6 Storylines to Watch, all the links you need for the 2015 Arena Pro Swim Series at Santa Clara

The 2015 Arena Pro Swim Series wraps up this weekend in sunny Santa Clara, California, and in honor of the tour’s 6th stop, we’ve pulled 6 major storylines to watch, plus links, current point standings and event orders.

2015 Arena Pro Swim Series at Santa Clara

Order of Events

Thursday (timed finals)

  • Women’s 1500 free
  • Men’s 800 free

Friday

  • 200 free
  • 100 breast
  • 50 back
  • 100 fly
  • 400 IM
  • 4×100 free relay

Saturday

  • 200 fly
  • 50 free
  • 100 back
  • 200 breast
  • 50 fly
  • 400 free
  • 4×200 free relay

Sunday

  • Women’s 800 free
  • 200 IM
  • 200 back
  • 50 breast
  • 100 free
  • Men’s 1500 free
  • 4×100 medley relay

Current Pro Swim Series Points Standings

Each Olympic-distance event yields points towards a swimmer’s season total. A win is worth 5, second place 3 and third place 1. Prize money roughly correlates to those point values, with a win earning $1000, second place $600 and third $200.

Men

  1. Conor Dwyer – 61
  2. Tyler Clary – 40
  3. Connor Jaeger – 30
  4. Ryan Lochte – 29
  5. Arkady Vyatchanin – 28

Women

  1. Katinka Hosszu – 63
  2. Caitlin Leverenz – 39
  3. Elizabeth Beisel – 38.5
  4. Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace – 37
  5. Katie Ledecky – 35

6 Storylines to Watch

1. Missy goes pro: The Santa Clara Pro Swim meet will go down as Missy Franklin‘s first competition since turning pro back in March (well, unless you count this swim-off with a former Cal football player). Franklin’s pro debut is packed with storylines, both sweeping and seemingly trivial. On the latter end of that spectrum: what will she wear? Recently ranked the 4th-most-marketable athlete in the world, Franklin has yet to sign a major suit deal, so it’s worth watching what suit she elects to wear in Santa Clara.

Probably more important on a large scale: Franklin has had a lengthy absence from competition as she wrapped up her sophomore year at the University of California. She also moved back to Colorado after the term to train with longtime club coach Todd Schmitz. Franklin doesn’t have much time for tuning up before the World Championships, so Santa Clara will be a hugely valuable trial run in long course, which Franklin hasn’t raced since Pan Pacs last August.

2. The Battle for the Beamer: The male and female winners of the Pro Swim Series earn $10,000 bonuses, and those are all but wrapped up for Conor Dwyer and Katinka Hosszu. But the top American finishers in each gender win a 1-year lease of a BMW automobile. Though Dwyer should win that for the men, the women’s race is a dead-heat, with Caitlin Leverenz sitting a half-point up on Elizabeth Beisel. Beisel led the series points early, but hasn’t scored since Orlando, while Leverenz has been slowly warming up as the tour goes on. The California-based Leverenz and the Florida-based Beisel bring a battle of the coasts to Santa Clara with a car on the line.

3. Phelps’ last dance with the big dogs: Veteran Olympian Michael Phelps will not compete at the World Championships this summer after losing his roster spot in last fall’s DUI punishment. Instead, he’ll swim at U.S. Nationals, which will still offer some solid competition, though not at the level of Worlds. That means Santa Clara might be one of Phelps’ last chances this summer to tangle with many of the world’s best swimmers. Most notably, he’ll show down with Brazilian Thiago Pereira in the 200 IM, U.S. National Champ Tom Shields in the 200 fly, and Olympic gold medalist Nathan Adrian in the 100 free.

4. Women’s 200 free: Most of these storylines focus on individual swimmers and span multiple races, but the women’s 200 free is loaded up enough to be a unique focal point all on its own. 2013 World Champ Missy Franklin is the big draw, but a couple spots back in the field is 2012 Olympic gold medalist Allison Schmitt. And on top of that, you’ve got the silver and bronze medalists at last winter’s short course world championships in Femke Heemskerk and Katinka Hosszu. All four have very real shots at medals in Kazan this summer, and Santa Clara will be an extremely entertaining prequel to that race.

5. Men’s 100 back: In the same vein, the men’s 100 back is about as loaded up as it can be. With maybe the exception of Ryan Lochte, all the big American names are here, including Olympic gold and silver medalists Matt Grevers and Nick Thoman. Looking to spoil is David Plummer, a world champs silver medalist who might have the best pure speed of anyone in the field. 19-year-old Ryan Murphy, widely hailed as the future of U.S. backstroking, is in the mix, as is Duel in the Pool hero Eugene Godsoe. And don’t sleep on Japan’s Junya Koga, who was third in Charlotte and has one of swimming’s absolute best backstroke starts.

6. Kevin Cordes makes PSS debut after roller coaster NCAA season: 2014-2015 was an odd season for Kevin Cordes, the best breaststroker in college swimming’s history. The Arizona Wildcat got a late start on competition, then went most of the fall without putting up any eye-popping times. At NCAAs, he completed an incredibly-rare four-peat of NCAA titles in the 100 breast, but the next day was upset for the 200 title in an event he redefined in short course yards.

Cordes made his first long course showing at the Mel Zajac International last month, but will face a much stiffer breaststroking crew in Santa Clara. Cordes’ progress is key for Team USA this summer – Great Britain looks like a real threat to the American medley relay crown, and the Brits have the world’s best breaststroker in Adam Peaty. USA Swimming is looking for a breaststroker who can keep things close enough with Peaty to put the strong American fly and free legs in contention. Cordes put up a good split at Pan Pacs last summer, and might be the guy the U.S. looks to again this year. How he performs this week will go a long way in determining whether he gets that chance. He’ll face Brazil’s Felipe Lima, plus Badger’s Cody Miller, who beat Cordes at Nationals last summer and is the other top candidate for the relay slot.

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a_trojan
5 years ago

a

E GAMBLE
5 years ago

What about the 100 meter free with Simone vs Missy vs Femke. Hello! I’m team Simone!

bobo gigi
Reply to  E GAMBLE
5 years ago

Team Simone too in the 100 free. 🙂
Yes. That’s the race I want to watch the most.
Simone vs Feemke

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  bobo gigi
5 years ago

+ 1

Okey Dokey
5 years ago

I wouldn’t say Missy hasn’t raced since last August, I think you mean LC only. All of the NCAA yard meets don’t count? She’s been racing plenty since August, albeit in yards.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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