COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Olympic gold medalists Ryan Lochte (Daytona Beach, Fla.), Tyler Clary (Riverside, Calif.) and Matt Grevers (Lake Forest, Ill.) – plus Arena Pro Swim Series leaders Elizabeth Beisel (Saunderstown, R.I.) and Conor Dwyer (Winnetka, Ill.) – are expected to highlight the field for the Feb. 12-14 Arena Pro Swim Series (#ArenaProSwim) at Orlando.
The three-day meet serves as the third stop of the 2014-15 Arena Pro Swim Series – formerly known as the Arena Grand Prix Series – and will take place at the YMCA Aquatic Center. Prelims will begin each day at 9 a.m. EST, followed by finals at 6 p.m. EST.
Universal Sports Network will air exclusive live television coverage of the meet Thursday, Feb. 12 and Friday, Feb. 13 at 6 p.m. EST with veteran play-by-play announcer Craig Hummer and analyst Rowdy Gaines calling the action from Orlando. Additionally, a webcast of the complete meet will be available at usaswimming.org.
Fellow U.S. Olympic medalists Katie Hoff (Townson, Md.), Cullen Jones (Irvington, N.J.), Breeja Larson (Mesa, Ariz.), Caitlin Leverenz (Tucson, Ariz.) and Amanda Weir (Lawrenceville, Ga.) are also expected to compete. In total, more than 20 USA Swimming National Team members are slated to swim in Orlando.
Beisel, Dwyer and Lochte all starred collegiately at the nearby University of Florida.
Tickets are required for each session, and all-session and single-session passes are on sale now. Single-session tickets will be for sale on-site at the YMCA Aquatic Center during the meet. Full meet information can be found at usaswimming.org.
The Arena Pro Swim Series at Orlando is the third of six stops of the 2014-15 Arena Pro Swim Series, which was formerly known as the Arena Grand Prix Series prior to a January 2015 rebranding announcement. The series provides the nation’s best swimmers the opportunity to face top-flight competition on U.S. soil with twice the prize money as last season on the line.
Beisel currently leads the women’s Arena Pro Swim Series standings with 33.5 points, while Dwyer tops the men’s standings with 29 points.
“Using the Arena Pro Swim Series name makes it immediately recognizable to fans and media that our sport’s absolute best athletes are racing in the hometowns of swimmers and sports fans,” said USA Swimming National Team Director Frank Busch. “At the same time, anyone who posts a qualifying time is eligible, just as it has been, so it creates a unique opportunity for high school and collegiate swimmers to challenge themselves against top competition. In many ways, it’s like playing in the same game as LeBron James or a Tour event with Tiger Woods.”
As part of USA Swimming’s partnership with swimwear leader Arena, the Arena Pro Swim Series features $300,000 in overall prize money. Eligible swimmers may earn awards for top-three finishes in all individual Olympic events across the series. At each meet, $1,000 will be provided for a first-place finish, $600 for second and $200 for third. In addition to the single-event prize money, the overall male and female winners of the season-long Series will earn a $10,000 bonus.
For the second consecutive season, USA Swimming partner BMW will award the grand prize of a one-year lease of a BMW vehicle to the highest-scoring eligible male and female U.S. swimmers.
Male and female overall Arena Pro Swim Series champions will be honored at the conclusion of the 2014-15 series based on the number of points accumulated throughout the six meets. Participants will be awarded points in each individual Olympic event throughout the duration of the Series (Five points for first, three for second, one point for third place).
Complementing the professional athletes, high school and collegiate swimmers will be able challenge their abilities against top competition without compromising their NCAA eligibility. USA Swimming received approval from the NCAA for the Arena Pro Swim Series title.
Swimming news courtesy USA Swimming.