CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Ryan Lochte tossed aside the swimming brief and got down to business Sunday.
Switching to a regular racing suit for the first time in three days of competition, Lochte salvaged an otherwise underwhelming weekend performance by winning the 200 IM and setting a meet record at the Charlotte Grand Prix.
Lochte had failed to earn a medal in his other five events wearing a brief, but closed strong by beating Conor Dwyer and Eric Shanteau with a time of 1 minute, 57.63 seconds. It was a pleasing finish for Lochte, who failed to qualify for the finals of the 100-meter freestyle earlier in the day after placing 33rd in the preliminaries.
In other men's events, Ryan Murphy won the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:58.09 and Chad La Tourette captured the 1,500 freestyle in 15:06.73.
The featured women's race was the 100-meter freestyle and it was an incredibly tight battle with Lia Neal edging Jessica Hardy by one one-hundredth of a second, finishing in 54.35. Natalie Coughlin, an 11-time Olympic medalist who hopes to become the most decorated female swimmer in history this summer at the London Games, finished third at 54.59.
In the women's 200 IM, Caitlin Leverenz defeated Ariana Kukors and established a meet record with a 2:10.25, beating her time in the preliminaries by more than four seconds. Elizabeth Pelton won the 200 backstroke in 2:09.41 and 15-year-old Kathleen Ledecky won the 800 freestyle in a meet record 8:25.85, the fastest time in the world this year.