USA Swimming has released the official meet info for the 2017 Phillips 66 National Championships, which will be held in Indianapolis, June 27th-July 1st, and will once against double as the selection meet for the 2017 World Championships team, among others.
The schedule will be the same as it was in 2013 and 2014, the last two times that the summer nationals meet served as a major selection event. Here’s a quick rundown:
Day 1 – Tuesday, June 27
Women’s 800 Freestyle
Men’s 1500 Freestyle
Day 2 – Wednesday, June 28
Day 3 – Thursday, June 29
Day 4- Friday, June 30
Day 5 – Saturday, July 1
Women’s 1500 Freestyle
200 Individual Medley
Men’s 800 Freestyle
The big change, in terms of event schedule, will be that there will not be any relays contested as this meet. This probably isn’t a huge loss for most fans, as many of the biggest names rarely swam on relays at nationals, preferring to focus their energy on their individual events. However, occasionally you would get to see the likes of Tyler Clary leading off SwimMac’s 400 medley relay, or a great showdown between less-known college teams in the 4×200.
Unlike Olympic Trials, there will be no semi-finals. Instead, swimmers will compete in prelims in the morning, and the finals of those same events that evening. The 800/1500 free events will be competed as timed finals, with the fastest heats swimming in the evening.
Swimmers over the age of 18 will be eligible for both championship (A) finals and consolation (B) finals, with only those athletes in the A final eligible to be selected to the World Championships team. There will also be a separate C final for those swimmers who are 18 and younger.
On paper, this format should lead to some of the bigger names going after event combinations they couldn’t do at Olympic Trials, due to conflicts with other events in the same session. We could see versatile guys like Josh Prenot and Will Licon go after the 200 IM (same session as the 200 breast at OT’s) or Caeleb Dressel compete for a spot in the 100 fly (same session as the 50 free at OT’s).
Swimmers will have to compete here in order to qualify for any of the three major international meet teams this summer: World Championships, World University Games, and World Junior Championships.
Neither Michael Phelps (retired) nor Ryan Lochte (suspended) will be competing at a major selection meet / national championship for the first time in what feels like forever. However, there will be plenty of other world class swimmers who should be appearing in Indy, and who we will be keeping you updated on over the next six months. A short list includes world record holder and multiple Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky, Missy Franklin, who will be looking for a bounce back campaign, Anthony Ervin, the oldest swimmer ever to win an individual Olympic gold, and a host of other veterans and up-and-comers.
As we reported earlier, this year the national championships will also serve as the culminating event for the 2017 Arena Pro Swimming Series, which begins this week in Austin, Texas.