LOS ANGELES, California, July 10. AN incredible amount of world-class times went up on the scoreboard during the third night of long course meter action at the USA Swimming Grand Prix held in Los Angeles.
FAST's Ariana Kukors put together an impressive effort in the women's 200 IM with a winning time of 2:11.01. She finished just off her third-ranked season-best time of 2:10.34 set at the Austin Grand Prix in March. Trojan's Katinka Hosszu touched second in 2:12.25, while Stanford's Julia Smit took third in 2:13.00. Hosszu owns the sixth-ranked spot in the world this year with a 2:11.12 from May, while Smit missed her 14th-ranked season best of 2:12.57 also set in May.
Trojan's Rebecca Soni demonstrated some wear and tear coming off a sterling Mare Nostrum meet last month with a top time of 2:24.89 in the women's 200 breast. That effort fell well back of her top-ranked effort of 2:21.41 from the Barcelona stop of the Mare Nostrum in June. Stanford's Liz Smith touched second in 2:28.75, while California's Caitlin Leverenz snatched third in 2:29.72.
Coca Cola's Kosuke Kitajima, who also trains at Trojan Swim Club in the States, won the men's 200 breast in 2:11.14. That time fell short of his sixth-ranked season best of 2:10.73 set in Canet on the Mare Nostrum tour. Pinheiros' Tales Cerdeira took second in 2:13.76, while Tucson Ford's Mike Alexandrov finished third in 2:13.88.
FAST's Kara Lynn Joyce earned the women's splash-and-dash 50 free title in 25.14, just touching out Trojan's Jessica Hardy (25.16) for the victory. Joyce slightly improved her previous season best of 25.16 set in May, but did not improve her 11th-ranked positioning. Hardy fell a bit short of her seventh-ranked season best of 25.09 from the Austin Grand Prix. Tucson Ford's Lara Jackson took third overall in 25.23 to move to 16th in the world and fourth among the U.S. sprinters. Amanda Weir stands third with a 13th-ranked 25.18 from Austin.
California's Nathan Adrian easily captured the men's 50 free title with a 22.11. He's been faster this year with a fifth-ranked 22.01 from the Paris Open in June. Pinheiros' Bruno Fratus touched a distant second in 22.82, while California's William Copeland placed third in 22.89.
FAST's Katie Hoff dominated the women's 400 free with a winning time of 4:06.21. That performance jumped her into seventh in the world this year after previously owning a season-best time of 4:09.37 to stand 18th in the world. She is now far-and-away the top U.S female in the event with Mission Viejo's Chloe Sutton dropping to second with a 12th-ranked 4:07.41. Sutton, who might have been able to defend her spot this weekend, elected to swim just the women's 800 free en route to picking up her $20,000 check for winning the overall Grand Prix series title. FAST's Kate Ziegler took second in 4:09.44 to move to 18th in the world, while Island's Alexa Kormarnycky wound up third in 4:10.97.
FAST's Tyler Clary also moved up the world rankings in the men's 400 IM with a swift time of 4:16.37. That effort vaulted him to 12th in the world. His previous top time this year had been a 22nd-ranked 4:18.10 set in May. FAST's Robert Margalis touched well behind with a second-placed 4:22.63, while BCH Heatwave's Robert Hommel took third in 4:27.64.
Longhorn's Michael Klueh touched out UBC Dolphin Brian Johns, 1:49.68 to 1:49.78, in the men's 200 free. Meanwhile, FAST's Charlie Houchin took third in 1:50.45.
Island's Ryan Cochrane, who already leads the world in the men's 1500 free this year with a 14:56.83 from April, topped that event this evening with a winning effort of 15:08.13. Meanwhile, Trojan's Mateusz Sawrymowicz (15:15.47) and Hao Yun (15:18.75) placed second and third. Sawrymowicz improved to 17th in the world with the swim, while Hao moved up to 23rd.