American Record on Watch at 2013 Charlotte Grand Prix (Psych Sheets & Preview)

  22 Braden Keith | May 06th, 2013 | Arena Pro Swim Series, Featured, News, Previews & Recaps

Be sure to watch the 200 fly at this weekend’s UltraSwim, which is sponsored by SwimSwam!

The psych sheets are out for the 2013 Charlotte UltraSwim Grand Prix, the 5th of 6 stops in the 2013 USA Swimming Grand Prix Series.

See the psych sheets here.
For more information, including ticket sales, see the official meet website.

My initial reaction is that this is the highest-enrolled stop of this year’s Grand Prix series, that has a number of entry-control measures in place. Some races still are in the 40-50 swimmer sweet spot, but others have ballooned, especially the freestyle races. For example, the men’s 200 free has 132 entries, and the women’s race has 99.

This seems to be largely the effect of college swimmers really starting to take the meet over. The NCAA season was over in time for the Mesa Grand Prix, but being so shortly after the championship meet, there wasn’t a huge influx of post-secondary entries (though the effect was definitely noticeable.) This meet in North Carolina, which is so close to so many Division I college programs, is loaded with college athletes.

The standings for the series, newly separated into male and female categories this year, sees Missy Franklin running away with the women’s title. Even without competing at this meet due to “being a high school senior” (prom, finals, graduation, etc.), she should still be in the lead when Santa Clara rolls around, where Franklin is again expected to join the series.

The men’s title is much more up-for-grabs. Tyler Clary and Ryan Lochte, partially by virtue of their dedication to the series, are separated by just four points, which is the equivalent of one second and one third place finish.

Clary is entered in the 200 free, the 400 IM, the 200 fly, the 100 back, the 200 back, and the 200 IM. That won’t be quite the same cakewalk as it was in Mesa, with the presence of fellow Olympians like Marcin Cieslak, and Joseph Schooling, as well as those who just missed like Chase Kalisz, to challenge him in his best events.

Lochte is entered in 7 events, and the two will have head-to-head matchups in the 200 free, the 200 IM, and both backstrokes.

Lochte is also swimming the 50 fly, which is part of what makes this Charlotte Grand Prix so special and important. The non-Olympic 50 meter races (and non-Olympic distance events) will all be swum here. With USA Swimming selecting specifically for this events in 2013, a new wrinkle in the World Championship qualifying rules, so this meet is vital for Americans to gain experience in these events. Afterall, the Americans (in relative terms) have struggled in the non-Olympic events.

5 Races to Watch at the 2013 Charlotte UltraSwim Grand Prix

(By this point of the Grand Prix, there’s some storylines that continue to be the same at every meet. So, instead, we’ve chosen to pick out some things that are unique and new stories to this meet.)

1. Olivia Smoliga American Record Watch in the 50 Backstroke – Georgia-bound Illinois High School swimmer Olivia Smoliga has a few very interesting entries at this meet. One is the 50 backstroke, where in December she broke the SCM American Record at the Short Course World Championships with a 26.13 (crushed it by almost a second, in fact.) The current American Record in long course is 27.80 held by Hayley McGregory; Smoliga should almost surely grab a spot for Worlds in the 50 backstroke, but this weekend could get the record as well.

2. Cullen Jones Racing Again – Cullen Jones has been fairly dormant after his Olympic appearance in 2012, but he’s returning to action this weekend in a home meet at SwimMAC. He’s swum a few local low-level meets in the last month. Two weeks ago he was a 19.45 in the 50 yard free; last weekend he was 23.4 in a long course 50 and 52.0 in a long course 100. He’s entered in those races, along with the 50 and 100 long course butterflies, at this weekend’s meet, and he’s going to need to be a lot quicker to convince fans that he’s got a shot at Worlds. He was a 22.39 in the 50 free at last year’s meet.

3. Kelsi Worrell Learning Long Course – Last week, Louisville freshman Kelsi Worrell joked via her Twitter account that she was “finally learning how to swim long course” (adding a #maybe and a #hopefully for good measure.) After a phenomenal breakout freshman season, though, it’s scary what we could see this summer if she’s still learning about swimming long course. In the 100 fly she placed 4th at NCAA’s in a 51.80 in yards. That’s almost three seconds faster than she was as a senior in high school. In long course as a senior in high school, she was a 1:00.55. In Mesa, she was already a 59.20. Doing some math there, she should be headed toward a 58, at least, this summer, with a 57 easily in reach.

4. The Race to Fill Phelps’ 400 IM Shoes – Headed into the next Olympic cycle, there is an interesting race shaping up in the 400 IM. After Michael Phelps (and to a lesser extent Ryan Lochte) have held those races on lockdown for a long, long time, there’s suddenly some daylight. Phelps is retired, and Lochte says he isn’t training for the 400 IM anymore (though may be still racing at Trials.) The three fastest guys in 2012 who didn’t make the team, however, are all swimming the race at this meet: Tyler Clary, Phelps’ former training partner Chase Kalisz, and Wisconsin’s Michael Weiss. Clary won in Mesa, but didn’t get much of a battle. With this great three-way battle, plus the likes of Conor Dwyer and South Africa’s Sebastien Rousseau, the battle for those 400 IM spots will be tested by the fire of competition.

5. Laura Sogar, For Real This Time? – This is a bit of a recycle from the Mesa Grand Prix, where Texas’s Laura Sogar, the NCAA Champion in the 200 breast who has now exhausted her NCAA eligibility, was entered in the meet but didn’t swim. Sogar’s stock has risen drastically in the last 6 months, starting with a good performance at Short Course Worlds, and continuing on to that NCAA Championship. Our readers are now already beginning to buzz about her potential to make the World Championship team, especially with World Record holder in the 200 Rebecca Soni taking the year off. In the 200 breast, Sogar is the second seed behind the other 200 meter Olympian Micah Lawrence, who is back racing where she spent training in the year up until Omaha and then London.


