By Sharon Robb
June 19, 2015—South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers had a good night at the Santa Clara Arena Pro Swim Series Friday at the George F. Haines International Swim Center.
On the second day of competition, three-time Jamaican Olympian and world record holder Alia Atkinson was top Florida finisher placing third in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:08.21 against a strong field.
Top-seed Russian Yulia Efimova of Trojan Swim Club went out in 31.4 to win easily in 1:06.13, third fastest in the world this year. American record holder Jessica Hardy was second in 1:07.5.
During morning prelims Efimova, coming off a 16-month drug suspension, made up a second on Atkinson in the last 30 meters of their heat.
Florida Gulf Coast-bound Melissa Marinheiro, 18, turned in a lifetime-best in the 50-meter backstroke in 32.36 in the “D” final. She bettered her prelim time of 32.75.
Colombian Jorge Murillo Valdes, 23, was fifth in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:02.13.
Two-time Colombian Olympian Carolina Colorado, 27, was eighth in the “B” final in 29.77 after going 29.71 in prelims.
Teammate Timothy Wynter, 19, Jamaican national record holder in the 11-12, 13-14, 15-17 and senior categories in the 50-meter backstroke, turned in a season-best 26.89 in the “C” final of the sprint event.
Olympians Natalie Coughlin and Katinka Hosszu broke the only records of the day.
During morning prelims, Hosszu broke the U.S. Open record in the 400-meter individual medley in 4:31.07, breaking Katie Hoff’s previous record of 4:31.12 by 5/100ths of a second.
Hosszu now holds both the 200 and 400 IM U.S. Open records.
Ironically, Hosszu, a world and European champion and reigning FINA World Swimmer of the Year, has yet to win an Olympic medal in her three appearances in 2004, 2008 and 2012.
Coughlin, 32, swam a career-best to break the American and U.S. Open records and win the 50-meter backstroke despite hitting the lane line.
Coughlin won in 27.51, third fastest time in the world and best time by 58/100ths. Top-seed Rachel Bootsma was second in 27.68. Missy Franklin finished eighth in 29.33.
“I had a great start,” Coughlin said. “At first I thought the announcers were talking about another lane. It’s nice to swim a best time at this stage.”
Defending series champions Conor Dwyer, a Florida alum, and Hosszu have clinched the series titles for the second consecutive year. Each won $10,000 as series points leaders.
Dwyer has $12,200 in race earnings and 61 points. Tyler Clary is second with $8,200 and 41 points.
Hosszu has $14,600 in prize money and 73 points. Because she is not American, Hosszu is not eligible to earn the BMW lease for winning the series title. Caitlin Leverenz is second with $8,000 and 40 points and will get the car keys.
In Friday’s other championship finals:
Women’s 200-meter freestyle:
In a talent-laden final, Femke Heemskerk, 27, of the Netherlands won in 1:55.68 ahead of Katinka Hosszu in 1:56.88 and Missy Franklin in 1:57.02. Heemskerk went out in 56.55 for the first 100 meters and pulled away in the final 50 for a body- length lead. It was the fastest time in the world this year. “After being in Barcelona last week, this was a good race for me against such a strong field,” Heemskerk said. “The crowd was great cheering. We don’t see the sun a lot in the Netherlands so this is great to be swimming here.”
Men’s 200-meter freestyle:
In a furious finish, Connor Jaeger of Club Wolverine, more known for his distance racing and fourth fastest qualifier after morning prelims (1:49.51), turned it on in the final 50 to win in 1:48.66. Top qualifier Nikita Lobintsev was second in 1:48.86 and Michael Phelps was third in 1:49.03. “I am still trying to figure the 200 race a little bit,” Jaeger said. “It’s exciting to be a part of the race.”
Men’s 100-meter breaststroke:
Cody Miller of Badger Swim Club made a statement with his win in an event that is wide open on the national scene. Miller, the top morning qualifier, went out in 28.12 and pulled away from the field to win in a career-best time 59.51, third fastest in the world this year and third ever sub-minute 100 breaststroke. Former Florida Gold Coast swimmer Felipe Lima of Brazil was second in 1:00.66 and Josh Prenot was third in 1:01.21.
“I was very happy with that,” Miller said. “I wanted to be 59.49 so I was seconds away. It’s still early in the summer, but I’m glad to go my best time. I’m on the right track.”
Men’s 50-meter backstroke:
In a close race, Japan’s Junya Koga won in 25.02 after out-touching Russian sprinter Vlad Morozov in 25.19. Koga was top qualifier in 24.87, the only swimmer under 25. David Plummer edged out 6-foot-8 Matt Grevers, 30, for third place in 25.33. Teenager Michael Andrew, 16, of Indie Swimming won the “B” final in a best time 25.72. Andrew was one of two 16-year-olds in the field.
Women’s 100-meter butterfly:
Brazilian Daynara DePaula, 25, of Sesi won in 58.98 ahead of Farida Osman of Cal Aquatics in 59.05 and Felicia Lee of Stanford Swimming was third in 59.51.
Men’s 100-meter butterfly:
Without Michael Phelps in the event, the race was wide open and won by Tom Shields by 5/100ths of a second in 52.22. Early leader and top morning qualifier Giles Smith tightened up at the end of the race and finished second in 52.27.
“I’ve been working on my touch really trying to get to the wall first,” Shields said.
