Dwyer Clinches Arena Grand Prix Series Title with 200m IM Win
Olympic medalist Conor Dwyer (Winnetka, Ill.) closed strong over the final 50 meters to earn the win in the men’s 200-meter individual medley and lock up the men’s Arena Grand Prix Series overall title Sunday at the Arena Grand Prix at Santa Clara at the George F. Haines International Swim Center.
Swimming side by side with North Baltimore Aquatic Club teammates Michael Phelps (Baltimore, Md.) and Chase Kalisz (Bel Air, Md.), Dwyer inched ahead over the freestyle leg of the 200m IM to touch first in 1 minute, 59.49 seconds.
Kalisz took second in 1:59.53 with Phelps third in 1:59.76. Locked in a duel with Russian Olympian Arkady Vyatchanin for the Arena Grand Prix Series title, Dwyer needed to win the 200m IM to secure the series title.
“That was a tight race … It was nice to touch the wall and win that prize,” Dwyer said. “It was go out at the 100 and see how fast I could be, then really nail the breast leg. I saw we came off even at breast-to-free wall, and I thought I had a good shot at winning after that touch.”
With 53 and 57 points, respectively, Dwyer and Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu secured 2013-14 Arena Grand Prix Series titles, each earning a $10,000 series championship bonus from USA Swimming.
As the top U.S. finishers in the six-event 2013-14 Arena Grand Prix Series, Dwyer and Caitlin Leverenz (Tucson, Ariz.) are eligible to receive a one-year lease for a BMW ActiveHybrid 7 Series. Only U.S. athletes who meet the outlined requirements are eligible to win the BMW lease. Complete 2013-14 Arena Grand Prix Series rules are available online at usaswimming.org.
Dwyer won six events and added six runner-up finishes, while Hosszu won a total of 10 races over the course of the series. Leverenz won five events en route to a total of 35 points. Participants were 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).
Leverenz wrapped up the top finish for an American woman in the series (second overall) with a victory Sunday in the women’s 200m IM in 2:12.61. Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson of Canada took second in 2:13.79, and Theresa Michalik of Germany touched third in 2:14.03.
Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin (Centennial, Colo.) captured her second win of the meet in the women’s 100m back in 1:00.99. Amy Bilquist (Carmel, Ind.) took second in 1:01.44, and Franklin’s Cal teammate Elizabeth Pelton (Baltimore, Md.) earned third in 1:01.48.
Laura Sogar (Exeter, R.I.) earnedthe women’s title in the 100m breast with a time of 1:09.15. Canada’s Tera Van Beilen earned the second place spot in 1:09.59, and Fiona Doyle of Ireland took third in 1:09.61.
Kevin Cordes (Naperville, Ill.) completed a sweep of the men’s breaststroke events in Santa Clara with a time of 1:00.91 in the men’s 100m breast, ahead of Mike Alexandrov (Champaign, Ill.), who took second in 1:01.65. Felipe Lima of Brazil rounded out the top three with a third place swim of 1:01.78.
Cierra Runge (Cochranville, Pa.) posted a time of 8:26.71 to win the women’s 800m free. Denmark’s Lotte Friis was second in 8:27.26, and Canada’s Brittany MacLean was third in 8:29.51.
Connor Jaeger (Fair Haven, N.J.) put up a first-place time of 15:00.97 earlier in the day to take the men’s 1500m free ahead of Michael McBroom (The Woodlands, Texas) and Sean Ryan (Chattanooga, Tenn.). In the evening session’s 1500m free heat, McBroom earned second overall in 15:04.41, and Ryan took third overall in 15:07.82.
Vyatchanin briefly grabbed the overall series lead from Dwyer with a win in the men’s 100m free in 54.34. Olympic gold medalist Matt Grevers (Lake Forest, Ill.) was second in 54.95, followed by Eugene Godsoe (Greensboro, N.C.) in 55.41 for third.
In the first race of the session, Andreina Pinto of Venezuela took home the women’s 200m fly in 2:10.59 followed by Becca Mann (Homer Glen, Ill.) in 2:12.24 and Lauren Harrington (Memphis, Tenn.) in 2:12.68.
The subsequent men’s 200m fly went to South Africa’s Sebastien Rosseau in 1:58.50. Bobby Bollier (Mission Hills, Kan.) was second in 1:58.65 with Kalisz taking third in 1:59.76.
The Arena Grand Prix at Santa Clara was the sixth and final stop of USA Swimming’s 2013-14 Arena Grand Prix Series, which annually provides the nation’s best swimmers opportunity to face top-flight competition on U.S. soil.
As part of USA Swimming’s partnership with Arena, the Arena Grand Prix Series offers swimmers the opportunity to take home prize money for top finishes in all individual Olympic events. In total, $150,000 in prize money was available to be distributed over the course of the six-meet series. At each meet, $500 was awarded for a first-place finish, $300 for second and $100 for third in all individual Olympic events. Arena served as the title sponsor for the Arena Grand Prix Series for the second straight season.
The nation’s top swimmers will return to action later this summer at the 2014 Phillips 66 National Championships, which are slated for Aug. 6-10 in Irvine, California.