SANTA CLARA GOOD GAUGE FOR U.S., FOREIGN SWIMMERS, PLENTY OF NEW FACES ON SCENE

SANTA CLARA GOOD GAUGE FOR U.S., FOREIGN SWIMMERS, PLENTY OF NEW FACES ON SCENE


WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB

The 2010 Santa Clara International Grand Prix came to an end Sunday night with not only familiar faces but a few new faces who left a lasting impression at the George Haines International Swim Center.

There was 14-year-old Aussie Yolane Kukla who topped an impressive 50-meter freestyle field that included Lara Jackson, Christine Magnuson, Julia Smit and Marieke Guehrer to win the event in 25.13 seconds.

Did we mention she is only 14? It was her U.S. meet debut and only second international meet.

Olympian Nathan Adrian made his presence known. The 21-year-old won both the 50- and 100-meter freestyle events. In Sunday’s 100 freestyle, the 2008 Olympic gold medalist 4×100 relay member won by more than a half second to win the 100 in 48.83.

Julia Smit, another 2008 Olympian, won the 200-meter individual medley in 2:12.82.

“London is the big goal for everyone and there are other goals along the way,” said Smit, a senior at Stanford and NCAA champion.

David Plummer edged Matt Grevers and Ryan Lochte to win the 100-meter backstroke in 55.25. Lochte of Daytona Beach was third in 55.44.

Lochte, competing in only his third meet since knee surgery and long layoff, won the meet’s men’s high point award. The six-time Olympic medalist’s knee is still not strong enough to swim the breaststroke and individual medleys but is proving he will again be a force at the 2012 Olympic trials.

Elizabeth Beisel, who competed in six finals, won the women’s high point award. She won two events (400 IM and 200 backstroke) and placed third in the 100 backstroke.

Dagny Knutson held on in a close race to win the 200-meter butterfly in 2:11.33,  just ahead of Jasmine Tosky in 2:11.41.

Brazil’s Henrique Barbosa won the men’s 200-meter breaststroke in 2:15.88. Canadian Scott Dickens was second in 2:16.65 and Adam Klein was third in 2:16.69.

In other races, Canadian Alexa Komarnycky won the 800-meter freestyle in 8:38.31; Aussie Robert Hurley won the 1500-meter freestyle in 15:36.07; Brian Johns of Canada won the 200-meter individual medley in 2:02.06; and Beisel won the 200-meter backstroke in 2:10.80.

The 2009-2010 USA Swimming Grand Prix Series ends July 8-11 with the Los Angeles Grand Prix. SOFLO’s Caroline Kuczynski, 19, was invited by her Arizona State teammates to compete in the four-day meet.

The Grand Prix events are helping swimmers prepare for the Aug. 3-7 ConocoPhillips National Championships and Aug. 18-22 Pan Pacific Championships, both set for Irvine, Calif.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

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