2015 Spanish SC Nationals Meet Preview: Mireia Belmonte’s Return

The 2015 Spanish Short Course Open Nationals are upon us, as 500 athletes from over 125 clubs are slated to compete in Gijon, Spain from November 27th – 29th.  The biggest players on the Spanish swimming stage are scheduled to appear, including World Record Holder, Mireia Belmonte, competing in her first traditional competitive pool meet since the summer.

2015 Spanish Short Course Open Nationals, Gijon, Spain

  • November 27th-29th
  • Friday & Saturday: Prelims at 9:30am local (3:30am EST)/Finals at 5pm local (11am EST)
  • Sunday: Prelims at 9:30am local (3:30am EST)/Finals at 4:30pm local (10:30am EST)
  • Event Schedule
  • Psych Sheets
  • Results

One of the most dominant swimmers in the world, Mireia Belmonte, has been out of commission for the 2015 championships season, having pulled out of both Spanish Summer Nationals and the FINA World Championships in order to undergo stem cell therapy for her shoulder bursitis.

The 25-year-old came back on October 24th in her first race since the summer, winning the 5k Catalan Fund Winter Cup, a marathon-type swim event which took place in a 50m pool. That victory gave Belmonte fans a hopeful glimpse that the talented star is back to 100% health and also back to her winning ways.  In the race, Belmonte beat her time at the same event from 2013.

As further evidence as to the athlete’s status in the eyes of Coach Fred Vergnoux, Belmonte is entered in her typical monster schedule of events in Gijon.  Individually, Belmonte is scheduled to swim the 400m-800m-1500m freestyles, the 200m butterfly, as well as the 200m and 400m IM races. Incredibly, Belmonte has won these 6 events for the past 2 editions of the meet, so she’ll be looking for a 3-peat across all 6 races this year in Gijon.

As a reminder, it was this same meet last year at which Belmonte scored a shiny new short course World Record in the 1500m freestyle. Belmonte scorched the field by more than 20 seconds, registering a time of 15:19.71 to earn gold remaining as the current world record holder in the event.

Other females on the entry list include Spaniards Melani Costa and Jessica Val, as well as American Kate Mills. For Costa, she’ll represent Belmonte’s primary competition across the 400m and 800m freestyle events, having won those races in previous editions of the meet prior to Belmonte’s rise to dominance in 2012/2013. Costa is seeded at the top of the field for both the women’s 200 freestyle and 200 backstroke, having broken the meet record in the former at 2014’s version of the meet.

Val will be looking to repeat a sweep of the breaststroke events, as the C.N. SANT ANDREU swimmer is scheduled to swim the 50m, 100m and 200m events in Gijon and is Spain’s current record holder in the short course 200m breaststroke. Val wrote herself into the history books by tying Marina Garcia’s mark of 2:20.57 at last year’s meet. Val will also be competing in the 100 IM and 200 IM.

Mills, who represents SwimMAC when competing in the United States, is swimming for the club Real Canoe in this Spanish Open SC competition.  Mills will take on the primarily Spanish field in the women’s 100m and 200m IM events, as well as the 100m/200m butterfly and 100m/200m backstroke races. Mills competed last year as well, finishing 2nd in the 200 fly, while coming away with the gold in the 100 fly race in a time of 59.13.

The men’s side of the house will also see some prime time players in the form of Miguel Ortiz and Konrad Cerniak.  Ortiz, representing Real Canoe, was simply the man to beat across the sprint events at last year’s meet, claiming wins in the 100m backstroke, 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 50m butterfly and 100m IM races. On his gold medal tear, Ortiz racked up two meet records at last year’s competition, registering new meet marks of 21.43 in the 50m freestyle and 22.61 in the 50m butterfly.

Ortiz is on the entry list to swim the 50m backstroke/100m backstroke, 50m freestyle/100m freestyle, 50m butterfly and the 100m IM.  His brother, Bruno Ortiz, both of whom train in the United States at Club Wolverine Elite in Ann Arbor, is the top seed in the 100m breaststroke headed into Gijon.

Polish national, Cerniak set a new meet mark last year in the 100m butterfly, topping the field in a time of 51.02. As such, he comes into the meet as the top seed in the event. Cerniak also sits as the top seed in the men’s 100m freestyle event, holding the only incoming sub-49-second time of the field in his 48.99. Cerniak is set to battle against Miguel Ortiz in the 50m freestyle and the 50m butterfly, sitting as the 2nd-seeded swimmer in each event.

Victor Martin and Miguel Duran are also ones to watch, coming in as the top two seeds in the men’s 200m freestyle and 400m freestyle events.  Martin scored wins in both events at last year’s meet and currently holds the meet record in the shorter distance.

The meet begins on Friday, November 27th and continues through Sunday, November 29th, with prelims and finals on each day.

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About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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