Full psych sheets are expected out later this week. Below is a press release courtesy USA Swimming.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Olympic gold medalists and world-record holders Katie Ledecky (Bethesda, Md.), Ryan Lochte (Daytona Beach, Fla.) and Michael Phelps (Baltimore, Md.) are among the nearly 50 members of the USA Swimming National Team expected to highlight the field for the April 15-18 Arena Pro Swim Series (#ArenaProSwim) at Mesa.
The four-day meet serves as the fourth stop of the 2014-15 Arena Pro Swim Series – formerly known as the Arena Grand Prix Series – and will take place at the Skyline Aquatic Center.
The meet opens with a timed-final distance session at 6 p.m. MST on Wednesday, April 15. Thursday, April 16 through Saturday, April 18, prelims will begin at 9 a.m. MST, followed by finals at 6 p.m. MST.
Universal Sports Network will air exclusive live television coverage of the meet Thursday, April 16 and Friday, April 17 at 9 p.m. EDT with veteran play-by-play announcer Ted Robinson and analyst Rowdy Gaines calling the action from Mesa. Additionally, a webcast of the complete meet will be available at usaswimming.org.
Expected to join Ledecky, Lochte and Phelps in the field are fellow individual Olympic gold medalists Tyler Clary (Riverside, Calif.), Natalie Coughlin (Vallejo, Calif.), Matt Grevers (Lake Forest, Ill.) and Allison Schmitt (Canton, Mich.), as well as current Arena Pro Swim Series leaders and Olympic medalists Elizabeth Beisel (Saunderstown, R.I.) and Conor Dwyer(Winnetka, Ill.).
On the local front, Tucson residents Grevers and Olympic silver medalist Nick Thoman (Cincinnati, Ohio), as well as former University of Arizona standouts Kevin Cordes (Naperville, Ill.),Margo Geer (Milford Center, Ohio) and Giles Smith (Baltimore, Md.), are expected to compete.
Arizona natives and Olympic medalists Breeja Larson (Mesa, Ariz.) and Caitlin Leverenz (Tucson, Ariz.) are also slated to swim in Mesa.
Tickets are required for each session, and single-session passes are on sale now. If available, single-session tickets will be for sale on-site at the Skyline Aquatic Center during the meet. Full meet information can be found at usaswimming.org.
The Arena Pro Swim Series at Mesa is the fourth 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 38.5 points, while Dwyer tops the men’s standings with 38 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.