2017 ARENA PRO SWIM SERIES – MESA
With quite a few big names missing, and the challenges posed by swimming in an outdoor pool, most of the times from the second night of the 2017 Arena PSS stop in Mesa weren’t eye-popping. That doesn’t mean, however, that there wasn’t anything worth talking about, and here’s a few of things we noticed this evening. Here’s a few of the more interesting observations we had. Feel free to comment with you own observations and analysis of anything we didn’t mention.
#1 – Ledecky Pulls a Ye Shiwen
Almost five years ago, Chinese teenager Ye Shiwen made waves in London when she outsplit Ryan Lochte, the men’s 400 IM, en route to winning the 400 IM. Tonight, Katie Ledecky didn’t win the 400 IM, but she did outsplit the men’s winner, Chase Kalisz, over the freestyle leg, 59.50 to 59.94. Now, this isn’t entirely shocking, as Ledecky is arguably the world’s greatest freestyler at the moment, and Kalisz appeared to go out a lot harder than he normally does. Yet, it’s still not something that we see all that often, and with Ledecky essentially claiming that she’s not planning on adding the event to her international program, it’s probably not something we’ll see too often, and definitely worth noting here.
#2 – Chase Kalisz Looking Great In-Season
Speaking of Kalisz, the Olympic silver medalist is looking very strong this year. A month ago, he broke his own 400 IM SCY record at NCAAs. Tonight, he blasted a 4:11.01, which is his fastest in-season 400 IM LCM ever, by a solid half a second. Kalisz looked particularly smooth on the backstroke, which is probably his weakest stroke, and he had the fastest split in the field on that leg, which bodes well. That time ranks him #4 in the world this year, and with two months to go until the USA has its trials, and another month under World Championships, Kalisz may have his best shot yet of winning his first gold medal at a major international event.
#3 – Adrian Focusing on the 100 Free?
There’s been a lot of discussion here over the years as to whether or not sprinters can peak for both the 50 free and the 100 free at the same time. A night after blasting the 2nd-fastest time in the 100 free in the world this year, Nathan Adrian looked a bit more pedestrian in the 50 free tonight. He’s been known to throw down a sub-22 50 free in-season, so the fact that he couldn’t do that tonight, while going 48.1 last night, sure makes it look like he could opting to focus on the 100 free this season. To win the gold in Budapest, he’ll have to overcome the Aussie duo that sandwiches him in the world rankings currently, Cam McEvoy and Kyle Chalmers.