Women’s 400-meter individual medley:
Hungarian Katinka Hosszu pulled away from the field to win in 4:34.04, fourth fastest in the world. Emily Overholt of West Vancouver was second in 4:39.47, just ahead of Caitlin Leverenz, third in 4:39.55. Former Clearwater swimmer Becca Mann was fourth in 4:42.10.
“The morning I felt great but tonight I felt a little jet lag,” Hosszu said. “I just try to race and not make any excuses.”
Men’s 400-meter individual medley:
Top seed Gunnar Bentz overcame early leader Tyler Clary on the breaststroke leg and went on to win in 4:17.73. Max Williamson was second in 4:18.22 and Clary was third in 4:20.54.
“A lot of training this summer and hard sets has gotten me here,” Bentz said.
Universal Sports Network will televise the meet on 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.
The top three finishers earn $1,000, $600 and $200 in prize money and five, three and one points for points standings.
1.Femke Heemskerk, Netherlands 1:55.68, 2. Katinka Hosszu, Hungary 1:56.88, 3. Missy Franklin, Colorado Stars 1:57.02; FLORIDA: 83. Melissa Marinheiro, South Florida Aquatic Club 2:08.60, 91. Daniella Van den Berg, Azura Florida Aquatics 2:10.22.
1.Yulia Efimova, Trojan Swim Club 1:06.13, 2. Jessica Hardy, Trojan Swim Club 1:07.53, 3. Alia Atkinson, South Florida Aquatic Club 1:08.21; FLORIDA: 4. Hilda Luthersdottir, Gator Swim Club 1:08.40.
1.Natalie Coughlin, Cal Aquatics 27.51, 2. Rachel Bootsma, Cal Aquatics 28.05, 3. Etiene Medeiros, Sesi 28.20; FLORIDA: 17. Carolina Colorado, South Florida Aquatic Club 29.77, 36. Melissa Marinheiro, South Florida Aquatic Club 32.75.
1.Daynara De Paula, Sesi 58.98, 2. Farida Osman, Cal Aquatics 59.05, 3. Felicia Lee, Stanford Swimming 59.51; FLORIDA: 37. Hilda Luthersdottir, Gator Swim Club 1:02.62, 74. Yee Ching Wong, Swim Florida 1:05.14.
400-meter individual medley:
1.Katinka Hosszu, Hungary 4:34.04, 2. Emily Overholt, West Vancouver 4:39.47, 3. Caitlin Leverenz 4:39.55; FLORIDA: 4. Becca Mann, North Baltimore 4:42.10.
4×100-meter freestyle relay:
1.Mexico 3:50.04, 2. Hong Kong 3:51.29, 3. Palo Alto Stanford 3:51.40.
1.Connor Jaeger, Club Wolverine 1:48.66, 2. Nikita Lobintsev, Trojan Swim Club 1:48.86, 3. Michael Phelps, North Baltimore 1:49.03; FLORIDA: 7. Mitch D’Arrigo, Gator Swim Club 1:49.92, 9. Ryan Murphy, California Aquatics 1:50.59, 33. True Sweetser, Gator Swim Club 1:53.09, 41. Corey Main, Gator Swim Club 1:53.32, 43. Marcelo Acosta, Azura 1:53.37, 51. Franco Lupoli, Azura 1:53.91, 108. Bayley Main, Gator Swim Club 1:58.05, 110. Julien Pinon, South Florida Aquatic Club 1:58.16.
1.Cody Miller, Badger Swim Club 59.51, 2. Felipe Lima, Fiat Minas 1:00.66, 3. Josh Prenot, Cal Aquatics 1:01.21; FLORIDA: 5. Jorge Murillo, South Florida Aquatic Club 1:02.13, 30. Marco Guarente, Azura 1:05.18.
1.Junya Koga, Club Wolverine 25.02, 2. Vladimir Morozov, Trojan Swim Club 25.19, 3. David Plummer, New York Athletic Club 25.33; FLORIDA: 5, Ryan Murphy, Cal Aquatics 25.61, 11. Corey Main, Gator Swim Club 26.00, 22. Timothy Wynter, South Florida Aquatic Club 26.89, 31. Bayley Main, Gator Swim Club 27.67.
1.Tom Shields, Cal Aquatics 52.22, 2. Giles Smith, Phoenix Swim Club 52.27, 3. Henrique Martins, Fiat Minas 52.56; FLORIDA: 22. Dylan Carter, Trojan Swim Club 54.33, 58. Maximiliano Abreu, Bolles 56.64, 92. Julien Pinon, South Florida Aquatic Club 58.42, 100. Bayley Main, Gator Swim Club 59.51.
400-meter individual medley:
1.Gunnar Bentz, Dynamo Swim Club 4:17.73, 2. Max Williamson, Stanford Swimming 4:18.22, 3. Tyler Clary, SwimMAC 4:20.54; FLORIDA: 33. True Sweetser, Gator Swim Club 4:35.19, 49. Marco Guarente, Azura 4:44.35.
4×100-meter freestyle relay
1.Argentina 3:21.88, 2. Fiat Minas 3:24.61, 3. Mexico 3:28.62.
South Florida Aquatic Club’s Olympic gold medalist Claire Donahue went 58.9 in the 100-meter butterfly in the Tennessee Aquatics Invitational in Knoxville.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com