Hardy and Alexandrov Win Double at Arena Grand Prix at Charlotte
Olympic Gold medalist Jessica Hardy (Long Beach, Calif.) and USA Swimming National Team member Mike Alexandrov (Champaign, Ill.) swept the 50m and 100m breaststroke events on Friday night to highlight the second day of the Arena Grand Prix at Charlotte, presented by UltraSwim. The meet, taking place at the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center, runs through Sunday.
Olympic medalists Allison Schmitt (Canton, Mich.), Matt McLean (Sterling, Va.), Dana Vollmer (Granbury, Texas) and Elizabeth Beisel (Saunderstown, R.I.) also earned individual wins on the night.
Hardy took the 100m breast in 1:07.03 and followed that with a win in the 50m breast by out-touching Molly Hannis (Santa Rosa, Calif.), winning the event by just .01 seconds in 30.71. Hannis also placed second in the 100m breast in 1:07.39 and finished as the runner-up in the 50m breast in 30.72. Laura Sogar (Exeter, R.I.) was third in the 100m breast in 1:07.57 and Ashley Wanland (Long Grove, Ill.) who was third in the 50m breast in 31.53.
“Breaststroke is fun, because I definitely take the pressure off after swimming only freestyle at the Olympics,” Hardy said. “I know that my fall-back stroke is a solid stroke now. I’m having fun with both of them, and I’m enjoying it again. I’m hoping to swim (breaststroke) at the Olympics next time.”
Alexandrov posted a time of 1:01.00 in the 100m breast to earn the win, and also won the 50m breast in 27.71 to close the night’s individual finals. Colombia’s Jorge Murillo was second in the 100m breast in 1:01.72 and third in the 50m breast in 28.28. Richard Funk of Canada placed third in the 100m breast in 1:02.03 and second in the 50m breast in 28.11.
Chase Kalisz (Bel Air, Md.) turned in an impressive swim in the men’s 400m IM, winning the event in 4:15.66. His time was more than seven seconds ahead of the second-place finisher, Ryan Harty (Gardner, Mass.), who swam a 4:23.40. Third place went to Kyle Whitaker (Chesterton, Ind.) with a time of 4:23.46.
The 2012 Olympic gold medalist in the 200m free, Schmitt won the event Friday in 1:58.76. Chloe Sutton (Mission Viejo, Calif.) was second in 1:59.50, while Leah Smith (Pittsburgh, Pa.) grabbed third in 1:59.62.
McLean followed with a win in the men’s 200m free in 1:49.02, edging Conor Dwyer (Winnetka, Minn.), who was second in 1:49.29. Singapore’s Joseph Schooling placed third 1:49.47.
Vollmer won her signature event, the 100m fly, with a time of 58.24. Fellow Olympian Claire Donahue (Bowling Green, Ky.) placed second in 58.83, while Kelsi Worrell (Mt. Holly, N.J.) was third in 59.33.
The women’s 400m IM went to Beisel, who won the race almost three seconds ahead of the field in 4:41.30. Second and third place were separated by only .03 seconds as Amber McDermott (Mill Creek, Wash.) finished in 4:44.26 and Brooke Zeiger of Bluefish Swim Club swam a 4:44.29.
In other races, Schooling won the 100m fly in 52.33. Tyler McGill (Champaign, Ill.) was second in 52.47, and John Conger (Rockville, Md.) was third in 53.23. The men’s 50m back went to Japan’s Junya Koga in 25.11. David Plummer (Oklahoma City, Okla.) placed second in 25.26, and Eugene Godsoe (Greensboro, N.C.) was third in 25.49. On the women’s side, Olivia Smoliga (Glenview, Ill.) won the 50m back in 28.50, Megan Romano (St. Petersburg, Fla.) was second in 28.70 and Carolina Colorado of Colombia was third in 28.81.
For highlights and meet results, please visit the Arena Grand Prix at Charlotte landing page.
Competition continues Saturday and Sunday with prelims at 9 a.m., followed by 6 p.m. finals. Tickets are required for all sessions and are on sale now via the Arena Grand Prix at Charlotte, presented by UltraSwim, website.
Following the Arena Grand Prix at Charlotte, the Series will make its final stop May 30-June 2 in Santa Clara, Calif. As part of USA Swimming’s new, eight-year 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 for each meet in the Series. An overall leaderboard for the Series can be found online here.
The Arena Grand Prix Series serves as an opportunity for swimmers to race against some of the best competition in the country as they continue their preparation for the 2013 Phillips 66 National Championships and World Championships Trials in Indianapolis, Ind., the World University Games in Kazan, Russia, and the FINA World Championships in Barcelona, Spain.