Despite sub-par performances in earlier long-course meets this year, Michael Phelps was greeted with the cheering he is accustomed to at the Indianapolis Grand Prix last weekend.
This time around, he really gave fans who came to Indiana University Natatorium something to cheer for.
Phelps, one of the few athletes that holds all-national and international records for multiple events, won the men’s 100 fly with a time of 52.23. He also won the 400-meter individual medley with a time of 4:12.51, setting a new meet record.
Meanwhile, the loaded field in the women’s 100-meter freestyle provided a preview of an intense race to watch come the Olympic Trials in June.
Dana Vollmer came away with the victory, touching in at 54.21, followed by Allison Schmitt and teenager Missy Franklin.
Jessica Hardy finished in the seventh slot behind Cal Aquatic’s Liv Jensen. With these women leading their fields in high school, college and professional swimming, it will be interesting to see which two make the cut.
The 200-meter freestyle showed a similar lineup that ended with Schmitt setting a meet record with a 1:56.79 finish.
Trailing her were Franklin, Vollmer and Katie Hoff. Hoff had the best preliminary time of the meet but missed the podium, coming fourth.
Hoff had a better race against Schmitt in the women’s 400-meter freestyle, swimming stroke-to-stroke in the final laps. She led for most of the race but Schmitt was the winner at 4:06.94. Hoff finished in a time of 4:07.00.
Tyler Clary continued his winning streak in the men’s 400-meter freestyle with a time of 3:49.91. He also swam well in the 200 IM and 200 butterfly races.
The 200-meter breaststroke finals had long-shot and comeback hopefuls amongst the competitors: Amanda Beard (fifth) finished ahead of Arianna Kukors (seventh).
Training hard to make it back in the Olympic picture was Ed Moses, who made it to the A final and placed seventh.
With over two months left to train, these swimmers still have time to make some progress before the trials.
In the 100-meter butterfly, Dana Vollmer won the women’s event ahead of Claire Donahue and Caitlin Leverenz. Vollmer’s qualifying time was even more impressive than her final time, setting a meet record at 57.58. Her final time was 57.73.
Michael Phelps, one of the few athletes that holds all-national and international records for multiple events, won the men’s 100 fly with a time of 52.23. He also won the 400-meter individual medley with a time of 4:12.51, setting a new meet record.
Madison Kennedy swam an impressive 50 freestyle and beat out favorites Jessica Hardy and Dana Vollmer, who each made the consolation final. Madison’s meet record time of 24.99 was followed by Christine Magnuson’s 25.17.
Nathan Adrian shocked viewers this weekend for reasons besides his fast swimming.
The 6’6” sprinter split the back of his FS3 suit right before coming off the blocks in the 100-meter freestyle.
Despite the suit malfunction, he was able to put in a time of 48.62, just off his seed time of 48.05, which set a meet record.
Adrian also went on to win and set a meet record in the 50 free with a clean swim without incident. He finished with a time of 21.88.
Also causing a stir in the 100 free was Phelps, who placed second trailing Adrian by .12 seconds.
Notables not placing among the leaderboard were Ryan Lochte and 50 free American record holder Cullen Jones, neither which made the A final.
Other winners of the meet were Jessica Hardy and Marcus Titus (100-meter breaststroke), Katinka Hosszu and Bobby Bollier (200-meter butterfly), and Missy Franklin and Nick Thoman (100-meter backstroke).
The 200-meter individual medley saw Caitlin Leverenz and Michael Phelps top the podium. Ryan Lochte won his sole medal of the meet, placing third against Phelps.
Lochte struggled throughout, failing to qualify for championship finals in his usual events. He left the meet winning two consolation finals and one bronze medal.
With only two meets left in the Grand Prix series before Olympic trials in June, athletes know the time to make changes is now or never.