HardCore Swim of the Week: Weitzeil rocks SMOC for a big confidence boost

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For this week’s HardCore Swim, we head to sunny southern California, where the Mission Viejo Nadadores hosted their annual Swim Meet of Champions in honor of former open water star Fran Crippen.

One of the highlights of the meet was a rising youngster who swam a pair of races that, while not earth-shattering in final time, constituted a big step forward.

Abbey Weitzeil has seen her star rise immeasurably this past year. Since breaking the national high school records in both the 50 and 100 free earlier this year, Weitzeil has suddenly found her name thrown into fan speculation as a potential U.S. representative to everything from the Pan Pacific Games at the end of the summer to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

Of course, excited fan speculation about a talented youngster is nothing new, and in the end, is mere words. The difficulty for rising  youngsters, the wall between them and the crown of celebrity fans with which fans wish to anoint them usually comes in a very human form – we simply know them as the already-established stars of the sport.

The first major step for any young swimmer trying to break into that club is the obvious: you have to beat the old king to take over as the new one.

In this case, it’s a queen. Weitzeil competed at the Swim Meet of Champions against reigning Olympic Trials 50 and 100 free champ Jessica Hardy. But far from being star-struck, Weitzeil roared to big wins in both distances, coming within a tenth of her lifetime-best in each race. Weitzeil was 25.37 and 55.44 in those events, winning two titles by a combined .08 seconds – the ability to win tight races is a must in the sprint freestyles, and Weitzeil clearly showed in Mission Viejo that she’s up to the task.

To be fair, SMOC wasn’t a selection meet, or even a taper meet. It’s outcome has no bearing on the results of this summer’s nationals, where Weitzeil will once again have to take a major leap forward to qualify for any U.S. National Team. But in terms of confidence, there can’t be a better leadup to a hugely important summer than to beat one of the best in the world head-to-head.

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About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson just can’t stay away from the pool. A competitive career of almost two decades wasn’t enough for this Minnesotan, who continues to get his daily chlorine fix. A lifelong lover of writing, Jared now combines the two passions as Senior Reporter for SwimSwam.com, covering swimming at every level. He’s an …

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