Disclaimer: BlueSeventy Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The BlueSeventy Swim is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.
Last week, we reported on a short list of athletes who, by an odd twist of fate involving the U.S. World Champs team, would have to put up some major times before Worlds to vie for a funded spot on the U.S. National Team next year.
One of the names on that list was Tuscon Ford’s Margo Geer – and the sprinter showed up and did exactly what she had to over the weekend.
Last summer, Geer took 6th in the 100 free at U.S. Nationals, barely qualifying for a relay spot on the World Championships team, but not an entry in the individual 100 free there.
The Worlds team took precedent over all other U.S.A. Swimming teams for this summer, meaning Geer would have to forgo individual spots at World University Games and Pan Ams in order to make Worlds her focus.
Still, though, that meant that in order for Geer to put up a top 6 time in the nation in an individual event – the criteria that earns athletes funding and other benefits through the U.S. National Team – she’d have to do it before Worlds, her major taper meet of the summer.
That’s a fine backdrop for last weekend’s “Margo Geer Show” at the L.A. Invite. Geer rocked the sprint field, vaulting to the top of the American rankings for the year in the 100 with a 53.95. She becomes the first American this year under 54 seconds.
Certainly Missy Franklin and Simone Manuel should have great shots to join her under 54 with their swims at Worlds (both were 53s last year), but Geer should have a real shot to be among the top few Americans in the event in this, the last year before the U.S. Olympic Trials.
The three other members of the current National Team in the event have already swum major meets this year, and none have bettered Geer’s time. Shannon Vreeland, Abbey Weitzeil and Lia Neal will all swim only relays at Worlds, which means Geer should be in great shape to finish within the top 6 Americans for the year. Even if Franklin and Manuel leapfrog her, three others from U.S. Nationals or another meet would have to pass up Geer to bump her out.
And on a bigger note, Geer should also have plenty of momentum heading into Worlds. While she was originally likely to only be a prelims swimmer, if she can put up a similar split in prelims in Kazan, Geer could be finding herself a member of Team USA’s championship final relay.
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