2019 MISSION VIEJO SWIM MEET OF CHAMPIONS
After undergoing shoulder surgery in January, USA National Teamer, NCAA finalist, and Pac-12 champion Grant Shoults made his return to competition last weekend at the 2019 Fran Crippen Swim Meet of Champions in Mission Viejo, California.
A rising senior specializing in mid-distance at Stanford, Shoults went 1:55.57 in the 200 free and 52.57 in the 100; he was less than a second off his best time (51.86, from 2015) in the 100, but considerably off his 1:47.86 200 lifetime best. He posted on Twitter to commemorate his return, giving the following statement:
“Thank you to my friends and family for making my return to competition so special! Without a doubt it’s been an arduous journey but every race this weekend and every race in the future won’t be taken for granted. We are 1 year out from Olympic Trials and although there’s still a long way to go with a lot of short term goals to hit, I’m excited to continue chasing the Big Goal. Happy #olympicday!”
— grantshoults (@grantshoults) June 24, 2019
Shoults is now a year removed from his breakout performance at last summer’s Phillips 66 National Championships, where he placed second in the 400 free (3:46.90) and qualified for the Pan Pacs team. In Tokyo, he finished fourth overall and earned a spot on the U.S. team for the upcoming 2019 FINA World Championships. He also finished 13th in the 200 free at Nationals with the aforementioned best time.
Shoults was the Pac-12 500 free champion in both of his first two seasons; he also took third in the 200 free and second in the 1650 his freshman year. He placed fourth in the 500 at both the 2017 and 2018 NCAA Championships. He swam only 1 official race in the 2018-2019 season: a 500 free at the Texas Invite in November, where he went 4:20.23 in prelims and 4:28.95 in finals.
In early May, USA Swimming put out an updated roster for the World Championships without Conor Dwyer on it, but Shoults’ name still appeared despite having been out for months to that point with an injury. Stanford declined comment on Shoults’ recovery timeline.