2010 Pan Pacs Day 2: Picks, Predictions, and Previews

Top Headlines For Day 2

1) The star-studded men’s 100 free– Nathan Adrian, Brett Hayden, Eamon Sullivan, and Cesar Cielo are all ranked in the top 10 in the World this year, and I don’t think any of them has come close to the fastest they can go. I guarantee that at least one, if not more, will go lower than 47.8 in this race.

2) First chance to see Soni- Soni is more dominant in her stroke (breaststroke) than any other swimmer in the world this year. I don’t see this as being the race she gets a WR in, although it’s possible, but she’ll certainly come close.

3) Phelps’ surprise 400 IM- Michael Phelps surprised a lot of people by entering the 400 IM at Pan-Pacs, since it was an event he said he was finished with after dominating the world for so long. After a little bit of a change of heart, Phelps now says he wants to see where he’s at with it, and consider it for World’s next year. He didn’t look too bad in his 200 fly, but he definitely fell off the pace in the last 50 meters. At double the distance, it will be interesting to see how Phelps attacks this race.

Predictions

Women’s 100 free

  1. Dana Vollmer (USA)
  2. Emily Seebhom (AUS)
  3. Natalie Coughlin (USA)

Breakdown: Vollmer missed out on the A-final yesterday, despite having the third best prelim time, and came back in the B-final with a stellar time. If she can avoid the trap again and make her way into this A-final, I think she should win it. Seebhom swam awesomely yesterday, even outside of her backstroke specialty. I’ve got Coughlin to finish third here, but if Jessica Hardy (who tends to swim very well in prelims) is the second American into the final, I’d take her there instead. Hardy has scratched the 100 breaststroke prelims that immediately follow this race, so she is definitely focused on the 100 free. The tough part for Hardy and Coughlin is that they won’t be heated together in prelims.

Men’s 100 free

  1. Cesar Cielo (BRA)
  2. Nathan Adrian (USA)
  3. Brent Hayden (CAN)

Breakdown: This is going to be the race of the day, considering how deep and star-studded the field is going to be. The good news is that all of the big-guns shouldn’t have a problem being the top-2 from their country, so we won’t have a letdown for the final like we saw in the men’s 100 back yesterday. After swimming the top time in the world in the 50 fly yesterday, I like Cielo’s chances even more here. Adrian and Hayden have looked really good this year (obviously), and I think Australian Eamon Sullivan will be saving it for the Commonwealth Games.

Women’s 100 breast

  1. Rebecca Soni (USA)
  2. Leisel Jones (AUS)
  3. Samantha Marshall (AUS)

Breakdown: Soni, Soni, Soni. The discussion about the gold can end right there. She has 9 out of the top 12 swims in the World this year. At any other time, Jones would be the easy favorite, as she has the second and third best swims in the world this year, but she just happened to be caught against a swimmer who’s on fire right now. After Jessica Hardy scratched this race to focus on the 100 free, the third spot is wide open. I think Annie Chandler and Micah Lawrence from the USA were tapered for Nationals, so I’m not sure they can drop much more time. I like Marshall to grab bronze here over teammate Sarah Katsoulis and Japan’s Satomi Suzuki.

Men’s 100 breaststroke

  1. Brenton Rickard (AUS)
  2. Kosuke Kitajima (JAP)
  3. Eric Shanteau (USA)

Breakdown: I like Rickard to start his sweep of the breaststroke events right here. He will face a tough challenge from breaststroke legend Kitajima and his protege Ryo Tateishi, but I think the Japanese swimmers’ goal meet (the Asian Games in November) is too far out for them to beat Rickard. I was high on Shanteau before Nationals, but he didn’t look very good in the 100. He’ll get a bounceback swim here to be good for bronze.

