Day 3 of the 2015 Arena Pro Swim Series at Santa Clara will feature some of the most intriguing storylines of the entire meet, most of which have held up with the release of the preliminary session’s timeline.
For one, the biggest male and female stars in attendance at this meet, Michael Phelps and Missy Franklin respectively, have both remained in their one individual event for the day.
For Phelps, that will be the 200 fly – a race where he was once arguably the most dominant swimmer we’ve seen in a single event in the last 70 years. He gave the event up in his first try at a comeback in 2014, but will now swim the race for the second meet in a row. He swam 2:00.64 in Charlotte for his Phelps 3.0 best time so far.
Sitting as the top seed in the women’s 100 back will be Missy Franklin, who is seeded at 58.39 in her only event of the day. After the dust from scratches settled, Franklin will be bound in prelims by her former Cal teammates Liz Pelton and Rachel Bootsma.
Among her competitors there will be Hungarian Katinka Hosszu, who remains in three vents, but has dropped the 200 breaststroke. That leaves her with a swim in the 100 back, 200 fly, and 400 free for Saturday.
Also remaining in the 100 back is Natalie Coughlin, who will hold the 3rd seed behind Franklin and Hosszu.
That’s particularly interesting in that Coughlin scratched the 100 backstroke in Charlotte, opting instead to swim it in a time trial the day prior and focus on her individual 50 on this day of the meet. That worked out for her well there (she swam a season best 1:00.08 that ranks her 11th in the world), but in Santa Clara heat sheets indicate that she’ll swim both races. This will be the first time she’s swum a competitive 100 meter back since March when she took silver behind Mie Nielsen at a meet in France.
The other top race to watch will be the men’s 50 free, which features an all-star lineup that includes Brun Fratus, Vlad Morozov, Cullen Jones, Nathan Adrian, Anthony Ervin, Brad Tandy, and Matt Grevers, among many, many others in a wild international field that will necessarily see at least one candidate for an Olympic medal left out of the A-final.
Start times for first heat of key races, in local Pacific Time:
- Men’s 200 fly – 9:18 AM
- Men’s 50 free- 9:50 AM
- Women’s 100 back – 10:00 AM
- Women’s 400 free – 12:01 PM