By Sharon Robb
June 18, 2015—Lauren Boyle of New Zealand and American Michael McBroom won the opening distance events of the Santa Clara Arena Pro Swim Series Thursday at the George F. Haines International Swim Center.
Boyle, 27, won the women’s 1500-meter freestyle in 16 minutes, 33.74 seconds, third-fastest time in the world this year.
Boyle took the lead early and led by half a pool length at the 800-meter mark.
Gillian Ryan, 19, of Club Wolverine overtook Madison Homovich, 15, of North Carolina Aquatics in the final 200 meters to finish second in 16:33.74 and Homovich was third in 16:37.16.
In a close men’s race, Michael McBroom, 24, of The Woodlands out-touched Connor Jaeger, 24, of Club Wolverine, 7:54.21-7:54.47 to win what started out as a three-man race. Both times moved them in the Top 20 in the field. Tunisian Ous Mellouli, 31, of Trojan Swim Club was third in 7:56.00.
South Florida Aquatic Club’s Melissa Marinheiro, 18, finished 17th in the 1500-meter freestyle in 17:33.46 in her first race.
SOFLO teammates Alia Atkinson, Carolina Colorado, Jorge Murillo and Julien Pinon compete in their opening races on Friday.
A full schedule of racing, featuring Missy Franklin making her pro debut, and Michael Phelps begins Friday with the 200-meter freestyle, 100-meter breaststroke, 50-meter backstroke, 100-meter butterfly, 400-meter individual medley and 4×100-meter freestyle relay.
Franklin, 20, announced on Thursday she signed her first endorsement deal with Speedo. The four-time Olympic gold medalist is scheduled to swim five events: 50-, 100- and 200-meter backstroke and 100 and 200-meter freestyle.
Universal Sports Network will televise the meet Friday and Saturday. The entire meet is also being webcast at usaswimming.org. Prelims are 9 a.m. and finals 5 p.m. Pacific Coast Time.
The four-day meet is the sixth and final stop of the 2014-15 Arena Pro Swim Series.
Defending series champions Conor Dwyer, a Florida alum, and Hungarian Katinka Hosszu are the series leaders headed into the final meet.
Hosszu has 63 points ahead of Caitlin Leverenz, 39 points, and Beisel, 38.5 points. Bolles alum Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace of the Bahamas and SwimMAC is fourth with 37 points.
Dwyer has 61 points. Because she is not American, Hosszu is not eligible to earn the BMW lease for winning the series title.
The top three finishers earn $1,000, $600 and $200 in prize money and five, tree and one points for the points standings.
1.Lauren Boyle, New Zealand 16:03.73, 2. Gillian Ryan, Club Wolverine 16:33.74, 3. Madison Homovich, North Carolina Aquatics 16:37.16; FLORIDA: 17. Melissa Marinheiro, SOFLO 17:33.46.
1.Michael McBroom, The Woodlands 7:54.21, 2. Connor Jaeger, 24, Club Wolverine 7:54.47, 3. Ous Mellouli, Trojan Swim Club 7:56.00; FLORIDA: 7. Marcelo Acosta, Azura Florida Aquatics 8:04.97, 9. True Sweetser, Gator Swim Club 8:07.74, 18. Franco Lupoli, Azura Florida Aquatics 8:14.39, best time.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com