Breeja Larson Shines as the Arena Grand Prix at Mesa Concludes
Olympic gold medalists Breeja Larson (Mesa, Ariz.), Katie Ledecky (Bethesda, Md.) and Tyler Clary (Riverside, Calif.) were victorious on the final night of the Arena Grand Prix at Mesa on Saturday.
Hometown favorite Larson won the 100-meter breaststroke in front of a sold-out crowd at the Skyline Aquatic Center. She touched the wall in 1:07.32 for the victory. Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson finished second in 1:08.41, while Sweden’s Rebecca Ejdervik was third in 1:09.28.
Ledecky swam the fastest time of the year in the women’s 800m free, besting the field by more than 16 seconds. The London Olympic Games gold medalist touched the wall in 8:20.64. Chole Sutton (Mission Viejo, Calif.) finished runner-up in 8:36.81, while Venezuela’s Andreina Pinto rounded out the top three with a time of 8:41.54.
Clary opened the night with a win in the men’s 200 butterfly after distancing himself in the final 50 meters. He touched the wall in 1:58.10 to win his third event of the weekend. Joseph Schooling of Singapore finished second in 1:58.83 followed by Bobby Bollier (Mission Hills, Kan.) in 1:59.80.
Cammile Adams (Cypress, Texas) touched the wall in 2:09.45 to win the women’s 200 fly. Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu was the runner-up in 2:10.24 and Kathryn McLaughlin (Lake Forest, Ill.) was third in 2:10.86.
In one of the closest races of the night, Matt Grevers (Lake Forst, Ill.) out-touched David Plummer (Oklahoma City, Okla.) to win the 100m backstroke in 54.26. Plummer was a close second in 54.28 while Eugene Godsoe (Greensboro, N.C.) finished third in 54.77.
Missy Franklin (Centennial, Colo.) topped the women’s field in the 100m back, clocking a time of 1:00.15. Rachel Bootsma (Eden Prairie, Minn.) and Elizabeth Pelton (Baltimore, Md.) placed second and third, respectively, in 1:00.54 and 1:00.84.
Michael Klueh (Evansville, Ind.) outlasted the field in the men’s 1500m free by nearly 13 seconds. He finished in 15:28.57 for the win. Chad La Tourette (Mission Viejo, Calif.) took second-place honors with a time of 15:41.28, while David Heron (Mission Viejo, Calif.) grabbed third in 15:42.84.
In the men’s 100m breast, Mike Alexandrov (Champaign, Ill.) bested the field by more than a second in the 100m breast with a time of 1:00.63. Eetu Karvonen of Finland was second in 1:01.97 and BJ Johnson (Seattle, Wash.) placed third in 1:02.68.
South Africa’s Darian Townsend won the men’s 200IM with a time of 2:01.04 edging Ryan Lochte’s (Dayton Beach, Calif.) time of 2:01.90. Zac Dalby of Australia took third-place honors with a time of 2:04.72.
Hosszu was victorious in the women’s 200IM, finishing in 2:12.68. Stina Gardell of Sweden finished second in 2:13.81, while Caitlin Leverenz (Tucson, Ariz.) took third with a time of 2:13.90.
For highlights and meet results, please visit the Arena Grand Prix at Mesa landing page.
The next stop in the 2012-2013 Arena Grand Prix Series is the May 9-12 Arena Grand Prix at Charlotte, presented by UltraSwim. The Series will conclude June 2, 2013, in Santa Clara, Calif. As part of USA Swimming’s new, eight-year partnership with Arena, the Arena Grand Prix Series will offer swimmers the opportunity to take home prize money for top finishes in all individual Olympic-distance events for each meet in the Series. An overall leaderboard for the Series can be found online here.
The Arena Grand Prix Series serves as an opportunity for swimmers to race against some of the best competition in the country as they continue their preparation for the 2013 Phillips 66 National Championships in Indianapolis, Ind., World University Games in Kazan, Russia, and the FINA World Championships in Barcelona, Spain.