With winter and the NCAA season over, and with temperatures warming up and long course season in full swim, the 2017 Atlanta PSS stop promises to be the biggest domestic meet in the big pool since last summer’s Olympic Trials.
According to the psych sheet released yesterday, over 20 members of the 2016 USA Olympic Team, plus a bevy other American and international stars, are scheduled to race at the legendary Georgia Tech Aquatic Center for next week’s meet, which begins Thursday and runs through Sunday.
Many USA swimmers are still getting into the swing of long course, as World Championship Trials are still two months away, while most of the international stars who will be in attendance at Atlanta have already punched their tickets to Budapest.
Katie Ledecky already sits 3rd in the PSS point tally, despite only competing in one of the three PSS stops so far this year, and she’ll have plenty of opportunities to rack up more points, with swims scheduled in the 100 free, 400 free, 400 IM, 200 free, and 800 free. She’ll go to head-to-head in the shorter two of those races with another Olympic gold medalist, Simone Manuel. The Stanford sprinter sits second right now in the point standings, and will also be racing the 50 free, 100 fly, and 100 back.
Canadian Penny Oleksiak, who tied with Manuel for the 100 free gold in Rio, is scheduled to swim the 100 fly, 100 free, 200 free, 50 free, 200 fly, and 100 back. Meanwhile, series point leader Melanie Margalis is slated for the 100 free, 200 breast, 200 free, 100 breast, and 200 IM.
On the men’s side, series point leader Josh Prenot is not scheduled to appear in Atlanta, but there will be no lack of star power. American sprint sensations Nathan Adrian and Anthony Ervin will be leading the way in the 50 and 100 freestyles, while middle distance guy Conor Dwyer is scheduled to make his first PSS appearance, swimming the 100/200 free and 200 IM.
California Golden Bear backstroke buds Ryan Murphy and Jacob Pebley will be both be contesting the 100/200 back, along with the 100/200 free. Breaststroke will also be a battle, with specialists Kevin Cordes, Nic Fink, Cody Miller, and Andrew Wilson all scheduled to race here, not to mention more versatile guys like Michael Andrew, Gunnar Bentz, and Chase Kalisz all racing at least one breast event too.
This meet is so deep that we really can’t go into every name or every event without this getting unduly long, so suffice it to say that the majority of the likely contenders for spots on the USA’s World Championships Team are going to be racing here, which means we should see a good preview of June’s World Championships Trials.
Here’s just a few other major names and their event lineups:
Kelsi Worrell — 100 fly, 100 free, 50 free, 200 fly, 100 back
Olivia Smoliga — 100 free, 50 free, 100 back, 200 back
Clark Smith — 800, 100 fly, 400 free, 200 free, 1500 free
Tom Shields — 100 fly, 100 free, 200 free, 200 fly
Jack Conger — 100 fly, 100 free, 200 free, 200 fly
Gunnar Bentz — 100 fly, 200 breast, 400 IM, 200 free, 200 fly, 200 IM
Tae Hwan Park — 400 free, 200 free
Joseph Schooling — 200 fly
Blake Pieroni — 100 free, 200 free, 50 free, 100 fly, 200 IM
Arkady Vyathchanin — 200 back, 100 back
Ryosuke Irie — 100 back, 200 back, 100 free, 200 IM