Manuel, Nolan, Pereira, Morozov among huge names at NOVA Grand Challenge

The Irvine Novaquatics Speedo Grand Challenge meet will kick off in Irvine, California on Friday, with some national and international stars on the psych sheets.

Most of Stanford’s big names will be there, including young sprint sensation Simone Manuel, graduating national IM champion David Nolan and post-grad Maya DiRado.

Their Pac-12 rivals from USC will also be fielding a strong team, including rangy freestyler Cristian Quintero and Russian sprint star Vlad Morozov.

And to make things even more interesting, the Cal Golden Bears have sent a strong delegation, led by Olympic backstroker Rachel Bootsma and NCAA champion backstroker Ryan Murphy.

The notable absence out of those college programs is Cal’s Missy Franklin, who has yet to make her official professional debut after wrapping up her collegiate career in March.

In addition, Brazil’s Thiago Pereira is entered, but only in the 200 IM. Still, that would set up a showdown with Cal’s rising star Josh Prenot along with Nolan, who broke the American record in the event during short course season.

The sprint freestyles look elite in both genders, too. Morozov is the obvious star, but also in the running are Cal standout Seth Stubblefield, Utah’s Nick Soedel and former Minnesota All-American Derek Toomey.

Meanwhile, the women are led by Manuel, coming off a stellar freshman season at Stanford. She’ll face California’s Egyptian national Farida Osman, plus her teammate Felicia Lee and Club Trojan Olympian Jessica Hardy.

You can view the full psych sheets here. The meet will run Friday through Sunday.

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Interesting review of the Psych Sheets. It looks like David Salo’s Trojan club has 50 entries, but most of those are post-graduate club level (not current USC roster swimmers) including top athletes from Russia and Brazil. Not surprising since USC’s undergrad and grad academic programs have the highest number of international students in the country. There was also a lot of conversation on the SwimSwam boards about this Nova Grand Prix meet being “in competition” with the California State high school meet. That doesn’t seem to be the case. It is a scheduling conflict that both are on the long Memorial Day weekend. But the top California high school elite swimmers absent from the State meet are not necessarily here… Read more »

bobo gigi

Trojan Swim Club = United Nations of swimming

The Grand Inquisitor

Yes, it’s exciting when swimmers from different countries come together when they share something in common.

Like Vencill, Mellouli, Hardy, Glaesner, and Efimova. What unites these names?

bobo gigi

I didn’t understand immediately your big irony! 😆
Yes! They have all been tested positive one time for more or less important substances.
But gold medal for Efimova who beats the 4 others by a wide margin.

bobo gigi

4th meet of the FFN Golden Tour in Nancy this week.
With of course Katinka Hosszu 🙂
Kristian Gkolomeev
Coralie Balmy
Charlotte Bonnet
Anna Santamans
Marie Wattel
Mélanie Hénique
Yannick Agnel
Frédérick Bousquet
Fabien Gilot
Camille Lacourt
Grégory Mallet
Florent Manaudou
Mehdy Metella
Clément Mignon
Jérémy Stravius

Friday: finals at 5 PM in France/11 AM ET in USA
Saturday: finals at 5 PM in France/11 AM ET in USA
Sunday: finals at 3.30 PM in France/9.30 AM ET in USA

You can watch the meet live here!


Much more talent at this meet overall than last couple years, and aside from the Arena Pro Series, about the only chance for starving post-graduates to make any prize money. I reckon you’d see a lot more talent show up, if Speedo, and any other sponsors brought in, would double or triple the cash pay-outs.

This is also a great venue for the collegiate coaches to recruit the recent California CIF swimmers.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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