Ford Southwest Classic
- May 24th-27th, 2019
- Hillebrand Aquatics Center, Tucson, AZ
- 50m format
Tucson Ford Dealer Aquatics brought back the formerly-annual Southwest Classic this, hosting the event in the recently-renovated Hillebrand Aquatics Center, home of the Arizona Wildcats. This meet is a little more geared towards age groupers than some of the big non-PSS meets we’ve seen recently (e.g., Atlanta Classic, Speedo Grand Challenge), but there was a strong contingent of Wildcat swimmers and post-grads who put up some interesting times.
In this kind of smaller meet, it’s not unusual to see pro swimmers opt outside of their comfort zone a little bit, and that was definitely the case for distance star Leah Smith. She dropped a big lifetime best in the 200 breast, putting up a 2:38.48 that knocked over 15 seconds from her previous best time, which she recorded way back in 2008 when she was only 13 years old. Smith also won the 100 free in 56.78 and the 200 fly in 2:13.91.
Current Arizona swimmer Brooks Fail, who had a strong sophomore season that culminated in a 3rd place finish in the 500 free at this year’s NCAAs, also picked up three event wins. He took the 400 free in 3:57.53 and the 200 back in 2:05.53. Meet Mobile shows him placing 9th in the 200 free, but as it has no one listed 1st-8th, it appears he also won that event, setting the pace with a 1:51.78 effort.
Veteran Matt Grevers made an appearance as well, and while he skipped his signature event, the 100 backstroke, he swept the sprint freestyle events. He won the 100 free in 50.24, which is his best in-season time in that this event this quad, and also put up a 22.99 in the 50 free. While Grevers has narrowed his focus to the 100 back the past few years, it’s worth remembering that he was part of Team USA’s 4×100 free relays at both the Beijing and London Olympics.
Full results are available on Meet Mobile under “Ford Southwest Classic 2019,” and we’ll update with a link to final results when available