By Sharon Robb
June 22, 2015—Olympian Alia Atkinson, rising star Jorge Murillo Valdes and up-and-coming national team swimmer Melissa Marinheiro led South Florida Aquatic Club on the fourth and final day of the Santa Clara Arena Pro Swim Series Sunday at George F. Haines International Swim Center.
Alia Atkinson, 26, took third in the 50-meter breaststroke against a fast field that featured winner Yulia Efimova and Jessica Hardy.
The three-time Jamaican Olympian and short course world record holder, finished in 31.01, slower than her 30.54 Charlotte swim that ranks her third in the world.
Atkinson also swam the 200-meter individual medley in 2:23.86, failing to make any 200 IM final.
SOFLO teammate Jorge Murillo Valdes of Colombia was fifth in the men’s 50-meter breaststroke in 28.56.
SOFLO head coach Chris Anderson was impressed with Melissa Marinheiro’s racing. The Florida Gulf Coast-bound swimmer, who is getting back into serious training, finished 21st in the 800-meter freestyle in 9:08.14 on the final day.
In other Sunday championship finals:
Women 800-meter freestyle:
Denmark Olympian Lotte Friis, 26, of North Baltimore Aquatic Club pulled away early in the race and went on to win in 8:25.33. North Baltimore had four swimmers in the final including runner-up Sierra Schmidt, 17, in a best time 8:28.91 and former Clearwater swimmer Becca Mann, also training at North Baltimore, third in 8:30.02. Friis and several of her teammates now head to Colorado Springs for altitude training before the World Championships in Kazan.
Women 200-meter individual medley:
Hungarian Katinka Hosszu, 26, who has been training in South Florida, led after the backstroke leg and was one second under her U.S. Open record pace early in the race. She won in 2:09.19, second fastest time in the world this year and just missing her own U.S. Open record. Caitlin Leverenz, 24, of Cal Aquatics was second in 2:11.52 and Yulia Efimova, 23, of Trojan Swim Club was third in 2:12.91.
Men 200-meter individual medley:
Michael Phelps, 29, of North Baltimore won his second event of the meet in 1:59.39. He was the only swimmer to crack 2 minutes. Josh Prenot, 21, of Cal Aquatics was second in 2:00.43 and Chase Kalisz, 21, of North Baltimore was third in 2:02.33. Phelps led after the backstroke with a half-body length lead and was at 1:31.08 headed into freestyle. It was the 22-time Olympic medalist’s first of three events of the day. “The hard work is paying off, I’m happy,” Phelps said. “It was a good weekend for me to build confidence this summer. I had some goals I wanted to hit. I hit one, I guess one is better than none. I can see a lot of little improvements now.”
Women 200-meter backstroke:
Katinka Hosszu held off Maya DiRado, 22, of Stanford Swimming in the final 20 meters to win her second event of the night in 2:07.93. DiRado finished second in 2:08.50 and Missy Franklin, coming off a three-month absence from racing, was third in 2:09.84. Two-time Colombian Olympian Carolina Colorado of South Florida Aquatic Club was forced to scratch from the event because of illness.
“I haven’t raced this tired in a long time,” Franklin said. “Overall, I am really happy where I am right now. My strokes felt strong but there wasn’t a lot of speed there.”
Men’s 200-meter backstroke
Bolles alum and California junior Ryan Murphy continued his domination of the backstroke events. After winning the 100 backstroke, Murphy blew past the field in the 200-meter backstroke winning by nearly a full body-length in 1:57.06. His 100 split was 56.89.
Murphy, ranked ninth in the world (1:56.91), now returns to training for three weeks before heading to the World Championships in Kazan with his U.S. teammates.
“It was good to race in a meet setting, I didn’t expect to go that fast,” Murphy said. “I have been racing these guys for a while. This was reassurance that I can compete with these guys.”
Tyler Clary of SwimMAC was second in 1:59.32 and Cal teammate Jacob Pebley was third in 1:59.82. The trio was the only swimmers to go under 2 minutes.
Michael Phelps, after winning the 200-meter individual medley, was ninth in 2:04.11. Phelps competed in three events on the final day.
Women 50-meter breaststroke:
Yulia Efimova, 23, of Trojan Swim Club, coming off a 16-month doping suspension, won in 30.37, second fastest time in the world this year. Jessica Hardy, 28, of Trojan Swim Club was second in 30.94. It was Efimova swept all three breaststroke events. “I am so happy to be coming back, it is so exciting, no pressure,” Efimova said.
Men 50-meter breaststroke:
Brazilian Felipe Lima, 30, of Fiat Minas, won in 27.65 ahead of Glenn Snyders in 28.11 and Chuck Katis in 28.32. SOFLO’s Jorge Murillo Valdes, 23, was fifth in 28.56.
Women 100-meter freestyle:
Olympian Femke Heemskerk, 27, of the Netherlands won in 53.64. Simone Manuel, 18, of Stanford Swimming was second in 54.29 and Allison Schmidt, 25, of North Baltimore was third in 54.85. Franklin was sixth in 55.49.
