By Sharon Robb
June 20, 2015—South Florida Aquatic Club’s Alia Atkinson broke another national record at the Santa Clara Arena Pro Swim Series Saturday at George F. Haines International Swim Center.
The three-time Jamaican Olympian and world record holder broke her national record in the 50-meter butterfly with a career-best 26.65. Her previous mark was 28.06 set at the Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships in 2008.
Atkinson broke it first in prelims in 27.22, going under the Kazan World Championships B standard of 27.47 and bettered it in the final.
In the 200-meter breaststroke, Atkinson won her morning heat in 2:31.94, her third fastest time of the season and also under the B standard of 2:33.30, and came back with a 2:31.47 to finish a disappointing seventh in the final.
Colombian Jorge Murillo Valdes of SOFLO was sixth in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:17.30.
SOFLO teammate and two-time Colombian Olympian Carolina Colorado, nursing a cold, scratched from the final after going 1:03.45 in prelims.
It was a good day for a former Florida Gold Coast swimmer.
Rhi Jeffrey, 28, of Phoenix Swimming, in the midst of a comeback, made her Olympic trial cut in the 50-meter freestyle in the C final in 26.13.
Jeffrey, an Olympic gold medalist at age 17 on the 4×200 freestyle relay at the 2004 Athens Olympics, stopped competing in 2007 but resumed in 2012. The Delray Beach Atlantic alum was one of Florida’s winningest swimmers, state champion and record holder. She is now living in the Boston area.
In other Saturday championship finals:
Women’s 200-meter butterfly:
In the first of her three finals, Hungarian Katinka Hosszu went out fast for a half-body length and won in 2:09.77. Teenagers Emily Overholt, 17, of Vancouver was second in 2:10.75 and Lauren Case of Chattahoochee, 16, was third in 2:11.06.
“I always try to give my best each time I race,” Hosszu said. “I try not to think about my next races at all, but that’s not always easy.”
Men’s 200-meter butterfly:
Michael Phelps, world record holder in the event, went out fast in 55.56 and despite crunching his turn and struggling in his last 50 got to the wall first to win in 1:57.62. Training partner Chase Kalisz was second in 1:58.06 and Tom Shields was third in 1:58.28. Phelps is coming off distance training camp in Colorado Springs.
“I would have liked to finish better,” Phelps said. “The first 100 was what I wanted. We have been doing things in workout I haven’t done in a long time. I am getting my confidence back which has helped. I came in tonight wanting to do 1:57 and I did it. I am happy to be able to do that, it will help me a lot in the 100. Whether I swim this next year no one knows.” Phelps last won a 200 butterfly race at the 2012 Olympic trials and said he would not swim the event again when he came out of retirement last year.
Women’s 50-meter freestyle:
In a close race, Simone Manuel, 18, of Stanford Swimming out-touched Dutch Olympian Femke Heemskerk of the Netherlands to win by 4/100ths in 24.75. U.S. Olympian Natalie Coughlin was third in 24.97.
“It feels pretty good, I am still trying to get used to this race,” Manuel said. “It was a pretty good swim. School is over and I am excited to focus only on swimming.”
Men’s 50-meter freestyle:
In a furious finish, Cal Aquatics’ Nathan Adrian won by 5/100ths over Brazilian Bruno Fratus in a season-best 21.97. Fratus’ time was 22.02. American Anthony Ervin, 34, who is going to worlds, was ffth in 22.43.
“It was just about execution here,” Adrian said. “That was a phenomenal field, so just to get my hand on the wall first it’s a good one. This helps my mental attitude. Any time you pop under 22 it’s good.”
Women’s 100-meter backstroke:
After a 20-minute rest, Hosszu pulled away from the field to win her second event of the night in 59.69. Elizabeth Pelton was second in 1:00.31 and Missy Franklin, who has not competed since the NCAA Championships in March, was third in 1:00.65.
“I am taking it one day at a time and luckily it worked out,” said Pelton, Franklin’s former California teammate and training mate. “I was focusing on my technique and strategies I do in practice. It’s always fun to swim against a good field.”
