2019 Los Angeles Invite
- July 11th-14th, 2019
- 50m (LCM) pool
- Uytengsu Aquatic Center, USC, Los Angeles, California
- Psych sheet
The 2019 Los Angeles Invite, hosted at USC’s outdoor 50 meter pool, won’t have some of the big names that it’s had in the past. With the World University Games just wrapping up, and the World Championships creeping up quickly, many of the superstars that sometimes attend this meet (both American and otherwise) aren’t in attendance this year. Last year, for example, Anthony Ervin, Conor Dwyer, Katinka Hosszu, and Yufei Zhang were all in attendance.
But, Nationals are still about 3 weeks away, as are the Pan American Games, making this a perfect last prelims/finals tuneup meet for the swimmers who are not going to Worlds; and the region has plenty of depth to still make this a meet worth following.
Our favorites storyline for this weekend is that of KT Kustritz. She’s entered in 4 events, but the one we’re watching most closely is the 100 breaststroke. She’s the 10th seed, and is racing against swimmers like Canadian Faith Knelson (1:07.91), and Allie Raab (1:08.97) of Stanford. So why is our favorite storyline about a 10th seed? Because she’s the fastest 100 breaststroker in NCAA Division III history, and she’s spending the summer training with the country’s 2nd-best women’s team from last season: Cal.
For those who haven’t kept up, in 2018 the rising Denison senior swam a 59.77 in the 100 breaststroke at NCAAs and became the first NCAA Division III swimmer to break 1 minute in that event. She also holds the NCAA Division II Championship Record in 2:12.27. This storyline is very similar to that of another former D3 breaststroke star: Andrew Wilson. While Kustritz (as far as we know) isn’t sitting out a season like Wilson did, she is taking some time to train with one of the best programs in the country in a windup for the Olympic Games – Wilson spent a year training with Texas before the 2016 Trials, and is now a regular on US international teams.
While Kustritz has swum a few long course races since moving to California for the summer, her times haven’t been all that noteworthy, and with Summer Nationals looming, it feels like now is the time where we’ll start to see some time drops if “the big one” is coming later this summer.
Other Names to Look For at the LA Invite:
- SoCal local Dylan Carter, who represents Trinidad & Tobago internationally, is entered in the 100 free and 100 back this weekend. He leaves for South Korea and the World Championships next week.
- Kendyl Stewart is a part of the American team that will race at the Pan American Games, which doesn’t begin until August 6th in Lima, Peru. This weekend, she’s entered in her bread-and-butter events: the 50 free, the 100 free, and the 100 fly. Individually, she’s just swimming the 100 fly at the Pan American Games.
- Tom Shields will join Stewart at those Pan American Games, where he’ll swim the 100 fly and 200 fly. As the 2016 Olympic gold medalist continues to work to rebuild his career after missing the primary long course international teams in each of the last 2 years, Lima will be a crucial meet for him. This weekend, he’s entered in the 100 fly, 200 fly, 100 free, and 200 free. He’s a top seed in the 100 fly, while in the 200 fly he’ll have a battle with Brendan Meyer (1:57.65) and Puerto Rico National Teamer Jarod Arroyo.
- Other members of David Marsh’s (mostly) pro Team Elite will be there too: Ali DeLoof and Alyssa Marsh.
- The 3-time defending NCAA Champion Stanford Cardinal women have brought a group down the coast for the meet. That inludes swimmers like USA Swimming National Junior Team member Lucie Nordmann, Erin Voss, Allie Szekely, and Hannah Kukurugya. A few of the Stanford men, including Matthew Hirschberger and Johannes Calloni, will be there as well.
- From the rival Cal Bears, Cassidy Bayer, Isabel Ivey, and Keaton Blovad all have high seeds.
- Joining the aforementioned Faith Knelson from the Island Swimming Club in Canada, one of that country’s top programs, will be Danielle Hanus and Jade Hannah.
- Kasia Wilk, a former USC Trojan, now training in Las Vegas, will swim at the meet. She’s the new Polish Record holder in the 50 and frees, and at 27-years old is seeing a full-scale revival of her career.