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Allison Schmitt breaks pool record on opening night of Austin Grand Prix

By Bryan Flaherty

Allison Schmitt broke a 24-year-old pool record Friday night in the women’s 400 freestyle at the Austin Grand Prix, eclipsing the mark of Janet Evans in 1988 at Olympic Trials. Schmitt’s time of 4 minutes 5.90 seconds was part of the first night of finals at the Lee & Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center located at the University of Texas.

Evans, who came out of retirement earlier this year, swam in the “B” Final after reaching the Olympic Trials standard in the event during the morning session with a time of 4:17.27.

Michael Phelps won the men’s 100 butterfly, over Tyler McGill, in a time of 52.41. Jack Conger (RMSC) reached the event’s “B” Final, finishing in 14th place in a time of 55.11.

In the men’s 400 freestyle, Matt McLean put together an inspired eight lengths to win the “B” Final. His time of 3:49.88 would have been the top time in the “A” Final.

Missy Franklin got her first win of the competition in the women’s 100 freestyle (54.70), beating a strong field of former Olympians, including Schmitt, who placed second in 55.03, and Amanda Weir, who finished third in 55.21.

In the men’s 100 freestyle, Nathan Adrian (48.97) and Ricky Berens (49.13) were able to hold off South African sprint-star Gideon Louw (49.19) to take first and second. Phelps dominated the “B” Final, improving over a second from his morning swim to finish in 49.14.

For complete results from the first night of the Austin Grand Prix, click here.

Plenty to watch on night two of Austin Grand Prix; Results from Saturday’s prelims

Phelps advanced as the top seed in the men’s 400 IM in a time of 4:23.48. Ryan Lochte decided not to swim the event this weekend, but Lochte’s Florida teammate, Conor Dwyer (4:24.79), will challenge Phelps for first.

RMSC’s Charlotte Meyer (17) will appear in the “C” Final of the women’s 400 IM (5:01.21).

Look for an exciting race between Schmitt and Franklin in the women’s 200 free. Both swimmers’ best times are within half a second of each other. Franklin will also appear in the women’s 200 backstroke as the top seed.

The race of the night will probably come from the “A” Final of the men’s 200 free, where Berens (1:49.21) and McLean (1:50.08) are the top seeds, but will meet Lochte, who is looking to add events to his Olympic schedule.

Lochte was the top qualifier in the men’s 200 backstroke in 2:01.05. He’ll battle Matt Grevers and Nick Thoman, both accomplished backstrokers. Conger was the top qualifier in the “B” Final with a 2:03.10.

Finals begin at 7 p.m. USA Swimming will have a live webcast of the meet online throughout the weekend. For additional information visit www.usaswimming.org/grandprix.

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