By Sharon Robb
April 13, 2017—Luke Lezotte, Max Asnis and Rafael Rodriguez led South Florida Aquatic Club on opening day of the Arena Pro Swim Series on Thursday at Skyline Aquatic Center in Mesa, Arizona.
Lezotte swam a best time in the 100-meter freestyle in 55.16, lowering his previous best of 56.28. His splits were 25.45 and 29.71.
“It was great to swim a best time, I had fun,” Lezotte said. “I felt pretty good. I definitely think being at a big meet played a big part in dropping that second.
“I felt pretty good, definitely better than normal. It was definitely my underwater dolphin kick that helped me swim faster.”
Lezotte, who competed in the USA Swimming Junior Nationals, said the Mesa meet is the biggest meet he has competed in since he gets the chance to swim against the nation’s best.
“I am happy to be here to watch them and learn from them,” Lezotte said. “I definitely think it will benefit.”
Lezotte has one event left, the 50-meter freestyle on Friday.
Rodriguez turned in a solid swim in the 400-meter freestyle with his first “D” final appearance to finish 29th in 4:14.66. He swam faster in the morning. Ricardo Roche finished the 400-meter freestyle in 4:21.01.
Asnis swam well in the 100-meter butterfly in 59.48. His splits were 28.40 and 31.08.
In early tuneup races, Kathleen Golding swam the 100-meter freestyle in 59.32 and 100-meter butterfly in 1:04.52.
Kelley Heron swam 1:01.41 in the 100-meter freestyle.
SOFLO girls will get their chance to shine in Day Two action in Friday.
In Thursday night’s finals:
Women’s 100-meter freestyle: Olympic champion Simone Manuel, racing in her first long course meet since the 2016 Rio Olympics, won in 53.66, seventh fastest time in the world this year. Manuel was coming off her American record performance at the NCAA Championships.
Men’s 100-meter freestyle: Nathan Adrian won in 48.18 ahead of Joao De Lucca in 49.67.
Women’s 200-meter breaststroke: Katie Meili won in 2:25.67 ahead of St. Petersburg’s Melanie Margalis in 2:25.71.
Men’s 200-meter breaststroke: Olympian Josh Prenot won in 2:10.47, nearly a second ahead of top seed Chase Kalisz.
Women’s 100-meter butterfly: First-year pro Kelsi Worrell won in 58.60.
Men’s 100-meter butterfly: The top seven in finals all went under 54 seconds with Tom Shields winning in 52.42.
Women’s 400-meter freestyle: Olympic gold medalist and world record holder Katie Ledecky, coming off her freshman season at Stanford, won in a world-leading time of 4:01.01.
Men’s 400-meter freestyle: Louisville freshman Marcelo Acosta of El Salvador and Azura won in 3:53.38.
Friday’s events are: 200-meter butterfly, 50-meter freestyle, 100-meter backstroke, 200-meter breaststroke and 400-meter freestyle.
In the 50-meter freestyle, Olympian and expectant mother Dana Vollmer will compete while she is 26 weeks pregnant. The 29-year-old is due to give birth to her second child in July. “I thought it would be fun,” she said.
The meet features 500 swimmers including Olympic, national and collegiate champions. Prize money is being awarded. First place will earn $500, second place $300 and third place $100.
Prelims are 9 a.m. and finals at 5 p.m. MST. The meet, both prelims and finals, will be live streamed at usaswimming.org.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com