Pan Pac Finals Day 3
Aug 23, 2014 - Nikki Dryden
With almost clear skies, Katie Ledecky did her best to warm up the crowd breaking the first world record of the meet in the 400 free. Her 3:58.37 was perfection, but the Aussie crowd hardly broke a sweat, cheering only in her last 100.
Women's 100 fly
With five women all under 58, it was a tight final, but Alicia Coutts (AUS) the 5-time Olympic medalist was no match for the field, appearing to win more convincingly than the touchpad showed. Her 57.64 is well off her own best and the best times of the year by Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) and Jeannette Ottensen-Gray (DEN) but is right on her own top time of the year. “My coach told me it was all about the finish,” said Coutts, “So I didn't breathe the last 10 metres.
It [sickness] was a bit of a blow to me mentally at the Commonwealth Games. It is not a best time, but I am glad to get the win tonight.”
Silver went to American national champ Kendyl Stewart in 57.82 (a PB) and third to CWG 100 fly bronze medalist Emma McKeon (AUS) in 57.85.
Canada's newest superstar, CWG gold medalist (57.40) Katerine Savard finished 9th overall in heats (59.15) but after removing two Americans and an extra Aussie she got herself a lane along with Audrey Lacroix. Savard struggled to find her Glasgow glow finishing fifth in 57.95, “I came in to win and I am way faster than that, I was faster at the Commonwealth Games. I wanted to win, but I will take this and work on it to get better.
I was a bit sick this week, for sure that changed something, but I am used to racing a lot and love that so [back to back meets] is not a problem.”
Men's 100 fly
After a 1-5 finish this morning (Lochte, Phelps, Tim Phillips, Tom Shields and Matthew Elis), an American was sure to win gold tonight. Only the top three swim at night in most cases (2 in the A Final and 1 in the B Final) with the stage set for yet another showdown between the fastest men on the planet: Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps. The versatility of these two is astonishing. Other than breaststroke and the 1500, these two could and have won almost every event on the program at least at the US national level. Even Lochte has posted impressive 50 free and breast times.
But it was once again Phelps who got the better of Lochte, punishing him in the final 10metres with what looked like an easy 51.29 to 51.67. After two years out of the pool Phelps finishes the season with the top 100 fly (51.17) of the year but over a second off his world record of 49.82 from '09. His 100 fly win in London was only 51.21...
Bronze went to Hirofumi Ikebata (JPN) in 52.50
Women's 400 free
Katie Ledecky continues shock and awe the competition, smashing another of Janet Evans' (yes Janet Evans circa 1989!) meet records this morning in 4:03.09 (after taking down the 800 on opening night in 8:11.35, less than 1 hour after winning the 200 free in another meet record of 1:55.74). She owned the world record in this event from this summer's US Nationals (as well as the 800 from June 8:11.00).
Tonight she swam a near perfect race, out in 27.85, then:
“I am not too effected by the [rain],” said Ledecky in her matter of fact post swim interview about her “best time.”
“It was beautiful out there tonight. I just focus on what's happening in the water, there's no rain underwater.”
Cierra Runge (USA) was “ecstatic” with her 4:04.55 silver medal win. The 18 year, 6' 4” member of Bob Bowman's training crew breathed off the start, but still managed a best time and a swim good enough for fifth fastest in the world this year (one one-hundredth ahead of Federica Pellegrini ITA and Bronte Barrett).
World number 4, Lauren Boyle (NZL), the triple bronze medalist from 2013 Worlds, CWG gold medalist in this event and silver medalist in the 800 on opening night, added another bronze with her 4:05.33 fending off Canada's Brittany MacLean in 4:05.91.
MacLean, who has had a stellar summer of swimming, posting two best times in the 800 free at both CWG and here at Pan Pacs was noticeably disappointed with her swim. “I don't mind coming 4th, that's not what stings. What stings is that I haven't come close to my morning swim from London in 2 years. I guess that's my second fastest time ever, but things were going really well and I thought I had something else in me.
“I've been working pretty hard this summer and I don't know what is my exact taper length actually, but all my coaches: Kevin Thorburn from home, my coaches at Georgia, and here at the meet Randy Bennett have been working together to make me swim fast.”
