5 Storylines, All the Links You Need for the Mesa PSS

Arena Pro Swim Series at Mesa

  • Thursday, April 14 – Saturday, April 16, 2016
  • Skyline Aquatic Center
  • Mesa, Arizona (same as Pacific Daylight Time, GMT -7 hours)
  • Prelims 9AM / Finals 5PM (12PM/8PM Eastern Standard Time)
  • Psych Sheet
  • Live Stream
  • Live Results
  • Meet Central

SCHEDULE

Thursday:

  • 200 free
  • 100 breast
  • 100 fly
  • 400 IM

Friday:

  • 200 fly
  • 50 free
  • 100 back
  • 200 breast
  • 400 free

Saturday:

  • Women’s 800 free
  • 200 IM
  • 200 back
  • 100 free
  • Men’s 1500 free

PRIZE MONEY/SCORING SYSTEM

Every individual, Olympic-distance event gives out prize money and series points to the top three finishers:

  • 1st place: $1000, 5 points
  • 2nd place: $600, 3 points
  • 3rd place: $200, 1 points

At the end of the series, the male and female points leaders will win $10,000 each, plus a 1-year lease of a BMW (though the BMW is only available to U.S. citizens).

CURRENT POINT STANDINGS

Men:

  1. Nathan Adrian – 30
  2. Michael Phelps – 26
  3. Conor Dwyer – 24
  4. Chase Kalisz – 23
  5. Ryan Lochte – 18

Women:

  1. Katie Ledecky – 40
  2. Missy Franklin – 31
  3. Maya DiRado – 23
  4. Melaine Margalis – 19
  5. Hosszu, Mann, Sjostrom – 18

5 STORYLINES TO WATCH

1. USA 100 Freestylers: most of the USA’s top 100 free stars are expected to be at Mesa.  On the women’s side, the top names in the 100 free include Simone Manuel, Missy Franklin, Katie Ledecky, Abbey Weitzeil, Margo Geer, and Lia Neal, among others.  Similarly, with many other countries having trials around this time, the top seven men on the psych sheet all swim for the red, white, and blue, including Nathan Adrian, Anthony Ervin, Michael Chadwick, Ryan Lochte, Jimmy Feigen, Jack Conger, and Conor Dwyer.  Another notable name a little further down the psych sheet is 32 year-old Cullen Jones, who’s been fairly quiet since 2012, but who has a reputation for showing up when it counts.  While none of the US stars should be anywhere close to their peak, any forward progress, especially by some of the younger swimmers, may help assuage some fears about the state of the USA’s 4×100 relays over the next few months after what the Australian men and women and the French men have shown over recently.

2. Small, But Strong, NCAA Contingent: after a crazy couple of NCAA championships last month, particularly on the men’s side, most of the big collegiate names are presumably back to heavy training, focusing on Omaha.  However, a few college stars are expected to swim at Mesa and will test out their long course mettle.  Louisville’s Kelsi Worrell swept the fly events at NCAA’s last month, and is slated those two here, plus the 50 free, 100 free, and 100 backstroke.  She’ll face defending Olympic gold medalist Dana Vollmer, who’s she likely be battling it out for the top spot in Omaha.  Texas Longhorn Jack Conger has the top seed in the 100 fly in Phelps’s absence, and he’ll be swimming the 200 fly and the 100 and 200 freestyles.  That could possibly be his lineup in Omaha, although that would make for a few doubles.  Other college stars listed on the psych sheet include Hali Flickinger, Clark Smith, Matias Koski, Andrew Seliskar, and Gunnar Bentz.

3. The Point Battles: on the men’s side, Adrian leads this season Arena Pro Series point earners with a score of 30, but he’s only swimming two events to Phelps’s four, giving the latter a chance to close.  Dwyer, last year’s champion, and Chase Kalisz are close behind.  Dwyer is scheduled to swim four events and Kalisz five.  It’s not nearly as close on the women’s side, where Ledecky has a nine point lead over Franklin, and even if she scratches a few events, should maintain a comfortable lead.

4.  Michael Phelps Drops the 100 Fly, Opts for the 200 Free: while Phelps and coach Bob Bowman have not specifically revealed what events the GOAT will be swimming at Trials, it is pretty clear at this point that he will at least be competing in the 100 fly and 200 IM, with the 200 fly also very likely.  Yet, Phelps was at one point the world record holder in the 200 free, has been on the USA 4×200 relay the past three Olympics, and also swam on that relay at Pan Pacs, despite having not competed in the individual event at Nationals or Pan Pacs.  So, Phelps could merely be trying to switch things up, or he could be focusing on the 200 free this week, hoping to throw down a time that will help USA coaches justify selecting him to swim on the relay in Rio, even if he doesn’t swim the individual event at Omaha.  He’s seeded 9th with a 1:48.20, while the fastest time in the country this year belongs to Dwyer, with a 1:46.62 he did at Winter Nationals in December.

5. Katie Ledecky World Record Watch: yes, pretty much anytime Ledecky gets in the pool, there’s a decent chance that a world record could be broken.  However, Ledecky has spent the past few weeks training at altitude at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, and we know happened last time she did that before a Pro Series event.

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Bad anon

Really excited for this meet. Kirsty Coventry has been somewhat under the radar. She posted it decent times at sectionals in College Station last month including 1.00.08 in the 100back. This will be the meet to see where she’s at on the road to Rio

Question

I know that Katie Ledecky won’t be able to accept her prizes because of NCAA eligibility rules, but are those same prizes given to someone else, or are they deferred/saved for her until she does turn pro and can accept them? Does anyone know what Missy Franklin did in this case?

bobo gigi

Your paragraph about US 100 free shows the current problem of US 100 free. You write “most of the USA’s top 100 free stars are expected to be at Mesa.” Missy Franklin is not a sprint specialist. Katie Ledecky is not a sprint specialist. Ryan Lochte is not a sprint specialist. Jack Conger is not a sprint specialist. Conor Dwyer is not a sprint specialist. Anthony Ervin is now a 50 free swimmer. Cullen Jones has never been a 100 free swimmer (he could have been a great one, he should have been a great one but did he really want it?). About men’s sprint, that’s interesting to see where is Ryan Hoffer right now. Usually he isn’t a fast… Read more »

PVSFree

Hoffer was there in altitude. It’ll be interesting to see how he does. Hoffer is still pretty good on top of the water, I think he’ll be able to at least go 49 low this summer at Trials. I think Phelps is using this meet to see where his free is at and if he should try swimming it at Trials, if he puts up decent times, he’ll swim it, if not, he won’t. And Eddie Reese has talked about how Clark worries for the big meets (Think NCAA’s, Trials, etc.) but is able to put up good times in lower pressure situations. The longhorns at this meet are probably not going to be rested, so I wouldn’t be too… Read more »

Aussie Oy

USA is so lucky they have so many sprint specialists.
On the female side, there are Simone Manuel, Abbey Weitzeil, Margo Geer, Jessica Hardy, Ivy Martin, Madison Kennedy, Amanda Weir, etc. etc.
That’s way a lot more than for example Australia which only have the Campbell sisters and a few mediocre others. And before you say what about Emma mcKeon. Well, if Missy is not a sprinter neither is Emma (her core events are 100 fly and 200 free).

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