MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – USA Swimming National Team member Megan Romano (St. Petersburg, Fla.) picked up victories in the 50y freestyle and 100y backstroke Friday at the Arena Grand Prix at Minneapolis at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.
USA Swimming National Team members Caitlin Leverenz (Tucson, Ariz.), Tom Luchsinger (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.), David Plummer (Oklahoma City, Okla.), Kiera Janzen (Robbinsdale, Minn.), Conor Dwyer (Winnetka, Ill.) and BJ Johnson (Seattle, Wash) also earned individual event wins in the short-course yards meet, which serves as the first of six stops of the 2013-14 Arena Grand Prix Series.
The meet concludes Saturday, with prelims at 9 a.m. CT followed by finals at 6 p.m. CT. Tickets are required for all sessions and are on sale at the University Aquatic Center Ticket Booth.
Complete results, meet information and a live stream of the competition are available online via usaswimming.org.
In the second event of the session, Romano touched first to take the 50y free with a time of 22.44. Rebecca Weiland (Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.) and Erin Caflisch (Eyota, Minn.), both from University of Minnesota, took second and third in 22.50 and 22.66, respectively.
Just minutes later, Romano won her next event, the 100y back, in 52.80. Tess Behrens (Maple Grove, Minn.) placed second in 52.91, followed by Mickayla Hinkle (Stillwater, Minn.) in 53.70.
Romano also won the 200y free Thursday and has three victories over the past two nights. “I was just really looking to come out here and give it my all because I think I’m a good ‘race-into-shape’ kind of person,” she said. “The more (races) the better; I was really happy with them.”
In an exciting men’s 500y free, Dwyer won in 4:10.60, swimming a personal best and becoming the event’s ninth-fastest performer in the process. North Baltimore Aquatic Club training partners Yannick Agnel of France and Matt McLean (Sterling, Va.) took second and third in times of 4:10.69 and 4:14.27, respectively.
In the women’s 200y fly National Teamers Leverenz, Claire Donahue (Lenoir City, Tenn.) and Megan Kingsley (Mount Pleasant, S.C.) swept the podium. Leverenz finished in 1:55.67, followed by Donahue and Kingsley in times of 1:55.98 and 1:56.00, respectively.
Plummer, a silver medalist at the 2013 FINA World Championships and Minneapolis-area resident, took the 100y back in 46.56. Russia’s Arkady Vyatchanin came in second in 46.62, while Minnesota’s Daryl Turner (Aurora, Colo.) took third in 47.63.
Janzen touched first in 4:40.13 in the women’s 500y free to best Minnesota teammates, Samantha Harding (Las Cruces, N.M.) and Ashley Steenvoorden (East Brunswick, N.J.), who finished in 4:43.01 and 4:44.57, respectively.
In the men’s 200y fly, Luchsinger earned the win in 1:44.42 to best fellow National Team members Kyler Van Swol (Frankfort, Ill.), who came in second in 1:45.02, and Bobby Bollier (Mission Hills, Kan.), who took third in 1:45.17.
Johnson won the men’s 200y breast in 1:53.79. Carlos Almeida of Portugal finished second in 1:54.70 and National Teamer Brad Craig (Midland, Mich.) came in third with a time of 1:55.19.
In the women’s 200y breast, the Minnesota pair of Kierra Smith (Kelowna, B.C.) and Haley Spencer (O'Fallon, Mo.) went one-two in 2:06.43 and 2:06.99, respectively, while Leverenz placed third in 2:12.02.
Brazil’s Cesar Cielo touched first in the men’s 50y free with a time of 18.83, closely followed by Great Britain’s Adam Brown in 19.15 and Bruno Fratus, also from Brazil, in 19.48.
As part of USA Swimming’s partnership with Arena, the Arena Grand Prix Series will offer swimmers the opportunity to take home prize money for top finishes in all individual Olympic-distance events. In total, $150,000 in prize money is available to be distributed over the course of the six-meet series. At each meet, $500 will be awarded for a first-place finish, $300 for second and $100 for third in all individual events. Arena is serving as the title sponsor for the Arena Grand Prix Series for the second straight year.
In addition to the prize money, swimmers will compete for a Series grand prize from BMW. For the first time in the history of the Series, BMW will give the highest-scoring eligible male and female U.S. swimmer a one-year lease of a BMW ActiveHybrid 3 Series.
Male and female overall Arena Grand Prix Series champions will be honored at the conclusion of the 2013-14 series based on the number of points accumulated throughout the six meets. Participants will be awarded points in each individual Olympic event throughout the duration of the Series (Five points for first, three for second, one point for third place). Olympic gold medalists Missy Franklin and Ryan Lochte won the 2012-13 series titles.