Michael Phelps swims to gold in Southern California Grand Prix

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phelps-swimmingOlympic gold medalist Michael Phelps (Baltimore, Md.) claimed the gold in the 400y IM Sunday night at the Southern California Grand Prix in Long Beach, Calif. Phelps held off Japan’s Hidemasa Sano in the final race of the night to take home his second gold medal of the meet. Three meet records also fell Sunday night with strong performances by Katie Hoff (Towson, Md.), Japan’s Kosuke Kitajima, and Rebecca Soni (Plainsboro, N.J.).

Phelps battled Sano throughout the 400y IM but the Olympic champion was able to build a small lead in the final 50 yards of the race. Phelps finished in 3:38.42 and Sano claimed the silver in 3:39.63. Todd Patrick (Rockwood, Mo.) earned the bronze in 3:45.54.

The women’s 400y IM also saw a strong performance by both Hoff and Ariana Kukors (Auburn, Wash.). Hoff hit the wall first to win gold in a meet record-time of 4:04.39 while Kukors was second in 4:06.04. Felicia Lee (Wayne, N.J.) was third in 4:12.53.

Soni’s meet record came in the women’s 200y breast. The Olympic gold medalist finished with a time of 2:05.80. Kukors was second in 2:09.83 and Andrea Kropp (Santa Clarita, Calif.) was third in 2:12.37. The meet record also fell in the men’s 200y breast, with a time of 1:53.03 from Japan Olympic gold medalist Kosuke Kitajima. Kitajima dominated the race to take down Brendan Hansen’s meet record from 2007. Mike Alexandrov (Champaign, Ill.) was second in 1:56.33 and Paul Kornfeld (Kingwood, Texas) was third in 1:58.35.

In the women’s 200y free, Dana Vollmer (Granbury, Texas) took home the gold with a time of 1:43.29. Katie Hoff (Towson, Md.) earned the silver in 1:44.48 and Elizabeth Pelton (Ruxton, Md.) took home the bronze in 1:45.52.

Matt Grevers (Lake Forest, Ill.) won the men’s 200y free with a time of 1:34.98. The race was extremely close after the first 100 yards, but Grevers’ late surge in the final five yards gave him in the win. Todd Patrick (Rockwood, Mo.) was second in 1:35.58 and Swiss Olympian Dominik Meichtry was a close third in 1:35.61.

Grevers took home his second gold medal of the night, and fourth gold medal of the meet, with a win in the men’s 50y free. Grevers finished first in 19.58 while Japan’s Masayuki Kishida was second in 19.77 and Olympic gold medalist Jason Lezak (Irvine, Calif.) was third in 19.80. Madison Kennedy (Avon, Conn.) won the women’s 50y free in 22.41. Vollmer earned the silver in 22.50 while Kara Lynn Joyce (Ann Arbor, Mich.) took home the bronze in 22.72.

The Southern California Grand Prix concludes Monday with 12 events. The competition will include prelims and finals in the men’s and women’s 100y fly, 100y back, 100y breast, and the 200y IM. The finals session will also feature the 400y medley relay and there will be a timed final in the men’s and women’s 1650y free. Prelims begin at 9 a.m. and finals start at 4 p.m. Race footage from the meet will be broadcast LIVE on www.swimnetwork.com.

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