The first full session of finals is complete in Long Beach at the first Grand Prix of 2010. Some of the top swimmers in the world are in Long Beach to put down some fast short course yards times to start 2010 on the right note. Three swimmers who did just that are Hidemasa Sano, Elizabeth Pelton, and Chloe Sutton, who set meet records in the men's 200 fly, women's 200 back, and women's 500 free, respectively. In addition, Matt Grevers of Tucson Ford took double gold in the 100 free and 200 back, while superstar Michael Phelps won the 500 free. This is also posted on Swimming World TV
Women's 100 Free
Trojan's Jessica Hardy led for nearly 99 meters of the race, but Dana Vollmer of Cal Aquatics just outtouched Hardy, 47.63 to 47.65, for the win. Both times are better than the 47.84 and 47.86 turned in by Amanda Weir and Vollmer, repectively, at Short Course Nationals. Vollmer's Cal Aquatics teammate Madison Kennedy took third in 49.01, just ahead of FAST's Katie Hoff, swimming in her first of three A-Finals tonight.
Notably, Olympian Kara Lynn Joyce won the B-Final in 49.59, which would have been 6th in the A-Final.
Men's 100 Free
Tucson Ford's Matt Grevers used a superior back-half to overtake early leader Jason Lezak and claim the win in 43.06. Will Copeland of Cal Aquatics finished 2nd in 43.30, while Lezak, representing Rose Bowl, took 3rd in 43.38.
The men received their medals from Gabe Woodward, a 2004 Olympian in the 400 free relay.
Women's 200 Fly
Katinka Hosszu led a 1-2 finish for the USC Trojans, as the World Champs bronze medalist finished in 1:53.99. Behind her the whole way was teammate Lyndsay De Paul, who posted a 1:55.45, while North Baltimore's Felicia Lee finished 3rd in 1:56.18. USC showed its dominance in the event with four swimmers in the event, including 4th place Yumi So (1:58.88) and 7th place Tanya Krisman (2:01.52).
Men's 200 Fly
Trojan's Hidemasa Sano was way too strong for the rest of the field in the men's 200 fly to win gold and break his old meet record of 1:41.88 set last year. Todd Patrick of North Baltimore stayed with Sano for the first half of the race before ending up second in 1:43.65, while Robert Margalis of FAST outtouched Club Wolverine's Alex Vanderkaay for third, 1:47.39 to 1:47.49.
Women's 200 Back
North Baltimore's Elizabeth Pelton, 16, negative split her way to a new meet record of 1:51.48, faster than the 1:51.85 that Athens Bulldogs' Mary Descenza set last year. Her time was a little bit more than two seconds off of Natalie Coughlin's American record and her best time by exactly a second. Pelton crushed Olympic silver medalist Margaret Hoelzer of FAST, who took second in 1:54.01, while her teammate Katie Hoff took third in 1:54.23. 200 IM world record-holder Ariana Kukors was fourth.
Men's 200 Back
Tucson Ford's Matt Grevers took his second victory tonight in the 200 back. Grevers won the race in an impressive time of 1:40.22, about seven tenths ahead of Markus Rogan. Rogan, representing Trojan, had a huge third fifty to come back from almost nowhere to nearly catch Grevers, but settled for second in 1:40.96. Early leader David Russell of Cal Aquatics ended up fading to third in 1:41.65.
Women's 500 Free
Chloe Sutton of Mission Viejo had a superb final 50 to win the 500 free in a new meet record of 4:36.76, beating Club Wolverine's Kaitlin Sandeno's meet record of 4:40.44 set two years ago. It was also nearly four seconds faster than her best time set just four weeks ago. Sutton's coach, Bill Rose, said it was "the best race she's ever swum." FAST's Katie Hoff, who led for the first 450 yards, finished second in 4:37.44, 0.11 slower than she was at Nationals last month, but an awesome effort considering she swam the 100 free and 200 back earlier in the session. USC's Haley Anderson swam a 4:45.05 to take third.
Men's 500 Free
North Baltimore's Michael Phelps cruised to an easy victory in the 500 free, finishing in 4:18.40, nearly eight seconds off his meet record 4:10.43 set in 2008. Phelps looked like he was in control throughout the swim, but he did not look particularly happy with the final result. Trojan's Dominik Meichtry placed second in 4:24.24, holding off a late charge from Zane Grothe of Beach Heatwave, who touched in 4:24.51.
400 Free Relays
Cal Poly's team of Katrina Anderson, Chrissy Thomas, Amy Morales, and Angie Haven took home the women's 400 free relay in 3:28.61, just 0.02 ahead of Tucson Ford's team of Whitney Myers, Briana Wilford, Karima Chuk, and Sarah Denninghoff (3:28.63), while West Coast (Shelby Weber, Allison Gillespie, Kelsey Cummings, and Cindy Tran) took third in 3:29.14.
Tucson Ford, buoyed by a 43.05 anchor split by Matt Grevers, took the men's relay in 3:01.05. Preceding Grevers were Masayuki Kishida, Barrett Miesfield, and Cole Puchi. Cal Poly's team of Peter Kline, David LaFlamme, Aaron McKinnen, and Chase Nick took second in 3:03.93, while KING's team of Bart Wanot, Matthew Jude, D'Voreaux Cann, and Thane Maudslien snagged third (3:06.21). Notably, Jason Lezak anchored the Rose Bowl team in 43.83 as they came from behind to win their heat.
On the other side of the country, at the CeraVe Invitational in New Jersey, Bluefish's Elizabeth Beisel took three events: 400 IM, 100 back, and 400 free. Her 400 IM time of 4:40.87 is by far the fastest time in the world, and one of the best in-season swims seen in years in textile suits. In fact, she only swam faster during last season once - and she was wearing a LZR last season!