European All-Stars Lead Team USA After Day One of Mutual of Omaha Duel in the Pool
GLASGOW, Scotland – On the opening night of competition at the sixth Mutual of Omaha Duel in the Pool, the European All-Stars jumped out to a 68-54 advantage over Team USA on Friday at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre.
The two-day, short-course meters competition concludes Saturday at 9 a.m. ET with 16 events remaining on the slate. Complete results and meet details are available online. NBC will nationally televise the meet Sunday from 4-6 p.m. ET.
The U.S. performances were highlighted by individual event victories from Conor Dwyer (Winnetka, Ill.) in the 400m IM, Eugene Godsoe (Greensboro, N.C.) in the 200m back, Micah Lawrence (Pflugerville, Texas) in the 200m breast, Tom Shields (Huntington Beach, Calif.) in the 100m fly and Michael Klueh (Evansville, Ind.) in the 400m free.
In a third-place finish in the 200m breast from Kevin Cordes (Naperville, Ill.) set an American short-course record with a time of 2:02.38.
Leading the way for the European All-Stars was Spain’s Mireia Belmonte, who won the 400m IM and 400m free.
The European All-Stars got off to a fast start with a one-two finish from Belmonte (4:24.58) and Great Britain’s Aimee Willmott (4:26.80) in the women’s 400m IM, the first race of the night. Caitlin Leverenz (Tucson, Ariz.) finished third in 4:28.45.
The U.S. men answered in the 400 IM, as Dwyer and Chase Kalisz (Bel Air, Md.) took first and second, respectively, with times of 4:01.76 and 4:02.40, to knot the score at nine. David Verraszto of Hungary was third in 4:03.04.
Michelle Coleman of Sweden then won the women’s 100m free in 52.65. Team USA’s Shannon Vreeland (Overland Park, Kan.) was second in 52.73, followed by Olivia Smoliga (Glenview, Ill.) in 52.74. The European All-Stars went one-two in the men’s 100m free with Yannick Agnel of France touching first in 47.13, and Adam Brown of Great Britain finishing second in 47.24. Anthony Ervin (Valencia, Calif.) was third in 47.36.
Europe followed with a second straight one-two finish in the 200m back, as Ukraine’s Daryna Zevina won in 2:01.62, and Simona Baumrtova of the Czech Republic was second in 2:04.06 to give Europe a 30-15 lead. Kathleen Baker (Winston-Salem, N.C.) finished third in 2:05.08.
The U.S. quickly rebounded, as Godsoe took the men’s 200m back in 1:52.14, followed by teammate Tyler Clary (Riverside, Calif.) in 1:52.27. Yannick Lebherz of Germany was third in 1:53.41.
Team USA got a second straight one-two finish from Lawrence and Breeja Larson (Mesa, Ariz.) in the women’s 200m breast to pull within a point at 32-31. Lawrence finished in 2:19.15, and Larson touched in 2:22.20. Sophie Allen of Great Britain took third in 2:23.36.
Despite his American record swim in the 200m breast, Cordes finished third behind crowd favorite Michael Jamieson of Great Britain (2:01.83) and Marco Koch of Germany (2:01.90).
Jeanette Ottesen-Gray of The Netherlands was victorious in the 100m fly in 56.78. The U.S. placed two on the podium, as Claire Donahue (Lenoir City, Tenn.) finished second in 56.83, and Kendyl Stewart (Carlsbad, Calif.) placed third in 57.63.
Shields then swam away with the men’s 100m fly with a time of 49.80 – nearly two seconds clear of the field – to pull the U.S. within eight at 49-41. Ivan Lendjer of Serbia second in 51.67, followed by Velmir Stjepanovic, also of Serbia, in 51.68.
Belmonte claimed her second win of the night in the 400m free in 3:57.65, followed by Spanish teammate Melani Costa in 3:59.14. Denmark’s Lotte Friis finished third in 4:00.19.
In the final individual race of the night, Klueh held off the field to pull out a big win for the U.S. in the men’s 400m free with a time of 3:39.94. Agnel finished second in 3:40.19, and Dwyer claimed his second podium of the session by taking third in 3:40.24.
Heading to the 400m medley relays, the European All-Stars held a 61-47 lead, and that 14-point cushion held, as the team’s split the two races. Europe won the women’s medley relay in 3:49.14, while the U.S. squad of Smoliga, Larson, Donahue and Megan Romano (Jacksonville, Fla.) finished in 3:51.38. Team USA cruised to the men’s medley relay victory with Godsoe, Cordes, Shields and Jimmy Feigen (San Antonio, Texas) finishing in 3:23.24 to 3:25.42 for the European All-Stars.
The Mutual of Omaha Duel in the Pool is a made-for-television event, designed to showcase the sport’s most exciting swimmers in a short-course meters format. This year’s event will be the sixth Mutual of Omaha Duel in the Pool in the history of USA Swimming, with past Duels held in 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011. The U.S. is undefeated and holds a 5-0 record in the event’s history.
The meet will be comprised of 15 events per gender (13 individual and two relays) with prize money at around $120,000. The winning team will earn a portion of the winnings, while prize money will be awarded to the winner of each race. A bonus will also be awarded for any world-record swim at the event.