Sparks will fly on December 11th and 12th at the IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis, as the just-announced USA Swimming roster takes on a line-up of European All Stars in the short course meters competition. The European roster is yet to be announced, but USA Swimming revealed the stars n’ stripes’ team members today, which includes such high-profile athletes as Ryan Lochte, Nathan Adrian, Missy Franklin, Lia Neal, Tyler Clary and Caitlin Leverenz, just to name a few.
We now know the event order for the 2015 Duel in the Pool, so swim nerds everywhere can start assigning events to swimmers to get a jump on what the actual entry lists will look like, at least on the American end.
The entire meet kicks off with both a men’s and women’s sure-to-be-heated 400m medley relay battle, then the two-day affair concludes with both versions of the 400m freestyle relay. That’s a change from the 2013 edition, where the 400m medley relay was the very last event of Day one’s schedule. Another change is that the 2013 event line-up saw both the men and women competing in the 800m freestyle but this year’s meet has only the women competing in the 800m free, with the men racing in the 1500m distance.
The freestyle and butterfly events still see their shorter 100m race distance on Saturday, while the disciplines of backstroke and breaststroke compete in the 200m events on the first day. Day one also hosts the 400m IM and 400m freestyle, while the 800m free, 1500m free and 200m IM fall on the second day of the duel.
Since the once Australia vs. United States meet moved to the European All Stars against the U.S. format in 2009, the final team score deficit has been shrinking with each competition. The 2009 edition in Manchester saw the United States dominate with a final score of 185 to Europe’s 78 and this was followed in 2011 with another U.S. win in a score of 181.5 to 80.
2013 was the real breakthrough year for the European All Stars, however, as the meet came down to a tie between the two teams that led to a mixed 200m medley relay tie-breaker. With the U.S. swimmers coming out on top of that extra race (thank you, Simone Manuel) they would end up winning the meet in a final tally of 132 to 131.