Although he was born a triplet, Jay Litherland was seeing double Friday evening at the Arena Pro Swim Series at the Indiana University Natatorium in Indianapolis.
Litherland won the men’s 200-meter freestyle and 400-meter individual medley to kick off the final weekend of racing in the series, a final tune-up ahead of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials that start June 26 in Omaha, Nebraska.
Litherland, who swims at the University of Georgia with brothers Kevin and Mick, opened the evening with a time of 1:48.41. That was 1.03 seconds ahead of runner-up Michael Klueh, whose 1:49.44 edged out the 1:49.51 posted by Anders Nielson.
The World University Games gold medalist and this year’s NCAA bronze medalist in the 400 IM, Litherland was dominant Friday evening. Second after the first 100 meters, Litherland found another gear and left the field behind, winning in a convincing 4:13.93. Second place went to Gunnar Bentz, whose 4:17.20 was 4.22 ahead of the third-place time of 4:21.38 by Ian Rainey.
Tuning up for her third Olympic Trials appearance, Melanie Margalis also made two podium appearances Friday, taking gold in the women’s 100-meter breaststroke and silver in the 200-meter freestyle. A bronze medalist in the 200-meter IM at the 2014 FINA short course worlds, the Clearwater, Florida, native covered the two lengths of the pool in 1:07.26 to take the breaststroke win, 0.69 seconds ahead of Andrea Cottrell, who came back from sixth place at the turn to take second. Annie Lazor, bronze medalist at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games, was third with a time of 1:08.16.
Earlier, Margalis was second to U.S. national team member Leah Smith in the freestyle. Smith had the slowest reaction time off the blocks, but recovered to lead at the turn and finished in 1:56.64, beating Margalis’ 1:57.33. Vien Nguyen was third in 1:58.82.
Aiming for his third Olympic Trials, Nic Fink won the men’s 100-meter breaststroke in the closest finish of the evening. The former Georgia Bulldog touched in 1:00.13, just 0.29 seconds ahead of Cody Miller at 1:00.41 and Kevin Cordes at 1:00.51.
In the women’s 100-meter butterfly, Kelsi Worrell, the reigning Pan American Games champion, won with a time of 58.12 seconds, 0.61 seconds ahead of Christina Bechtel at 58.73 seconds. Ivy Martin was third with an effort of 59.71 seconds.
Canadian Santo Condorelli won the men’s 100-meter butterfly with a time of 51.98 seconds, which was 0.47 faster than Quah Zheng Wen’s 52.45 seconds. Dylan Bosch was third, touching in 53.57 seconds.