2013 Worlds Trials Previews: Will Cordes’ Short Course Success Transfer to LCM?

Olivier Poirier-Leroy is a former National level swimmer from the beautiful west coast of BC. In feeding his passion for swimming, he has developed YourSwimBook.com: a comprehensive tool that designed for swimmers to track and analyze their results.

Event #12 in the program, but #1 in your hearts, the men’s 200m breaststroke will provide an opportunity for some sort-of fresh faces to take the places of American record holder Eric Shanteau and Brendan Hansen who are both either retired, or taking an extended leave of absence.

I say sort-of, because, well, these guys aren’t young bucks. Nowhere is it more apparent that swimmers are competing later in their years then the mens 200m breaststroke. With 4 of the 5 fastest seed times from swimmers 25 and up, it is a nice reminder that swimming competitively at an elite level, while not nearly as lucrative as playing one of the 4 major North American sports, is still possible as you  approach and surpass 30.

The Favorite

Having said that, we’ll start off with the youngest of the top 5 seeds, Tucson Ford Dealers Kevin Cordes. Even though he is the 4th fastest seed Cordes has been on hot, molten fire this year. He did work in the 100 yard breaststroke, breaking the NCAA, American and US Open records. And more appropriately for this event, took the 1:50 mark out for a steak dinner and never called it back again, swimming a 1:48.68 at NCAA Champs. At Santa Clara he won the event easily, swimming the 7th fastest time in the world this year, and also just a few hundredths of a second off his best time.

The Challengers

Top seed Scott Weltz took some time off after the Olympics, where he qualified for the team ahead of favorites Shanteau and Hansen. He went on to place just outside of the medals in London with a time of 2:09.02. He hasn’t been competing in the event all that much this year, most recently swimming a 2:15 at Santa Clara. He has been suffering through some injuries this season, and a few weeks ago found out he is suffering from hypothyroidism, a condition that has been leaving him fatigued and listless. Whether he can leverage his underdog status from 2012 Trials to this year will be a storyline to watch.

Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics BJ Johnson is coming in as the third ranked seed. At the Austin Grand Prix in January he swam a very strong 2:13.02, making him the second fastest American this year.

Fellow underdoggie from 2012, and another athlete under the Tuscon Ford Dealers banner, Clark Burckle looks to build on his 6th place finish in London. He placed 5th in Santa Clara with a time of 2:14.91, although he was faster in placing second in Austin just behind Johnson with a 2:13.36. He was just behind Weltz last year in their combined upset Olympic team qualification, eventually placing 6th in London with a 2:09.11.

Trojan Mike Alexandrov is focused mainly on the 100 for World Trials, but will still be a force to be reckoned with in the longer breaststroke. He placed just behind both Burckle and Johnson in Austin, and it will interesting to see if he can parlay some of his newfound 100m speed, and improve on his best time of 2:11.62.

Three time defending Big 10 champ in this event, Indiana University’s Cody Miller is coming off a successful collegiate season, setting a new Big 10 record along the way. His time of 1:51.03 would have been an NCAA record if it were not for the ridiculous season that Cordes had. Like Miller, Cal’s Josh Prenot will also be swimming the medley events at Trials. The 2:14.21 he swam at the TYR Fran Crippen Memorial is two seconds shy off his best time. With a time like that this close to Trials it would be unsurprising to see him in the hunt for that second spot to Barcelona.

While Florida Gator Matthew Elliott is coming in as the 7th fastest seed with a 2:12.00 from Olympic Trials last year, he hasn’t swam the event a lot long course this year, the fastest being a 2:23.03 in Charlotte. Georgia Bulldog and SEC champ Nicolas Fink swam a season best of 2:15.58 at Mare Nostrum just a couple weeks ago, just over a second slower than his personal best of 2:13.89. His seed time is just two-tenths of a second behind Elliott at 2:12.11.

NBAC’s Chase Kalisz has a best time of 2:14.51 leading into this event. While he hasn’t shown the same type of progression this year as in his 400IM, he did swim a bolt-like 100m breast split in the 400 IM at Santa Clara, showing that he is due for a drop in this event.

And now for the picks…

  Olivier’s picks Braden’s picks Morgan’s picks
1. Kevin Cordes, Tuscon Ford, 2:10.92 Kevin Cordes, Tuscon Ford, 2:10.92 Kevin Cordes, Tuscon Ford, 2:10.92
2. BJ Johnson, Stanford Swimming, 2:10.87 Clark Burckle, Tuscon Ford, 2:09.11 Scott Weltz, Marin Pirates, 2:08.99
3. Clark Burckle, Tuscon Ford, 2:09.11 Scott Weltz, Marin Pirates, 2:08.99 BJ Johnson, Stanford Swimming, 2:10.87
4. Scott Weltz, Marin Pirates, 2:08.99 BJ Johnson, Stanford Swimming, 2:10.87 Clark Burckle, Tuscon Ford, 2:09.11
5. Josh Prenot, Cal, 2:12.21 Mike Alexandrov, Trojan Swim Club, 2:11.62 Cody Miller, Indiana, 2:11.72,
6. Mike Alexandrov, Trojan Swim Club, 2:11.62 Josh Prenot, Cal, 2:12.21 Josh Prenot, Cal, 2:12.21
7. Chase Kalisz, NBAC, 2:14.13 Matt Elliott, Peoria Area, 2:12.00 Chase Kalisz, NBAC, 2:14.13
8. Matt Elliott, Peoria Area, 2:12.00 Chase Kalisz, NBAC, 2:14.13 Carl Mickelson, Tuscon Ford, 2:14.07


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Lane Four
10 years ago

I just want to see if Kevin’s yards talent will translate into meters as well. I have witnessed far too many incredible yards swimmers who were unable to put it up in meters. I know Kevin is a great meters swimmers off of his trials performance last year; but swimming a 1:48 yards puts the pressure on him to follow up with something special in meters.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater
10 years ago

Morgan, did you get some inspiration in your writing from my last comment in a different article? Haha Dorothy Mantooth

jean Michel
10 years ago

Kevin Cordes is my favorite . For second spot , hard to say in advance . Good luck guys

bobo gigi
10 years ago

Kevin Cordes et Clark Burckle for the qualification. But very open for the second spot. BJ Johnson has a chance. Josh Prenot could surprise. Weird not to see Andrew Seliskar in this race after his NAG records this season. And also weird not to see Zachary Gunn. I remember him with a special technique and he was very promising 2 or 3 years ago. Any news about him? Among the young names I will watch Carsten Vissering.

About Olivier Poirier-Leroy

Olivier Poirier-Leroy

Olivier Poirier-Leroy has been involved in competitive swimming for most of his life. Starting off at the age of 6 he was thrown in the water at the local pool for swim lessons and since then has never wanted to get out. A nationally top ranked age grouper as both a …

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