By Erin Greene
ANN ARBOR, Michigan, May 18. ATHLETES at the Eric Namesnik Grand Prix held in Ann Arbor, Mich., from May 17-20 returned this evening for the second preliminary session of the four-day meet. Michael Phelps will contest three events tomorrow as the top seed.
Women's 400 IM
The medley event was again a display of youth and talent, but this time from a slightly different corp. After winning the final heat of prelims, Elizabeth Beisel, 14, again found herself as the top seed heading into the championship finals with a time of 4:53.24. Kaitlin O'Brien will swim the medley tomorrow morning next to Beisel, as she recorded the second-fastest time of 4:54.16. Alexa Komarnycky, 17, advanced as the third-place seed in 4:56.16.
North Baltimore's Courtney Kalisz, 16, (4:56.21) will swim in the fourth-place position tomorrow, while Auburn's Ava Ohlgren, 19, (4:56.23) will compete in her second medley final in the fifth-place spot.
Emily Brunemann earned the chance to repeat the event in her home pool tomorrow morning when she hit the wall in 4:57.86. Teammate Justine Mueller followed in 4:58.99. Monika Stitski, 17, rounds out the Top 8 with a time of 4:59.10.
Men's 400 IM
Although Ryan Lochte fell two-body lengths behind hits heat at the 200-meter mark, he pulled ahead on the breaststroke leg of the race before he propelled himself ahead to a 4:29.48 finish. Tyler Harris of Poseidon Swimming was the runner-up in 4:29.90. Keith Beavers will occupy lane six tomorrow, as he posted the third-fastest time of 4:30.12.
Yet another medley master to come out North Baltimore, 16-year-old Brennan Morris stopped the clock at 4:31.51 for fourth. Robert Margalis qualified as the No. 5 seed with a time of 4:32.87. Eric Vendt, the 2004 silver medalist in the event, hit the wall touched in next at 4:33.24.
Roland Rudolf and Tomas Hattfield will complete the championships finals with the respective times of 4:33.61 and 4:34.64.
Women's 100 butterfly
Felicia Lee of North Baltimore will join Beisel as another 14-year-old swimming in the fastest lane of the finals tomorrow. Lee clocked the fastest time of 1:00.37 for the evening. Fellow teenager Jemma Lowe touched in next at 1:01.12. Kim Vandenberg completed the sprint fly race in 1:01.96 for third.
Katie Hoff (1:02.25) qualified fourth in what is a less traditional event for her. However, veteran Mary Descenza (1:02.30) sits in the fifth-place seed. Margaret Kelly (1:02.98) edged Dagny Knutson (1:02.99) by .01 for the sixth-place spot. Meanwhile, Melissa Jagger (1:03.45) filled the final spot.
Men's 100 butterfly
In a stacked butterfly field, Club Wolverine swept the Top 3 places heading into finals. Despite trailing at the 50-meter mark, Phelps ignited his gold-medal engine to fly ahead of the division in a final time of 55.52. Teammate Davis Tarwater was not far behind, sitting in second place with 55.65. Chris Brady followed his fellow Wolverines' examples, hitting the wall in 56.19.
Unattached to the Ohio State Swim Club, Joe Doyle will rival the Wolverines tomorrow morning as he posted the fourth-fastest time of 56.51. His teammate Matthias Sigrist will join him in the championship final in the sixth-place seed. His time was 56.97.
Sandwiched between the swimmers in fifth place is Peter Verhoef (56.71). Also competing in the finals will be Joe Bartoch (57.17) and Pablo Marmolejo (57.44).
Women's 200 freestyle
If teenagers swimming the top times in the two previous events threatened the veterans, the threat was answered as the more experienced swimmers picked up six of the eight available championship spots. Kaitlin Sandeno, 24, hit the wall first for the third time today in a time of 2:04.13. While Descenza, 22, fell behind in her signature butterfly event, she re-deemed herself with the second-fastest time of 2:04.47 in the 200 free. Andrea Hupman, 21, earned the final medal position in 2:04.69.
Megan Romano, 16, touched out Kim Jasmer, 20, by just .01 seconds to occupy fourth place in a time of 2:04.98. Vandenberg qualified to swim a second event tomorrow when she stopped the clock at 2:05.22.
Caroline Burckle, 20, and Allison Schmitt, 16, also qualified for the finals with the respective times of 2:05.27 and 2:05.42.
Men's 200 freestyle
In the third event of the afternoon, Club Wolverine once again dominated – this time damaging the field by taking five of the Top 8 places. Phelps led his teammates with the fastest time of 1:51.43. Daniel Madweed, who swims for Phelps' former team, was the only swimmer to challenge Phelps, with a time of 1:51.43.
Matthew Owen was the next closest swimmer at 1:53.16. Peter Vanderkaay swam the mid-distance race in 1:53.19 to take fourth place, while teammate Chris DeJong completed it in 1:53.26.
Swimming in the final three positions are Robert Margalis (1:54.69), Matt Patton (1:54.72) and Davis Tarwater (1:54.75).
Women's 100 breaststroke
Lowri Tynan maintained her first-place entry seed when she swam the fastest time of 1:11.68. Nic Teo (1:11.96) and Helen Pitchik (1:12.89) will competed in the inside lanes as the second- and third-place seeds.
Katie Hoff qualified for her second finals of the day when she turned in a time of 1:13.05. Mhyria Miller followed in 1:13.33. Caroline Burckle, who qualified for the finals in the 200 free one race earlier, earned the sixth-place spot with 1:13.38.
Lyndsey Smith (1:13.60) and Agus Degiovanni (1:13.67) were the final two qualifiers.
Men's 100 breaststroke
Neil Versfeld (1:04.77) will take a full one-second advantage over second-place finisher Ryan Lochte (1:05.87) into the 100 breaststroke tomorrow. Pat Penoyar (1:06.05) and Scott Spann (1:06.40) raced to third- and fourth-place, respectively.
Swimming in the lower half of the heat will be Rob Holderness (1:06.68), Grant Burtch (1:06.86), Clark Burckle (1:06.97) and Bogdan Knezevic (1:06.98).
Women's 100 backstroke
Felicia Lee garnered the top spot for the second time tonight in the 100 backstroke when she posted a time of 1:03.56. Katie Hoff swam her third event of the evening, advancing to the finals for the third time in a time of 1:03.67. Roxane Akradi picked up the third-place spot in 1:04.21.
Elizabeth Beisel (1:04.47), Mary Descenza (1:04.50) and Kaitlin Sandeno (1:05.05) each qualified to swim a third event tomorrow morning. Swimming in the sixth- and seventh-place positions will be Rachel Goh (1:04.53) and Aleksandra Putra (1:04.55), respectively.
Men's 100 backstroke
Michael Phelps finished the day as the top swimmer in a trinity of events, the final being the 100 back with a time of 56.73. Roland Rudolph was next to leave the water, as he recorded a time of 57.60. Lochte and Phelps will again swim side-by-side as he secured the third-place position in 58.29.
Keith Beavers (59.13) and TP Patrick (59.91) swill swim the event again in the fourth- and fifth-place spots.
Qualifying for the finals in the last three spots are Brennan Morris (59.99), Omar Pinzon (1:00.05) and Matt Patton (1:00.29).