November.
Samantha Pearson finished third in 1:58.79.
Men's 200 back
Matt Grevers posted the lone 1:39 effort of the race with a 1:39.99 to dominate the field. While still off his best time of 1:38.71, there still aren't a whole lot of people that go sub-1:40. Ryan Lochte (1:36.81) and Aaron Peirsol (1:38.45) would be those people.
Peter Marshall earned silver with a 1:42.12, not far away from his best time of 1:41.71 set in 2004, while Simon Burnett grabbed bronze in 1:43.33.
Women's 500 free
Kaitlin Sandeno backed up her 1000 free win with a conquest in the 500 free. She clocked a winning effort of 4:40.44, off her personal-best time of 4:39.09. It's amazing to think how far the women's 500 free has come after Katie Hoff demolished the record with her 4:30, and Kate Ziegler notched a time of 4:32. In comparison, a 4:40 is somewhat slow now. Talk about sport-altering.
Sandeno's 17-year-old teammate Allison Schmitt picked up second in 4:41.68, whacking nine seconds from her prelim time of 4:50.66, while Carly Piper snared third place in 4:43.56.
Men's 500 free
Michael Phelps is obviously enjoying an off-event schedule at this Grand Prix, especially when he hacked two seconds from his personal-best time in the men's 500 free. He eased through the middle distance race with a time of 4:10.43 that moved him ahead of Ous Mellouli's 4:12.18 in the all-time rankings. Phelps' previous best had been a 4:12.33 set in 2004.
Erik Vendt, who blasted the 1000 free American record last night, clipped some time off his personal best with a second-place effort of 4:13.41. Previously, Vendt had gone 4:13.63 set in 2003.
Peter Vanderkaay, the American record holder with a swift 4:08.60, garnered a bronze-medal readout with a time of 4:21.06.