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.
Ryan Murphy‘s 200 back win at the Grand Challenge meet in California last weekend didn’t turn too many heads. It wasn’t quite a season-best, it didn’t move him up the world rankings. In fact, it didn’t even break a pool record that’s been held by Ryan Lochte since 2010.
But the swim is a lot more important than it’s getting credit for – it’s another building block in a quietly dominant season Murphy has been constructing since January.
It’s his fourth time in the year 2018 going between 1:55.4 and 1:56.5 in the long course 200 back. Murphy was 1:56.1 at the Austin Pro Swim Series, 1:55.4 at the tour’s Atlanta stop, 1:56.5 in Mesa and then 1:55.7 last weekend in Irvine. He currently ranks 3rd in the world this season without yet swimming a taper meet. In Irvine, he also beat head-to-head one of his biggest international rivals (Japan’s Ryosuke Irie, who was 1:56.23) and arguably his biggest domestic rival to make the U.S. Pan Pacs and World Championship teams (teammate Jacob Pebley, who was 1:57.68).
Murphy is now an undefeated 4-for-4 in 200 backstrokes so far this season, with plenty of top competition. He’s 3-for-4 in 100 backstrokes, losing only the 100 to Matt Grevers in Austin way back in January.
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