St. Andrew’s Swimming alum Tasija Karosas, 19, of Longhorn Aquatics was ninth in 1:02.56 after going 1:02.55 in prelims.
Men’s 100-meter backstroke
Bolles alum Ryan Murphy, 19, knocked off a star-studded field to win in 53.83. The field featured former international medalists David Plummer, Matt Grevers and Nick Thoman. Murphy was out quick in 26.2. Matt Grevers was challenging late in the race but was hugging the lane line and ended up hitting his hand and finished second in 54.45.
“I am happy getting under 54,” Murphy said. “It is my mom’s birthday today so that was a nice present. It was a good motivation for me to go out there and try to win that for her.”
Women’s 200-meter breaststroke:
Russian Yulia Efimova, coming off a 16-month drug suspension, won her second event of the meet in 2:23.64. Iceland Olympian Hilda Luthersdottir of Gator Swim Club was second in 2:25.61.
Men’s 200-meter breaststroke:
In a two-man race, fast-rising Cody Miller, 23, of Badger Swim Club edged Josh Prenot, 21, of Cal Aquatics by 2/100ths of a second to win in a career-best 2:09.71. It was the first time he broke 2:10.
“Any time you go a best time you got to be happy,” Miller said. “It’s not quite as fast as I want to be, but feel pretty good about it. It helped me swimming against Josh, he pushed me through it. He is a really great competitor and I knew he had that back-end speed. I went out a little too easy because I had a lot left coming home. It was definitely a race. I knew we were next to each other.”
Women’s 50-meter butterfly:
Egypt’s Farida Osman, 20, of Cal Aquatics won in 26.08 and broke the African and Egyptian national records in personal best 26.08. She bettered her own record of 26.12 she swam at the 2013 World Championships.
“I swim this a lot, it’s my favorite race and I like it a lot,” Osman said.
Men’s 50-meter butterfly:
With a great start and .58 reaction time, Giles Smith, 23, of Phoenix Swim Club led from wire-to-wire to win in a career-best 23.30, fourth best time in the world this year. American Heritage alum Dylan Carter, 19, of Trojan Swim Club and Trinidad and Tobago was fifth in 24.01.
“It felt good,” Smith said. “I was happy to hit my dive. I just tried to stay long and execute my plan. I tried to feel each stroke instead of spinning too hard like I did last year.”
Women’s 400-meter freestyle:
Denmark’s Lotte Friis, 26, training at North Baltimore Aquatic Club, topped a good field in 4:07.17, just ahead of Emily Overholt in 4:07.93. Hosszu was fourth in 4:08.77. Former Clearwater swimmer Becca Mann was sixth in 4:11.07.
Men’s 400-meter freestyle:
In an exciting race, Michael McBroom, 24, of The Woodlands slipped past Connor Jaeger, 24, of Club Wolverine at the finish to win in 3:48.59-3:48.75.
The final day of the meet is being webcast at usaswimming.org. Prelims are 9 a.m. and finals 5 p.m. Pacific Coast Time. The events are women’s 800 freestyle, 200 individual medley, 200 backstroke, 50 breaststroke, 100 freestyle, men’s 1500 freestyle and 400 medley relay.
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.
Defending series champions Conor Dwyer, a Florida alum, and Hosszu have already clinched the series titles for the second consecutive year. Each won $10,000 as series points leaders.
1.Katinka Hosszu, Hungary 2:09.77, 2. Emily Overhold, West Vancouver 2:10.75, 3. Lauren Case, Chattahochee 2:11.06; FLORIDA: 9. Andreina Pinto, Gator Swim Club 2:13.46, 34. Yee Ching Wong, Swim Florida 2:21.79, Becca Mann, North Baltimore, DQ.
1.Simone Manuel, Stanford Swimming 24.75, 2. Femke Heemskerk, Netherlands 24.79, 3. Natalie Coughlin, Cal Aquatics 24.97; FLORIDA: 22. Rhi Jeffrey, Phoenix Swimming 26.13.
