| Friday, April 22, 2016Olympic gold medalists Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky and Nathan Adrian were all victorious under windy conditions Friday on night two at the Arena Pro Swim Series at Mesa.
Phelps (Baltimore, Md./North Baltimore Aquatic Club) took the lead from the start in the men’s 200-meter butterfly and held on for the win in 1 minute, 58.14 seconds. Pace Clark (Memphis, Tenn./Athens Bulldog Swim Club) was second in 1:58.71.
Ledecky (Bethesda, Md./Nation’s Capital Swim Club) picked up her second win in Mesa, touching in 4:02.15 in the women’s 400m free, ahead of Cierra Runge (Cochranville, Pa./North Baltimore Aquatic Club), who finished 4:08.08.
Adrian (Bremerton, Wash./California Aquatics) won his fourth straight 50m free in the Arena Pro Swim Series in 21.69, good for the world’s third-fastest time in 2016. Fellow Olympic gold medalists Anthony Ervin (Valencia, Calif./Trojan Swim Club) and Cullen Jones (Irvington, N.J./SwimMAC Carolina) took second and third in 22.28 and 22.30, respectively.
“It’s a bit unfortunate (the wind) had to pick up for tonight, but hopefully tomorrow’s conditions will be a little better,” Adrian said. “But again, dealing with a little adversity at an in-season meet is never a bad thing. That just really makes you appreciate the conditions that we’ll have in Omaha (for Olympic Trials).”
Jones’ club teammate Madison Kennedy (Avon, Conn./SwimMAC Carolina) took the win in the women’s 50m free in a lifetime-best 24.45, making her the third-fastest American of all-time in the event.
“It’s probably the only reason I dropped all that time, because of the wind,” said Kennedy, who broke her previous best time by about three-tenths of a second. “You never expect to swim like that, I don’t think. In a 50, that’s something I’ve been working towards for years. You work years (to drop) hundredths. Weeks for hundredths. Months for hundredths.”
Other winners Friday in Mesa included:
• Hometown favorite Breeja Larson (Mesa, Ariz./New York Athletic Club) in the women’s 200m breast in 2:26.64
• Maya DiRado (Santa Rosa, Calif./Stanford Swimming) in the women’s 100m back in 1:00.71
• Cammile Adams (Cypress, Texas/SwimMAC Carolina) in the women’s 200m fly in 2:08.59
• David Plummer (Oklahoma City, Okla.) in the men’s 100m back in 54.29
• B.J. Johnson (Seattle, Wash./Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics) in the men’s 200m breast in 2:14.16
• Michael McBroom (The Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands Swim Team) in the men’s 400m free in 3:49.04
Held at Mesa’s Skyline Aquatic Center, the long-course meters meet continues through Saturday with daily prelims at 9 a.m. Pacific followed by finals at 5 p.m.
Television coverage of the last day’s finals from Mesa will air on NBC Sports Network on next-day delay, while NBC Sports Live Extra will stream the finals live. A live webcast of the entire meet also will be available atsftest.usaswimming.org.
The Arena Pro Swim Series at Mesa is the fourth of seven stops of the 2015-16 Arena Pro Swim Series. As part of USA Swimming’s partnership with swimwear leader Arena, the circuit will feature a record $350,000 in overall prize money. Swimmers may earn awards for top-three finishes in all individual Olympic events across the series. At each meet, $1,000 will be provided for a first-place finish, $600 for second and $200 for third. In addition to the single-event prize money, the overall male and female winners of the season-long Series will earn a $10,000 bonus.
For the third consecutive season, longtime USA Swimming partner BMW will award the grand prize of a one-year lease of a BMW vehicle to the highest-scoring eligible male and female U.S. swimmers.
Male and female overall Arena Pro Swim Series champions will be honored at the conclusion of the 2015-16 series based on the number of points accumulated throughout the seven meets. Participants will be awarded points in each individual Olympic event throughout the duration of the Series (Five points for first, three for second, one point for third place).