HardCore Swim of the Week: Coffman stepping up big against famous fields

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Just two years ago, Cheyenne Coffman was a big fish in a little pond.

Swimming for Fresno Pacific University in the NAIA, Coffman rewrote the record books and crushed the competition, quickly outgrowing her corner of the world and capping off her collegiate career with a semifinal appearance at the U.S. Olympic Trials.

The competition has stepped up drastically in the two years since. But Coffman? Well, she’s still finding a way to the top.

Now coaching and training at Fresno State, Coffman has made a big run this spring, knocking off some elite fields in big-time meet atmospheres. Her latest victory has her developing a reputation for some HardCore swimming.

At the Speedo Grand Challenge this past weekend, Coffman competed in one of the marquee matchups of the format meet. Per the meet’s setup, Coffman participated in a 4-person, 50 free showdown with cash on the line, and more importantly, momentum to be gained heading into this summer’s extra-important U.S. Nationals.

There was the top seed: high school sensation Abby Weitzeil, who just recently broke the national high school record set by the now-reigning NCAA champ.There was the defending U.S. Olympic Trials champion in Jessica Hardy, who swam in the Olympi final. There was rising Stanford star Lia Neal, one of the brightest college sprinting talents in the nation.

And there was Cheyenne Coffman, who topped them all head-to-head, going 25.47 to touch out Neal as Hardy and Weitzeil tied for bronze.

It was all vaguely reminiscent of the Mesa Grand Prix, where Coffman rose up to beat an insane field that included Hardy, Amanda Weir, Natalie Coughlin, Megan Romano and rising youth sprinter Simone Manuel.

In a summer that means a tremendous amount in terms of national team qualifying and international meet selection, Coffman seems to be heating up her upset bid status at the exact right time.

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6 years ago

Incredibly promising for the Future of Women’s Us sprinters ! Well done

6 years ago

i would like to see ms coffman and ms simone manuel stay on their current trajectory through 2016. i think europe and the aussies dominate the sprint events at the international level, but these 2 show lots of promise

6 years ago

I wonder if she will continue to train in Fresno or perhaps make the trek to Trojan or Cal to position herself better for 2016? Then again, her training seems to be working so far…

6 years ago

Coffman is a swimmer you just can’t help but root for. Came out of a small high school in a region not exactly known for its swimming prowess. Went into a University program that had a brand new swim program, with young coaches. Now here she is as a post-grad living the dream of swimming with the best of the best.

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 …

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