Men 100-meter freestyle:
Vladimir Morozov, 23, of Trojan Swim Club won in 49.28 just ahead of Argentine Federico Grabich in 49.50 and Brazilian Nicolas Oliveira was third in 49.60.
Men 1500-meter freestyle:
Connor Jaeger, 24, of Club Wolverine pulled away from Michael McBroom, 24, of The Woodlands to win in 14:56.43. McBroom’s time was 15:02.56 and Tunisian Ous Mellouli was third in 15:18.02. Gator Swim Club’s True Sweetser, 17, was fifth in 15:26.20.
The four-day meet was the sixth and final stop of the 2014-15 Arena Pro Swim Series.
The meet served as a final tune-up for several major meets this summer including the Pan American Games, World Championships, World University Games, USA Nationals and Los Angeles Invitational.
The top three finishers earned $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 clinched the series titles for the second consecutive year. Each won $10,000 as series points leaders. Dwyer finished with $12,200 in race earnings and 61 points. Hosszu won $18,600 and totaled 93 points. Caitlin Leverenz won the BMW lease for a year since she is a U.S. citizen. Florida alum Elizabeth Beisel finished third with $7,700 and 38.5 points. Atkinson finished with $1,800 in prize money.
1.Lotte Friis, Denmark/North Baltimore 8:25.33, 2. Sierra Schmidt, North Baltimore 8:28.91, 3. Becca Mann, North Baltimore 8:30.02; FLORIDA: 5. Andreina Pinto, Gator Swim Club 8:32.94, 21. Melissa Marinheiro, South Florida Aquatic Club 9:08.14, 24. Daniella Van den Berg, Azura Florida Aquatics 9:11.82.
200-meter individual medley:
1.Katinka Hosszu, Hungary 2:09.19, 2. Caitlin Leverenz, Cal Aquatics 2:11.52, 3. Yulia Efimova, Trojan Swim Club 2:12.91; FLORIDA: 45. Alia Atkinson, South Florida Aquatic Club 2:23.86,
1.Katinka Hosszu, Hungary 2:07.93, 2. Maya DiRado, Stanford 2:08.50, 3. Missy Franklin, Colorado Stars 2:09.84; FLORIDA: 16. Tasija Karosas, Longhorn Aquatics 2:16.36.
1.Yulia Efimova, Trojan Swim Club 30.37, 2. Jessica Hardy, Trojan Swim Club 30.94, 3. Alia Atkinson, South Florida Aquatic Club 31.01.
1.Femke Heemskerk, Netherlands 53.64, 2. Simone Manuel, Stanford 54.29, 3. Allison Schmitt, North Baltimore 54.85.
400-meter medley relay:
1.Argentina 4:12.72, 2. Mexico 4:13.05, 3. Palo Alto Stanford 4:20.55.
200-meter individual medley:
1.Michael Phelps, North Baltimore 1:59.39, 2. Josh Prenot, Cal Aquatics 2:00.43, 3. Chase Kalisz, North Baltimore 2:02.33; FLORIDA: 25. Marco Guarente, Azura Florida Aquatics 2:08.90.
1.Ryan Murphy, Cal Aquatics 1:57.06, 2. Tyler Clary, SwimMAC 1:59.32, 3. Jacob Pebley, Cal Aquatics 1:59.82; FLORIDA: 54. Timothy Wynter, South Florida Aquatic Club 2:11.74
1.Felipe Lima, Fiat Minas 27.65, 2. Glenn Snyders, Trojan Swim Club 28.11, 3. Chuck Katis, Cal Aquatics 28.32; FLORIDA: 5. Jorge Murillo Valdes, South Florida Aquatic Club 28.56, 26. Marco Guarente, Azura Florida Aquatics 30.09.
1.Vladimir Morozov, Trojan Swim Club 49.28, 2. Federico Grabich, Argentina 49.50, 3. Nicolas Oliveira, Fiat Minas 49.60; FLORIDA: 7. Dylan Carter, Trojan Swim Club 49.81, 47. Corey Main, Gator Swim Club 51.66, 67. Mitch D’Arrigo, Gator Swim Club 52.70, 84. Bayley Main, Gator Swim Club 53.31, 92. Timothy Wynter, South Florida Aquatic Club 53.57, 112. Julien Pinon, South Florida Aquatic Club 54.22.
1.Connor Jaeger, Club Wolverine 14:56.43, 2. Michael McBroom, The Woodlands 15:02.56, 3. Ous Mellouli, Trojan Swim Club 15:18.02; FLORIDA: 5. True Sweetser, Gator Swim Club 15:26.20, 7. Marcelo Acosta, Azura Florida Aquatics 15:29.22, 20. Franco Lupoli, Azura Florida Aquatics 15:53.72.
400-meter medley relay:
1.Argentina 3:45.44, 2. Mexico 3:48.27, 3. Fiat Minas 3:50.44.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com