Which pro swimmer will take home the big check at the end of the Grand Prix Series?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

In This Story

Leave a Reply

22 Comments on "American Record on Watch at 2013 Charlotte Grand Prix (Psych Sheets & Preview)"

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
3 years 5 months ago

#6, Katie Ledecky in the 1,500, with the way she has been swimming, I wouldn’t overlook something special there. And it looks like it’s the only event she is swimming at this meet.

Big Joe
3 years 5 months ago

Not … not here.

3 years 5 months ago

What’re you trying to say, Big Joe?

Big Joe
3 years 5 months ago

I’m saying nothing particularly special this weekend. Only a training swim.

3 years 5 months ago

Looks like her time is old. Should be a whole lot faster than 16:24.

3 years 5 months ago

if you listen to David Marsh’s most recent interview–there is no way in that Cullen or Nick are going to worlds–(Marsh implies that his four year veterans have a four year plan and have not really been in the water nearly as much as they should (or hardly at all))

jean Michel
3 years 5 months ago

The 200 free look pretty solid on both sides …wowww ! specially on the women’s side . This is a good opportunity to see who may be taken on the 800 free relays .

jean Michel
3 years 5 months ago

For the 50 back , entering times are the ones for the 100 back !!! what is this ?

3 years 5 months ago

Interesting that Junya Koga is seeded as representing Club Wolverine…

Philip Johnson
3 years 5 months ago

Any meet with Smoliga is reason enough to watch.

bobo gigi
3 years 5 months ago

Be careful! You will soon have some problems with shooter mcgavin! Be careful!

bobo gigi
3 years 5 months ago

Ah Olivia…
Look at her joy and her smile after her 100 back world title in Istanbul. And look at her emotion during the medal ceremony…and her beautiful blue eyes!

Shooter McGavin
3 years 5 months ago


bobo gigi
3 years 5 months ago

Ok, I have just searched the translation of creepy in French. So what is creepy? The fact I have posted a video of her biggest accomplishment in her swimming career so far? Sorry she makes the headline of the article. So what is creepy? The fact I liked her reaction after the race? Yes, it’s cool to see her simple joy because she didn’t expect to win. So what is creepy? Because I say she’s beautiful? OH MY GOD as you say too much in USA! What a sacrilege! And I believe I’m not the only person on earth who thinks that. Yes, if she wasn’t a high level swimmer she could model. OH MY GOD! What a sacrilege! You know, shooter mcgavin, it seems you have a problem. Because when you say to someone normal she’s beautiful, there’s a big chance she takes that for a compliment. But you, no, you take it the wrong way. Do you want to know what is really creepy for example? I have heard recently in the news that in USA a 5-year-old little boy had killed her 2-year-old sister with a gun bought by her father as birthday gift. It’s frightening to think a father can be so stupid. And now he will cry for the rest of his life. Yes, this story is absolutely creepy as you say. But perhaps you also disagree about that. Some conservative American people will always make me smile. You are shocked when you watch a naked people on TV but you are not shocked with all the violence and the blood you watch on the same TV.
Having said that, you think what you want. It’s your entire right to think bad things. But I believe it’s a shame this kind of comment is still alive in the 21st century.

bobo gigi
3 years 5 months ago

Wow! I think it’s my best comment on swimswam so far.

Jean Michel
3 years 5 months ago

BoBo , It doesn’t matter what he thinks about Olivia being beautiful or not . It matters what she can do on 100 back on LC this year …. in this meet and on the Us trails in less than 2 months . She could be the threat to Missy Franklin and Usa could have such a strong backstroke power for the years to come without a doubt .

3 years 5 months ago

Agreed. It comes across as creepy. Not the appreciation of her talent but the constant comments about her beauty. I’m not sure you ever make a comment about her without mentioning it.

bobo gigi
3 years 5 months ago

Interesting. Katie Ledecky only in the 1500 free. Will we watch the first sub 16 of the season? With her anything is possible. Best time of the year in this race is for the moment 16.01.41 by Lotte Friis.
No Missy! It’s very unusual in a grand prix meet!
I agree, Kelsi Worrell is a girl to watch in the future on butterfly.
Allison Schmitt in the 400 free. We’ll see where she is in this race.
Jack Conger in a grand prix meet! Cool. It’s unusual. Interesting to see he will not swim the 200 free. Remember the 200 free is on the same day as the 200 back at world trials. So he will skip it.
I also want to watch Gillian Ryan. She’s now very close to the top American level in the 400 free, the 800 free and the 1500 free.
Lia Neal is also to watch in the 100 free. Is she ready to qualify in this race next June?
I still don’t understand why Megan Romano swims all these backstroke races!!!!!!!!!!!! Forget backstroke!!!!!!!!!!!! Focus on the 100 free!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s by far your best race!!!!!!!!!!!!
Interesting to see the first American boy aged under 20 in the 50 free who only has the 18th entering time with Santo Condorelli! Same remark in the 100 free with Jack Conger who only has the 16th entering time! And same observation in the 200 free with Pete Brumm who only has the 16th entering time! Remember the Australian trials last week!
And I also want to watch the race between Tyler Clary and Chase Kalisz in the 400 IM. A world trials preview.
Interesting meet to watch.

Joel Lin
3 years 5 months ago

Do the 400 & 800 free relays take 6 each this year or has it dropped to 4?

3 years 5 months ago

Will the Ultra Swim be streamed live?


About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

The most common question asked about Braden Keith is "when does he sleep?" That's because Braden has, in two years in the game, become one of the most prolific writers in swimming at a level that has earned him the nickname "the machine" in some circles. He first got his feet …

Read More »