The following is a press release from USA Swimming. SwimSwam will have its own full preview once psych sheets are released.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – With Olympic gold medalist and Daytona Beach, Fla., native Ryan Lochte headlining the expected field, USA Swimming’s 2013-14 Arena Grand Prix Series reaches the midway point next week with the Arena Grand Prix at Orlando, slated for Feb. 13-15 at the YMCA Aquatic Center.
The 2013 FINA Athlete of the Year for swimming and an 11-time Olympic Games medalist, Lochte is expected to compete for the first time since suffering a knee injury late last year.
In addition to Lochte, top athletes expected to swim in Orlando include: fellow Olympic medalists Tyler Clary (Riverside, Calif.), Jimmy Feigen (San Antonio, Texas), Cullen Jones (Irvington, N.J.), Nick Thoman (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Caitlin Leverenz (Tucson, Ariz.); as well as women’s Arena Grand Prix Series leader Megan Romano (Jacksonville, Fla.).
The more than 500 athletes expected to compete include nearly 20 members of the USA Swimming National Team.
The action begins Thursday, Feb. 13 and continues through Saturday, Feb. 15 with prelims at 9 a.m. ET followed by finals at 6 p.m. ET. Tickets are required for each session and can be pre-ordered or purchased at the pool. Visit orlandograndprix.org for ticket details.
As part of USA Swimming’s partnership with Arena, the Arena Grand Prix Series will offer swimmers the opportunity to take home prize money for top finishes in all individual Olympic-distance events. In total, $150,000 in prize money is available to be distributed over the course of the six-meet series. At each meet, $500 will be awarded for a first-place finish, $300 for second and $100 for third in all individual events. Arena is serving as the title sponsor for the Arena Grand Prix Series for the second straight year.
In addition to the prize money, swimmers will compete for a Series grand prize from BMW. For the first time in the history of the Series, BMW will give the highest-scoring eligible male and female U.S. swimmer a one-year lease of a BMW ActiveHybrid 3 Series.
Male and female overall Arena Grand Prix Series champions will be honored at the conclusion of the 2013-14 series based on the number of points accumulated throughout the six meets. Participants will be awarded points in each individual Olympic event throughout the duration of the Series (Five points for first, three for second, one point for third place).
Conor Dwyer (Winnetka, Ill.) and France’s Yannick Agnel currently top the men’s Arena Grand Prix Series standings after two of six meets with 27 points each, while Romano leads the women’s standings with 24.5 points. Click here for a complete leaderboard and additional series information.
About USA Swimming
As the National Governing Body for the sport of swimming in the United States, USA Swimming is a 400,000-member service organization that promotes the culture of swimming by creating opportunities for swimmers and coaches of all backgrounds to participate and advance in the sport through clubs, events and education. Our membership is comprised of swimmers from the age group level to the Olympic Team, as well as coaches and volunteers. USA Swimming is responsible for selecting and training teams for international competition including the Olympic Games, and strives to serve the sport through its core objectives: Build the base, Promote the sport, Achieve competitive success. For more information, visitwww.usaswimming.org.