Kathleen Baker Surges to Mare Nostrum Series Record; Ruck Wins Twice

By Dan D’Addona.

Kathleen Baker had a breakout prelims at the Mare Nostrum Series in Barcelona on Wednesday.

In the 100 backstroke prelims, she finished in 59.47, a strong race for her firs major long-course meet of the season.

She did even better in the finals, winning the 100 back in a blistering 58.77, setting a Mare Nostrum Series record.

Denmark’s Mie Nielsen was second in 59.57, followed by Russia’s Anastasia Fesikova (59.51) and Kira Toussaint (1:00.02) of the Netherlands.

Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu finished eighth in 1:08.59.

Missy Franklin scratched the 100 back to focus on the 200 free, where she finished fifth in 1:59.25.

Taylor Ruck won the 200 free in 1:56.06. It was her second victory of the day. It lead a 1-2-3 Canada sweep with Rebecca Smith (1:57.72) and Kayla Noelle Sanchez (1:58.49). Hosszu was seventh in 2:04.39 and Rikako Ikee was eighth (2:07.56).

Men’s 100 Breast

Baker wasn’t the only record on the day. Japan’s Yasuhiro Koseki won the 100 breast in 59.01, setting a series record.

Russia’s Anton Chupkov was second (59.92), followed by Arno Kamminga (1:00.08) of the Netherlands.

Women’s 100 Free

Canada’s Taylor Ruck got off to a fast start in Barcelona, winning the 50 free in 24.68.

Kim Busch of the Netherlands was second in 24.95, followed by Russia’s Maria Kameneva (25.04) and Canada’s Kayla Noelle Sanchez (25.09). Grace Ariola of the U.S. was seventh in 25.44.

Men’s 50 Back

Michael Andrew started the Barcelona stop of the Mare Nostrum series off in strong fashion, winning the 50 back.

The U.S. swimmer finished in 24.70 to finish ahead of Australia’s Benjamin Treffers (25.11) and Ryan Held (25.25) of the U.S.

Women’s 800 Free

Erica Sullivan won the women’s 800 free in 8:25.51. The U.S. swimmer finished nearly two seconds ahead of Austria’s Marlene Kahler (8:37.63) and Italy’s Giulia Salin (8:37.80).

Women’s 50 Breast

Russia’s Yuliya Efimova continued to dominate the breaststroke events, winning the 50 in 30.43.

U.S. Olympians Molly Hannis (30.75) and Katie Meili (31.15), finished second and third, respectively.

Men’s 200 IM

Gunnar Bentz of the U.S. surged to victory in the 200 IM, finishing in 2:00.69.

Hungary’s David Verraszto was second in 2:021.23, followed by Russia’s Kirill Prigoda (2:01.61).

Men’s 50 Fly

Andriy Govorov of the Ukraine won the 50 fly in 23.22, holding off Russia’s Oleg Kostin (23.42), Yauhen Tsurkin (23.52) of Belarus and Michael Andrew (23.72).

Women’s 400 IM

Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu won the 400 IM in 4:38.32, holding off compatriot Zsuzsanna Jakabos (4:40.12).

Viktoria Zeynep Gunes of Turkey was third at 4:40.41 and Brooke Forde of the U.S. finished fourth in 4:43.87.

Men’s 100 Free

Japan’s Katsumi Nakamura (48.79) and Shinri Shioura (48.98) went 1-2 in the 100 free.

Brazil’s Bruno Fratus was third (49.21). Held was eighth at 49.97.

Women’s 200 Breast

Japan’s Kanako Watanabe continued her strong week by winning the 200 breast in 2:23.09.

Jessica Vall Montero was second (2:25.03), followed by Daria Chikunova (2:25.04). Efimova was sixth (2:25.53).

Men’s 200 Fly

Hungary’s Bence Biczo won the 200 butterfly in 1:56.70, barely holding off Denmark’s Viktor Bromer (1:56.92).

Japan’s Nao Horomura was third in 1:57.65.

Women’s 100 Free

Japan’s Rikako Ikee returned to the top, winning the 100 butterfly in 56.40.

Russia’s Svetlana Chimrova was second in 57.23, followed by Louise Hansson in 58.96.

Men’s 400 Free

Japan’s Naito Ehara won the 400 free to close the day’s session. He finished in 3:48.39.

Russia’s Alexander Krasnykh took second in 3:48.65, followed by Norway’s Henrik Christiansen (3:50.10).

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