4 Things to Watch At The Arena Pro Swim Series Mesa Besides Michael Phelps

The Arena Pro Swim Series (formerly known as the Grand Prix series) resumes its 2014-2015 season this weekend in Mesa, Arizona, with Michael Phelps returning to competition for the first time after his serving his six month suspension for drunk driving. He will also be racing in his new MP Brand XPRESSO tech suit from Aqua Sphere and is entered to swim the 100 butterfly, 100 backstroke, 400 freestyle, 200 IM, and the 100 freestyle.

The top athletes will continue earning series points in the hunt for the overall Pro Swim Series title, which awards $10,000 and a 1-year lease of a BMW to the top male and female finishers.

Note: the BMW lease is reserved for the top American citizen in each gender, but the $10,000 prize will go to the overall points champion in each gender, regardless of nationality.

In preparation, we’ve pulled out 4 major storylines to follow during this weekend’s action.




  • W 1500 Freestyle
  • M 800 Freestyle


  • 200 Freestyle
  • 100 Breaststroke
  • 100 Butterfly
  • 400 IM
  • 4×100 Freestyle Relay


  • 200 Butterfly
  • 50 Freestyle
  • 100 Backstroke
  • 200 Breaststroke
  • 400 Freestyle
  • 4×200 Freestyle Relay


  • 200 IM
  • 200 Backstroke
  • 100 Freestyle
  • W 800 Freestyle
  • M 1500 Freestyle
  • 4×100 Medley Relay


Each individual event gives out prize money and Pro Swim Series points to the top 3 finishers in the following amounts:

  • 1st: $1000, 5 points
  • 2nd: $600, 3 points
  • 3rd: $200, 1 point

Current Pro Swim Series Standings


  1. Elizabeth Beisel – 38.5 pts
  2. Caitlin Leverenz – 29 pts
  3. Domonique Bouchard – 27 pts
  4. Katie Ledecky (A) – 20 pts
  5. Melanie Margalis – 19 pts


  1. Conor Dwyer – 38 pts
  2. Tyler Clary – 25 pts
  3. Nathan Adrian – 21 pts
  4. Connor Jaeger – 20 pts
  5. Bruno Fratus – 13 pts

4 Things to Watch At The Mesa Grand Prix Besides Michael Phelps

  1. Will Katie Ledecky Break Her World Records? After spending some time training at altitude in Colorado Springs, Katie Ledecky should have a lot of speed this weekend. Although you might expect most swimmers to be slow or lethargic after finishing a training trip, Ledecky has proven that she is very capable of swimming fast after coming down from altitude. Last summer she broke two world records at a club meet in Texas after coming down from a training trip in Colorado Springs. It seems crazy to be calling for World Records this weekend, but when you change your perspective and just think of Ledecky as a teenager shooting for a best time, it becomes more of a possibility.
  2. How will the Kelsi Worrell transition from yards to meters? Kelsi Worrell will be competing this weekend after winning multiple NCAA titles in March. Worrell became the first swimmer to break 50 seconds in the 100 yard fly, winning the NCAA Championships with a new American record. After falling ill to mono last summer and missing the opportunity to train, she could be a force to reckon with now that she has a full season of training under her belt. She time-trialed the 100 meter butterfly at the end of the 2014 Winter National Championships and beat her best time from last summer. Given the year she has had thus far, watch out this weekend. The only other record breaker from the NCAA Championships competing this weekend is Simone Manuel, but she has already proven herself in meters.
  3. The Pro Swim Series Points Race – Conor Dwyer and Elizabeth Beisel will be competing to extend their points lead this weekend. Dwyer is entered in five events, but with a 13 point advantage at the half way point, he should be okay. Beisel is entered in eight, but will have to drop at least one of them to comply with the rules. You are only allowed to swim in seven events per Pro Swim Series rules. Caitlin Leverenz picked up 11 points to Beisel’s 5 points in Orlando. Beisel and Leverenz are currently in first and second.
  4. Dwyer Vs Lochte 200 Freestyle Battle – One of America’s weakest events in the past few years has been the 200 freestyle. Both Conor Dwyer and Ryan Lochte are seeded at 1:45’s, and although it is unlikely we will see a 1:45 this weekend, it will be great to watch these two horses push the pace. American swimming needs to see more of these races happening during the season if they want to be with or ahead of the rest of the world when it comes time for the Championship season.

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“Worrell became the first swimmer to break 50 seconds in the 100 yard fly, winning the NCAA Championships with a new American record.”
I think you mean first woman 😉


1) No. I think she’s under 15:40 but not challenging the WR.

2) Very well. 58 high here would be very promising.

3) eh. Whatever. I know it’s great and important for the pros to make money but for me as a fan… it doesn’t do much for me. That’s probably not a good thing as we’ve got to find something to draw interest and this is something and I’ve got no better solution… but I can’t force myself to be interested.

4) Lochte this weekend. Boy, oh boy we need some folks to step up in this race. As worried as I am about our 4x100m relay, I’m equally so about this one. Doesn’t look good.

agree about the men’s freestyle relays. with MP officially about of the worlds only lochte and dywer can reliably swim 145 legs in the 4 x 2 free. mclean and weiss haven’t done much since last summer while youngquist and malone did not do that great at the most recent ncaa meet . from the rest of the roster clary could help out since he swam a great leg at the SCM worlds, but not much beyond that. the only saving grace for both freestyle relays for the us are the fact that the other countries havent swam that great at their selection meets either.


Malone’s 500 was solid, and while he failed to make individual finals in the 200 free, it might’ve been that extra rest that allowed him to have the fastest split of anyone in the 4×200.


Crazy after being so dominant in the 4×200 in 2008 and 2012…

About Tony Carroll

Tony Carroll

The writer formerly known as "Troy Gennaro", better known as Tony Carroll, has been working with SwimSwam since April of 2013. Tony grew up in northern Indiana and started swimming in 2003 when his dad forced him to join the local swim team. Reluctantly, he joined on the condition that …

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