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FAST Looking Strong At Santa Clara International Grand Prix
FAST sent eight swimmers to the Santa Clara International Grand Prix last weekend in Northern California. This was the last stop of the 2011-2012 Grand Prix circuit. The meet always attracts big international names from Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Japan, and Korea, just to name a few. The FAST Elite Team traveled to Santa Clara from the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs where they just completed a four week training camp. Everyone performed well, posting strong swims in their final meet before the Olympic Trials.
 
The distance swimmers kicked things off on the first day with Emily Brunemann and Michael Klueh each claiming second place in their respective events. Emily's 1500 Free time of 16:23.36 places her 11th in the world for 2012! Michael's 800 Free time of 8:01.23 was a season best and ranks 29th in the world. Lauren Morford also raced the 1500 Free taking 5th place overall. The Senior Team's Gian Berino swam a lifetime best 8:42.04 to claim 13th place.
 
Day Two was a great day for FAST's 400 Freestylers. Matt McLean (3:50.86), Klueh (3:52.30), and Tyler Clary (3:52.75) took the second, third, and fourth spots in the Men's event. Robert Margalis swam in the Consolation Final and took 17th place overall. Berino swam his second lifetime best in as many days with his finish in 4:12.60. The first place finisher was Korea's Taehwan Park who posted an incredible 3:44.96, the third fastest time in the world this year. Park is the defending Olympic Gold Medalist in this event as well as the 200 Freestyle. On the Women's side, Brunemann and Morford represented in the Consolation Final taking 14th and 16th place, respectively.
 
FAST had four more Finals swims on the third day, three of which came in the 400 IM. Clary won the Men's event in 4:15.02, slightly faster than the 4:15.88 posted by Michael Phelps on the same night at the Longhorn Aquatics Elite Invite in Austin, Texas. Clary and Phelps last faced off in the 400 IM two months ago at the Indianapolis Grand Prix and the event will be a major race to watch at the upcoming Olympic Trials. Margalis took third place with 4:21.02, just one second off of his season best which stands 58th in the world. Brunemann raced in the Women's event with a strong evening swim to take sixth place in 4:50.53, four seconds faster than her Prelims time. The fourth FAST race on the third night was Klueh's 200 Free. He took second place with a time of 1:49.53, a full second improvement from his morning time and just one second slower than his best time this season.
 
On the final day of the meet, Clary won his second event of the weekend when he took the top spot in the 200 Back. His time of 1:57.90 was just three tenths of a second slower than his season best from the Mission Viejo Meet of Champions in April, the second fastest time in the country for 2012. Clary also raced in the Final of the 200 Fly taking third place in 2:00.53 just behind teammate Klueh who claimed second with 1:59.27. Margalis raced to second place in the Consolation Final for 11th place overall. Brunemann and Morford competed in the Final of the Women's 800 Free taking 4th and 10th place, respectively.
 
Great job, FAST! Complete results from the meet can be viewed here. World rankings can be viewed here.