PHOENIX, Arizona, November 18. DARIAN Townsend was the big winner of the first Pro League Dual meet, which took place Wednesday and Thursday at the University of Michigan.
Townsend won two events on Wednesday and added the 100 free to the win column on Friday with a 49.28. Just minutes before that, he placed second in the 50 backstroke and wrapped up the meet with a 21.98 split in the 200 free relay, which was the fastest split of the meet. Townsend was the big money winner of the meet, taking home $1,050. Eugene Godsoe won $900 by winning all three backstroke events, and Jason Dunford won $750. If you were unable to watch the live stream, you can see all the races plus interviews on the event’s landing page at swimmingworld.tv.
Also taking place last night was the second night of the Tennessee Invite, and Breeja Larson was on fire in Knoxville. The Texas A&M sophomore swam a 58.68 in the 100 breast, which is less than two tenths slower than her lifetime best of 58.51 that she swam at the NCAAs last March. Not only is Larson the only collegiate swimmer to go under 1:00 this year, she is now swimming about a second and a half faster than anyone has so far this season, and became the first swimmer to post an NCAA automatic qualifying time. In the prelims of the race, which was held in long course meters, Larson cruised to a 1:08.45. Larson wasn’t the only Aggie swimming fast last night. Camille Adams won the 400 IM with a 4:09.24, which is the fastest in the country right now but is still about three seconds slower than she swam to get 11th place at the NCAAs last March. Joao De Luca, a Brazilian swimming for Louisville, put up a very fast 200 free with a 1:35.64. De Luca is a rising star in Brazil’s sprinting ranks and could be a part of that country’s freestyle relays at the Olympics.
The first day of the Arena Invite took place last night n Long Beach, California. Stanford and Cal dominated, and the 200 IM was the race of the evening. On the women’s side, Cal junior Caitlin Leverenz swam a 1:55.66 to beat out Stanford postgrad Julia Smit by two tenths of a second. Not only is the time the fastest in the country, but it makes Leverenz the second swimmer to post an NCAA automatic qualifying time this season. Not far behind the two was Stanford’s Maya DiRado, who will make the 200 IM at the Pac 12 meet very interesting, as she’s just a tick ahead of Katinka Hosszu of USC in the rankings. In the men’s 200 IM, Stanford freshman David Nolan dominated as expected. Nolan swam a very fast 1:44.69 to put himself at the top of the collegiate standings. Matt Thompson, who once held the national high school record in the 200 IM that Nolan now owns, swam a 1:45.9 to give the Cardinal the two fastest IMers in college right now.
On Sunday in Los Angeles, USA Swimming will give out its annual Golden Goggles Awards to several of the year’s best swimmers. Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps are the only two nominees in the male athlete of the year, while four women are nominated for female athlete of the year: Elizabeth Beisel, Missy Franklin, Rebecca Soni and Dana Vollmer. Several other awards will be handed out at the event, which will be hosted by former “Saturday Night Live” cast member Kevin Nealon. We’ll let you know who won what after the event on swimmingworld.com.
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