Arena Grand Prix Turns Into Gauge For World Trials

Arena Grand Prix Turns Into Gauge For World Trials


May 12, 2013

While Anthony Ervin, Jessica Hardy and several other swimmers are right where they want to be six weeks out from the world championship trials, Ryan Lochte got a wakeup call during the Arena Grand Prix Charlotte UltraSwim that ended on Sunday at the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center.

For the second straight night, Ervin, an Olympic gold medalist, topped a talented field to win the 100-meter freestyle in 49.14, a day after winning the 50-meter freestyle.

Ervin went out in 22.9 in the 100-meter race and had a full body length on the field that included three other Olympians, before coming home.

“No surprise there in the first 50,” Ervin said. “I knew if I was going to win I had to have my best performance in the race. I just decided to go for it, deal with pain and pay for it later.

“I was feeling the water and momentum on the way out,” Ervin said. “On the way back, what was water turned into stone.”

Chase Kalisz, 19, of Bel Air, Md. knocked off Lochte in the 200-meter individual medley. Lochte, 28, the world record holder and three-time Olympic medalist in the event started tiring late in his race much like the rest of his races in the meet.

Kalisz won in 1:59.66, two days after winning the 400-meter individual medley and just 1/10th of a second off his best time. Lochte was third in 2:01.56. Kalisz overtook Lochte on the breaststroke leg and coasted on the freestyle leg.

“I just tried to stay within reach of everyone in first half, attack the breaststroke and swim as hard as I could coming home,” Kalisz said. “Ryan is the best swimmer ever in the 200 IM. We are in different parts of our training. To go that time now I am happy with it.”

Just fifteen minutes after the IM, Lochte competed in the 200-meter backstroke against a strong field and finished third after struggling to come off the wall. Bolles swimmer Ryan Murphy won the race with great turns and momentum coming off the final wall. He finished in 1:59.93. Lochte’s time was 2:00.80.

“I think because Ryan just had the 200 IM I had a little extra on the last 50,” Murphy said. “I didn’t really change my race strategy. I just try to get out fast and push the last wall as hard as I can. I have been working on killing the last wall while keeping my speed.”

Said Lochte, “This is my time to get in gear. I still think I can make worlds. I just have to get back to work.”

Other individual winners were:

Connor Jaeger, 1500-meter freestyle, 15:02.68.

Kathleen Baker, 200-meter IM, best time 2:14.46.

Megan Romano, 100-meter freestyle, 55.24.

Kaitlin Harty, 200-meter backstroke, 2:10.38, best time by four second. “I have no idea where that came from,” Harty said.

Chloe Sutton, 800-meter freestyle, 8:25.88, edging out Venezuela’s Andreina Pinto, 8:25.93.

The Grand Prix Series resumes May 30-June 2 in Santa Clara, Calif.


Chinese divers won all four events on the final day of the AT&T FINA USA Diving Grand Prix to sweep the meet on Sunday at the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex.

U.S. Olympic medalist Troy Dumais took a silver medal in the 3-meter springboard event. Dumais was the only U.S. medalist on Sunday.

American Murphy Bromberg, competing in her fist senior international final, placed fourth on women’s platform.

The U.S. team now heads to Tallahassee for the World Championship Trials, May 15-20.

Sharon Robb can be reached at