Grand Prix Points: Beisel and Clary rocket to early leads

With USA Swimming’s Grand Prix series kicking off in chilly Minneapolis this week, swimming fans have an early glimpse into what the series points battle might look like.

It’s not a huge surprise that versatile Olympians Elizabeth Beisel and Tyler Clary have jumped to early leads in the points.

The point standings are basically identical to the money lists.. Though the prize money for the top 3 finishers in each event has doubled, the points remained the same as last year – that doesn’t affect the points battle, though, as the ratios have stayed the same. Where last year, $100 of earnings equaled 1 point, this year it’s $200 that corresponds to a point in the standings.

Grand Prix Points and Money System

Individual Olympic events:

  • 1st place: $1000, 5 points
  • 2nd place: $600, 3 points
  • 3rd place: $200, 1 point

The Grand Prix series continues over five more meets through next summer, with the overall winners in series points for each gender earning $10,000 and a 1-year lease of a new BMW.*

*The usual stipulations are in effect: only American citizens can win the car prize, and amateur athletes (those in the NCAA or who plan to swim in the NCAA in the future) can’t necessarily accept the full prize money amounts.

Beisel looks in great shape on the women’s side, holding a 10-point lead on last year’s BMW winner Caitlin Leverenz. (Hungarian Katinka Hosszu actually won the series, but Leverenz was the highest car-eligible finisher). Beisel’s event selections in Minneapolis suggested she’s all-in for the series points title – most telling was when she entered the 1650 free on Saturday instead of the 200 IM, picking up a big win in a very difficult off-event instead of staying in her traditional IM races and competing with a tough crowd for points.

Clary, meanwhile, leads the men’s race by 6 over sprint star Nathan Adrian and 7 over defending series champ Conor Dwyer. Adrian is the tough one to predict. He won the 50 and 100 frees and also earned 3 points for his runner-up 200 free effort. With the rest of the series switching to long course meters, it seems less likely that Adrian will continue to enter (and score in) that 200 free, so he might not be Clary’s biggest threat for the title.

Dwyer, meanwhile, has the same advantage Beisel does, in that he can enter a wide range of races, depending on where competition is most fierce. Clary’s awfully versatile too, though, and this race could turn interesting if guys like Ryan Lochte or Chase Kalisz show up down the road to steal IM points from Clary.

Also keep an eye on Miguel Ortiz, who isn’t eligible for the car, but had a great meet in Minneapolis and is tied with Dwyer for third. Ortiz is much more of a versatile sprinter, and could benefit from swimming the shorter races if Clary and Dwyer have to go head-to-head for winner points in the longer events.

These point standings will stay as they are for a length of time now, with the Grand Prix series halting until the Austin stop from January 15-17 of next year.

Women’s Points

Rank Name Points Money
1 Elizabeth Beisel 22 $4,300
2 Caitlin Leverenz 12 $2,400
3 Melanie Margalis 11 $2,200
4 Beata Nelson (A) 10 $2,000
4 Margo Geer 10 $2,000
6 Shannon Vreeland 8 $1,600
6 Dominique Bouchard 8 $1,600
8 Kierra Smith (A) 6 $1,200
8 Maya DiRado 6 $1,200
11 Hilda Luthersdottir 3 $600
10 Katie McLaughlin (A) 4 $700
11 Karlee Bispo 3 $600
11 Zoe Avestruz (A) 3 $600
11 Brooke Zeiger (A) 3 $600
11 Becca Mann (A) 3 $600
16 Katie Hoff 1 $200
16 Danielle Nack (A) 1 $200
16 Lindsay Vrooman 1 $200
16 Kiera Janzen 1 $200
16 Karlee Bispo 1 $200
16 Megan Romano 1 $200

Men’s Points

Rank Name Points Money
1 Tyler Clary 19 $3,800
2 Nathan Adrian 13 $2,600
3 Conor Dwyer 12 $2,400
3 Miguel Ortiz 12 $2,400
5 Connor Jaeger 10 $2,000
6 Felipe Lima 5 $1,000
6 Junya Koga 5 $1,000
6 BJ Johnson 5 $1,000
6 Darian Townsend 5 $1,000
10 Mike Alexandrov 3 $600
10 Giles Smith 3 $600
10 Kyler Van Swol 3 $600
10 Bruno Fratus 3 $600
10 Marat Amaltdinov (A) 3 $600
10 Ryan Harty (A) 3 $600
10 Ryan Feeley 3 $600
17 Guillermo Blanco (A) 2 $400
17 James Wells 2 $400
19 Lyam Dias (A) 1 $200
19 Junya Koga 1 $200
19 Michael Weiss 1 $200
19 Frank Dyer 1 $200
19 James Disney-May 1 $200
19 Nick Norman (A) 1 $200

In This Story

Leave a Reply

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

Read More »

Want to take your swimfandom to the next level?

Subscribe to SwimSwam Magazine!