Men's 400 free
With 6 of the top 10 swimmers in the world in heats this morning, this event was fully stacked.
Korea's Taehwan Park (Olympic gold and silver medalist in this event from Beijing and London) was the two-time defending champ, winning this event at the 2006 Pan Pacs in Victoria and in 2010. He swam beautifully, winning a well played race in 3:43.15 to pip Ryan Cochrane for world number one this year. Park, who lives in Brisbane and trains with Aussie coach Michael Bohl, smiled when the on deck announcer said, “good on ya mate.”
Olympic bronze medalist and double silver medalist from last year's Worlds, Japan's Kosuke Hagino has already won the 400IM in 4:08.31, and silver in the 200 free (1:46.08) went into the final in 4th, but came out with another silver in 3:44.56 over Connor Jaeger (USA) in 3:45.31.
Canadian CWG star and Olympic double medalist Cochrane squeaked into the final in 7th after his silver 1500 swim (14:51.97) on opening night to Jaeger (14:51.79). His lane was a factor as he finished just off the medals with a 3:45.99.
“My focus was to do one meet and then another meet,” said Cochrane. “I was really happy with my 400 from CWG. I would have been happy with a '45 any other year, so to be disappointed with it now is not so bad. After this morning, I was a bit worried, it was rough. When I get to excited, or anxious or stressed, I get away from my skills. But when I calm down and focus on my skills I am exponentially better.”
Women's 200 back
After winning gold and silver in the 100 back, Aussie duo of Emily Seebohm (58.84) and Belinda Hocking (59.78) reversed the order in the 200 with Hocking winning in 2:07.49 to Seebohm's 2:07.61
Hocking won CWG gold in this event and has two bronzes from '11 and '13 Worlds and her finish was no match for Seebohm. Elizabeth Beisel who destroyed the field in the 400IM last night with her 4:36.89 win picked up bronze in 2:08.33.
Missy Franklin who has been struggling with a back injury incurred during a pre-meet back start, was fourth in 2:08.82.
Canadian double bronze medalist in this event from the CWG and last year's worlds, Hilary Caldwell and Dominique Bouchard (who had a PB in the 100 back earlier this week) were tops among 4 Canadian women in the top 9 this morning, including Brooklyn Snodgrass in the B Final (2:09.76) and Genevive Cantin. Caldwell and Bouchard finished fifth and sixth in 2:09.02 and 2:09.52, a PB for Bouchard.
Men's 200 back
With Ryan Lochte scratching to focus on the 100 fly showdown versus Phelps, it was Japan's Ryosuke Irie (who stands just 5'10”) as the clear favourite. Irie won the 100 in 53.09 and is the London silver medalist in this event, but it was American Tyler Clary who ran down Irie in the final 5 metres and threw his last stroke over to Irie's long touch 1:54.91 to 1:55.14.
After sweeping the podium in Glasgow, one Aussie sure to be left off here in Queensland. It was Mitchell Larkin and Josh Beaver in the A Final with Larkin in third at 1:55.27
Women's 4x100 free
After breaking the world record at CWG this summer, Australia's women were the clear (and crowd) favourite and the Campbell sisters didn't disappoint, starting and anchoring the squad. Cate led out in 52.89 and Bronte ahead of her older sister this time with her flying start time of 52.88 to win gold in 3:32.46.
The American's with the slowest reaction times of the final (besides Hong Kong) finished in second in 3:34.23 and Japan picked up bronze with a 3:39.06. Canada was fourth with 3:39.78.
Men's 4x100 free
The Americans were taking it from both sides with Brasil pushing them for the first 300, before the Aussies, led by local Palm Beach 100 free winner, Cam McEvoy no match for Lochte. Pulling away cleanly, McEvoy mailed it home for the Aussie win of 3:12.80 to the US's 3:13.36 and Brasil's 3:13.59. Not the fastest relay times, but by 9:15pm the rain was pouring down again (for the women's relay too), only to subside in time for fans to walk home sopping wet.
Not since 2002 have the Aussies won
both 4x100 free relays over the Americans.