2012-13 Grand Prix Series Kicks Off!
Our 2012-13 Grand Prix Series kicked off today and boy, it felt good to be back inside an aquatic center! The last time we walked into a building and got a big whiff of chlorine was in London this past summer. The time off from attending meets made us a little antsy to get back to racing- not that hanging out in the office isn’t fun- but there’s something about being on the pool deck and watching some of the best swimmers in the world compete that gets us going.
The Minneapolis Grand Prix is the first of six meets this season for us. We have two new city hosts in Orlando, Fla. and Mesa, Ariz. along with the regular cities of Austin, Texas, Charlotte, N.C. and Santa Clara, Calif. This year, we also have a new format for finals. Instead of like last year doing three heats of finals, we’ve added an extra heat for some more swimming. It should be an exciting year of racing!
Here in Minneapolis, we have 2012 Olympic gold medalists Ryan Lochte, Missy Franklin and Claire Donahue along with their U.S. teammates Jimmy Feigen, Chloe Sutton and Scott Weltz, not to mention numerous National Team members. For many of the swimmers here, it’s their first major meet since the summer and for some, it’s a little blast from the past and it feels like they are back in college since this meet is in short course yards.
Missy Franklin threw down the fastest time in the 200y free with a 1:44.83 and will enter tonight’s finals swimming the center lane. Lochte was three-tenths of a second off the fastest 200y free morning swim. Fellow National Teamers Ashley Wanland and Mike Alexandrov took the top seeds in the 100m breast with times of 1:01.93 and 54.0, respectively.
Claire Donahue looked like she didn’t take any time off after the summer, swimming a 53.19 in the 100y fly. Lochte claimed the top-seed in the men’s 100y fly with National Teamer Bobby Bollier making it into the A final tonight. Olympic silver medalist Jimmy Feigen also swam the event, but will not compete in it tonight.
Becca Mann tore up the 400y IM, posting the fastest time at 4:14. 21. The 14-year-old National Teamer also swam the 200y free, placing fifth heading into finals tonight with a time of 1:49.40. Chloe Sutton also competed in the event, finishing fourth in a time of 4:24.30. Junior Teamer Brooke Lorentzen got a second swim in the event as well, finishing tenth in a time of 4:28.81.
National Team Member David Heron also swam the 400y IM, finishing 11th with a time of 4:06.75 and earning a second swim tonight at finals which begin at 6 p.m. CT and will be live via our webcast here.
Throughout the weekend, we’ll do what we can to provide you some fun and unique behind-the-scenes access. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and check out our Facebook page as they’ll have live results and some cool photos.