Women’s 400 IM

  1. Ariana Kukors (USA)
  2. Caitlin Leverenz (USA)
  3. Miko Takahashi

Breakdown: With no Stephanie Rice because of a shoulder injury (she’s still entered on the heat sheets, but I can’t possibly see her swimming this), Kukors and Leverenz are the clear favorites here. Leverenz won this longer IM easily at Nationals, but I suspect she was further along in her taper at that point. This will be a very tight race that could go either way, but Kukors has much more experience at this level. Takahashi and teammate Kato will battle a handful of Australians for the bronze.

Men’s 400 IM

  1. Ryan Lochte
  2. Michael Phelps
  3. Thiago Pereira

Breakdown: Phelps could take his legend even further if he managed to pull off the gold in the 400 IM, especially after claiming he was finished with the event. It will be a tall order, however, because Lochte looked incredible on Day 1. He took the 2nd seed in the 100 backstroke, which was sort of a throwaway event for him, before scratching the final, and put up the best time in the world in the 200 free. Lochte might be swimming better now than he ever has, and Phelps is not quite at his best, especially in his longer events. Pereira has already gone a 4:14.06 this season (faster than Clary), all the way back in May. That swim was done in this same pool. Without any major competition at Brazilian Nationals, we haven’t seen him with any sort of a taper yet. A big swim will be coming from him, and he might even steal the silver from Phelps–though I doubt it. If Clary can sneak in and take Phelps’ finals spot, he’ll probably medal too.

Women’s 50 back

  1. Emily Seebhom (AUS)
  2. Sophie Eddington (AUS)
  3. Rachel Bootsma (USA)

Breakdown: Emily Seebhom is going to try for another double-medal on Day 2. 50’s are always tight races, but I don’t believe that anyone will seriously challenge her over this distance. I’m picking Eddington second. Bootsma is a bit of a darkhorse here, but I don’t think that her youth and inexperience will hurt her as badly in a 50–without a turn– as it does in the 100. Also watch out for Missy Franklin, who was 4th in the 100.

Men’s 50 back

  1. Guilherme Guido (BRA)
  2. Junya Koga (JAP)
  3. Hayden Stoeckel (AUS)

Breakdown: The USA’s top 2 50 backstrokers (Matt Grevers and Randall Bal) were left home, leaving the international field to dominate this event. Guido is a sprinter all the way–he’s 30th in the world in the 100, but 6th in the 50, and this is his best chance at a medal, so I don’t think he’ll lose here. Koga is also very good, though. At Australian Nationals, the top 4 finishers were all within .07 seconds of each other. This could be a barnburner for the bronze, and don’t be surprised to see a tie there.

Women’s 800 free relay

  1. USA
  2. Australia
  3. Canada

Breakdown: The nice thing about this year’s Pan-Pac schedule is that we get a pretty good idea of where everybody is at headed into relays. After yesterday’s individual 200 free, where the Americans had the three best times (Schmitt, Vollmer, Scroggy), and Katie Hoff might have had the 4th if the rules didn’t keep her out of the finals, I have no doubt that the Americans are going to scorch the field in this race. They should obliterate the Pan-Pac mark of 4:52, and could get as low as a 4:44 or 4:45. If they were wearing the poly-suits, I’d expect this group to shatter the World Record. As it is, they should get within a few seconds anyways. The Australians should be an easy second. Third place will go to the Canadians, who have more depth to fill out a relay in this even than the Japanese.

Men’s 800 free relay

  1. USA
  2. Australia
  3. Japan

Breakdown: With Phelps leading off and Lochte anchoring both in 1:45 lows (or even maybe a 1:44 for Lochte on a relay start), the American men will dominate like their female counterparts. Vanderkaay looked fairly good in the individual yesterday, shaving about 3-tenths off of his season best. Berens didn’t look quite his best, but they should still be good enough to pull off a sizeable win. Coming into the meet, I liked Japan to finish second here, but the Aussies looked way better in the individual yesterday, so I’m now convinced that they will take silver. Shouldn’t really have been much of a surprise, considering that Japan (as I’ve mentioned previously) is shooting for November.

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2 Comments on "2010 Pan Pacs Day 2: Picks, Predictions, and Previews"

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Tough break with Rickard…

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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