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Kennedy takes close second in 50 free at Grand Prix in Santa Clara

Avon's Madison Kennedy

Avon’s Madison Kennedy

SANTA CLARA, Calif., June 21 – Avon’s Madison Kennedy picked up a pair of top 10 finishes at the Arena Grand Prix at Santa Clara this weekend. Kennedy was second in the 50 meter freestyle and ninth in the 100 meter freestyle in a competitive meet.

Numerous Olympic swimmers, NCAA veterans, collegiate and high school swimmers were in California for the meet, the sixth and final stop of USA Swimming’s 2013-14 Arena Grand Prix series.

It is also an indicator on where the swimmers stand with the 2014 Phillips 66 U.S. national championship meet approaching on August 6-10 in Irvine, California. It’s a key meet that will determine who represents the U.S. in several upcoming international events.

In the 50 free, Kennedy was just out-touched at the finish by Cheyenne Coffman, a swimmer from Fresno State. Coffman won the race in personal-best time of 25.12 seconds, followed closely by Kennedy in 25.23. Third was Amy Bilquist, 16, with a personal-best time of 25.32 seconds.

Kennedy qualified for the final with a time of 25.59 seconds, winning her qualifying heat.

Kennedy still owns the fastest time in the 50 meters swum by an American this season. Her personal-best time of 24.78 seconds won the Charlotte Grand Prix and is the 13th best time in the world this year.

In the 100 freestyle, Kennedy qualified for the final with a time of 55.88. In the final, she swam her first 50 meters in 26.79 seconds and was in fourth place but the field got away from her in the second leg. She finished ninth with a time of 55.88 seconds. Simone Manuel prevailed in a dual with Olympic medalist Missy Franklin, winning the race by 0.09 of a second in 54.44 seconds.

NOTE: The U.S. national championship meet will be an event where swimmers are selected to the U.S. teams that will compete at the 2014 Pan Pacific championships in Australia later in August and the 2015 World Championships in Kazaan, Russia. Performances from this meet will also help USA Swimming select teams for the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto and the 2015 World University Games in South Korea.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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