Disclaimer: Dolfin 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 Dolfin 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.
2018 was a rough year for Olympian Cody Miller.
The Rio Olympic bronze medalist went the entire 2017-2018 season without hitting a single lifetime-best. Miller talked in his vlogs about dealing with knee pain that limited his training and competition, and the disruption eventually caused him to fall to just 59.77 and 2:10.59 in his long course breaststrokes. Even worse was that the then-26-year-old Miller was on a multiple year regression, falling from his 2016 season-bests of 58.8/2:09.9 to times of 59.0/2:11.5 in 2017. The rough summer caused Miller to miss the U.S. World Championships team, and he just barely snuck in for National Team status and the perks and funding that go along with it, finishing just three tenths away from losing national team status in the 100 breast.
But Miller made up for all of that last weekend, with a 200-meter breaststroke swim that may have netted him upwards of $11,500.
Miller won the 200 breast at the Bloomington Pro Swim Series, taking home the $1500 winner’s check. But his swim also blew out the previous best FINA points swim on the series among the men, putting him well in line for the $10,000 series prize.
The 2:08.98 swim was Miller’s first personal best in the 200 meter breast since August of 2015. It marks his first time under 2:09 and just his fourth time ever under 2:10.
Between that swim and his 59.24 in the 100 breast, Miller should be all but locked in for National Team status, as well. With National Team qualifying opening on January 1, Miller ranks #1 in the nation over the qualifying period in both. His 100 breast would have ranked #2 in the nation for all of last season, even better than national champ Michael Andrew, who was 59.38.
Miller will represent Team USA at the Pan American Games this summer, but is only slated to swim the 100 breast. That’s why his 200 this week was so important – it gives him a chance to swim that event at a major rest meet, without having to double-taper for something near Pan Ams. It also allows him to focus on his speed for the next few months to prepare for Pan Ams, and takes the pressure off when the time comes – Miller is already in good shape to make the national team, and has proven that he’s well on his way back from a disappointing 2018.
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