Jason Turcotte of the Dynamo Swim Club in Atlanta will lead a team of 8 junior swimmers and three National Team swimmers to the FINA World Cup Series this fall.
The team will be accompanied by three National Team swimmers who will serve in a mentoring role for the athletes; this is something that USA Swimming has started doing a lot more of, with the unique aspect of these World Cup meets being that the mentors can actually swim as well.
The team will again hit the European leg of the tour, making stops in Moscow, Russia and Berlin, Germany. Though he won’t be an official mentor, the team is expected to be joined in Moscow at least by superstar Ryan Lochte.
Turcotte will have two members of his own team on the trip with him (Kylie Stewart and Gunnar Bentz), and is the coach of the 2010 and 2011 Speedo Long Course Junior National Champions. He follows in the footsteps of the Bob Bowman and Michael Phelps led squad that hit Europe last year. That included swimmers like Chase Kalisz and Missy Franklin, the latter of whom broke a World Record in Berlin.
This year’s team is much further from their next attempt at the Olympics than was last year’s, but still carries huge accolades. IM’er Celina Li, already committed to Cal for the fall, will make the trip. Her star in the national conversation has been rising in the last few weeks.Becca Mann, a 14-year old incredibly tough swimmer who made multiple Olympic Trials finals, will also join them.
Other swimmers on the roster include:
- Breaststroker Allie Szekely, who almost broke a historic 13-14 Amanda Beard National Age Group Record
- Kaitlyn Jones from the Delaware Swim Team who made her breakout at the Tom Dolan Invite last year and also was on the Jr. Pan Pacs roster
- Leah Smith from the jewis Community Center in Pittsburgh, who’s another part of the women’s distance resurgance in the U.S. right now
- Michelle Cefalout of Tualatin Hills in Portland, Oregon, who this summer swept the Junior National butterfly titles, including a 59.31 in the 100 to break the minute for the first time
They will be joined by Jessica Hardy, Anthony Ervin, and Tom Shields: three Cal Bears working alongside the former Stanford assistant Turcotte.
Shields has dominated American college swimming with his incredible underwaters that translate well to short course, but is still developing in long course. This will be a great opportunity to step into the international spotlight for him. Ervin is coming off of a comeback, and so reviatlized was he by his Olympic final that he’s decided to continue on with his career.
Hardy is the most experienced of the three in this series: in 2009, where about every other race at the World Cup resulted in a World Record, a full schedule from Hardy in her first action back from a doping suspension led her to the series victory and a $100,000 check. She swept the 50 breaststrokes at all 5 meets, including breaking the World Record in Berlin: which still stands as the global standard.
|Kaitlyn Jones||Delaware Swim Team||Bruce Gemmell|
|Celina Li||Pleasanton Seahawks||Steve Morsilli|
|Becca Mann||Clearwater Aquatic Team||Randy Reese|
|Leah Smith||Jewish Community Center||Al Rose|
|Kylie Stewart||Dynamo Swim Club||Jason Turcotte|
|Michelle Cefal||Tualatin Hills||Linck Bergen|
|Allie Szekely||Central Bucks YMCA||Stu Kukla|
|Gunnar Bentz||Dynamo Swim Club||Jason Turcotte|
Full selection criteria is available here, but to summarize, up to 10 boys and 10 girls could be taken. They were chosen based on the swimmers that ranked highest in the World Rankings, with a limit that they must have been in the top 50.