1.Katinka Hosszu, Hungary 59.69, 2. Elizabeth Pelton, Cal Aquatics 1:00.31, 3. Missy Franklin, Colorado Stars 1:00.65; FLORIDA: 9. Tasia Karosas, Longhorn Swimming 1:02.56, 14. Kira Toussaint, Swim Florida 1:02.92, 16. Carolina Colorado, South Florida Aquatic Club 1:03.45.
1.Yulia Efimova, Trojan Swim Club 2:23.64, 2. Hilda Luthersdottir, Gator Swim Club 2:25.61, 3. Laura Sogar, Bluefish 2:27.04; FLORIDA: 7. Alia Atkinson, South Florida Aquatic Club 2:31.47.
1.Farida Osman, Cal Aquatics 26.08, 2. Daynara De Paula, Sesi 26.37, 3. Ivy Martin, Wisconsin 26.42; FLORIDA: 5. Alia Atkinson, South Florida Aquatic Club 26.65, 42. Hilda Luthersdottir, Gator Swim Club 28.83, 45. Yee Ching Wong, Swim Florida 29.06
1.Lotte Friis, North Baltimore 4:07.17, 2. Emily Overholt, west Vancouver 4:07.93, 3. Cierra Runge, North Baltimore 4:08.38; FLORIDA: 6. Becca Mann, North Baltimore, 4:11.07, 10. Andreina Pinto, Gator Swim Club 4:13.83, 33 Melissa Marinheiro, South Florida Aquatic Club 4:25.93, 53. Daniella Van den Berg, Azura 4:31.60.
4×200-meter freestyle relay:
1.Palto Alto Stanford 8:17.36, 2. Mexico 8:20.50, 3. Wisconsin 8:27.49.
1.Michael Phelps, North Baltimore 1:57.62, 2. Chase Kalisz, North Baltimore 1:58.06, 3. Tom Shields, Cal Aquatics 1:58.28; FLORIDA: 27. Maximiliano Abreu, Bolles 2:05.53.
1.Nathan Adrian, Cal Aquatics 21.97, 2. Bruno Fratus, Auburn Aquatics 22.02, 3. Vladimir Morozov, Trojan Swim Club 22.27; FLORIDA: 12. Renzo Tjon A Joe, Auburn Aquatics 22.76, 18. Dylan Carter, Trojan Swim Club 23.21, 28. Corey Main, Gator Swim Club 23.80, 62. Bayley Main, Gator Swim Club 24.31.
1.Ryan Murphy, Cal Aquatics 53.83, 2. Matt Grevers, Tucson Ford Deal 54.45, 3. David Plummer, New York Athletics; FLORIDA: 9. Corey Main, Gator Swim Club 55.93, 42. Timothy Wynter, South Florida Aquatic Club 58.51, 45. Bayley Main, Gator Swim Club 58.80.
1.Cody Miller, Badger Swim Club 2:09.71, 2. Josh Prenot, Cal Aquatics 2:09.91, 3. Thiago Pereira, Fiat Minas 2:14.11; FLORIDA: 6. Jorge Murillo Valdes, South Florida Aquatic Club 2:17.30, 31. Marco Guarente, Azura 2:22.37.
1.Giles Smith, Phoenix Swim Club 23.30, 2. Henrique Martins, Fiat Minas 23.57, 3. Masa Kishida, Tucson Ford 23.92; FLORIDA: 31. Timothy Wynter, South Florida Aquatic Club 25.49, 48. Bayley Main, Gator Swim Club 25.89, 57. Jorge Murillo Valdes, South Florida Aquatic Club 26.37.
1.Michael McBroom, The Woodlands 3:48.59, 2. Connor Jaeger, Club Wolverine 3:48.75, 3. Mads Glaesner, Trojan Swim Club 3:49.51; FLORIDA: 7. Mitch D’Arrigo, Gator Swim Club 3:52.82, 11. True Sweetser, Gator Swim Club 3:54.19, 15. Marcelo Acosta, Azura 3:56.24, 28. Franco Lupoli, Azura 3:58.17.
4×200-meter freestyle relay:
1.Fiat Minas 7:28.43, 2. Mexico 7:32.77, 3. Argentina 7:34.30.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org